Best Mountain Bikes Under $300 for 2020 – By Experts

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Nowadays, you can easily get a good mountain bike under $300 without compromising quality or durability.

Many companies have put out mountain bikes that serve the purpose without breaking the bank.

If you’re not sure how to pick the best mountain bike under $300, you’ll appreciate this list that I’ve made to narrow down the choices for you.

Mountain Bikes Under $300 – Comparison Table

NameSpeedFrame
Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike 21Aluminum and steel
Kent T-29 Men's Mountain Bike 21Aluminum
Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 Mountain Bike24Aluminum
Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike21Aluminum
Huffy Hardtail Mountain Trail Bike 24 inch21Aluminum

The 5 Best Mountain Bikes Under 300

1. Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike

Schwinn High Timber Mountain Bike

To start it off, the Schwinn High Timber is available in two frame materials: steel and aluminum. This provides you with the freedom to choose what suits you better. If you’re looking for the ultimate durability, go for the steel frame. On the other hand, if you want something lightweight and easy to handle, go for the aluminum one.

And whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy the 21 levels of speed provided by Shimano derailleurs and twist shifters. The Schwinn High Timber is also equipped with a Suntour suspension fork to make your rides more comfortable on whatever sort of terrain.

Moreover, the 26-inch wheels provide a stable ride, the handlebars are comfortable to grip, and the adjustable seat makes it a suitable choice for many riders.

The Schwinn High Timber is equipped with linear brakes that are simple and reliable when you’re trying to control the speed.

Pros
  • Equipped with Shimano rear derailleurs and Shimano twist shifters
  • 3-piece alloy crankset, alloy V brakes, and alloy wheels
  • Ideal mountain-style frame with a reliable front suspension fork
  • Available in a steel frame or an aluminum one
Cons
  • The seat may be a little uncomfortable
  • Assembling the front wheel is a hassle

Bottom Line:

The Schwinn High Timber is a great choice that delivers everything one should expect from a mountain bike. From the agility and durability to the control and comfort, you’ll have an enjoyable ride. However, you might need to change the seat and use a more comfortable alternative.

2. Kent T-29 Men’s Mountain Bike

Kent T-29 Men's Mountain Bike

To give you the best combination between being lightweight and easy to ride, the Kent T-29 comes with a 6061 aluminum frame that features a headset. This makes it super easy to upgrade the fork whenever you want.

So if you’re looking for a $300 mountain bike that you can pump up and customize, later on, the Kent T-29 is one of the best choices you can make.

Moreover, this bike comes with 29-inch wheels that make it sturdy regardless of the terrain you’re traversing. So if you’re looking to go on discovery adventures and cross country rides, the T-29 will serve you quite well.

However, its handlebars aren’t adjustable, so taller riders may need to lean forward during rides.

Pros
  • Suspension and tires make it versatile enough for all sorts of terrain
  • Suits riders of various weights and heights
  • Sturdy frame that compares to higher-end options
  • Easily upgradable
Cons
  • Handlebars aren’t adjustable
  • Lacks the more recent and effective disc brakes

Bottom Line:

I’d highly recommend the Kent T-29 for someone who wants to partake in some real action with their bike. It’s quite durable and tough enough to face rugged conditions. And the best part is that it’s easy to upgrade, so you won’t have to worry about durability either.

3. Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 Mountain Bike

Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Mountain Bike

If you’re looking for a mountain bike with large tires, effective front, and rear brakes, and durable heavy wheels, you’ll love the Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 bike.

This bike provides you with ultimate safety when riding and feels comfortable on all kinds of roads.

One of the best features about the FSX 1.0 is how lightweight it is at less than 30 pounds –that’s around 10 pounds less than the average weight of most bikes on the list. What’s more impressive is that it can be so lightweight even with the frame reinforcement and additional dual suspension.

Moreover, the FSX 1.0 is equipped with a high-quality seat post made from the same lightweight aluminum alloy used to make the frame. It holds the saddle sturdily and makes the seat comfortable and balanced.

The 24 speeds that it’s equipped with allow you to ride uphill as smoothly as you would on flat surfaces while the front and rear disc brakes give you great stopping power.

However, if you’re looking for great trail performance, I’d recommend you change the tires right away. Out of the box, the FSX 1.0 isn’t made for cross country or fast riding.

And while you can adjust the rear suspension, the travel amount isn’t the best you’ll find.

Pros
  • Great value
  • Lightweight frame for a full-suspension fork
  • Superior Suntour shocks
  • Great pedaling efficiency
  • Reliable brakes that are comparable to intermediate-level mountain bikes
Cons
  • The bike’s trail performance isn’t the best
  • The rear suspension is subpar

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a bike that’s easy to ride uphill and down, the FSX 1.0 is a pretty great choice. However, it’s not the best when it comes to going off-road. If you’re looking for that, you can go for the Kent T-29 as it comes with wider tires.

4. Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike

Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike 26

The 18-inch medium aluminum frame on the Mongoose Status 2.2 gives it the perfect mountain frame geometry to give you full control over the bike while riding on trails paths. Its small size also makes it a great option for a women’s mountain bike under $300.

Out of the box, it’s partly assembled, so you won’t have a lot of setting up to do. It also has quick-release front and rear wheels that make it easy to disassemble and maintain.

