Top 7 Best Mountain Bikes Under $300 (May 2020)
Mountain bikes are perfect if you want to explore the outdoors and take on more challenging terrain. Purchasing a mountain bike is an expensive endeavor and can be downright scary. Slapping down the credit card for a large purchase requires serious research. All of this research can bring to light loads of jargon and terms. Terms like mid-travel, short-travel, and enduro are thrown around all the time.
Modern Day Technology
Rapidly advancing technology and an increasing number of manufacturers mean an ever-increasing list of options to pick from. Mountain biking is a brilliant sport for which only the best bikes will suffice. The sheer difference between a mountain range and a tarred road is one reason why normal bikes aren’t the best choice. Because of the differences in normal bikes and mountain bikes, the criteria by which the best is chosen is slightly different. Their tires are designed differently, as is their suspension, frame, and handle support. Price, ease of maintenance, suspension, life-cycle, weight, and construction material are some of the features we considered.
Best Entry Level Mountain Bike Models Under $300
While not overly sexy (or light), there are plenty of quality entry-level mountain bikes under $300. These are great options for beginner mountain bikers and young riders who may soon outgrow their current bike. Keep reading to learn what to look for in your first mountain bike and check out our list of the best mountain bikes under $300.
Performance Vs Maintenance
Not all of us need a suspension fork. If your local routes are light terrain then don’t get one. You’ll save on maintenance of your bike. As well as saving on maintenance you’ll also save on effort. A rigid fork will bring you less weight to push around, and you’ll also not have the bob you get from suspension forks when you pedal. The bob can suck some speed from you and requires more effort from you to overcome it. If you need a full suspension then so be it.
What To Expect In This Price Range
With the best mountain bikes under $300 it’s unlikely you’ll get your hands on hydraulic disc brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes are more powerful than mechanical ones as well as offering a better feel. Mechanical disc brakes however are quite achievable in this price range. In this review, we have picked five of the best hardtail mountain bikes under £300 for XC and recreational cycling.
Mountain Bike Wheels
Wheel size is a big choice in mountain bikes at any price point. Nearly all the best mountain bikes being made at the moment will have 27.5” wheels or 29” wheels. Typically 27.5” wheels are seen as being better for technical off-road use where you will be riding on lots of tight trails with sharp corners and lots of rocks and routes. The basic idea being that the 27.5” wheel is more manoeuvrable (it will also be easier to pop a wheelie or do other tricks). A 29” wheel bike will normally be faster as the bike will ‘roll’ more easily once you are up to speed. Nearly all race bikes will have 29” wheels. If you plan on using your bike for commuting then a 29” wheel bike will get you to work quicker.
Expensive Doesn’t Always Mean Better
It may seem counterintuitive, but when it comes to mountain bikes, lower price doesn’t necessarily equate to lower quality. It’s fairly common for bike manufacturers to make cheaper bikes with features that are quite similar to expensive models. If you happen to be a beginning-level rider who isn’t yet ready to jump into mountain biking with both feet, and you’re not comfortable shelling out a huge sum of money on a mountain bike, investigating the best mountain bike under $300 is a good start.
Finding a first-rate mountain bike for under $300 is no simple task and requires a considerable amount of research. To assist you in this endeavor and make sure you find a bike that not only respects your wallet, but is comfortable, safe, lightweight, reliable, and just all-around cool, we’ve composed this helpful guide to nudge you in the right direction.
The Mountain Bike Frame
Another important thing to know about concerning how to choose a mountain bike is the frame. Of course, the heart of any bike is the frame. All the MTBs featured here have aluminium frames as they are both strong and lightweight. Butting is a process that removes material from low stress areas of the frame to reduce weight. Forming also tends to reduce weight as the tubes are shaped more efficiently. Offering a stable upright riding position, for confident off-road handling, these hardtail MTBs are also suited to urban road riding as they offer extra visibility in traffic.
The best mountain bikes are usually made of either carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium, steel, or some combination of these.
