Throughout the world, people are increasingly turning to mountain bike cycling as a preferential work out exercise, sport and means of commuting. This is not only stimulated by the effectiveness and convenience with which mountain bikes serve these functions but also by the unequaled thrill riders derive from their mountain biking escapades. This exponential rise in the market demand for various mountain bikes has caused a consequential increase in the number of manufactured and supplied mountain bikes. Fittingly, there’s now a wide range of budget mountain bicycles available in the market and this guide will point you to the best mountain bike under 300.
Best Mountain Bikes Under $300 Comparison
Mongoose Men's Banish
What every prospective mountain biker should know about their to-be machine
Purchasing a $300 budget mountain bike can be a challenging undertaking, more so for entry-level bikers due to the numerous intricacies involved. Not anymore! This guide outlines all the basic factors and features any prospective mountain bike buyer ought to consider before deciding which mountain bike best suits their requirements.
Mountain bike tires
Being the sole point of contact between the bike and road surface, bike tires are among the most crucial mountain bike parts. Mountain bikers with an eye for off-road cycling like trail riding, bike jumps and aggressive biking among others should opt for bike tires with large knobs as these offer the best traction and stability in the uneven trails, rocky terrain and rough roads. On the other side, small-knobbed mountain bike tires are best suited for mountain bikes that are mostly ridden on paved surfaces and tarmac roads since their grip on the smooth surface roads is lovable.
Furthermore, mountain bikers who love combining the thrill of off road bike cycling with road biking should settle for mountain bike tires spotting a ridge in the middle and mid-sized traction knobs which provide stable and comfortable grip on a majority of road and trail biking surfaces. Furthermore, tubeless mtb wheels are fitted in bikes for hard aggressive, stunt, rough and rocky terrain riding.
Riding a brakeless mountain bike, especially downhill or in busy traffic is suicidal. Every mountain bike buyer should look into the functioning of any bicycle brakes before purchase. The most efficient mountain bike brakes are the disk type though they are usually high-end. Regardless, some of the top tier mountain bikes spot front and rear disc brakes while others feature disc brakes on one wheel (usually front) and linear pull (rim) brakes on the other. Still, others contain rim brakes on both front and back wheels. It’s however important to note these brakes (rim-type) sometimes prove inefficient, especially in wet weather conditions.
Mountain bike gear shifters
Designed to enable the mountain biker shift mountain bike gears for optimally comfortable and non-strain cycling, mtb gear shifters come in two types- grip-fit shifters and rapid-fire shifters. The later are mostly positioned immediately under or above the brake levers while the former are integrated into the bikes’ handlebars as in motorbike throttles.
While most of the mountain bikes are equipped with rapid-fire shifters which function swiftly and smoothly, a majority of women’s mountain bicycles spot the grip-fit type that is exceptionally easy to control. The choice of type of shifter, however, is purely dependent on the mountain rider’s preference.
Size and fit of mountain bike
A mountain bike may possess all the bells and whistles of a fast, durable and efficient machine but still prove useless or inconvenient to some riders due to its size and rider misfit. The bike’s size should align with that of the intended rider to ensure it’s a perfect fit. This not only enables the mountain biker to enjoy a comfortable ride but also guarantees safety from bike accidents. In this regard, tall riders should opt for larger mountain bikes while their shorter counterparts ought to go for relatively shorter options.
Furthermore, bike riders should ensure their choice of budget mountain bike offers a comfortable allowance to make at least a 30 degree angle with their leg at the apex’s bottom as well as the knee so their pedaling can be more effective and comfortably in a myriad of terrains.
The diameter of a mountain bike wheel is often a pixel clear indicator of its suitability to various riding terrains and purposes. 26 inch diameter wheels are the earliest, standard and commonest options for all off-road mountain biking ventures. The larger 29 inch diameter wheels (29ers) resemble the 700c wheels on road bikes thus are the most plausible choice for cross Country Mountain biking since they easily roll over obstacles on bike trails and roads. Besides, they offer levitated traction and speed, making them ideal for Cross Country speed racing. However, they are slightly less responsive and heavier.
Mountain bikes featuring 27.5 inch diameter (650b) wheels are now the most popular in Enduro, Downhill and Trail mtb riding as they provide a lovesome combination of high straight-line speeds and snappy control with their comparatively larger size than the 26 inch wheels and shorter wheel bases than the 29 inch diameter options.
Budget and purpose of mountain bike
The most important consideration to make when purchasing a $300 mtb is your budget. Moreover, in as much as there’s an overwhelming availability of budget bikes, it’s vital that every buyer identifies the purpose to which they intend to employ their machine.
