Best Mountain Bikes Under $300 Reviews & Ultimate Buying Guide
You have been thinking carefully of buying a mountain bike, but you suspect your budget of $300 won’t be enough to give you one that’s dynamic, lightweight yet sturdy to achieve your potential off-road.
Nothing could be further from the truth. It has taken us a lot of time and extensive research to find some high-quality mountain bikes under $300. The rising competition among mountain bike manufacturers has played to your advantage.
Even the most reputable manufacturers are today infusing the latest technologies and techniques in their mountain bike models at affordable rates. It’s the reason for our confidence in finding you luxury bike but in your budgetary range.
We have carefully selected 10 of the best mountain bikes you can buy with less than $300. First, let’s discuss a few factors to consider before buying a mountain bike for the sake of first-time buyers.
Buying Guide for Mountain Bikes
Picking the best mountain bike can be cumbersome especially with the overwhelming number of options available. The complicated technologies and terminology surrounding them serve only to complicate thing more.
Our buying guide aims to run you through all the necessary things you need to know in order to make an informed choice.
Type Of Suspension
Mountain bikes are tailored for specific riding styles and terrains. For instance, certain types are fitted with large rear and front suspension bike to handle rough trails and big drops. Other models feature so suspension to make them lighter and faster on smooth trails.
Yet others feature limited suspensions in order to achieve a balance between support and speed. Based on this information, you will have chosen between dual/full suspension, hardtail bike and rigid. Find out what each of these types means.
Wheels are extremely important considering the terrains you wish to cover with your mountain bike. In many cases, you will find mountain bike wheels made of aluminum and come in different sizes from 26 inches to as high as 29 inches.
The 26-inch wheels are lightweight and offer the greatest stiffness. In terms of ride, they accelerate quite quickly and their relatively smaller rotational mass can tear through twisty one-track at high speeds.
The 29-inch wheels (29er) are the largest. They feel slower to accelerate to optimal speed and the larger rim, as well as longer spokes, increase its weight. The large size is great because it offers more traction and is more adept when it comes to handling bumpy grounds.
The 27.5-inch wheels are half-way in size between 26-inch wheels and 29-inch wheels and therefore feature a ride intermediate between the two sizes.
The frame material of a mountain bike has a direct influence on the bikes strength, weight, longevity, ride quality and price. Aluminum alloy is the preferred material for the purpose of the frame because it is light in weight and extremely durable.
Other frames include stainless steel (tough, inexpensive but heavy), titanium (strong, light but extremely expensive) and carbon fiber (strong, lightweight but expensive).
The number of gears a bike has is the product of its front chain rings multiplied by the number of sockets on the cassette. Mountain bike gears range from single-speed to as much as 30 gears. Choose gears depending on the terrain where you will be riding and your fitness level.
In case your ridings will mostly be on steep hills and challenging climbs, then you’d better opt for more gears. Beginners can do well with single chaining because they are lighter and simpler to ride.
You can choose between mountain bikes based on the type of brakes they are fitted with. Today, disc brakes have replaced rim bikes in all mountain bikes except the entry-level bikes. Disc brakes offer more consistent performance in wet and steep terrains; they are cheaper to replace and causes less finger strain.
However, they can be expensive and difficult to inspect. Rim brakes, on the other hand, are more economical but they are less durable and not gentle on your fingers.
Size And Fit
You will find it easier and more enjoyable to ride a bike that fits well and is right for your flexibility, height and riding style. A mountain bike that fits you properly will improve your handling as well as confidence on the road to enable you to tackle more technical and challenging rides.
Mountain bikes come is standard sizes S, M and L that you choose from depending on your own height, riding style, and weight.
Vilano Ridge 2.0 MTB Mountain bike
Vilano Ridge 2.0 MTB mountain bike looks and feels fun a luxurious. It is perfect for light trail riding, cruising around campus or commuting to work. So far, the Ridge 2.0 MTB is one of the best mountain bikes to buy if you are a beginner.
