10 Best Mountain Bikes Under $300 in 2020 (Review)
Buying a bike is never easy. It is especially tricky if you’re on a fairly tight budget. It is hard to know what you need and what you don’t. You also don’t know what brands to trust and which to ignore. To make it easy for you, we have created a rundown of the 10 best mountain bikes under $300 in 2020.
We have carefully picked each model and given you a guide to the top 5 things you need to know when you buy your new mountain bike. We will also look at whether or not you should expand your budget, and what you should really expect from a mountain bike under $300. When all is said and done and you’re riding your new bike, you’ll be glad you followed our mountain bike review.
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The Best Mountain Bikes Under $300
1. Max4out Mountain Bike
The Max4out Mountain Bike is a popular option among off-road cyclists with limited budgets. Apart from a striking appearance, the Max4out has a robust and lightweight frame with a high carbon and steel construction. The front shock absorbs vibrations and makes for a smooth ride on gravel and other types of rugged terrain.
This bike is also foldable. You can quickly and easily fold the bike using its quick-release clamp. Because this model is foldable, you can easily transport and store it in a cupboard or the trunk of your car.
A unique wheelset contributes significantly to the Max4out’s appearance and performance. The 26” wheels have a 6-spoke design as well as thick tires with a width of 4”. The tires provide sufficient grip while the large wheels make mountain biking possible.
This model comes with 21 gears, providing all the range you may need. The low gears help you ride inclines while the high gears assist in maintaining a comfortable pace on flat surfaces.
- 26” wheels with six spokes and 4 “ tires
- Strong frame with adjustable design
- 21 gears for riding on all surfaces
Available Colors: Black & Orange
Weight: 44 lbs (19.95 kg)
Dimensions: 66.9” x 26.3” x 24
2. Merax FT323 Mountain Bike
The Merax FT323 Mountain Bike is a set of wheels that hobbyists and professionals alike will enjoy. It is safe to say that this bike will bring everything that you require to the table. It not only has an attractive design that will get you noticed anywhere, but it is also sturdy in its build.
It is clear that a lot of time and precision was used to create this bike into the magic that it is. The 21-speed shifter and derailleurs on the bike make it easy for you to take on any terrain without having to worry about control. Linear brakes and dual suspension make for a smooth and convenient ride.
The gears are designed to tackle different types of terrain and change automatically when they need to. The ratchet shifters are especially great as they work flawlessly. The tires are also solid. They are highly durable thus you will be able to use them for a long time. Want to carry a bottle of water for your ride? The storage pouch will come in handy.
- Dual suspension
- 21-speed shifters and derailleurs
- Linear brakes
Available Colours: Grey and Green
Dimensions: 7.5” x 55” x 29”
Weight: 30 lbs (13 kg.)
3. Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bikes
The Mongoose Status 2.2 is an aluminum full suspension mountain bike. The aluminum frame has been reinforced in the areas most likely to break. The extra material adds a little bit of weight but should add reassurance that the Status 2.2 will not fall apart when you go for a ride.
Like the other bikes in the review, the Status 2.2 comes with 21 gears. The gears are supplied by a mix of SRAM twist shifters and a Shimano rear derailleur. The braking duties are handled by v-brakes which will allow you enough modulation to stop you effectively when out riding.
You will also find knobby 2.125 tires fitted to the alloy 26” wheels. These will bring you a nice measure of comfort when you are riding offroad. Combined with the suspension, you should have a nice smooth ride.
When you check other online reviews, you will find that people have problems setting up the bike. Like all online bike purchases, the Mongoose will require you to build it. You should be comfortable doing this or know someone that can do it for you. If you would like to learn how to put a mountain bike together, there are a lot of YouTube videos with great guidance in this area.
- Full suspension frame
- 21 speed
- Front and rear v-brakes
Weight: 44.4 lbs
Dimensions: Not listed
4. Huffy Tekton
The Huffy Tekton is a simple hardtail mountain bike. Huffy stands behind the quality of their aluminum frame, and they offer a 10-year warranty with the Tekton. The warranty is for a longer period than you will get with many other mountain bikes, including much more expensive mountain bikes.
