The 10 Best Mountain Bikes Under $300 in 2018 (Affordable Mountain Bikes for Entry-Level Riders)
Mountain bike riding has become one of the most popular outdoor activities around the world. Riding specially-designed bikes through breathtaking mountain sceneries let us see how beautiful the world really is. Whether you’re riding a bike on clear trails or making your way through some of the most unforgiving lands in existence, you will never forget your mountain biking experience.
One thing that prevents people from buying a mountain bike is the thought that these bikes are prohibitively expensive. That’s not true anymore. Nowadays, you can find good bikes at an affordable price.
We did a lot of research to come up with 10 best mountain bikes under $300. The mountain bikes we reviewed here are all priced at or well below the target price and considered to be either entry-level mountain bikes or in some cases, bikes for those with some experience in mountain bike riding.
Out of these bikes mentioned here, if we are forced to choose which one we prefer, it would have to be the Mongoose R2780 Impasse mountain bike. It’s the mountain bike we like based on design, overall quality, and durability.
Take a look at these mountain bikes and see which one best fits you and your riding style. Whichever one you choose will be good for you, as mountain bike riding will take you places you have never seen before.
Best Mountain Bikes Under 300: A Quick Comparison
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Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Mountain Bike MTB with 29-Inch Wheels
Mongoose Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle
Vilano 26" Mountain Bike Ridge 2.0 MTB 21 Speed Shimano
Raleigh Talus 1 Recreational
Schwinn Men's High Timber Bicycle
Raleigh Bikes Talus 1 Recreational
Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike, 26-Inch
Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike
Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike 26" Wheel Men's bicycle
Kawasaki K26 Hardtail Mountain Bike
1. Vilano Blackjack 3.0 29er Mountain Bike MTB with 29-Inch Wheels
Vilano is an industry leader in the cycling industry, producing quality bikes for decades. Designed and built to take on even the toughest terrain, this hand-built Vilano Blackjack 3.0 MTB is lightweight with handcrafted 6061 aluminum frame. It rolls easily over obstacles with less noticeable shock to the rider. Combined with Shimano EzFire shifter, this bike is perfect for both home and trail riding.
Mechanical front and rear brakes provide plenty of stopping power giving the rider better control on uneven surfaces. A larger 30.9mm diameter seat post saves weight with a higher level of comfort. Large and impressive 29-inch double-walled alloy wheels with 29 x 2.1 tires give the appearance of a more expensive MTB at a fraction of the price.
Why pay more for less? This upgraded mountain bike is a perfect fit for those who want to take riding to the next level. Riding to work, on the trail, or making your own path, this mountain bike features high-quality components that inflate the overall cost of high-end bikes. A partial list of these features includes:
With 24 speeds and an upgraded drivetrain, this very affordable mountain bike is the perfect fit for both novice and experienced riders alike. This well-designed and hand-built bike, while not built for racing, will still take you where you want to go while saving you money. A number of users have said this bike is a bargain, given all its features. It continues to be one of the bestselling mountain bikes in Amazon for under $300.
Check out the following site for more information on this affordable mountain bike.
2. Mongoose R2780 Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle (29-Inch)
For over 40 years, Mongoose has been producing superior bikes for all users, whether for work, commuting, or simply for the love of riding. Their R2780 Impasse Dual Full Suspension Bicycle is a classic example of combining the latest in styling and engineering to produce a mountain bike that has all the necessary features for under $300.
The R2780 Impasse uses Shimano gears and SRAM twist shifters, both leaders in the production of the best mountain bike components in the world. With a full suspension aluminum frame, this bike may be a little heavier than most entry level bikes, but it does provide optimum control and an extremely responsive ride in all conditions.
This Mongoose 29er is the ultimate mountain bike at a very affordable price. Priced to fit perfectly into even the most restrictive budgets, this bike is the beginning of experiencing true riding enjoyment at its finest. Mongoose builds a bike that is all about durability with a smooth ride that needs to be experienced.
Offering a never-ending array of features that would cost extra on a more expensive bike, you are assured that your money goes further when you choose a Mongoose bike. Check out these features and compare them to other similar models. The difference will surprise you!
The Mongoose R2780 is recommended for ages 14 years and above or those riders that are 68 inches or taller. This mountain bike is an excellent investment in the best riding experience possible.