Material of the mtb frame
The highest percentage of any mountain bike’s body is covered by its frame on which all other accessories are attached. The material constituting the frame is thus an all-important mountain bike feature.
Steel: Renowned for its strength, durability and shock-absorbent qualities, this metal is used to machine some of the strongest and exceptionally long-lasting mountain bike frames though it’s less commonly used due to its heavy weight.
Carbon fiber: Designed with unequaled strength, ultra light and vibration-absorbing qualities, carbon fiber frames offer unparalleled mtb performance levels in durability, comfort and light-weightiness.
Aluminum: Featured in a majority of modern mountain bikes’ frames, Aluminum is uniquely durable and light thus a preferential material of choice for mountain bikes’ frames. Surprisingly, these frames are suitable for all-round mountain bike performance.
Titanium: Although it’s quite costly, with its astounding strength and unique aesthetic properties, Titanium has recently become a bespoke material choice for high end mountain bike frames.
Top 10 Best Mountain Bike Under $300 Reviews
#1. Merax Finiss 26” Aluminum 21 Speed Mountain Bike with Disc Brakes
Being our topmost best mtb under $300, this speed demon features a 19” ultra light heat-forged 6061 Aluminum frame which forms a sturdy backbone for the 26” double wall Aluminum rim wheels, Aluminum handlebars and Aluminum w/clamp 31.8 M8 60mm seat post. The bike’s front and rear brakes are mechanical disc types and the brake levers are all Shimano Aluminum. Moreover, this lovely machine spots Shimano EF51 21-speed derailleurs and shifters as well as 80 mm Alloy suspension fork that allow smooth crossing of bumps and levitate the bike’s control.
- It’s a lightweight mountain bike
- Surprisingly, it’s a high quality mtb, even comparable to some high end options
- Assembling this mountain bike is straightforward and easy
- The mechanical braking system for both front and back wheels works very efficiently
- Its front suspension fork provides comfy cycling in rough passages
- With quick-release pins on both wheels, it’s wheel repair, repair and replacement are a breeze
- The bike’s pre-installed stand allows easy parking at any place
- The bike’s front fork and shock are a bit soft and fudgy thus unsuitable for riders weighing over 200lbs
- The mechanical disc brakes’ maintenance is a bit tedious. The mechanism also squeals unattractively when dirty or faulty.
- Several bikers report experiencing numerous creaks and squeaks on the bike’s joints and fastenings that necessitate extensive tune-up.
For a $300 budget, this mountain bike performs most functions befitting more expensive bikes. Although it has a few downs, given the proper attention in tuning its various parts to the rider’s liking, it handles quite flawlessly. In a nut shell, it’s affordable, smooth-operating, visually alluring and ideal for the intermediate mountain biker.
#2. Mongoose Dolomite 26” Men’s Fat Tire Bike
With 18-inch (medium) steel frame and weighing 59 pounds, the Mongoose Dolomite 26” Men’s Fat Tire Bike spots unique Mongoose supersized 26” x 4” knobby tires befitting mountain biking in all forms of rideable terrain. The tires are fitted over 4” wide alloy wheel sets (rims) to yield a sparklingly eye-turning and spongy pair of wheels. For gear shifting, this all-terrain 2-wheeled monster is fitted with a 7-speed Shimano rear derailleur while its stopping mechanism is composed of rear and front disc brakes. Further, the Dolomite’s manufacturers have integrated a 3-piece crank as well as a thread-free handlebar set that’s uniquely lightweight and adjustable.
- Assembling this fat tire bike and effecting adjustments on tunable components including brakes, pedals, seat post and the twist-style handlebar gear shifters is a breeze
- The bike’s solid steel frame is exceptionally sturdy thus will allow riders to perform all crazy stunts like jumping as well as explore any mtb trail without fear of snapping the bike’s chassis
- The super-sized fat tires effortlessly roll over boulders and loose surfaces like snow, dirt and sand, allowing riders to easily, comfortably and safely ride in all forms of terrain
- The fat tire mountain bike’s front and rear disc brakes are an inarguable improvement from the traditional rim-type in efficiency
- The bike’s aesthetics is a blast- it’s a strong magnet for stares and it stands out from any other bike collection
- Several users have reported receiving the item with bent front fork and faulty front disc braking system (broken or faulty plastic guards) that have to be replaced or fixed
- Due to the mega sized tires, the bike makes some noise when riding on smooth road surfaces.