It’s features Double Butted 6061 Aluminum, which is strong but lightweight and suspension fork alloy with lockout to achieve a balance between speed and support.
Vilano Ridge 2.0 MTB’s 26-inch Mag Alloy not only looks great but also provides for great road handling allowing the bike to conquer terrain from street to trail.
The bike is fitted with Shimano EF-51 Easyfire 7 speed shifter capable of delivering 21 speeds for utmost fun whenever you ride. The bike is also fitted with Shimano Tourney TZ50 rear derailleur and Shimano TZ30 front derailleur, which makes shifting seamlessly.
For improved stopping power, this mountain bike comes with mechanical disc brakes with Shimano Integrated lever. These brakes deliver optimal performance in steep and wet terrains to minimize any potential for accidents.
To ensure strength and durability, the bike comes with alloy Seatpost, handlebar, and bike pedals. It also features strong, reliable and performance-oriented KMC c50 chain. This bike has tons of additional appreciable features for optimal performance.
- A high-quality entry level bike at affordable price
- Performs great on a variety of terrains including the streets
- High-quality aluminum alloy contraction ensures durability at low weights
- Mechanical disc brakes are powerful and reliable even in wet and steep conditions
- Beautifully made making an ideal bike for cruising around campus or commuting to work
- May perform well only on mild terrains
- An entry level mountain bike and so may not be good choice if you are advanced rider
Mantis Orchid 26 Full Suspension Bicycle
Mountain bike under $300 that is agile is resilient is the Mantis Orchid 26 Full Suspension bike. You can ride this bike more comfortably and effortlessly on a variety of terrains. It is one of the best entry-level on-road and off-road bikes that remains high quality yet very affordable.
This full suspension bike will provide you cool and smooth ride even when you are riding on rough trails with big drops.
Mantis Orchid feature strong, durable and lightweight stainless steel suspension frame, aluminum rims handlebar, and pedals meaning you will use the bike for years and even update to more advanced bikes without repairs or replacements.
The strong and durable construction as well full suspension fork also means the bike can handle your weight for a more comfortable and safe ride even on large drops.
The bike features 21 speeds with twist shifters that are made of strong materials allowing you to change effortlessly from gears for all types of riding. This agility provided by the Shimano Tourney TZ30 rear derailleur and twist shifters allow you to shift the gears to the level that is easy to ride on.
You will also love the rear and front linear pull brakes to ensure the bike stops when you want it to. The 26-inch wheels are small is the size and thus reduces weight while ensuring improved acceleration.
- Alloy rims are strong and look attractive for luxurious ride
- Made of strong and durable frame and other components
- Linear pull brakes perform great in all situations for your safety
- 26-inch wheel size reduce the bike’s weight and guarantees improved acceleration
- Full suspension frame and steel suspension forks are great for rough terrains and big falls
- Shifters are great but they may not work very well
- Tires fail to grip well outdoors especially in the dirt
Xspec 26″ 21 Speed Folding Mountain Bike
Although Xspec 21-speed folding mountain bike is not that popular when you consider mountain bike brands, it stands out as one of best foldable mountain bikes in the market. This versatile bike allows you to transition from the road to off-road with ease thanks to the unique design.
If you are a leisure rider, you can take this bike on a daily commute such as going to work or campus and off-road.
It features high-tensile frame and suspension fork for durability and easy handling of rough and unforgiving terrains. Its Shimano 21-speed shifter and derailleur ensure smooth shifting for a comfortable ride.
The front and shock absorbers also provide the comfortable, gentle and luxurious ride. The folding feature is great enabling you to fold the bike in just 15 seconds without the need for tools or any special skills.
This way, you won’t have to use bike racks or lock your bike in public but rather fold it as stow it away in the trunk of your car or carry it to your office. At 42 pounds, you can carry the bike with little effort.
The bike’s streamline design makes it ideal for office workers, students, neighboring commuting as well as urban environments. Its weight limit is 220 pounds, which is the average weight of many people.