3. Vilano 26" Mountain Bike Ridge 2.0 MTB 21 Speed Shimano with Disc Brakes
Another Vilano deserving a spot on this list of best mountain bikes is the Vilano Mountain Bike Ridge. This 26-inch bike is smaller in size than the other Vilano bike, however, it has a more stylish appearance and a popular choice for those who enjoy light trail riding or biking to work or school. Popular with many college campuses across the nation, this entry level bike fits all requirements.
This Vilano MTB is termed a “cheap mountain bike,” but there is nothing cheap about the engineering and features it offers.
Priced perfectly to fit the limited budgets of college students or anyone that is looking to experience what other mountain bike riders have been talking about for years, this 26-inch bike will definitely not disappoint. It is a perfect combination of off-road, trails, or street bike, so this Vilano MTB is, in reality, three bikes in one.
Stylish in appearance with Mag-Wheels and an overabundance of ingenuity, this 26-inch bike is definitely one of the best mountain bikes under $300.
Look for more information on this versatile mountain bike by clicking the following link.
4. Raleigh Talus 1 Recreational Mountain Bike
When you think or hear the name Raleigh, the first thing that pops into the mind is bikes. With 130 years of experience in building some of the best mountain bikes under $300, Raleigh continues on a path of progressive manufacturing of affordable mountain bikes. With their Talus 1, you get 26-inch wheels and a custom tube frame.
This Raleigh bike is designed for riders between 4’9” and 5’1” to assure a complete satisfying riding experience. Designed for comfort while riding, Jr PVC grips places less stress on narrower shoulders and smaller hands. With a lower to the ground stand, getting on and off this affordable mountain bike is ideal for those riders with shorter legs.
You can ride this bike on the streets, dirt roads, or gravel and it will provide you with a smooth riding experience. Integrating the latest in features while keeping pricing under control, this mountain bike offers the best in features at an affordable price.
Designed for recreational riding, this well-built bike is better suited for paved roads and clearly marked trails. It is simple in design and appearance and a good entry-level mountain bike for someone who is looking for a bike built by a company with a proven track record of producing good quality bikes at an affordable price.
For more information on this great entry level bike, please click the following link.
5. Schwinn Men's High Timber Bicycle with 29" Wheels
Founded in 1895, Schwinn is as American as apple pie and synonymous with quality bicycles. They continue to be a market leader in the cycling industry, producing bikes for all ages and rider types. The Schwinn Men’s High Timber 29er is just one of their many superior quality bikes on the market today.
This High Timber 29er has a steel frame with bigger than average 29-inch wheels for an incredibly responsive and exhilarating ride. Suspension fork increases complete control regardless of terrain while the comfortable and specially designed handlebars keep the rider in complete control at all times.
Offering a vast array of features, this popular mountain bike continues to excel where others fall short. From alloy liner pull brakes super strong rims, this mountain bike is capable of handling everything that you can put it through.
A great bike for riding around the neighborhood or even dirt tracks, riding this Schwinn bike will bring out the best in you. It offers you comfort and stability with its all-alloy steel adjustable seat post, ensuring a comfortable ride wherever you may go.
Follow the link for more information on an excellent mountain bike that is designed and implemented to give you the riding experience of a lifetime.
6. Raleigh Bikes Talus 1 Recreational Mountain Bike 13" Frame, Blue
This Raleigh mountain bike supports a smaller 13-inch frame that remains popular amongst consumers looking for a lighter, easier to handle mountain bike. This bike is sold based on the overall height of the individual that will be the principal rider. Raleigh lists these height requirements from XS (Extra small) to XL (Extra large).
Designed similar to the Raleigh Talus 1 recreational mountain bike, this 13-inch frame member of the Talus family also offers some of the features found on other Raleigh models. Other than the distinctive color differences and obviously the overall size, this 13-inch Raleigh mountain bike would be a great entry-level bike for those who are unsure of their riding ability.
As a good investment and an introduction in exploring all that mountain bike riding have to offer, the listed low price is a good way to experience the true joy of riding on a bike that has unlimited potential. For the entry-level rider, this bike has features that are an integral part of the sports. These features include:
This 13-inch mountain bike is the comparison model to the Raleigh Eva 1 women’s-specific mountain bike. For more information on this bike, please click the following link.