This fat tire bike is not only an all-terrain master but also a uniquely attractive addition to any mountain bike collection. Be ready to receive the stares from everyone you pass by. Although some of its accessories like handlebars, brake levers, rapid-fire gear shifters and pedals sometimes require focused tune-up, the Mongoose Dolomite 26” Men’s Fat Tire Bike is one formidable machine, especially for a budget of less than 300 dollars.
#3. Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle
With a unit weight of 44 pounds, this is the ultimate 29er mountain bike is built for long list of biking expeditions. Featuring in 3rd position on our list, this one is designed with an all-suspension Aluminum frame with element suspension forks. Its 29-inch wheels rims are made of alloy and the front wheel spots a quick-release clip. For gear shifting, the Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle spots a 21-speed Shimano derailleur controlled by SRAM rapid-fire twist shifters. In addition, the bike’s brake system is composed of front and rear alloy disc brakes.
- Its 29er tires are uniquely durable and designed with large treads for off-road trail biking thus the bike handles rough terrain quite smoothly
- The wheel axels spot quick-release skewers that provide for easy and quick wheel assembly.
- The bike’s frame as well as rims, pedals and handlebars are quite sturdy, making the Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle a plausible choice for heavy mountain bikers.
- The disc brakes function flawlessly, allowing timely stoppage even when riding downhill and at high speeds.
- This 29er is considerably heavier than others 29ers therefore not ideal for racing competitions. However, it’ll make a special casual Cross Country or a workout bike.
- Several riders report complications with the crank and pedals- wobbling and sheering off respectively.
Although the Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle requires some dedicated initial adjustments on derailleurs, handlebars, the disc braking system and suspension forks, it’s a smooth-operating machine that performs best in trails and moderately rough terrain. Further, it’s relatively heavier than its price counterparts and its gear shifters respond a bit clumsily (2-3 seconds), making it unsuitable for mountain bike racing which requires fast-transitioning derailleurs.
#4. Mongoose Cache 26” Men’s Mountain Bike (Grey)
Weighing 51 pounds, this full suspension mountain bike features 26” lightweight but sturdy alloy front and rear rims with quick release mechanisms. Its frame is also lightweight, full suspension and forged from Aluminum while its rear speed derailleurs spot Shimano 21-speed shifting with SRAM shifters ideal for all forms of mountain biking. Furthermore, the bike manufacturer integrates a formidable braking system composed of linear pull rear brakes and disc front brakes. In addition, the mtb spots suspension front fork.
- Assembling this mountain bike is a exceptionally easy and straightforward
- The kickstand allows easy parking almost everywhere
- The bike’s tires are high quality and substantially durable
- It has love-some aesthetic qualities
- The bike’s surface is clear-coated to prevent rusting and keep its color sharp.
- Majority of buyers complain about receiving the wrong size of pedals, further requiring replacement
- The bike’s brake level assembly and rear gear changer is made of plastic thus not ideal for rough trail and off-road mountain biking as it easily snaps off upon contact with obstacles
- Several buyers complain about faulty and inefficient front disc brakes which necessitate adjustment, repair and even replacement in some cases.
The Mongoose Cache 26” Men’s Mountain Bike is a lovesome road mountain bike with some high-end inclusions like a front disc brake system. However, riders should by all means steer off off-road, trail, stunt and other forms of aggressive mountain biking as the bike’s constituent materials are mostly brittle thus tend to break off or disintegrate causing severe complications. Regardless, with the proper adjustments, maintenance and careful use, it’s in arguably one of the best.
#5. Mongoose Men’s Banish
This hard tail 700c speed demon stands out as one of the best mountain bikes. Spotting a strong but lightweight 18-inch Aluminum frame on which are mounted 29” black alloy wheel rims, the Mongoose Men’s Banish 2.0 Hybrid Bike is ideal for cruising long distances at amazing speeds with minimal strain. Equipped with smooth-shifting 21-speed Shimano rear derailleur, it accelerates flawlessly and the beach cruiser pedals alongside the bike’s 3-piece cranks give the bike rider levitated control and comfort during cycling. Moreover, the mtb spots disc brakes in both wheels.
- This bike’s assembly is an absolute breeze. In fact, very little assembly is necessary as most of it is already put together
- It’s a very sturdy bike even for heavy-weight riders
- The disc braking mechanism functions like magic
- With its large wheels, this mountain bike easily rolls over boulders thus can comfortably be used to explore off-road trails as well as for road biking and commuting
- The front suspension fork provides for comfortable rides even in rugged terrain.
- Due to its large wheels and thin tires, it’s unsuitable for performing sharp off-ground mountain bike stunts like jumps. It will however allow the rider to make admirably sharp turns, making it a very special piece for cross country mountain bike speed demons.
