Cyclinghacker is reader-supported. When you buy through links on the site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

The 5 Best Mountain Bikes Under 300 Dollars

Best Mountain Bikes Under 300 Dollars - Featured Image

Being one with nature involves more than just going sightseeing.

You have to be within nature itself, experiencing the breeze blowing by you and taking in the sounds of a forest filled with some of its wonderful creatures.

Of course, to do that, you will need the right equipment. However, a good mountain bike is not necessarily a pricey one. 

In this article I’m going to review the following good mountain bikes under $300:

  1. Huffy Hardtail 21-Speed Summit Ridge (MY FAVORITE)
  2. Mongoose Status Mountain Bike
  3. Schwinn High Timber Mountain bike
  4. Dynacraft 26″ Mountain Bike
  5. Mongoose Refire
  6. Hiland Slycan
  7. Mongoose Dolomite
  8. Contrex

If you have a more budget to spend, be sure to take a look at these reviews: 

Best Mountain Bikes Under 300 Dollars Reviews

Let’s move ahead to the reviews of this article, or check out the buying guide first.

Here we’re going to highlight five budget-friendly mountain bikes that may be your ticket to having more fun outdoors.

1. Huffy Hardtail 21-Speed Summit Ridge (MY FAVORITE)

Huffy Hardtail 21-Speed Summit Ridge

Specifications

  • Frame: 21 speeds for 24 and 26 Inch Wheels 6 speeds for 20 Inch Wheels Shimano TZ-31

  • Brakes: Linear Pull
  • Speed Settings: 21 speeds for 24 and 26 Inch Wheels, 6 speeds for 20 Inch Wheels
  • Shifters: Shimano TZ-31
  • Weight: 26″ – 42.7 LBS, 24″ – 41.1 LBS, 20″ – 35.2 LBS

The Huffy Summit Ridge boasts an impressive 21 speeds on a durable gloss red steel frame. 

Its Kolo 1200 suspension fork absorbs shock as you hit dips and rocks on the trail.

An indexed SHIMANO TZ-31 rear derailleur micro-shift twist shifter gives you all the gears you need for climbing and descending hills.

The 1.95 inch knobby tires provide plenty of traction on wet ground and hilly terrain, and the removable rear derailleur guard ensures consistent gear operation and shifting.

The padded saddle is equipped with quick release for easy adjustment of seat height. The Huffy Summit Ridge features a slight-rise handlebar that enables upright riding to ease the strain on your back.

Krayton handgrips help you maintain a firm and comfortable hold throughout your entire ride.

Huffy’s Summit Ridge model is an affordable mountain bike with a price tag that is well under $300. It is available with size 24 inch wheels and a 14-inch frame and size 26 wheels with a 17-inch frame.

In our opinion, this is one of the best mountain bikes under 300 dollars on the market.

PROS

  • Front suspension fork absorbs shock on trails.

  • Quick-release handlebar allows easy height adjustment.
  • Comes 90 percent assembled.
  • Sold with a limited lifetime warranty.

CONS

  • Some customers report that the gears slip.

2. Mongoose Status Mountain Bike

Specifications

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Brakes: Liner Pull Brakes
  • Speed Settings: 21-speed
  • Shifters: Shimano
  • Weight: 40 LBS

Trying to make your way through an obstacle-filled terrain using a heavy mountain bike is one of the least enjoyable experiences you can have outdoors.

By the end, all you’ll have to show for your day outdoors are tired arms and legs.
That’s why lightweight mountain bikes are sought after.

In the 26” Mountain Bike from Mongoose, you’re getting a vehicle that is designed to ease your outdoor burden.

The heat-treated aluminum used in the construction of this mountain bike is remarkably lightweight.

You’ll quickly notice that this bike moves very well with you. Just grab hold of the handles firmly and turn it in the direction you need to. This agile ability is something you get from a full suspension mountain bike.

The type of suspension featured in this mountain bike is also worth highlighting because it helps combat the roughness of the roads you’re traveling on. It’s a huge amount of bike for not much money from a high end brand too.

PROS

  • Heat-treated aluminum used in the bike is very lightweight.