7. Kent KZ2600 Dual-Suspension Mountain Bike, 26-Inch
Ready to get moving and experience bike riding never before thought possible? Well, the Kent KZ2600 is the mountain bike that will take you on a ride that you will not soon forget. The Shogun KZ2600 26-inch mountain bike handles well in all terrains, which is a very nice surprise given how affordable this mountain bike is.
The features found on this all-terrain bike include components that can be found on more expensive bikes. It is definitely one of the best mountain bikes under $300 with the following features.
The KZ2600 is priced well below other similar bikes on the market. As one of the most affordable, entry-level mountain bikes, this bike is both stylish and a very good first mountain bike. With greater, smoother stopping ability due to the larger than average brakes components, this bike is a joy to ride on the street, trails, or anywhere at all.
Consumers should be made aware that some assembly is required. Although presenting no immediate problem, those who are less mechanically-inclined are encouraged to have their KZ2600 professionally assembles at a local bike shop. Damaged parts from incorrect installation application are not the responsibility of the manufacturer.
For more information on this increasingly popular mountain bike please follow this link.
8. Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension Mountain Bike
A product of Kent International, this Northwoods Mountain Bike is taking mountain biking to the next level. A preferred mountain bike for those that like to push the envelope in speed and performance, this bike delivers all of that and more. With an 18-inch suspension and lightweight alloy frame, this bike will reach maximum speeds with very little effort.
The bike’s 26-inch tires and 36-spoke alloy rims combine to give this great-looking mountain bike a sense of authority when hitting the trails. With 21-speed micro shift twist shifter and the ingenuity of Shimano rear derailleur, you have options to conquer the steepest of hills or descents.
The Northwoods Mountain Bike remains one of the most affordable mountain bikes in this list of 10 best mountain bikes under $300. Priced below even the most economical of the models reviewed, this bike requires a small investment that will pay big dividends. Features of this good-looking bike include:
Consumers have reported numerous issues with shipping including damaged or missing parts. All reported incidents were quickly handled by Kent International customer service staff to the complete satisfaction of the purchaser.
Priced well under the $300 target range, this mountain bike is a much better bike than what it seems online.
More information on this very affordable mountain bike can be found at following link:
9. Mongoose Status 2.2 Mountain Bike 26" Wheel Men's bicycle
What can you say about a Mongoose mountain bike that has not already been said? Known for distinctive styling and specialized color combinations, you will know immediately that this mountain bike is a Mongoose. This bike looks mean even when standing still, with its beautiful black and orange color combination.
Mongoose has always included the latest and the greatest in new technologies on all their mountain bikes. The Status 2.2, for example, is great for both commuting or flat bike trails. You can also use it well in extreme weather conditions like snow or rainstorms, and it will not fail you. Shifting gears is smooth and the brakes are fine. The following are some of its excellent features:
Using a Mongoose mountain bike is always a treat. This particular model is currently priced well below the top target range of $300. Find out all the details by clicking the following link.
10. Kawasaki K26 Hardtail Mountain Bike
Kawasaki is one of the most respected names in the production of superior motorcycles. Venturing into mountain bike manufacturing, Kawasaki brings generations of experience in the creation of one of the best mountain bikes under $300. Through product implementation and the discovery of new trends in mountain bikes, Kawasaki stands alone.
Kawasaki proudly brings forth the K26 hardtail mountain bike, its introduction to their long and successful line of bicycles. Built as an entry-level bike, the K26 Hardtail is both quick and smooth, and takes on any terrain with ease.
Kawasaki goes to great lengths to produce mountain bikes that are not only dependable but affordable as well. The integrated features of the K26 Hardtail mountain bike assure you that this bike was built to last for years with minimal maintenance required. Features found on this bike include but are not limited to:
Priced far below the target price of $300, this mountain bike would be a good entry level bike for a younger member of the family. There is more information available that is worth reading on the K26 Hardtail mountain bike by clicking on the following:
What to Look for When Buying a Mountain Bike Under $300
Contrary to popular belief, there are good, cheap mountain bikes out there for under $300. These affordable mountain bikes, designed for a more casual ride on established trails, are a perfect fit for anyone who wants to experience all that the great outdoors has to offer. Ideal as a “first mountain bike” purchase, these best mountain bikes under $300 are an invitation to the exciting world of mountain biking.