Although the rider will not be able to perform aggressive off-ground stunts with the Mongoose Men’s Banish 2.0 Hybrid Bike, they’ll have the privilege to do any other kind of biking. From Cross Country racing to exploring broken trails and cruising on smooth roads, this speed monster will give its rider unparalleled handling and levitated comfort.
#6. Mongoose Proxy 26-Inch Mountain Bicycle
Recommended for mountain bike riders from 5’3” onwards, the Mongoose Proxy 26-Inch Mountain Bicycle weighs 4.2 pounds and spots an 18-inch Mongoose Mountain Aluminum frame with a front suspension fork. The sturdy frame forms the chassis for fitment of 26” alloy wheels that are further secured using a quick-release mechanism. The bike’s 21-speed Shimano rear derailleur coupled with its SRAM twist shifters provides easy gear shifting for piqued efficiency in diverse cycling niches while its front and rear disc brakes offer very reliable braking.
- The mountain bike’s 18-inch frame makes it safe and comfortable riding even for very tall bikers
- Assembling the machine is a piece of cake- provided the biker is privy to basic bicycle assembly knowledge and skills
- Though narrow, the bike’s seat is exceptionally comfy even on bumpy rides
- The bike may be heavier than a majority of its same-category counterparts but it’s also exceptionally sturdy and durable.
- Front wheel wobbles dangerously especially during descents if it’s not fastened properly during assembly
- Some buyers complain that the tire quality doesn’t befit rough-road trails and rocky terrain
The Mongoose Proxy 26-Inch Mountain Bicycle spots colorful perks satisfactory for a $300 budget. Moreover, its manufacturers made sure to include all lovesome features to enable mtb riders use this machine for a variety of biking ventures including road travel (commuting), leisure cruising, off-road trail exploration and bike racing. Besides, it’s an easy fit for a wide range of sizes of mountain bike riders.
#7. TITAN Knight 21-Speed Aluminum Front Suspension Men’s All-Terrain Mountain Bike
The TITAN Knight 21-speed men’s all-terrain mountain bike features a lightweight fully alloy 18-inch mountain bike frame on which are mounted alloy racing handlebars and customizable saddle. Furthermore, the bike contains a lovely center mount kick stand, 26” double-walled alloy wheel rims and mountain bike tires. The front wheel and saddle are additionally held in place by quick-release mechanisms while she shock-absorbing bars are composed of zoom front suspension alloy. For deceleration and stopping, this mountain bike contains cross-drilled and vented alloy disc front brakes with a modified piston caliper for piqued stopping power even in high speeds and steep descents.
This mountain bike’s rear brakes are alloy v-type. Besides, the machine spots an all-alloy crank, crank-arms and water bottle housing as well as 21-speed Shimano SIS gear shifting systems for both rear and front rear derailleurs. Moreover, it includes a tunable seat post with a quick-release cleat to enable riders adjust its position for comfortable mountain biking in all terrains.
- It’s a lightweight bike thus fitting for men riders of all ages and size.
- This mountain bike is exceptionally easy to put together thus servicing and maintenance are a park walk
- Compared with other similar-quality mountain bikes, the TITAN Knight 21-speed men’s all-terrain mountain bike is a uniquely affordable option.
- With the right adjustments, this bike offers smooth light mountain bike riding in virtually all forms of terrain ranging from smooth pavements to rough off-roads.
- The gear shifting system is somewhat fudge and arduous to fine-tune
- The bike’s goose neck is a little short and the handlebars loosen frequently, making the bike an inconvenient ride over challenging terrain and time-stretched mtb expeditions
The TITAN Knight 21-speed men’s all-terrain mountain bike is not exactly a high end machine so riders will have to forego all the crazy aggressive mtb biking like performing high bike jumps. However, being among the best mountain bike under 300, it features standard-quality components that allow the rider to enjoy a majority of mountain bike ventures like commuting, road cruising, rough road trail exploration and wild trail-biking on an intermediate level.
#8. Mongoose Men’s Switchback Comp Mountain Bike
Featuring a lovely 18” solid Aluminum mountain bike frame, the Mongoose men’s switchback comp mountain bike contains both front and back wheel quick-release levers on the 26” wheel axels, efficient front gear shifting derailleurs and an adjustable seat post. Its front shock absorber provides comfortable riding over rough terrain while the front disc brake provides for easy and smooth stopping.
- The bike offers comfortable rides over rough trails and bumpy terrain due to its soft-moving front shock.