Mountain Bike Gear Setup
The best mountain bikes can run the gamut from a simple single-speed bike to one with more than 30 gears. To simplify all complexity, you only need to hold two things in mind: your personal fitness level and the character of the terrain over which you plan to go riding. Rougher, steeper, and more hilly terrain will require more gears to help you power through obstacles. If you are a strong mountain biker, however, or if you’ll be riding on flat terrain, you won’t need as many gears to help push yourself up a hill.
Huffy Summit Ridge Mountain Bike
- ✔ 21-Speed Shimano Twist Shifter Gearing System
- ✔ High Performance Knobby Tires
- ✔ Front And Rear V-Type Brakes
- ✔ Hi-Tensile Durable Steel Frame
The Huffy Summit Ridge is equipped to deliver in looks and in performance. The striking denim blue gloss, the 21 speed gearing system & front suspension all add up to a great looking hardtail ready for action.
Backed by Huffy’s limited lifetime (see owner’s manual for details), The hi-ten steel hardtail frame provides solid performance and efficiently transfers your pedal power for strong acceleration on straight surfaces and uphill climbs. This 26-inch model is ideal for a rider height above 5 feet and comes with an alloy quick release enabled height adjustable seat post.
The ATB saddle, with premium padding, has stitched sides for lasting comfort. Front suspension on the Summit Ridge handles uneven terrain with ease. The kolo 1200 fork, in rich black gloss, absorbs any bumps and dips encountered on your path for a smoother-feeling ride.
The indexed Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur combines with the micro-shift twist shifter to deliver 21 speeds on-demand for uphill climbing, downhill riding, or pure acceleration. The removable rear derailleur guard protects the gears from any unintentional damage. Knobby 26″ X 1. 95″ tires provide good traction in wet and dry conditions, dirt, gravel or pavement. Lightweight alloy wheels in matte black blend well with the overall design of the Summit Ridge.
Front and rear steel linear pull handbrakes provide consistent, dependable stopping action on demand. The slight-rise handlebar enables upright riding to minimize back and shoulder strain. Huffy grips remain comfortable to the touch, on both short and longer rides.
The ATB-type resin pedals on the 3-piece kolo steel crank have a good, responsive feel. The Summit Ridge comes with a mounted kickstand included.
If only there were mudguard/fenders. Perhaps you could get some and add them yourself?
Vertical Equator Mountain Bike
- ✔ Hi-Tensile Strong Steel Mountain Bike Frame
- ✔ Full Suspension Front And Rear Shock Absorbers
- ✔ High Performance V-Type Brakes
- ✔ 21-Speed Shimano Grip Shift Gear System
- Full suspension mountain bike frame.
- 21 speed Shimano derailleur.
- Front and rear V brakes.
- Quick release seat post.
- Three piece crank.
Having a very rigid steel frame the Equator is one of the lowest priced dual suspension mountain bikes on the market. This is a full-suspension mountain bike that can overcome any obstacle in its way. You’ll be prepared to tackle challenges that wouldn’t even be possible with a road bike. The Equator is a very tough bicycle that can handle off-road adventures. You will get great components and an extremely durable bike for a competitive price.
The Vertical Equator is a really comfortable and good looking bicycle that is very easy to assemble. This bike will provide you with a smooth and comfortable rid. The Equator offers a smooth shifting experience with it’s 21-speed Shimano twist shifters. If you are looking for a great entry-level mountain bike, don’t miss the opportunity to purchase an amazing bicycle with great quality components, that will meet almost any budget.
A 26″ bike is perfect for both adults and kids. The Vertical Equator is a great beginners mountain bike and offers an entry level option for those wanting to experience mountain biking for the first time. Check it out!