The Tekton is a 21-speed mountain bike with all of its gearing duties being performed by Shimano. Shifting is handled by Shimano’s Revoshift system, a style of twist shift, and a Tourney rear derailleur.
As well as a Kolos front suspension fork, the Tekton rolls on 27.5” wheels to help you over rocky terrain. To make this even easier, Huffy has fitted oversized knobby tires. These tires will not only give you grip, they will also add extra comfort to your ride.
The Tekton is an excellent bike for those people who are looking for a simple bike that will be long lasting for getting into mountain biking. It is also a bike that is designed to make upgrades easy to find and fit. You can tailor it more towards “serious” mountain biking or more towards commuting to work depending on where your cycling career ends up taking you.
- 27.5” wheels
- Oversized tires
- 10 year frame warranty
Colors: Matte black, satin tropic blue, matte acid green
Weight: 45.3 lbs
Dimensions: 58.7 x 8.7 x 29.5 in
5. Schwinn High Timber
The Schwinn High Timber mountain bike has an interesting feature. A feature usually found on more expensive bikes: the High Timber comes in a choice of wheel sizes.
The 12” frame comes with 24” wheels. The 18” frame comes with 27.5” wheels or 29” wheels. The 24” wheel on the small bike will make the mountain bike easier to handle for smaller and lighter people. The bigger wheels will allow the bike to roll over rocks with ease for people of a taller stature. All the wheels feature a quick release lever, making it easy and fast to fix any punctures.
If I were after a bike to commute to work on and mountain bike for the weekend, I would pick up the High Timber — particularly the one with 29-inch wheels. The bike will be a little bit less nimble, but it will roll faster for less effort. You will also find it easy to scrub that speed off as the whole range comes with linear pull brakes, also known as v-brakes. The bike uses a Shimano rear derailleur for good gear changes, which will cope well with the demands of mountain biking.
- Wheel size choice
- Shimano Tourney rear derailleur
- Linear pull brakes
Colors: Black, blue, grey, matte black, silver, teal
Weight: 44.3 lbs
Dimensions: Not listed
6. Huffy Escalate
The Huffy Escalate is a lightweight aluminum framed hardtail mountain bike. Like the Tekton above, the frame is also backed by a 10-year warranty. The frame is available in male straight top tube version and a female sloping top tube version. The sloping one will also work well for men with hip issues who still want to ride a bike. The Escalate looks like a retro 90s bike, and if you rode a bike as a teen, it may bring back fond memories for you.
The Escalate is one of the least expensive bikes we reviewed, but it comes with Shimano EZ Fire gearing. EZ Fire is controlled by your thumbs rather than twisting your hand. It makes changing gears easier and is an excellent feature on a bike at the Escalates price point.
To keep the price low, Huffy have fitted the Escalate with linear pull brakes. These will give you all the stopping power you need and save you from the extra cost of disc brakes. One little additional feature is that the Escalate comes with a kickstand fitted, making it easy for you to park your mountain bike.
- Fitted kickstand
- Shimano EZ Fire gears
- Front and rear Linear pull brakes
Colors: Gloss black, gloss nickel, gloss lavender, metallic mint
Weight: 41.8 lbs
Dimensions: 55.5 x 8.7 x 28.4 in
7. Akonza Cobra
The Akonza Cobra is a basic model that features entry-level Shimano gearing components, including twist shifters and seven rapid-fire derailleurs. You can ride the Cobra on most terrains as this bicycle features dual suspension, wheels with a diameter of 26 inches, and anti-skid tires that provide sufficient grip and traction.
The handlebar is fitted with high-grade rubber grips, and the seat has ergonomic contouring for optimal comfort. This bike is also easy to store and transport as it has a front hum quick-release.
The Cobra has a 17-inc alloy steel frame with an adjustable seat that can accommodate weights of up to 275 lbs (125 kg.) This model has a durable construction and is specially designed to ensure rider comfort. Heavy-duty nylon pedals and their carved grips also provide you with sufficient control.
Even though the Cobra is considered to be a beginner model, it can comfortably take on off-road surfaces without damage or discomfort. This bike is ideal for beginners or casual mountain cyclists.