- The 18” mtb frame allows men mountain bike riders of various age and size characteristics to ride this mountain bike
- The front and clear quick-release levers provide for easy and speedy wheel appendage
- With some tune-ups on derailleur settings, the braking system and pedals alongside other components, this bike handles flawlessly in almost all forms of terrain.
- The bike’s solid Aluminum frame is genuine, sturdy and it allows the rider to upgrade various components as their mountain biking improves.
- The initial tires lack traction knobs large enough for extremely rough terrain so the rider may want to stick to smooth trails and roads as well as mildly rugged mountain bike trails
- Though the frame is way lighter steel frames, it’s still considerably heavier than the hollow options thus the bike may not be ideal for extremely aggressive stunt mountain biking.
A unique addition to our review of top budget mountain bikes, few others surpass the Mongoose men’s switchback comp mountain bike in quality, functioning efficiency and durability. With this machine, bikers have the privilege of engaging in a variety of mountain bike adventures including trail biking, off-road and rough-road exploration and casual road cruising.
#9. Sorrento Hard Tail Diamondback Complete Mountain Bike
Available in a myriad of bike sizes (XS, S, M, L and XL), Diamondback’s Sorrento hard tail mountain bike consists of a high quality Aluminum frame on which are attached sturdy double-walled 27.5”rims. The bike spots only front suspension, making it specially designed for mountain terrain and steep ascents. Its brakes are purely rim-type. Moreover, the mountain bike’s 27.5” wheels easily roll over boulders and other obstacles to enable the rider enjoy unperturbed rugged terrain bike adventures. The machine ships with plastic platform pedals that can be upgraded to higher quality metal or alloy options suitable for more aggressive biking. Further, its gear shifting mechanism is composed of 21-speed front and rear derailleurs.
- The Aluminum frame is high grade, sturdy and authentic so riders can ride assured it will not disintegrate under their weight
- Availability of different-sized frames allows mtb riders of various body builds to enjoy riding this bike
- It’s exceptionally easy to put together this bike’s components
- The bike’s design styling befits both men and women riders.
- The bike lacks a pre-installed kickstand and its front fork shocks don’t lock out
- The Shimano gear shift derailleurs are low-end thus not ideal for very unforgiving terrain as they can easily be hit against obstacles and snap off.
The Sorrento Hard Tail Diamondback Complete Mountain Bike is an awesome choice for those who are into mountain biking. It handles light to mid-level rough terrain beautifully but more seasoned bikers will definitely want a few upgrades like on pedals, fork and saddle.
#10. Kent Thruster Excalibur Mountain Bike
Weighing 41 pounds and spotting a sturdy hand-crafted Aluminum frame with a 50mm alloy crown travel front shock, the Kent Thruster Excalibur Mountain bike is a formidable 29er speed demon. It’s built with a 110mm 31.8 MTB alloy stem as well as 28, 38 and 48 pro wheel steel crank. For shifting, this 29er contains a TX 35D rear Shimano derailleur while its brake system consists of a rear linear-pull brake and a front disc brake.
- The smooth-operating front disc brake, coupled with the rear rim brake, provides amplified braking
- It’s a relatively large bike, making it a comfortable choice for large-bodied and tall mtb riders
- Composed of sturdy components, this mountain bike is uniquely durable. It can also safely support heavy riders
- The rear Shimano TX 35D derailleur ensure gear shifting proceeds flawlessly
- The bikes visual qualities are uniquely appealing
- The bike’s wheels are quite heavy just e the other components. This added overall weight disqualifies the Kent Thruster Excalibur from the collection of most-fitting high-speed, swift-handling race and Cross Country mountain bikes
- As with other new mountain bikes, this machine requires careful initial tune-up to ensure its gear shift, brakes and pedals function smoothly.
With its smooth-shifting gear mechanism, alluring aesthetics, swift-accelerating drive set and a special hand-crafted Aluminum frame, the Kent Thruster Excalibur mountain bike is also another good choice. It’s ideal for light off-road trail exploration and casual road biking. Besides, its 29” wheels and exceptionally large front gear wheel enable the bike to accelerate exponentially with appalling ease.
The mountain bikes reviewed above are merely a drop in the ocean but also the cream of the best mountain bikes costing less than $300. As evidenced by their varying features, there’s an overwhelming availability of different-purpose mountain bikes and the choice lies squarely on the bike buyer’s budget and preference. Also, prospective buyers are advised to conduct in-depth research before committing to any online purchase arrangements to avoid uncalled for disappointments. Further, it’s worth noting that assembling the mountain bikes personally will inarguably save the rider a tidy sum.