Is the Hiland 26 Inch Mountain Bike Right For You?

One of the more popular Hiland mountain bikes, the Hiland 26 inch adult mountain bike is a high quality entry level mountain bike that will serve most riders very well. If you have read our 2021 Hiland Mountain Bike Buyers Guide you will know that the Hiland 27.5 inch Mountain bike is our favorite, however the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike is a close second. Throughout this review we will go over why we believe this is such a great bike as well as answer some frequently asked questions about the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike. As always we will try and keep our review as unbiased as possible to ensure that you get high quality, researched, and relevant information to inform your purchasing decision. Here at Mountain Bikes Lab we know how important it is to get reliable information about new product and we strive to always give you the most up to date information as possible about the mountain bikes that we review. 

Diving Into the Best and Worst of the Hiland 26 Inch Mountain Bike

Hiland 26 Inch

The first thing that you should do when purchasing an entry level mountain bike is manage your expectations. After reading reviews of high end, thousand dollar bikes like the Mongoose Tyax Expert, it is easy to start feeling as though every bike you purchase should have that level of quality and performance. Unfortunately, making a bike more affordable for the everyday rider also means sacrificing some quality in terms of components and performance. The Hiland 26 inch mountain bike is a quality bike, however if you compare it to high end, professional bike you will be disappointed. In the same way that it isn’t fair to compare a Lamborghini to a Toyota Corolla, you can’t compare a $300 bike to a $1,500 bike. With that quick disclaimer out of the way lets jump into what we believe makes the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike a great bike for the price that you are paying. 

Shimano Front and Rear Derailleur 

If you have read our 2021 Best Mountain Bike Derailleurs buyers guide you will already know that Shimano is one of the absolute best providers for mountain bike components and specifically derailleurs. When it comes to consistent quality our team believes there is no better company than Shimano and it for an entry level bike like the Hiland 26 inch, it was pleasantly surprising to find both the front and rear derailleurs made by Shimano. The derailleurs on your bike are some of the most important components however they can be quite pricy. For this reason many bike manufactures of entry level bike opt to avoid the higher quality, but higher priced, Shimano derailleurs and go with something more inexpensive. While this is not always the end of the world, low level derailleurs have a tendency to get stuck, are jerky, and are overall less than ideal for a mountain bike. 

Having a low end derailleur can also be quite dangerous as they wear down much more quickly and occasionally completely stop working, sometimes in the middle of switching gears. After testing countless Shimano components including these derailleurs we can confidently say that you will not have any of these issues. Finding entry level bikes with high quality components can be very difficult, especially when you are looking for parts like Shimano derailleurs, thankfully the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike passes this first test with flying colors. Throughout all of our testing of this bike we were able to switch gears seamlessly and the derailleurs worked without any problems. 

Steel Frame

Weighing in at around 47 pounds the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike’s frame is made out an extremely durable, but somewhat heavy steel. Steel frames are becoming more and more infrequent in the world of mountain biking however for entry levels bike it is still somewhat common. As aluminum alloys become more inexpensive even entry level bikes are being produce with those light weight frames, however we don’t think that the difference in weight for a beginner is too important. For a more experience rider the difference between a steel versus aluminum or carbon fiber frame is very important, ever pound make a difference in performance and when your competing at a high level that can make all the difference. For someone buying an entry level bike like the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike however, a steel frame will still give you a very durable bike that you will be able to enjoy for a long time. Although we would have liked to see an aluminum frame, for the money you are saving with a steel frame we feel as though the difference in weight is insignificant. 

V-Brakes 

Our least favorite part of the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike has to be the V-brakes, also known as grip or caliper brakes. The lowest level of brakes for a bike, V-brakes slow you down via the friction between the grip and the metal rim of your tires. Although they are not terrible, V-brakes wear down for more quickly than higher quality disc brakes and they are also less effective. For an entry level bike it is quite common to see V-brakes as they are far more inexpensive, however for all the bike that we test and review we like to see mechanical disc brakes at the very least. These brakes will do their job but if you have this bike for a long time you should be prepared to replace them at least once every 2-3 years depending on how often you ride. In our professional experience grip brakes need to be replaced after around 750-1000 miles of riding which works out to about 250-300 miles per year. 

21 Speeds

The most common number of speeds for an entry level mountain bike, 21 speeds should be more than enough for every entry level mountain biker. While some more high end mountain bike will have 27 speeds and sometimes even more, in our experience a vast majority of bikers only need and use around 10 speeds. For a professional rider we could understand wanting more than 21 speeds however there is no reason to pay for more speeds when it is extremely unlikely that you will use them. In terms of performance the shifting between speeds on the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike is done with thumb shifters which are much more reliable than grip twist shifters. We have no problems going up or down in speed and the shifting was smooth and quite. 

Conclusion

Like we stated at the beginning of this review, the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike is an entry level mountain bike that should never be compared to a high end professional bike. For its price, the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike performs extremely well and we were especially pleased with the high quality Shimano front and rear derailleurs. These high end components made shifting gears very smooth which is something that often times is what ruins the quality of an entry level bike. Overall the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike is an excellent bike if you are looking for a new entry level mountain bike and will outperform a majority of other bikes in its price range. If you’re looking for something bigger, you can check out our Hiland 29 Inch Mountain Bike review. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the right height for the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike?

For a 26 inch bike the suggested height is between 4’10” and 5’7” however with the adjustable seat height anyone up to 6’ tall should have no difficulty riding the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike. You can also use a size chart to help. 

Is the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike good?

Yes, for a bike that is priced around $300 the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike provides a high quality ride and is better than most bikes in that price range. It is an excellent entry level bike.

Does the Hiland 26 inch mountain bike come preassembled?

The Hiland 26 inch mountain bike come 85% preassembled and there are simple instruction to follow to complete the assembly process. Our team was able to assemble the bike with no problems in less than 20 minutes. 

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