- Beautiful streamline design for versatility
- Excellent capacity for both off-road and on-road performance
- Accelerates quickly thanks to 21-speed gears and 26-inch wheels
- High-quality trigger shifter and rear derailleur delivers optimal performance
Disc brake is extremely efficient and reliable allowing you to stop when you want
- Unique folding ability of the bike including pedals makes the bike highly portable
- Comes with thick tires which waste energy
- The bike is quite bulky and therefore harder to transport by hand
Schwinn Women’s High Timber Mountain Bicycle
Women riders need a lightweight, durable, easy to drive and effortless to transport mountain bike. Very few mountain bikes under $300 can match these requirements with a good choice being the Schwinn Women’s High Timber mountain bike.
The High Timber is one of the most comfortable women’s bikes thanks to a high-quality suspension fork and a padded seat. The suspension minimizes the feel of bumps even on the roughest of the terrains.
In terms of gears, the Schwinn High Timber is extremely versatile. It is armed with 21-speed Shimano rear derailleur that allows you to ride at any speed you desire. In addition to the gears, the women’s bike features SRAM twist shifters that allow you to change the gears rapidly and smoothly.
This is incredibly helpful on rugged and bumpy roads as well as trails that change inclination frequently.
Brakes and tires are important when you consider the quality of a good mountain bike. Schwinn High Timber scores extremely high when it comes to wheels and tires quality. It comes with alloy wheels that are lightweight, strong and durable.
The tires are rugged to allow the bike to tackle almost any terrain, from dirt to gravel to rocky rails. This bike is fitted with alloy linear pull brakes that guarantee swift stops when desired.
- High quality yet extremely affordable
- The design is feminine and extremely appealing
- Allows for height adjustment for perfect and comfortable fit
- Simple assembly means you require few tools and nearly no skills
- Delivers smooth ride and smooth shifting for luxurious experience
- Solid and durable construction ensures longevity and resistance to impact
- The brakes may be jerky at first but this will improve with time
- The seat of the bike is padded but may be too hard for many people
New 2017 Raleigh Rowdy Kids Bike
Kids may feel left out so far is our reviews of the top 10 mountain bikes under $300. Well, the New 2017 Raleigh Rowdy Kids bike is here to quell their fears. This bike is specifically designed for kids who love to ride around their neighborhoods, to schools and back home, or their local dirt roads.
It is designed for boys aged between five and nine years or kids who are 47 inches to 55 inches tall.
Although made for kids the 2017 Raleigh Rowdy features a strong aluminum frame that is super light in weight and easy to manipulate and maneuvers. Its low stand-over height allows for easy on/off.
The bike is fitted with Shimano twist shifters, which offer six speeds and shift seamlessly with a simple flick of the twist. To improve a road or trail handling, traction and stability, this bike is fitted with 20-inch wide wheels.
As with all high-quality bikes, the Rowdy kids MTB is powerful disc brakes that will bring the machine to halt instantly to protect your young one from accidents. The bike features Jr. Comfort saddle back as well as Jr.
Soft grip to allow the lad to rid all he wants without feeling pain or discomfort in his arms and rear. Assembling the bike may require the services of a professional mechanic but with keenness, you can do it alone.
- Powerful disc brakes offer immediate stop
- A nicely constructed and powerful kids MTB
- A nicely constructed and powerful kids MTB
- High-quality Shimano Shifters with 6-speed drivetrain
- Aluminum frame and alloy wheels are extremely strong
- Some customers have received faulty bike but these are isolated cases
- Quite difficult to put together especially if you have little or no experience
Schwinn High Timber 27.5 Review
Schwinn is at it again with the men’s version of the High Timber. This 27.5-inch mountain bike is resilient, agile and sturdy perfectly designed to provide you with a means to explore secret trails without necessarily investing in an expensive biking option.