  • Suspension used works well against rough roads.
  • Shifting won’t be an issue on this bike.

CONS

  • Tires included are not built to last for a long time.

3. Schwinn High Timber Mountain bike

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike

Specifications

  • Frame: Aluminum or Steel

  • Brakes: Linear Pull or Dual Disc Brakes
  • Speed Settings: 21
  • Shifters: NA
  • Weight: 24″ steel – 38.6 LBS, 24″ Aluminium – 31.2 LBS, 24″ Aluminium with disk brakes – 30.9 LBS, 26″ Aluminium with disk brakes, – 32.5 LBS, 27.5″ Aluminium with disk brakes – 32.4 LBS, 29″ Steel – 41 LBS, 29″ Aluminium with disk brakes – 37.3 LBS

There’s no such thing as a one size fits all option when it comes to a mountain bike, so the folks at Schwinn are doing the next best thing by offering a wide selection of affordable outdoor two-wheelers.

Schwinn’s lineup of High Timber Mountain Bikes includes one with 24-inch wheels for younger riders, another with 27.5-inch wheels for those with more experience.

Another option equipped with 29-inch wheels for the people who want to easily conquer challenging outdoor environments.

I was particularly intrigued by the model with 29-inch wheels because they decided to pair it with an 18-inch frame.

The result is a mountain bike that can look out of proportion but actually handles pretty well. If you have a larger frame, this variant of Schwinn’s High Timber Mountain Bike can fit you properly.

Unfortunately, the seat included doesn’t do as much to make you feel comfortable.

You may be better off replacing it because it won’t suddenly become significantly more comfortable after you get the chance to break it in.

PROS

  • Different options available for riders of all ages and experience levels.

  • 29-inch model fits riders with larger frames well.
  • Wide tires offer added stability.

CONS

  • Seat is not super comfortable.

4. Dynacraft 26″ Mountain Bike

Dynacraft 26

Specifications

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Brakes: Liner Pull Brakes
  • Speed Settings: 21 Speeds Shimano
  • Shifters: NA
  • Weight: 34 LBS

You’re probably not prioritizing looks when you’re shopping for a mountain bike, but just in case you do want a more stylish two-wheeler to take outdoors, the people at Dynacraft have you covered.

They have managed to create a slick-looking bike without going overboard with the design.

I am particularly fond of how the frame looks and how it spans the length of the bike. The color looks great in my eyes and they partner well with the slender frame of the bike.

Don’t worry about performance because this mountain bike is not all sizzle. It’s a type of mountain bike you can move around easily and it also has no trouble picking up speed when you decide to crank up the pedaling.

The seat is also easily adjustable, so you should be able to enjoy your riding sessions more.

If you don’t have a ton of experience when it comes to assembling a mountain bike, then you will likely need some assistance when it comes time to put this item together.

That’s a bit of a bother, but it shouldn’t be enough to dissuade you from getting this exceptional mountain bike.

PROS

  • One of the best-looking mountain bikes available.

  • Lightweight bike that excels at picking up speed.
  • Seat can be adjusted easily and quickly.

CONS

  • It’s not the easiest mountain bike to assemble.

5. Mongoose Redfire

Specifications

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Brakes: Disc Brakes
  • Speed Settings: 21 Speeds Shimano
  • Shifters: Thumb
  • Weight: 37 LBS

The Mongoose Redfire is an excellent bike that ticks many boxes for us here at Cycling Hacker. Firstly the bike looks fantastic and comes in at less than $200. It’s amazing value for money in our opinion.

With an aluminum frame and a comfortable geometry, so it is going to be great for long days out cycling. Paired up with XC suspension forks makes it ideal for a rough trail.

It has a Shimano 3×7 speed groupset giving you 21 different speeds for uphills and downhills. It has mechanical disc brakes for good stopping power in all weather conditions.

It uses 27.5″ wheels, making the bike feel nimble and agile, and it has some excellent tires ready to grip all that loose terrain you will be on. The Redfire is quite a new model and we feel could be the best mountain bike on this list.