Kent Thruster T-29 Mountain Bike
- ✔ Lightweight Aluminum Frame
- ✔ 21-Speed Shimano RS25 Shifter Gearing System
- ✔ Front And Rear V-Type Brakes
- ✔ Lightweight Alloy Rims
- A lightweight 6061 heat treated aluminum frame provides an excellent foundation
- Shimano RS25 Shifters and TZ31 Derailleurs ensure a precise and crisp drivetrain
- Lightweight alloy 29-Inch rims provide lower rotational weight compared to steel rims making the bike feel agile and easier to handle
- 29 x 2.1 inch all terrain knobby tires provide great grip on any surface
- The 170mm crank set with 28, 38, 48 tooth rings is made from steel for durability and strength
The Kent Thruster T-29 mountain bike is the perfect bike for riding on local trails or around town and is ideal for beginner and intermediate cyclists. The Kent Thruster T-29 mountain bike is constructed with a lightweight yet sturdy 6061 heat-treated aluminum frame for easy handling. With its 18” frame size and 30” standover height, the Kent Thruster is suitable for riders ranging from 5ft 6” tall up to 6ft tall.
The combination of a lightweight frame, 21 speeds and larger wheels on the Kent Thruster give this mountain bike its increased stability and make it easier to maneuver over more difficult terrain and easier to cycle uphill. The Kent Thruster T-29 mountain bike is equipped with reliable Shimano components including Shimano RS25 twist shifters and Shimano TZ31 front & rear Derailleurs. The Thruster T-29 features dual rim, linear pull front & rear alloy v-brakes for safe stopping power.
Additional features of the Kent Thruster T-29 mountain bike include a padded saddle, steel 170mm crank set, 29” alloy double wall rims, screw holes for a water bottle cage, and a kickstand.
The Thruster T29 mountain bike features 29 inch wheels and a lightweight 6061 heat treated aluminum frame that is perfect for beginner and intermediate riders that value a smart spec. Equipped with reliable Shimano shifters and derailleurs the T29 benefits from stable geometry for rides on your local trails or around town. Will fit riders 5’6”- 6’. 30” Standover. This bicycle arrives 85 percent assembled. You will need to install the pedals, front wheel, handlebar and air up the tires. We recommend that you have your bike inspected for safety after assembling.
If you are looking for a mountain bike to explore the world on without breaking the bank, then Kent Thruster T-29 Mountain Bike will be a good fit. It is a perfect choice for men looking to purchase a mountain bicycle at an affordable cost.
Takara Ryu Mountain Bike
- ✔ Lightweight Aluminum Front Suspension Frame
- ✔ 21-Speed Shimano Revo Twist Shifters
- ✔ Front And Rear Disc Brakes
- ✔ Comfortable Padded Saddle
- 6061 aluminum front-suspension frame
- Smooth travel suspension fork
- 27.5 x 1.25 inch tires
- Shimano Tourney derailleurs
- 21 Speed Shimano Drivetrain w/ Revo twist shifters
- Front and rear disc brakes
- Quick-release adjustment
The enjoyment of riding a mountain bike is a difficult one to sum up into words. The joy of leaving the ground, being momentarily weightless and then landing gracefully (or not) is nothing short of magical. The Takara Ryu is a really nice way of entering this world. It’s features will get you up and running and the price tag won’t hurt your wallet too much. The aluminium frame and light weight body of this hardtail bike will keep you light and agile while the cable-activated disc brakes and suspension fork will help you keep the bike under control when you come back down to earth. The 21 speed gear system gives you adequate options for speed and power and the Vitesse performance saddle will keep you comfortable, at least for the time you’re sat down anyway.
Give this mountain bike some consideration if you’re looking to enter the world of mountain biking.
Royce Union RTT 24" Mountain Bike
- ✔ Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame
- ✔ 21-Speed Smooth Shimano EZ Fire Plus Trigger Gearing System
- ✔ Lightweight V-Type Braking System
- ✔ Front Zoom Suspension Fork For Shock Absorption
The Royce Union 21 speed mountain bike is designed to be a heavy-duty bike that provides riders with real off-road ability. It comes with a variety of different specifications that are critical to your understanding of this product. Each of these specifications has been carefully tweaked and adjusted to ensure that your mountain bike is tough enough to handle many different situations.
The RTT Mountain Bike has a light, durable aluminium frame. It comes with 21 speeds and trigger shift. The bike looks sharp with a silver frame and gloss paint. This all-terrain bike comes with a lightweight aluminium frame and front suspension that absorbs bumps on an uneven trail. The knobby tread in the tires grip the paths and trails to prevent slides and skids.
