Best Mountain Bikes Under $300

Top 5 Best Mountain Bikes Under $300 (May 2024)

Mountain bikes are perfect if you want to explore the outdoors and take on more challenging terrain. Purchasing a mountain bike (mtb) 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. So let's get to it, finding the best mountain bikes under 300 dollars.

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 lightweight, 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. Whether you're looking for a steel frame and or a lightweight aluminum frame. If it can be found for less than $300, then we'll find it. 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. Rear suspension is a luxury for most. A hardtail bike is usually cheaper, still offers a smooth ride and easier to maintain. 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.

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 a tight mountain trail 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" alloy 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.

Different Types Of Mountain Bike Wheels

Mountain bike wheels fall into three main categories: rim, disc, and clincher. There are many different brands and models each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Some of the most popular types include rim and disc wheels. Rim wheels are lightweight and stiff. They are popular for their durability. Disc wheels are heavier than alloy rims. They are popular for their durability and have lower rolling resistance.

Clincher wheels are a modern innovation that have only been around for the last 15 years. They are smaller and lighter than disc wheels, but after years of use in mountain bikes, they have shown to be extremely durable and capable as well.

Mountain bike wheels come in all shapes and sizes. When it comes to the wheels, the "size" is not always the same as the "fit" of the wheel. We've all heard the saying, "bigger is better" - but that's not always true. While some riders prefer a wheel size that is larger than what they are used to, it's possible to find a wheel that fits the frame, and still has the size you're looking for.

Mountain Bike Brakes

Whether you're looking at a hardtail mountain bike, hybrid bike or even a folding bike for that matter. It's important to consider what types of brakes are available. The best of the best in terms of performance is currently hydraulic disc brakes. These are closely followed by mechanical disc brake systems. If you're planning on completing high speed or rough terrain routes then it's important you choose a disk brake system. Powerful brakes could mean the difference between you keeping or losing control of your bike.

Rim brakes also known as pull brake systems are less effective. That's not to say they aren't useful. Most riders will be able to manage with linear pull brake mechanisms without an issue. They are perfect for the hobbyist or rider who is looking for a cheap mountain bike that isn't going to break the bank. It's safe to say that disk brakes are more common on expensive bike models.

Disk brake mountain bikes are far better in terms of performance and responsiveness. However we're somewhat restricted with our budget so we'll focus our attention on cantilever styled rim brakes.

Cantilever Brakes

Most mountain bikers are familiar with cantilever brakes, but there are many other variations of mountain bike brakes. These include V-brakes, which are similar to cantilever brakes, but are mounted on the fork and are generally used on downhill bikes and those that are designed to be race-oriented.

Mountain Bike Suspensions

Suspension systems are of paramount importance when it comes to mountain bikes. The suspension system on a mountain bike is critical to how your bike rides. From a smooth ride with little resistance to a rough, non-responsive ride, the suspension has an effect on the control you have. The suspension system determines how much your mountain bike will resist gravity and how much the front end will bounce.

A mountain bikes suspension is a great way to flatten out a rough terrain. However, it can be difficult to find components that are both lightweight and effective on the trail.

Although there are many factors that go into designing a mountain bike suspension system, the key to a good system is to design it for your weight and skill level. If you are a beginner, you should consider investing in a suspension fork that will let you learn how to ride. If you are an experienced rider, you should consider an air shock system.

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.

Steel Mountain Bike Frames

Steel frame mountain bikes are the go-to for hardtail mountain bikers, as they're lighter, stiffer, and most importantly, they won't corrode, dent, or bend during your daily commute. Now, there are plenty of benefits to choosing a steel frame mountain bike over a steel frame road or hybrid bike: they're dynamic, economical, and they make a great training bike, too.

Steel bike frames are made of a steel that has been specifically designed to work with a mountain bike. The frame material is often designed to absorb the shock and vibration when you are on the mountain, and it also keeps the frame stiff, which makes the bike feel much smoother and more solid.

Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame

If you're looking to get into mountain biking, but aren't sure what to purchase, look no further than the aluminum frame. Aluminum bikes are rapidly becoming the favorite for beginner to intermediate riders, as they are lightweight and durable. As the cost of an lightweight aluminum frame is far lower than that of a carbon one.

Whether you're a seasoned biker or just beginning your love affair with mountain biking, a quality aluminum mountain bike will deliver the goods in countless ways. There are a ton of benefits, such as good quality and stability. Aluminum alloy frames are lighter, which means a more efficient and economical ride, and they're also slimmer and more versatile than steel frames. Steel frames are bulky, which can make them a handful of pounds heavier than similar aluminum frames. Plus, aluminum mountain bike frames are much more durable than steel mountain bike frames.