PROS

  • Price is incredible for under $200

  • Looks great in white and red
  • Disc brakes
  • Shimano Gearing

CONS

  • It’s not the lightest bike

6. Hiland Slycan

Specifications

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Brakes: Disc Brakes
  • Speed Settings: 27 Speeds Shimano
  • Shifters: Thumb
  • Weight: 31 LBS

As far as value for money goes, you will struggle to get a better hardtail mountain bike than the Hiland Slycan. It’s a great cross-country bike with strong components and a lot of ability.

The frame is aluminum. It looks great and is super clean with internally routed cables. It’s paired with Hiland’s own front suspension fork, offering 100mm of trail-ready bounce and a smooth ride.

It has an incredible 27 speeds on a 3×9 groupset, meaning you can easily get up those steep inclines and down them quickly too. The brakes on this bike are hydraulic dual disc brakes, which at this price, is unheard of. They provide incredible stopping power and are very low maintenance.

The wheels are 27.5″ and equipped with cross-country tires, making the bike really perform on light trails. If you are looking for a great mountain bike which will offer amazing performance at a minimal cost look no further than the Slycan.

PROS

  • Great all rounder

  • Comes in different colors
  • Hydraulic disc brakes
  • 27 Speeds
  • Lightweight at 31lbs

CONS

  • Basic Forks

7. Mongoose Dolomite

Specifications

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Brakes: Disc Brakes
  • Speed Settings: 7 Speeds Shimano
  • Shifters: Twist
  • Weight: 52 LBS

The Mongoose Dolomite isn’t like any other bikes on this list. This is what we call a fat mountain bike. It is made for very loose off-road terrain and can handle sand and very sloppy mud with ease.

The frame is made of steel, offering an incredible level of comfort compared to other bikes on this list. It doesn’t have suspension. It’s what they call rigid, but it has large 4″ tires that can float over anything and easily smooth the ride out.

It has a 7-speed gearing system which will give you options, but you might have to dig in a bit on very steep climbs. The wheels, although they look huge, are only 26″. It’s the incredibly large tires that make them look big.

The Mongoose Dolomite is a great fat bike and will be excellent off-road and a beast when it comes to loose terrain like sand. They say simplicity is key, and that’s what the Dolomite offers. The Dolomite may not be a suspension mountain bike but it is still excellent off road.

PROS

  • Large tires

  • Looks great
  • Amazing off road ability

CONS

  • No Suspension

  • Heavy Bike

8. Contrex

Specifications

  • Frame: Aluminum

  • Brakes: Liner Pull Brakes
  • Speed Settings: 21 Speed
  • Shifters: Trigger
  • Weight: 35 LBS

The Contrex is one of the best looking bikes on this list and will turn heads as you ride past in that vibrant orange. We like the Contrex because of its simplicity.

The frame is aluminum and is lightweight while offering a great amount of stiffness. It comes with suspension forks offering 100mm of travel which is great for off-road trails.

The gearing is 3×7 which gives 21 speeds, and unlike many other bikes on this list has trigger shifters making the changes super quick, and getting up and down the cassette is easy. The brakes are liner pull brakes which are basic but will do the job of stopping you quickly.

It comes with 26″ wheels and cross-country tires which offer fast rolling on the road but also can handle themselves on loose terrain.

The Contrex is a simple bike that will offer you a great experience while out cycling. We love the color, and the trigger shifters give it a very sporty feel.

PROS

  • Color is incredible

  • Fun to ride
  • Small 26″ wheels
  • 21 Speeds

CONS

  • Basic Components

  • Would have liked disc brakes

Which type of mountain bike is best for you?

While out shopping for a new mountain bike, you can expect that one of the first questions you’ll be asked will be related to the type of bike you’re looking for.

Mountain bike types vary in terms of what they excel at, so let’s take a look at the different types of mountain bikes to choose from when trying to find the best mountain bikes under 300 dollars. (1)

All-Mountain Bikes

The first type of mountain bike we’ll be discussing is known as the all-mountain bike. These bikes are rugged, and they typically come with bigger wheels.

Many of the people who decide to get all-mountain bikes do so because they want something that specializes in navigating rough, downhill terrain.

They come in really handy if you’re thinking about taking part in one of those enduro races because only the downhill sections are timed.