- Shimano ASLRS35LNBC and ASLRS35R7ET shifters
- Front and rear suspension for a smooth ride
- 26-inch wheels with anti-skid tires
Available Colors: Green
Weight: 47 lbs (21.3 kg)
Dimensions: 66.9” x 26.3” x 24”
8. Kent T-29
The Kent T-29 is a 29” mountain bike. To make the T-29 a little lighter and therefore easier to ride, Kent has designed a 6061 aluminum frame. The frame features an Aheadset. An Aheadset will make it easier for you to upgrade the suspension fork should you want to.
The ease of upgrading makes the Kent T-29 an excellent choice for those who want a great mountain bike but do not have the budget to get there all at once. You can slowly upgrade the Kent as your budget allows and as parts wear out. If you think you’ll be in cycling for the long haul, this is a good starting point.
The Kent comes with 29” x 2.1” tires fitted to alloy rims so that you will be able to roll over more obstacles than you think you can. These tires are a good choice for those who want to start going out and discovering what cross country mountain biking is all about. 29” wheels will easily make up for the lack of rear suspension and save you from having to service a rear shock.
- 6061 aluminum frame
- 29” wheels
Weight: 41 lbs
Dimensions: 58 x 29.5 x 7.5 in
9. Tetran Wildland
The Tetran Wildland is a sturdy, lightweight bike that promises you the best riding experiences on every terrain. Thanks to its alloy mountain bike rims, your rides will leave you with a story to tell. In comparison to typical steel rims, the rims on the Tetran Widland are more durable.
This means that you do not have to worry about any replacements any time soon. Equipped with alloy duo suspensions, you can also be certain that the bike will make for the smoothest ride even on bumpy roads. This is because its suspensions easily absorb shock.
Apart from smooth riding, the bike has 21 speed Shimano derailleurs that will guarantee flawless shifting between the gears. The stopping power on the Tetran is also exceptional for any sudden stops that you may want to make.
The well-designed brakes provide good stopping power downhill and even on rough terrain. Whenever you need to make quick gear changes, this bike will not let you down. This bike will help you cruise around no matter where you are going.
- Dual suspension
- 21-speed shifters and derailleurs
- Front disc brakes
Available Colours: White/blue and black/red
Dimensions: 41.94” x 8.5” x 27.4”
Weight: 31.5 lbs (14 kg)
10. Royce Union RTT
The Royce Union RTT is an aluminum framed hardtail mountain bike. The Union RTT comes in a vast variety of colors and male and female specific frame design. It is highly unlikely that you won’t find a Royce Union RTT that you like. The frame has a big head tube gusset to help add strength to the bike.
The Royce is one of the few bikes in our bike reviews to feature EZ Fire gearing. EZ Fire is a step above twist shift gearing and is a nice extra feature on the Royce. It is easier to find spares for it, and this will help to make your gearing system last longer than twist shifters. EZ Fire is a very good shifter system for a budget mountain bike.
To help comfort you from rough terrain, the Royce comes with a Zoom suspension fork. Zoom is the biggest manufacturer of budget suspension forks in the world. To add to the comfort provided by the Zoom fork, you will see that the Royce is also outfitted with wide knobby tires.
These tires are fitted to alloy wheels. These wheels will be able to withstand the rigors of entry-level mountain biking. They will also be easy to true and keep running for a long time. The Royce looks like a good choice for you if you want to commute to work as well as ride offroad.
- EZ Fire gearing
- Zoom suspension fork
- Male and female frame specific design
Colors: Matte tangerine, white, sky blue, silver, sport black, eggplant purple, metallic teal, matte black, red
Weight: 41.8 lbs
Dimensions: 57.1 x 9.1 x 29.9 in
5 Things to Think About When Buying Your Mountain Bike
Your budget should always be your first and foremost thought when thinking about buying a mountain bike. It is easy when you look at all the shiny options on offer to forget about your budget and blow too much money. Don’t do it to yourself.
What do I want the bike for?