The Mongoose Status 2.2 comes with dual suspension that provides you with good support thanks to the durable suspension fork. So no matter the roughness of the terrain you’re riding through, you’ll feel completely comfortable.

Moreover, it’s equipped with Shimano rear derailleur and SRAM twist shifters that control the 21 levels of speed. You also get access to multiple gears with the 3-piece crank.

The 26-inch wheels hit the perfect thickness to keep you comfortable and provide you with excellent coverage of the road.

It also features V brakes that give you superb stopping power and control over the speeds. And the fact that they’re applied on the rims means quick stopping whenever you need it.

Pros
  • Shifters are conveniently positioned to make speed changes easy
  • The well-designed frame is elevated to provide more comfort
  • Durable and lightweight aluminum frame
Cons
  • Brakes aren’t responsive enough during high speeds
  • Tires lose reliability through rocky paths
  • Gearing system may not be responsive sometimes

Bottom Line:

Although the gearing and brakes may not be the most responsive, the Mongoose Status 2.2 is still pretty reliable through paved or slightly rugged terrain.

5. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Trail Bike 24 inch

Huffy Hardtail Mountain Trail Bike 24 inch

When it comes to bikes, especially mountain ones, Huffy has established a huge name for themselves. And the quality of this bike is no exception.

It comes with 21 speeds and a micro shift twister to change quickly between gears. This makes the bike adaptable to speed, terrain, and various levels of effort.

The 24-inch knobby tires make it a perfect choice for riding through the uneven ground and loose dirt. And thanks to the comfortable grip, you won’t feel any fatigue during long rides.

Although this bike comes with seat height adjustments, it only suits riders of shorter heights and petite physiques.

Moreover, it features alloy linear pull hand brakes that bring the bike to a halt in a matter of seconds. These are aligned with the saddle to provide ultimate safety to the rider.

Pros
  • Available in two sizes
  • Offers two different types of brakes to fit the rider’s preferences
  • Equipped with fenders and chain guards to keep clothes clean
  • Comes with a rear rack for loading and there’s enough space on the handlebars for a basket
  • Great customer service department
Cons
  • Single-speed doesn’t suit areas with inclined roads
  • No attachment points on the frame
  • Assembly instructions weren’t very clear

Bottom Line:

If you’re someone getting into mountain biking and you’re looking for a reliable option that doesn’t break the bank to start with, you’ll find none better than the Huffy HardTrail mountain bike. However, if you’re a tall rider, I’d recommend that you look for another option that gives you a more comfortable riding posture.

Is a Mountain Bike Suitable for You?

Mountain bikes are your best bet if you want to do off-road riding, traverse different types of terrains, and explore different areas.

However, if you’re planning on going on long commutes on the road and urban commuting, you should look into buying a hybrid bike or a road bike.

How Far Will $300 Go?

More budget bikes are available every year thanks to the trickling down of better parts and designs from higher-end ones. This includes better materials, techniques, and equipment.

But generally, a $300 mountain bike is a pretty low budget one, so it’ll be good enough for experiencing with mountain biking and general cycling. But if you’re looking for something that’ll storm downhill and climb heights, you’ll have to raise your budget a little.

Moreover, if you’re looking for advanced technology, you won’t find that much on cheaper mountain bikes.

How to Choose a Budget Mountain Bike?

When you’re choosing a budget mountain bike, there are a couple of features that you should consider first. Of course, you can’t expect too much from a bike under 300, but there are still basic standards that should be there.

Suspension

The suspension is one thing that adds to the price of the bike. Not only that but also its weight and durability. If you’re going to be riding through rough terrains, you’ll probably need it –and a mountain bike is typically made for these kinds of terrains.

Moreover, you should get a lockout on the suspension fork to prevent diving as you pedal when needed.

Frame Material

The frame of a mountain bike should hit a balance between durability and strength. Aluminum frames seem to do so the best, as they are lightweight, durable, and affordable.

However, they’re not as durable as steel or lightweight as carbon.

Wheel Size

If you’re looking for a lot of off-road adventures, you should get thicker tires. A 27.5-inch wheel gives you effortless glides over different kinds of terrain with enough lightness and control. However, a 29-inch wheel would be more stable and suitable for really rugged terrains.

Upgradeability

This aspect is very important for a budget bike. Just because you don’t have the money to buy a top-notch one right now doesn’t mean you won’t have money in the future to upgrade it. Make sure your $300 mountain bike will accept higher-end parts later on.

Comfort

Just because it’s a budget bike doesn’t mean you should compromise comfort, especially how comfortable your bike feels to ride will affect how long you enjoy your ride. Make sure the one you choose has a comfortable seat, wide tires that are well-inflated, and a riding posture that doesn’t put a strain on your back, neck, or shoulders.

Final Thoughts

Although all the previously mentioned options are the best mountain bikes under $300 you’ll find on the market, I’d recommend the Schwinn High Timber for the perfect combination between durability, performance, and affordability.

However, if you want something that’s more suitable for off-road detours, you should go for the Kent T-29 as it has wide tires.

Finally, if you’re looking for ultimate mountain biking on an option that’s perfect for uphill climbs, I’d recommend the Gravity 2020 FSX 1.0 as it’s equipped with 24 different speeds.