They are still suitable for climbing uphill, but that’s not their area of expertise.

Cross Country Bikes

Also known as XC bikes, the cross country bikes may be more familiar to certain riders because they bear a close resemblance to the ones designed to be used on roads.

You shouldn’t expect them to ride similarly to road bikes though.

You can crank up the speed when you’re riding cross country bikes, but they are at their best when used for climbing up various trails.

This is the type of mountain bike that will push you to the limits of your endurance. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself gasping for air often if you’re just getting started with this type of bike.

Build up your stamina by using your cross country bike more often.

Downhill Bikes

All-mountain bikes are meant to be used for downhill riding, but they can still be used in other ways as well. Downhill bikes are all about helping you reach the base of a trail as quickly as possible.

Those who fancy themselves as thrill-seekers can try getting some big air while riding a downhill bike. They also excel at picking up speed. (2)

The downside to downhill bikes is that they really are only useful in one way.

Unless you’re interested in being a full-fledged downhill cyclist, it may be best to get a different type of mountain bike.

Person going down a hill with a downhill mountain bike
A downhill mountain bike in action

Fat Bikes

The types of mountain bikes we’ve already discussed are not exactly designed for new riders, but the fat mountain bike is different.

Though the oversized wheels may make this bike look a bit silly, they are going to be extremely helpful when you’re trying to balance yourself.

The wheels are also designed to easily break through elements such as mud and snow so you don’t need to worry about getting stuck somewhere with this bike at your service.

Learn how to be a better mountain biker by first hopping on a fat bike.

Trail Bikes

Trail bikes are the most ubiquitous type of mountain bike and with good reason.

Though they may not excel in any specific type of riding, they are arguably the most versatile two-wheelers that you can pick up.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of using a fat mountain bike, it’s not a bad idea to graduate to using these trail bikes to up the challenge a bit.

You’re not going to win any races using a trail bike, but if you just want to enjoy the great outdoors, these bikes will work well for you.

Mountain Bikes Buyers Guide

Knowing what to look for when buying a mountain bike can be very challenging. In our buyer’s guide, we want to run through everything you need to be thinking about before heading to the checkout.

Frame

The first thing to think about is hardtail or full suspension. A hardtail mountain bike will only have suspension on the front and is great for lighter trails. A full suspension has suspension on the front and rear and is great for very technical trails.

When looking at the frame of a mountain bike for less than $300, you will typically be looking at aluminum or steel. Aluminum is lighter but stiffer. Steel is heavier but offers a level of flexibility that adds to the ride’s comfort.

You will also want to look at the geometry. A relaxed geometry will be great for long days out on the bike, and an aggressive geometry will be good for racing. The best experience riding for fun comes from a mountain bike with relaxed geometry.

Suspension

Then we have suspension on bikes for less than $300. You will find some with both dual and single suspension. For light trails, front forks will be fine, but we recommend dual suspension bikes for challenging trails.

The suspension also has levels of travel. This is the amount it can rebound under heavy load. For light trails and general riding, 100mm to 130mm is fine, but for technical trails, you will need suspension from 130mm upwards.

Gearing

Gearing comes in many different forms, and it can be confusing to understand if it is going to give you a good experience or a poor one. Gearing generally is spoken about in speeds. Some bikes will have 21 speeds, and others might have 10.

The amount of speeds refers to the different ratios you will get between the front chainrings and rear cassette. Having more speeds generally will give you a wider range.

On a mountain bike for less than $300, you will look at anywhere from 7 to 27 speeds. We recommend going for a bike with more speeds as it gives you more options and a much wider range to choose from.

Brakes

When it comes to mountain bikes for less than $300, you will see three different types of brakes. The first is a linear pull brakes or more commonly known as the rim brake. These offer the least power and in wet and muddy conditions, perform poorly.

Then you have disc brakes, which come in two forms, mechanical and hydraulic. Mechanical disc brakes use cables to pull the calipers together and give braking power better than the rim brake, with much better performance in poor conditions.

The hydraulic disc brake uses fluid to push the calipers together, and these brakes are incredibly powerful and work excellently in all weather conditions. We highly recommend hydraulic disc brakes over any others when it comes to rough terrain.