The linear pull brakes and wheel rims make for a superior braking power. The saddle is well padded with superior stitching. It can be adjusted to a proper height and angle by using the quick release binder. Shift the gears using the thumb and finger without leaving the handlebar. The slight-rise handlebar is for upright, riding that is the most comfortable while riding. The krayton-grips enhance the hold on the bike and the 3-piece pedals and crank provide a smooth responsive feel for long easy rides. The bike has precise and smooth linear pull brakes for a quick stop.
The rear derailleur guard protects the gears from dirt and damage. There is no wrist strain or twisting as the bike is loaded with a complete SHIMANO drivetrain. The SHIMANO EZ Fire Plus Trigger and Tourney TY300 rear derailleur help precise gear-shifting through 21 speeds.
Our opinion of the Royce Union 21 speed mountain bike is that it is a strong bike for a broad range of riders. While advanced bikers are more likely to enjoy it, we think that beginners will also appreciate its many features. It’s a great option for those who want to get into the sport, or those looking to improve on the bike that they already have.
Roadmaster Granite Peak Women's Mountain Bike
- ✔ Hi-Tensile Steel Frame
- ✔ 18 Speed Shimano Twist Shifter Gearing System
- ✔ Front And Rear V-Type Brakes
- ✔ Front Suspension Shock Absorber
The Granite Peak 26-Inch Women’s Mountain Bike by Roadmaster is an excellent all-around mountain bike that is right at home on a rugged unpaved path or cruising the streets in your neighborhood. It sports a steel mountain frame and a front suspension fork, ensuring that each ride is comfortable and easy to navigate. The knobby tire treads provide plenty of security on pavement or dirt roads, while alloy rims offer added durability and stability. This 24-inch mountain bike comes with 18-speed twist shifters and a Shimano rear derailleur, allowing maximum shifting performance out on the trail. Experience the freedom of taking your Granite Peak all over town. Roadmaster has been a trusted American value in recreational bike riding for decades. Have some fun on your next ride.
One of the most prominent features of the Granite Peak 26-inch is its steel frame. While many entry-level mountain bikes have opted to go with aluminum frames, the Granite Peak chooses to go with steel. This steel provides incredible strength and durability, however, it also adds weight to the bike. You’ll be happy to know that Roadmaster has used quality components. The wheels and rims are made of lightweight alloy, which will give you the strength, control, and durability that you need as you ride.
The Roadmaster Granite Peak provides you with a comfortable and reliable way to travel over a wide array of terrain. As entry mountain bikes go, this is a serious contender and should be given some consideration.
Schwinn Protocol 1.0 Mountain Bike
- ✔ Schwinn Aluminum Full Suspension Frame
- ✔ 24-Speed Shimano EZ-Fire Trigger Shifter Gearing System
- ✔ Front And Rear Disc Brakes
- ✔ SunTour Suspension Fork
The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 establishes itself as one of the best mountain bikes for trails, downhill riding, free riding and street riding. Simply put, Whether you want to use it in the town or go off-road, this bike can keep up. The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is a dual-suspension mountain bike. Designed for men, it is a high quality mountain bike that offers riders control and power. It is a great bike for those in search of an affordable option that will introduce them to mountain biking.
This Protocol 1.0 is made with some quality features and its design is equally impressive. The Schwinn Protocol 1.0 mountain bike has been equipped with a dual suspension frame constructed out of aluminum and supported by a steel rear triangle. This bike features Pro Max Front Mechanical Disc Brakes, combined with linear pull rear brakes. When paired together, the brake system grants riders efficient control and pinpoint stopping capabilities. The tires are knobby for excellent grip, while the double-walled alloy rims with black bladed spokes. Despite this, they still remain strong and light. The onboard gear system allow for smooth shifting with the mere touch of a finger.
In conclusion, this bike is highly regarded due to its impressive performance. Despite the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 targeting people at the entry level of biking and sports lovers it has great components that would place it in the mid-tier mountain bike range. It is not just durable but also comfortable and easy to use. You could always choose to customize in the future if required but for now this really is one of the stand out best mountain bikes on this list.