If you want to spend time climbing for fitness, you don’t want a full suspension mountain bike. They will bob as you pedal and it will slowly destroy your nerves. If you’re going to go commuting as well as mountain biking, look for a lockout on the suspension fork to stop it diving as you pedal. If you live somewhere muddy and wet, look for knobby tires so you have a better grip.
If you get bitten by the cycling bug, will you be able to upgrade the bike easily or will you be looking at buying a whole new bike further down the line? Check above, and you will see that we have pointed out the easily upgradeable bikes.
A comfortable bike is one that you will want to ride, and it will be one that makes riding fun. The simple way to have a comfortable ride is to buy a bike with the widest tires. It is amazing what a little bit of extra air surrounded by rubber can do for your comfort.
Keep it simple
The fewer gimmicks and paraphernalia on your bike, the more the manufacturers have paid attention to the essential parts. There is also the simple fact that the less there is on your bike, the less there is to go wrong or break. In some cases, a set of linear brakes will be all you need over disc brakes: that nicely takes us back to rule 2.
Top 3 Budget Mountain Bike Brands
In a garage in California in 1974, Skip Hess created Mongoose bikes. His original invention was the Moto One Mag, a wheel that brought a stronger new design to mag wheels. Initially, Mongoose focused on BMX, but they were one of the first brands to bring out a full suspension mountain bike frame. Every American kid since the ’80s has wanted or ridden a Mongoose.
Schwinn bikes have a long heritage. They were founded in Chicago in 1895 by German immigrant Ignaz Schwinn. During the 20th century, Schwinn grew to be one of the biggest bicycle companies in the world. Mountain biking also grew out of Schwinn’s balloon-tired cruiser bikes. These bikes became known as “Klunkers”. You’ll now find high-end bike companies building bikes in homage to these early mountain bikes. Schwinn had the best-selling kid’s bike of the 1960s.
We can trace Huffy’s roots back even further than Schwinn. Huffy grew out of a sewing machine company started in Dayton, Ohio in 1887. Huffy, from the outset, was always considered an entry-level brand of bike, even when they tried to manufacture high-end bikes. These long roots at the budget end of cycling have allowed Huffy to build a range inspired by over a century of providing such bikes.
What Sort of Mountain Bike can you Expect to get for less than $300?
Every year budget mountain bikes get better. They get a slow trickle down of better parts and designs. As the bike industry pushes the high-end mountain bikes to new heights, you can be sure these ideas will eventually work there way down. Maybe not straight away but it will happen.
Better materials, better welding techniques, better choice of equipment, it all slowly comes down the range. That does not mean you are getting a bike that will handle the wild trails of Whistler. If you want a bike that you can thrash downhill runs and jump parks you will need to raise your budget.
If you want a bike that will let you dip your toe into mountain biking and help you get the cycling bug, then a sub $300 bike can manage that. You’ll be best served if you try and keep both your wheels on the ground as much as possible.
You’ll find easy blue and green trails can easily be conquered on these bikes. A cheap mountain bike will not feature technology that you can hide behind. It will be a no thrills ride and in the end, you’ll more than likely become a better rider because of it.
They should all be able to double as a work commuter. You should find it easy and safe to get to work on all the bikes in our review. You may even see that they are quicker than taking the car in some metropolitan areas.
Should I be Spending More Than $300 Instead?
In some cases, buying a slightly more expensive bike is worth it. Most of the time, there isn’t a very large difference. Sure, it is great to have something a little more expensive, but is it worth blowing your budget? We would say no.
The differences you will find in mountain bikes under $400 might not mean that you get much more bicycle for your money. You can likely achieve the same results by buying a few upgrades at a time when you can afford it.
When you’ve become more advanced with your biking and you’re ready to move up, the best option is to upgrade certain features on your mountain bike. You really only need to buy a new, more expensive bike if you’re looking for a different brand or a different type of bike. It’s perfectly reasonable to start with a bike around $300 and use an upgrade list along the way as you need it.
If you can upgrade and it does not blow a hole in your finances, go for it. You might find a bike that you prefer the look of and that means you will ride it more often. As you have spent more money, you are also more likely to look after it and care for it. Taking care of it is the way to make your cheap mountain bike last that little bit longer.