Aluminium has been a material of choice for bike builders since the invention of the humble bicycle. The light weight and low cost of the metal have ensured its continued popularity over the years, and today there are several different types of aluminium used in bike frames.

Different Mountain Bike Types

Choosing the right bike for your mountain bike riding adventures is tough. Whether you're on the look out for the best entry level bike, budget mountain bike or a quality mountain bike. You'll want to consider the type of bike you're looking for first. If you're shopping for a trail bike then some sort of suspension would be useful to maintain a comfortable ride. If you're planning on going off road then a hardtail bike with chunky tires might be perfect. Here are the different types of mountain bikes on the market.

Hardtail Mountain Bikes

Hardtails are the most popular mountain bikes. They're light, fast, and fun to ride, but that's not why they're so popular. Hardtail mountain bicycle models are popular because they offer a balance of speed and technical handling. Hardtail mountain bikes can be used for everyday riding on pavement as well as trail riding.

There are lots of benefits when it comes to riding a hardtail mountain bike. You can push your limits and ride through the rough terrain without worrying about damaging your bike. Plus, you'll be saving a lot of money on repairs. Hardtail mountain bikes are generally faster than full suspension mountain bikes. This is because they're usually lighter. Also you also won't have to pay for all of the added suspension system weight.

As the name suggests, a hardtail mountain bike has no rear suspension. A hardtail suspension system is primarily made up of a front suspension fork and strong tires. So you need to be more aware of your footing and make sure you get good, solid traction. Both on the road and on the trail. The truth is that a hardtail bike will provide a much smoother ride, since it won't bounce around when bumps are hit in the trail.

Rigid Mountain Bikes

When you want to get out and ride but can't make it into the hills, a rigid mountain bike offers a great alternative. If you're looking for off-road mountain riding, the rigid mountain bike is the ideal choice. A rigid mountain bicycle has no rear suspension or front suspension fork. Instead relying on the tires to absorb much of the shock on rough terrain.

A rigid mountain bike doesn't have the same flex and give that a soft bike does in the rear, which is usually what riders look for in a trail-ready ride. A rigid mountain bike is designed for a super heavy rider who wants a sturdier ride that can handle the harsh terrain. Rigid mountain bikes are more durable and less likely to break if the rider falls. They are also far more affordable than other, more complex mountain bicycle types.

If you're after a cheap mountain bike, rigid models avoid the cost of expensive suspension components.

Full Suspension Mountain Bikes

Full or dual suspension mountain bikes are bikes that use both front and rear suspension systems. The main benefit of full suspension mountain bikes is that they offer smoother rides over rough and bumpy terrain, especially in the bumpier parts of the trail.

A full suspension mountain bike is a pretty specialized product, but it can be key to a riders success in the mountains. An all-terrain bike is a bike that offers the durability and control of a mountain bike combined with the comfort and efficiency of a road bike. When used correctly, suspension makes mountain bikes more capable and enjoyable.

A full suspension mountain bike on the trail can feel a lot like a 4-wheeled motorbike on the street, but in the dirt it can feel totally different. There are no shocks or jolts with a full suspension bike.

Full suspension bikes are different from traditional mountain bikes. They have a wider and longer frame and all of the suspension is built into the frame. They are designed to travel over rocks or uneven terrain without causing damage to the frame or the rider above. The soft, low-friction suspension system, combined with the flexibility that comes with being suspended, means that you will not feel every small bump or crack in the trail. You will also be able to enjoy your full riding potential without becoming fatigued.

Mountain Bike Tires

Mountain bike tires are among the most critical parts of your bike. The tread, the rubber compound and the compound hardness are all factors to consider when buying a tire. In this article, we talk about the different options when buying mountain bike tires.

Choosing The Right Tires

Although wheel size is important, what's equally as important is your tire choice. Mountain bike tires are often key to a bike's performance, but choosing the right one can be a bit daunting. You can go for air-filled, over-inflated tires that give you ultimate traction. But air can be hard to maintain, so you are better off with a lightweight and durable rubber compound. And you will need to go for tubes that offer puncture protection, along with good grip and braking performance.

Mountain bike tires come in all shapes, sizes, and treads. The ones you use will depend on the type of trail you ride, the weather, your skill level, and other considerations. There are several different types of tires, including knobby or aggressive tires, which are ideal for off-road, or cross-country use, and treaded tires that are designed to grip the ground.

Knobby Tires

There are many different tire choices for mountain bikers, and one of the most notable ones is the knobby tire. A knobby tire is a tire that has small, raised bumps on the surface of the tire, which give the tire a more rugged, aggressive look. Knobby tires are mostly used for off-road mountain biking, and there are a variety of designs you can choose from.

