In a world with what seems like an unlimited amount of choices. How do you find the best mountain bike for you?
With thousands of different bikes on the market right now, how do you choose the one with the best quality, an affordable price, and one that actually looks good?
Before getting started with our recommendations. There are a few things you need to consider purchasing your bike.
Many of you may have stumbled upon us because you are already set about buying a brand new mountain bike and you just want to see what’s out there.
In that case, please scroll down to see our suggestions. However, if you’re considering taking up mountain biking as a new hobby. You might be wondering, why do you need a bike dedicated to mountain biking?
Why can’t you just use a normal run of the mill bike? Well, there are a few reasons why…
Why use a Mountain Bike?
Mountain bikes are perfect for off-road track trails, dirt or gravel paths, and neglected potholed streets.
The meaty frames and components of mountain bikes are designed to get abused and put through its paces, with their frames are designed to help you climb steep hills.
Usually, most mountain bike wheels are around 26 inches, which allows them to take the hits from rocks and potholes, which combined with better suspension, gives you more tire control.
The bikes are designed for comfort, so the frame and forks take the hits off the road and not you.
All of this combined provides you with better control and traction in loose mud and ‘off road’ type terrains.
Although mountain bikes are a great option for ‘offroad’ trails, they may not be the best solution when it comes to day-to-day cycling.
Due to the meaty frames, mountain bikes are generally heavier than road or hybrid bikes, also the small wheels mean they have more “rolling” resistance.
The nobbles on the tires usually have a “snow tire” effect on the road, therefore if you are riding on the road using a mountain bike it usually requires more effort.
Alternative to Mountain Bikes: The Road Bike
The use for a road bike is pretty much what you’d expect. They are to be used on paved roads and smooth paths. Road bikes are designed for speed so they are light and agile.
You often seen more serious bikers opt for these type of bikes, as for the most power, it has “over the handlebar” posture transfers.
This riding position required allows you to use the most leg power.
The components used in road bikes have high tight tolerances, the light tall wheels and ultra-thin tires reduce friction on the road.
Again, although they are great for their purpose, there are times where the road bike isn’t the best option for you…
They are more delicate than mountain bikes and can’t take the punishment that mountain bikes can.
Also, most road bikes have a high gear range which makes slow riding a lot harder, so maybe not ideal for those tough terrain, steep hills!
Finally, for relaxed rides, the riding position can be uncomfortable especially on the neck and wrists.
The More Commonly Used: Hybrid and Comfort Bikes
Hybrid and Comfort Bikes are a curious mix of a mountain and road bike. They are suitable for both street riding, dirt and gravel paths.
However, as they aren’t dedicated for either, their performance doesn’t match their dedicated counterparts.
They’re more suited for general riders, who don’t specialise in road or off road terrain, but may ‘dabble’ here or there. They give the option to ride both terrains.
Hybrid and Comfort Bikes have the lightness of a road bike and have the sturdiness of a mountain bike, combined with a lower centre of gravity which makes them stable and really easy to handle.
These bikes allow you to sit upright which makes them comfier to ride and offers a better view, they also have a lower rolling resistance than mountain bikes.
The wider tires and wheels take on more of the hits from rocks and potholes than road bikes.
Hybrid bikes are more suitable for roads, whereas comfort bikes are more suitable for off-roading and trails
However, as with most things that are a cross between two products, Hybrids and Comfort Bikes has some compromises.
Both types of bikes won’t reach the speed of a road bike, nor are they as tough as a mountain bike.
With these bikes, what makes them comfortable, may reduce their performance. Comfort bikes tend to be heavier and slower even with a 26-inch wheel.
The frames of both types of bikes and the required riding position reduce power transfer.
As both types of bikes require you to ride in an upright position it adds a certain amount of aerodynamic drag at higher speeds.
Best Mountain bikes under 300
As you can gather mountain, road, hybrid and comfort bikes all have their set benefits.
However, if you are going to focus your cycling intentions on dirt tracks, mountain roads and plenty of off-road adventures, you are going to be better of with a dedicated mountain bike.
Having a dedicated bike doesn’t have to be overly expensive. There are plenty of bikes that are well under 300. As well as well over 1000!
Now it’s worth noting, that prices do change! So at the time of writing this, these bikes were under $300.
They may have gone up, or ideally, down.
However, we can’t guarantee they will still be under $300, so may be go for another choice if the bike you’ve checked has gone up in price!
Your best bet is to check the price of each bike!
At times the more expensive bikes don’t have too many more differences than the cheaper models. Although, they do tend to have a better design. But functionality should always be the focus over design.
We’ve had a look around to find you the best mountain bikes under 300. So, without further ado, here are our recommended mountain bikes.
1. Stowabike 26″ MTB V2 Folding Dual Suspension Mountain Bike
It has an impressive handlebar, with a comfortable black rubber grip, which makes for a balanced ride.
Safety is key with any mountain bike, and this one has steel v-brakes, which ensures the utmost safety for the rider.