This bike is armed with many wonderful features and specifications making it a real deal when it comes to high quality yet affordable mountain bike.
The first great feature worth mentioning is the riding style. This bike provides controlled riding thanks to steel mountain frame and technologically advanced SR Suntour suspension which smoothes bumps and increases your control.
This sturdy, high-performing and dependable frame are extremely comfortable for riding. Besides the great frame, the men’s High Timber comes with a range of gears that let you cruise up and down inclines as well as over those unforgiving terrains.
It features 21-speed Shimano rear derailleur, SRAM grip shifters and an alloy crank that ensure smooth and rapid during your riding expedition. This advanced gearing is made with high-quality components that are durable.
Every rider loves lightweight but strong and durable bike. This way they can have a comfortable ride and transport their bike with ease. Schwinn men’s High Timber feature components made of strong and lightweight alloy including the linear pull brakes and rims.
The high-performing brakes guarantee fast and accurate stopping over a variety of terrains including steep slopes.
- Aesthetically and functionally built
- It is easy to assemble, no skills required
- One of the few bikes that are upgradable
- The bike offers smooth, safe and luxurious ride
- Comes equipped with a kickstand for convenience
- Easy height adjustments ensure perfect fit for comfortable ride
- May require some component replacement
- Fitted with a padded seat that is not that comfortable
- Pedals are made of plastic raising questions as to their durability
New 2017 Raleigh Rowdy 24 Complete Mountain Bike
The 2017 Raleigh Rowdy 24 complete Mountain bike is the best gift you can give young teenager in his 9th to 12th birthday (or when he is 54 to 61 inches tall). It is perfect for riding around the neighborhood, on the local dirt trails or to school and back.
Although new to the market, this bike has attracted the attention of young bikers because of its great quality and performance.
The Rowdy 24 is fitted with wider tires that are 24 inches wide to allow your young star to explore more while at the same time providing stability on rugged, uneven terrains.
The bike features Shimano Revo 7 drivetrain that provides enough gears to practice shifting and for tackling longer rides. Your little champ can enjoy riding at his favorite speeds while still having full control of his bike.
Kids are destructive and therefore the need to ensure what they use is strong and durable. Raleigh was aware of this so they decided to use the latest technology in constructing the bike.
The Rowdy 24 features an aluminum frame that is lightweight and easy to maneuver. Even your young one can carry the bike if need be. The bike also features a low standover, which makes an easy on and off. Assembling the bike will take you only 30 to 120 minutes depending on your skill level.
- Versatile 7-speed drivetrain for smooth ride
- Low standover height provides for easy on/off
- Aluminum framing is light but strong and durable
- Specifically designed for boys aged 9 to 12 years
- Wide wheels allow for more exploration and stability
- Comes with comprehensive warranty for your protection
- Difficult to assemble, may require professional input
- New to the market and therefore has not yet been tested for durability and performance
Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Mountain Bike MTB
Introducing the Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er, this dirt cheap mountain bike can easily outperform those expensive, luxurious MTBs you only dream of riding. This bicycle can guarantee you an enjoyable riding on all manner of terrains including the unforgiving rails.
The bike can take crooked paths, pavements, dirt roads and trains without requiring you to use much effort.
The bike features handcrafted aluminum frame, which is strong, lightweight and impressively durable. The little weight will ensure you do not have many struggles when riding over steep hills and rough terrains.
Its suspension fork with 80mm travel efficiently absorbs shock when you are riding on bumps, rocks, and roots. This adds to riding comfort even on the roughest of the terrains.
The Blackjack 3.0 29er comes with a 21-speed drivetrain, which includes high-quality Shimano EZ Fire shifter. This means you can change gears precisely and quickly when you are riding and achieve any speed you like for a luxurious ride.
You do not have to worry when riding on wet rails or steep slopes because the bike’s disk front and rear disk brakes will provide you with all the power you need to stop when you need to.
The bike has the biggest wheel size with alloy rims to handle large drops and uneven grounds with ease while ensuring stability.