Types of Riding
Determining what type of riding you are looking to do is one of the most important factors in selecting a mountain bike that will fit your style and type of riding. There are basically three types of mountain bike riding: XC (Cross Country) for racing at accelerated speeds, DH (Downhill) for straight out descending mountains at high speeds, and All Mountain or Trail.
(XC) Cross-country. Mountain bikes needed for this ride are usually the lightest of the three categories of mountain bikes. They offer a rigid suspension, often referred to as hardtails with suspension up front only.
DH (Downhill). Bikes meant for this kind of riding offer full suspension and are designed to go downhill at high speeds. A great bike for pedaling, these mountain bikes take an incredible amount of abuse. It should be noted that these mountain bikes are for experienced riders only.
Trail bikes are the most common bikes used by novice users and casual mountain bike riders. This mountain bike is also typically under $300, which makes it a great introduction into the sport. It is recommended that you do not choose a fully rigid design for your first mountain bike as it may feel uncomfortable for you.
The most common wheel size of mountain bikes offered today is either 26 inches, 27.5 inches, or the 29-inch. These wheels sizes have replaced the once common size of 26-inch which is found on the best mountain bikes under $300.
Larger wheel sizes may be found on less expensive mountain bikes; however, they offer a distinct disadvantage in increased weight and overall handling of the bike on rough terrain.
Frame material is in direct correlation with a bike’s weight, strength, durability, ride quality, and of course, price. Aluminum alloy is the most common material used for mountain bike frames.
Other frames may be steel, titanium, or carbon fiber. Carbon fiber, due to its lightweight composition, is commonly used on cross-country, fat, and high-end trail bikes. Carbon fiber bike frames are expensive due to labor-intensive production and normally found on higher-end bikes.
Founded in 1987, SRAM is a leading manufacturer of some of the most sophisticated cycling components found on mountain bikes today, including Grip Shift. SRAM introduced the first mountain bike derailleur in 1995 which brought about a new revolution in gear shifters.
In 2005, SRAM developed new fork dampening technology, “Motion Control,” that allows users to adjust compression and rebound of suspensions while riding on increasingly difficult rough terrain without stopping.
Shimano sales constitute over 50 percent of the global bicycle component marketing. Shimano is well-known for drivetrains, brakes, wheels, and pedals components for road and mountain bikes.
Shimano continues to set higher standards for the production of the best mountain bike components that remain in production today. From cranks to gear and brake shift levers and everything in between, Shimano continues to develop and produce components for all bicycles.
Types of Mountain Bikes
Undecided on which mountain bike is right for you? Look no further. The following is a brief description and classification of all mountain bikes. You can choose one that is right for you.
These are commonly used bikes for leisure rides with friends on local trails. It places an emphasis on fun combined with a mixture of controllable climbs and descents, and are a perfect bike for beginners and weekend riders. Prices may range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars depending on the model selected.
For experienced riders who take riding to the extreme, cross-country bikes are the best choice. These bikes can be ridden for long distances from a few miles to over 25 miles. These bikes tend to be lightweight. This is a great mountain bike if you are looking for a racing experience on local trails.
Oversized tires from 3.7 to 5 plus inches clearly denote the name so implied. It is great for traction on sand, snow, and other rough, unforgiving terrain. Fat bikes may be a good mountain bike for beginners, however, the overall cost often is a determining final factor. These mountain bikes often sell for thousands of dollars depending on the model.
All Mountain Bikes
These mountain bikes are designed for riding in mountains with bigger, leg-burning climbs and longer perilous descents with a more predicted outcome at the end of the trail. They are built to perform well on steeper-than-average descents. Their lightweight composition makes it easy to pedal uphill.
Often ridden in well-constructed bike parks, those looking for an adventure in experiencing mountain bike riding will do best to choose this bike. Downhill bikes are big and tough requiring all riders to wear the proper protection including helmets for adequate protection.
Connecting with nature is what mountain bike riding is all about. It brings back into focus all that is symbolic of life in general. Regardless of your biking experience from novice to expert, mountain bike riding is getting an opportunity to “get away from it all” even for just a day.
With fresh air blowing in your face and the smell of mountainous terrain, rekindling your inner spirit is easier than ever with this list of the best mountain bikes under $300. Choose one that you seem the best fit for you and get on the bike to rediscover and reconnect with everything that’s beautiful: nature.