Wheels and Tires

Wheels and tires come in all different sizes and because of this, offer different performance characteristics for mountain biking. This is what you can expect from the different sizes.

26″ wheels are not seen as much as they used to be. They are the smallest wheel size we will be speaking about today. With 26″ wheels being so small, they offer incredible handling and acceleration because they are very easy to spin up and turn quickly. They struggle when it comes to top speed but in general great for technical and mixed terrain.

29″ wheels are the largest size you will find on a mountain bike. They offer an amazing ability to roll over objects and are much better when it comes to high speed over any other size. They take longer to spin up and are not as agile, but they are ideal on light trails and for cross-country racing.

27.5″ wheels are one of the most popular sizes because they offer agility as they are quite small but also work well at higher speeds because they are not too small like the 26″ wheels. We think the 27.5″ is great for all-round riding giving a little bit of everything.

Price

When it comes to bikes under $300, you will see some as cheap as $150 and some as expensive as the full $300. In cycling, you get what you pay for. The more you spend, the better experience you will have, the better the bike will perform, and the longer it will serve you for.

What wheels do I need on my bike?

When it comes to wheel sizes, it’s best to remember that the smaller ones are more maneuverable while the larger ones are better suited to moving through challenging terrain.

Keep in mind your style of riding before picking out wheels for your mountain bike.

The smallest wheels typically available for mountain bikes come in at 26 inches.

The biggest ones measure at 29 inches. If you want something in between, go ahead and get the 27.5-inch wheels.

Younger riders should steer clear of those larger wheels. Instead, their mountain bikes should be outfitted with 24-inch wheels.

Person with a orange jacket pointing his vinger at a mountain bike wheel
Thinking about the wheel size of a mountain bike is important

What material should my mountain bike be made out of?

Given that we’re looking at some of the more affordable mountain bikes, you probably won’t find a lot of items that are made out of either carbon steel or titanium.

Mountain bikes that feature those materials tend to be on the more expensive side.

Still, if you can find a cheaper titanium or carbon steel mountain bike, it’s worth taking a longer look at them because those materials allow for the creation of stronger bikes that still manage to remain lightweight.

Plain old steel is still a good material choice for a mountain bike because of its durability. Steel mountain bikes are tougher to control though.

Some aluminum alloy mountain bikes are lightweight and still suitably durable.

Try to look for those while shopping for the best mountain bikes under 300 dollars.

Conclusion

After closely examining all the mountain bikes included in this article and trying them out for extended periods of time, I’m going with the Huffy Hardtail 21-Speed Summit Ridge as my personal favorite.

I love this mountain bike both for its stylish look and its ability to consistently perform well. You won’t have any issues taking control of this bike and its wheels are suitably stable to ride on.

Hopefully, you’ve also found a mountain bike that piques your interest in this article.

The great outdoors await us and they are best experienced with the aid of a great mountain bike.

Our #1 Recommended Mountain Bike Under $300

Huffy Hardtail 21-Speed Summit Ridge (MY FAVORITE)

Huffy Hardtail 21-Speed Summit Ridge

Specifications

  • Brakes: Linear Pull

  • Speed Settings: 21 speeds for 24 and 26 Inch Wheels, 6 speeds for 20 Inch Wheels
  • Shifters: Shimano TZ-31
  • Weight: 26″ – 42.7 LBS, 24″ – 41.1 LBS, 20″ – 35.2 LBS

TIP: For more articles about biking, tips, reviews or buying guides, please check the homepage.

  1. Bicycle Exchange – What’s the difference between All-Mountain, Cross Country, Freeride, Downhill bikes? Retrieved from https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/16814/whats-the-difference-between-all-mountain-cross-country-freeride-downhill-bi
  2. Max Roman Dilthey – What Is the Difference Between a Downhill & a Mountain Bike? Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/540186-what-is-the-difference-between-a-downhill-a-mountain-bike/
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print
Erik

Erik

Erik loves everything about cycling and he rides with a passion. He is an experienced cyclist who competes in races and also likes to do group-rides from time to time. He also enjoys going on long bike rides in the mountains by himself.