Mountain bike tires that are "knobby" are a relatively new phenomenon to the Mountain Bike World. The tires are used in a wide variety of mountain bike disciplines and are especially popular in downhill and enduro racing, where they are used to increase traction and increase steering control.

Fat Tires

Fat tires are a controversial topic in the mountain biking community. There is a lot of confusion about how fat tires perform, how they affect the ride, and how to properly fit them. Although you can add fat tires to your mountain bike. Fat bike models are readily available. Which are very similar to rigid mountain bikes, with fat tires.

Over the years, fat tires have become one of the most popular tire options for mountain bike riders. When you hear the word "fat," picture a tire that is filled with air. The "fat" name comes from the type of tire that is tubeless, with much wider beads than normal tires. Since it is filled with air, there is no need to inflate them with air. Instead, the tire's air pressure is maintained by the friction of the tire's rubber against the ground (hence the name). The wider profile of the fat tire allows the tire to absorb shock more efficiently, which aids in bump compliance. Although a fat bike is a type of mountain bike, we've decided to create a separate buyers guide for them.

Mountain Bike Shifters

If you ride a mountain bike, then you have probably at one point or another wondered which shifter setup you prefer. Grip shifters and twist shifters are the two most common shifter setups. While they both use the same (or at least similar) gear patterns, the differences between them are quite noticeable. Whether you choose a Shimano shifter system or SRAM twist shifters. Be sure to choose whichever is more comfortable and to your liking.

Grip Shifters

Grip shifters are sometimes known as trigger shifters. They rely on a slight squeezing of a lever or push of a button. Moving your chain from one gear to another. Grip shifters are available for both the front and rear derailleurs. They are typically used by riders who ride any type of terrain. Taking advantage of the large range of gears offered by their mountain bike.

Twist Shifters

Twist shifters rely on using a thumb or finger to move a lever to the next gear. Achieved either by twisting or turning a knob. The twist shifter has two main advantages. First, there is no need to take your hands off the handlebar and the indicator lever to change gears. Second, gear selection can be achieved without interrupting the natural movement of the hand. This is particularly useful when riding downhill or in high crosswinds.

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.

Takara Ryu Mountain Bike Image

Takara Ryu Mountain Bike

  • ✔ Lightweight Aluminum Front Suspension Frame
  • ✔ 21-Speed Shimano Revo Twist Shifters
  • ✔ Front And Rear Disc Brakes
  • ✔ Comfortable Padded Saddle

The Ryu from Takara is a full feature hardtail mountain bike with a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and smooth travel suspension fork to tame the bumps.

Takara Ryu Mountain Bike - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now
  • 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.

Mongoose Status Mountain Bike Image

Mongoose Status Mountain Bike

  • ✔ Aluminum Mountain Bike Frame
  • ✔ Powerful Front Suspension Fork
  • ✔ Front And Rear V-Type Brakes
  • ✔ 21-Speed Shimano Gearing System

The Mongoose Status is a great bike. It's got some great components and a nice style. The obvious shortfall is the lack of disc brakes but at this price it can be forgiven.

Mongoose Status Mountain Bike - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

Many things in life seem to hold us back. There are always errands to run, dishes to do, bills to pay, and it all gets in the way of what you really want to do: ride. Hop on the 26” Mongoose Status 2.2 mountain bike for a ride that won’t hold you back. Featuring a strong aluminum full suspension frame with a powerful suspension fork and rear shock to smooth out bumps, the Status 2.2 is ready for your next adventure. A 21-speed Shimano rear derailleur with SRAM twist shifters guarantees quick shifting and the right gearing for any trail you encounter. Light and strong alloy rims add durability and support knobby 2.125” wide mountain tires that roll over anything in your path. Don’t let life hold you back - get out and ride with the Status 2.2. Finally, a mountain bike that elevates your ride and won't break the bank along the way.

The Mongoose Status 3.0 is yet another dual suspension marvel from biking magnates Mongoose. This 26 inch bike is outfitted with all of the features needed for trail riding, making it easy and fun to be on the move.

These features include a full-suspension  frame, an SR suspension fork; 24-speed Shimano trigger shifters, front disc brakes, rear disc brakes, a Shimano rear derailleur, alloy pedals, alloy rims, and quick-release  hubs (front and rear).

With the review given above, you can see that the Mongoose Status 3.0 establishes itself as a perfect bike for trail riding, fitness riding, and commuting to work. Take your mountain biking experience to a new level. With its sturdy and durable construction, smooth suspension, reliable gears, and great brakes, the Mongoose is a bike that should be in your sights.