The features that really make this mountain bike stand out, is that it’s extremely lightweight, weighing in at only 38.5lbs. The second is that it’s 26-inch steel frame is foldable!
Which makes it perfect for those who are short of space, or need to transport their bike by car, or public transport.
Another bonus about this bike is that it is delivered in two sections, which makes it easy to assemble. With the only other things that need to be assembled are the pedals and seat.
The overall dimensions of the bike 67.3 inches x 23.2 inches x 55.1 inches and once it’s folded it comes in at 38.2 inches x 12.6 inches x 29.5 inches. It weighs in at only 38.5ls and is suitable for anyone weighing up to 177lbs.
The Stowabike also features spring shock function, which should make for a more comfortable ride. The rims of the bike are made of single wall alloy and also boasts Wanda 26×1.95″ tires.
The overall consensus is that this bike offers great value. Some customers have reported that the seat can be uncomfortable, but coming in at under $200 at the time of writing, the bike offers great value! We’d say it’s worth a look.
2. GTM 26″ 7 Speed Folding Mountain Bike
Its large tires are ideal for a wide variety of terrain, which maintains stability and comfort during the ride. Its steel frame makes the bike extremely easy to control.
Plus, it has a wide range of gears.
This mountain bike is extremely easy to adjust, with an adjustable seat and handlebar height.
The bike should only take around 20 minutes to put together, as you have to assemble the front wheel, pedals, seat, handlebar, and both the front and back fenders. Everything else is factory assembled.
The bike features a heavy-duty kickstand, which allows the bike to stand upright when not in use.
As for design, there only seems to be black in stock at the moment, however that’s usually a good go to colour for bikes, as it helps hide the dirt!
This lightweight bike comes in at 34.20lbs with the overall folded dimensions of 48 inches X 36 inches X 18 inches.
It’s perfect for starter mountain bike enthusiasts, but maybe worth a look, even if you’re experienced!
3. Mongoose R2780 Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle (29-Inch)
It’s aluminum dual full suspension frame, offers a smooth and controlled ride, which is ideal for all trails.
It features 21 speed Shimano gearing, with SRAM twist shifters, that allows for easy and smooth gear changes.
The alloy wheels have a quick release front, and the front and rear wheels have disc brakes.
You’ll need to assemble this yourself, as the tires, rims, handlebar, and seat are removed for shipment, but it only requires Allen wrenches to put it together. A quick and easy job that shouldn’t take you too long to sort out.
The overall size of the Mongoose Impasse is 57 inches X 9 inches X 31 inches and weighs in at 44 pounds.
The bike is quite heavy, so if you’re looking for a lightweight mountain bike, take a look at the other options.
Overall, like most of these bikes, it offer great value! It maybe a little on the heavy side, but is convenient and offers a smooth ride.
Best Mountain Bikes Under 300 For Women:
4. Raleigh Bikes Women’s Eva 1 Recreational Mountain Bike
Their bikes are designed to work perfectly on dirt packed trails and gravel paths, as well as your daily commute.
This bike features easy to change Shimano 3x7spd Revo twist shifters, with Shimano drivetrain that offers 21 different gears.
The large wheels and wide tires allows you to easily ride over bumps with the utmost efficiency.
The bike comes partially assembled and should be easy to put together. However, if you have difficulty, they recommend taking it into a capable bike shop.
The bike lacks a kickstand, however that shouldn’t take away from the value of this bike as it’s one of the best mountain bikes under $300 for women.
Raleigh are a widely re-known bike brand with an exceptional reputation, which should ensure confidence when checking out this bike!
5. Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle Womens Road/Mountain 21 Speed Bike 26″
Here we have another option for women. If you are looking for a multi-function mountain bike that is suitable for both the trail and the road, that is also affordable, then this one is worth a look at. Coming in at way under $200.
This bike has the speed and function of a more expensive bike.
The Dynacraft features a 21-speed index derailleur and features Shimano grip shifters, which also features in the Raleigh!
Both the V-brakes has resin levers, with the front wheel having a shock fork, and both wheels featuring alloy rims.
The seat is padded and adjustable.
The front shock fork should help to absorb the demands of rougher terrain, whilst it’s alloy rims are strong enough to handle the pressure.
Dynacraft also offer a lifetime warranty on the frame and the fork, which should give you added confidence when purchasing, as they really are giving you a great guarantee.
Customers have said that putting together the bike can be a bit tricky, however most bikes usually require some assembly, so if you face any issues, visit a local bike store to help!
The overall bike dimensions are 7.87 inches x 25.98 inches x 52.5 inches and weighs 34.84 pounds. This bike is ideal for anyone up to 275lbs.
This is an extremely affordable option, yet the bike still boasts some impressive features, especially with the warranty!
6. Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike
The sturdy frame is made from Aluminum and is relatively light weight. It has a full suspension, with the front section’s suspension being a travel steel crown fork.
The back suspension is more like a shocker absorber but does a great job of protecting the bike.
The wheels are the right width to offer great traction and stability for the rider.
The wheel rims are made of alloy, which helps protects the tire, from the linear pull brake.
