Getting into mountain biking shouldn’t be expensive. Whether you’re thinking about exploring some local trails, or just taking a cruise around local bike paths, we’ve hand picked five of the best mountain bikes under $300 so you can get out of the house and start enjoying the outdoors.
When choosing mountain bikes under $300, you have to keep a few things in mind. Firstly, the components will be sufficient for newbie and beginner riders. The components, stopping power, speed selection and suspension options will be sufficient to get you started. If you’re looking for some serious mountain bike functionality, you’ll have to look at our best mountain bikes under $1000 article.
The Best Mountain Bikes Under $300
Our top pick for mountain bikes under $300 is the Schwinn Moab 4. If you’re a newbie, this mountain bike will literally blow away your expectations. Intermediate mountain bikers will even appreciate this bike and might even consider it a ‘beater’ or ‘backup’ to their more expensive mountain bike.
Let’s look at why. Speeds? You’ve got a 24-speed with a Shimano component configuration. For a bike under $300, this is a rare find. You have enough gear selection to keep up with more advanced riders in the uphills and downhills. Suspension? Check. SR Suntour on the front fork. Wheels? 29’s — that’s right, big enough to rip up offered trails and cross country terrain, and definitely more than enough for bike paths and city riding. The lightweight aluminum frame gives you easily handling.
The only thing we don’t like about this bike are the rim brakes, but what do you really expect from a mountain bike under $300? The Schwinn high quality parts rounding up the rest of the bike give this two thumbs up.
What happens when Kawasaki offers you a mountain bike? You get a crazy off-road machine with full suspension, front disc brake, 21 speeds and a light aluminium frame. Now, Kawasaki is better known for their motorcycles, but this foray into mountain bikes is not bad. For a full suspension bike under $300, we acknowledge their efforts. And the features and components that round out this bike make it one of our top 5 mountain bikes under $300.
You don’t find many full suspension bikes under $300. But since the front end fork and back shocks are parts from Kawasaki, they’ve been able to fit it in to this price range. Shimano Revo twist shifters gives you the ‘motorcycle’ feel as you shift gears while riding rough terrain. Shimano components including a Tourney rear derailleur ensures smooth transitions on the chain. Having 21 speeds gives you enough to work with. And the color scheme looks very sporty.
You may not have heard of this brand of mountain bike before, but it’s definitely worth considering since it’s a full suspension bike under $300. Forget about the cool blue color scheme for a moment. Let’s look at the guts of this mountain bike. It has front suspension and rear shocks with 80mm travel each, enough for light trail riding and off road paths. A Shimano 21 speed gear system gives you enough selection to help with those uphills and downhills.
The braking is pretty generous with front end disc break and back end linear pull. You can’t expect to get dual disc brakes at this price point. The full suspension frame has 4 bar linkage and is made of light aluminum. This bike is good enough to impress your mountain biking colleagues while giving you enough performance to let them eat your dust in the trails.
The look and feel is very similar to the Genesis V2100 but with a better known brand name. The Mongoose Ledge offers 21 speeds, full suspension and… get this… SRAM twist shifters. SRAM is a very known name when it comes to twist shifters and you get the amazing value and functionality of being able to seamlessly twist shift while riding on the trails.
Shimano derailleurs on this bike ensure your drivetrain is smooth, while front disc brakes provide ultra strong stopping power when you need it. Rear brakes are linear pull, but again, this is a bike priced under $300. The wheels are extra large at 29” which gives you enough versatility, speed and performance on the trails.
5. Vilano Ridge
Here’s a hardtail bike with front suspension and two disc brakes. Hey, you can’t have it all. But if you were to choose between full suspension and front suspension in this category, we recommend choosing a front suspension hardtail that has two disc brakes. Not only will your rim life be much longer, but your performance and handling will drastically improve.
The Vilano Ridge has a 21 speed Shimano components configuration tied into a double butted 6061 aluminium frame. That means lightweight, superior handling and an overall fun ride. The suspension fork will help you crush those bumps on the trail, while a 24 speed Shimano drivetrain gives you superior selection when handling technical terrain.
These mountain bikes under $300 made our list and beat out a lot of mediocre entry level bikes that don’t really have anything close to offer. It’s fair to say you can really discover your true passion for mountain biking if you choose any of these bikes. The functionality on these bikes in particular can get you hooked on mountain biking. Once you’ve had a taste of riding the trails on any one of them, you may itch to get your hands on something a bit more feature packed.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com