Huffy Escalate Mountain Bike Image

Huffy Escalate Mountain Bike

  • ✔ Amazon Exclusive Mountain Bike
  • ✔ Lightweight Aluminum Hardtail Frame
  • ✔ 21-Speed Shimano EZ Fire Plus Gearing System
  • ✔ Alloy V-Type Brakes

The Escalate arrives partially assembled with all tools needed for fast, easy assembly. Front suspension delivers the right response for whatever terrain you ride

Huffy Escalate Mountain Bike - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now
  • A bold design with vibrant graphics and great features make this Escalate bike ready to ride.
  • Includes all tools needed for easy assembly. Simply install the first wheel, handlebar, seat and pedals, and then adjust the brakes.
  • With the strength of aluminum, the lightweight frame efficiently transfers energy to the drivetrain for a solid ride. That's something you'll really appreciate when you need power for climbing or responsive handling.
  • The frame is backed by our limited 10-year frame warranty (see owner manual for details).
  • 21 speeds of ultra-smooth, precise shifting come from the all-SHIMANO drivetrain. A SHIMANO EZ Fire Plus Trigger and SHIMANO TY-30 indexed rear derailleur combine for efficient performance.
  • Premium padded ATB saddle features an alloy quick release seat binder for easy height adjustment.
  • Premium suspension fork with a forged crown provides a great ride with the right amount of response.
  • 26in x 2.10in knobby tires grip the surface with ease in wet or dry conditions.
  • Alloy linear pull brakes and machined alloy wheel rims add superior performance to every ride.
  • Slight-rise handlebar enables an upright riding position that helps minimize back and shoulder strain.
  • Kraton grips give a performance look and comfort feel to your ride.
  • Head outdoors on your Huffy mountain bike - you'll have fun wherever you ride!


Premium aluminum frame reduces weight for better performance. Lighter than steel, aluminum is durable with a rust-resistant surface. With its lightweight, aluminum frame, this Escalate bicycle provides more rolling momentum so it's easier to pedal for speed and acceleration.
This 21-speed bike delivers more control, momentum, and power over all types of terrain. Tackle the trails and ride with pride on the Escalate 26-inch Mountain Bike.

This bike would be perfect if you're just entering the world of mountain bikes or if you're interested in upgrading to a bike with good quality components. The Escalate comes with all the tools you need to finish the assembly of the 90% pre-assembled bike. After assembly it's worth checking the bike over however we personally were not able to find any issues. The handlebar needed aligning and tightening but this is to be expected.

One common issue with budget bikes is the gear system sticking. However that isn't an issue with the Escalate mountain bike. Huffy have done a great job in delivering a bike that shifts well and remains quiet throughout. This bike is great and we'd really recommend it if you want a cheap entry bike for racing around your local dirt track or going off-road.

Dynacraft Vertical Alpine Eagle Mountain Bike Image

Dynacraft Vertical Alpine Eagle Mountain Bike

  • ✔ Dual Suspension Mountain Bike Frame
  • ✔ 18 Speed Shimano Grip Shifter Gearing System
  • ✔ Front And Rear V-Type Brakes
  • ✔ Comfortable Padded Saddle

A budget entry mountain bike that's perfect for kids and adults who want to take a step into the healthy sport of mountain biking.

Dynacraft Vertical Alpine Eagle Mountain Bike - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

You will soar into adventure on the Vertical Alpine Eagle mountain bike. This sleek ride features a bright Yellow BMX frame with custom graphics and blue, white, and Black accents throughout the bike. This 24” bike is equipped with front and rear linear pull brakes, Shimano derailleur, 18 speed index shifter, a quick release seat post, and a padded seat. This rugged ride is safe, comfortable, and fun! You will have a blast riding the 24” Vertical Alpine Eagle bike.

This rugged ride includes a full suspension frame guaranteed to eat up the bumps. The yellow and black deluxe paint finish with black and white details is sure to catch the eye. Featuring a 18-speed index derailleur with Shimano grip shifters, this bike will make any incline seem flat, while front and rear v-brakes make descending easy with safe and solid stops. The quick release seat post allows for super quick set-up and adjustment. The padded saddle provides a super comfortable ride and the solid steel kickstand makes resting the bike a cinch. Riders will enjoy hours of fun flying along the paths and trails on their Vertical Alpine Eagle 24” bike.

If you're interested in an entry model mountain bike with dual suspension shock absorbers and a budget price tag then the Vertical Alpine Eagle might be for you. Please note this bike won't be a good fit if you're very tall as it's a 24" model.

Roadmaster Granite Peak Women's Mountain Bike Image

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

An excellent all-around mountain bike that is right at home on a rugged unpaved path or cruising the down to your local town.

Roadmaster Granite Peak Women's Mountain Bike - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

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.

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