Again, this is a notable option for women and potentially teenagers, as the wheels are smaller, making it more accessible.
Best Mountain Bikes Under 300 For Men:
7. Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike, 26-Inch
A running theme with our recommend mountain bikes is that they have Shimano shifters. This one does too. It has a Shimano 21 Speed Shifter and a rear derailleur.
It’s strong aluminum wheels have a Voshape rim, alloy hubs, and has a front disc brake and rear Linear Pull Brake.
Users have mentioned that it takes a long time to assemble (around an hour) and is also heavier than most bikes on the market.
This bike’s overall dimensions are 55 inches X 28 inches X 8.5 inches.
8. Merax Falcon Full Suspension Mountain Bike 21-Speed 26-inch
This bike features the famous Shimano 21 speed derailleur, and the shifters are extremely reliable and offers smooth gear changes.
The high grade rubber gripped handlebars are designed with the natural contours of the human body in mind, to make the positioning and grip feel natural when riding.
Before we talk about how easy this bike is to assemble. Let’s talk about the heavy-duty nylon pedals.
They have built in carved grips, that offers the utmost security, whilst riding. Plus the anti-skid tires provide ample traction on slippery surfaces.
Many have said that the bike is super easy to assemble as it comes 85% ready made.
You only need to put together the pedals, front wheel, and handlebars. You also have to fill the tires with air, as they get delivered a little flat, for safety reasons apparently!
9. Polaris RMK Full Suspension Bicycle
Which means that this mountain bike is extremely durable and can tackle different terrains without any problems.
Not only that, it’s wheels which features alloy rims and 1.9 inches wide tires, makes this bike perform a lot better than most.
It has a highly reliable braking system, which gives you a lot more control over the bike as a whole.
The overall dimensions of the Polaris RMK comes in at 69 inches X 40 inches X 24 inches.
It does weigh 35 pounds and people have said that it feels heavy, but it’s on the lighter side, out of all the ones we have recommended.
Do You Have a Bit More Cash to Splash?
10. Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Bike
If you want a mountain bike that’s a bit different. You won’t go wrong with a fat tire bike. Fat tire bikes are designed to be rideable on nearly any type of terrain. Basically, there is nothing that a fat tire mountain bike can’t handle. Impressive right?!
Fat tire mountain bikes usually cost more than the average mountain bike. Which is why it’s perfect upgrade!
The Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Bike has meaty 4-inch tires, that gives you a cushiony ride, no matter the trail you are on. Want to ride over dirt, sand or snow? You’ll have no problem with this monster.
This sturdy and tough bike, has a 7 speed Shimano rear derailleur, a 3 piece crank, and front and rear disc brakes. Featuring a steel cruiser style MTB frame, it’s heavy, but you can’t expect anything less for such a sturdy bike.
As we’ve mentioned a few times. This bike is meaty. It comes in at 52lbs! So, it’s much heavier than the others we have recommended.
Because of the weight of this bike and the size of it’s tires, it’s suitable for most people.
11. 2018 Gravity FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike
But not too much that it isn’t affordable.
The added benefits might pursued you to splash out the extra cash.
This bike has a welded aluminium frame, which has a lighter, higher performing hydroformed tubing.
It has 24 speed dual suspension, an adjustable rear coil over cartridge shock and as an added bonus, it also has an adjustable front shock.
The bike features Tektro Novello mechanical disc brakes for extra durability.
All of the best mountain bikes under 300 we’ve recommended have excellent merits.
However, there are a few that really stood out to us. Whether it’s price over function. These are the ones we consider the best.
Overall we really like the Stowabike as it’s suitable for new and experienced riders alike.
The fact that it is lightweight and foldable. Makes it perfect for city riders, who lack the space and need to transport the bike long distances.
It’s value for money is also an added bonus. As it’s features are better than more expensive bikes on the market.
Suitable for both male and female riders, we are sure you’ll love it, as soon as you ride it.
Out of the three mountain bikes we recommended for women. We really like the Raleigh. For more than one reason.
The first being the brand reputation, with over 120 years experience building bikes, you know you are going to get a good one.
It’s also a great all round bike, perfect for dirt packed trails and for your daily commute.
The quality drivetrain and twist shifters, mean that it’s easy to change gears, and it does so, smoothly.
It also comes partially assembled, so it’s easy to put together, but if you have issues, they recommend taking it into a capable bike store, who will be able to sort it out quickly.
We also highly recommend the Merax Falcon out of the ones we suggested above.
For the price of the bike, it offers better dual suspension, which means you will get a smoother ride. It’s really easy to shift gears too.
We also liked the high grade rubber gripped handlebars and saddle, that has been designed to work with the natural contours of the human body.
Essentially, it helps make the ride feel more natural.
The anti-skid tires are also an added benefit of this bike and provides ample traction on slippery surfaces.
We hope that you find the perfect bike for you!
If you have any thoughts or questions, be sure to leave them below.
Check out our other articles whilst you’re here, we’re sure you’ll find something for you!