- Easy to handle thanks to user-friendly design
- Wonderful frame geometer looks and performs great
- High-quality design and performance at affordable price
- 21-speed drivetrain with quality shifters ensure smooth shifting
- Large 29-inch wheels with strong rims are durable and offer unmatchable performance
- The disk brake perform great but they may require frequent replacement
- Some customers have issues with the bikes screws and bolts, which they claim, come loose
Raleigh Bikes Raleigh Eva 24 Girl’s Mountain Bike
The Raleigh Youth Series is exciting the market with their high-quality boy’s and girl’s bikes. The Eva 24 Girl’s MTB is a nice piece of engineering that features incredible attributes that make it a great bike for girls aged between 9 and 12 years or girls that are 4’6” and 5’1” tall.
This bike was designed specifically for riding moderate distance or light trails. Eva 24 is engineered for utmost comfort riding with high-quality SR Suntour XCT suspension fork with 50mm travel to smooth mumps, junior mountain comfort saddle for riding comfort as well as junior soft PVC comfort grips for easy handling.
To add to this, the bike is fitted with lightweight and super strong aluminum frame that will take the weight of your little angel and well as the beating of the unforgiving trails.
For a nice riding experience, this girl’s bike is fitted with 7-speed drivetrain with high-quality shifters to provide your little one with varies riding speeds as she may prefer. The wide 24.5 x 1.95-inch tire provides for the road handling capability of the bike and good traction on dirt trails.
The large alloy anodized 32h wheels are designed to roll over bumps with utmost ease. Disk brakes will provide your girl with great stopping power in all conditions.
- High-quality suspension fork smoothes out bumps
- Large wheels will easily roll over bumps, rocks, and roots
- Specifically designed and optimized for girls 9 to 12 years old
- Disc brakes are powerful and efficient in stopping the bike when needed
- Beautiful feminine design with blue hue (other color variations also exist)
- A little bit heavy for most girls aged 9 and 10
- A relatively new bike in the market, it will require closer scrutiny
Vilano Ridge 1.0 Mountain Bike
If you are new to mountain bikes and you are looking for a high-quality entry-level mountain then you can check out the Vilano Ridge 1.0 Mountain Bike. It is a fun, and well equipped 26-inch MTB optimized for weekend worrier fun or even riding to work or school depending on your occupation.
The bike is equipped with some unique and technologically advanced features and specifications only seen with high-end brands that cost fortunes.
First, it features butted aluminum frame which is lightweight but incredibly strong to offer support and stability while the Shimano steel suspension fork with front and rear derailleur offer matchless smoothness of ride even on the bumpiest rails.
The bike features 21-speed drivetrain with high-quality Shimano EF-51 Easyfire 7sp shifters for smooth shifting and high-quality ride. This means you can choose to rode at whichever speed you desire.
When it comes to brakes, the Ridge 1.0 MTB features Shimano Integrated brake lever that will bring the bike to complete stop in an instance thus reducing the chances of accidents.
Whether you are riding on the strong wet trail or a slippery road, the disc brakes will stop the bike with just a simple pull. Despite these great features and specifications, the bike is one of the most affordable in its class.
- An affordable MTB given its quality
- Incredible stopping power protects from accidents
- Quality suspension fork offers smooth ride on different trails
- Aluminum construction makes the bike strong but light in weight
- All components are made of strong and durable materials ensuring longevity
- You will ride dirt paths, handle trails and rode to work or school with fun, style, and ease
- Requires professional assembly
- Brakes and other components may require frequent replacement
I believe this in-depth review has served as smoking gun to help you find what you are looking for. A mountain bike is great for not only sports but also provides a good form of exercise.
Take your time and go through each of these reviews. Where you need more information, you can carry out some little research to add to the knowledge you got from our top 10 best mountain bikes under $300 reviews.
In case you are completely new to mountain bikes, then you can take advantage of the comprehensive buying guide to help you make an informed choice.
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