- What features do you need or want?
- What size do you need?
- Best Mountain Bike Under 300 or More than 300 a bit – Comparison Table
- Best Mountain Bike Under 300 On The Market Reviews
- 1. Head Approach Mountain Bike – Best Overall Mountain Bike
- 2. Schwinn GTX 1.0 Comfort Hybrid – Best Beginner Mountain Bike
- 3. Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle – Best Budget Mountain Bike
- 4. Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport – Best Value Mountain Bike
- 5. Mongoose Status- Best Full Suspension
- 6. Schwinn Network Hybrid – Best Entry Level Mountain Bike
- 7. Schwinn High Timber – Best Hardtail Mountain Bike
- 8. Kent Pomona Women’s Dual Suspension Comfort – Best Women’s Mountain Bike
- 9. Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension – Best Trail Mountain Bike
- 10. Huffy Hardtail 27.5 Matte Black – Best Cross Country Mountain Bike
- Conclusion: Best Product
What features do you need or want?
There are many important features to consider when buying a mountain bike. Choosing the right bike for you will make riding a fun and gratifying activity. Riding mountain bikes is an incredible way to explore trails, appreciate movement, spend time with friends, and learn new skills.
However, when choosing a bike, the number of options can feel dizzying. There are seeming countless decisions to make when choosing a bike. However, by considering what you will use your bike for as well as your budget, this guide will help you pick the perfect bike to fulfill your mountain biking goals.
In considering which features you’d like on your bike, it is important to think about where you will be riding.
If you intend to ride on rugged terrain, you’ll look towards a bike with added suspension, larger tires, and an aggressive geometry.
Alternatively, if you’re hoping to ride on a relatively smooth dirt path, paved roads, or around town, you’ll want to look towards a bike with limited suspension, fast rolling tires, and a more comfortable and upright geometry.
It is also important to consider the number of gears you’re hoping to have on your bike. The range of gears is an important consideration. People who will be riding on flat terrain may choose to ride a single speed bike for the sake of simplicity. However, if you’ll be riding steep hills, it will be advantageous to have the proper gear ratio and a wide range of gears.
One feature to consider is suspension. As mentioned, a bike with added suspension will feel smoother on rough terrain.
Mountain bikes generally fall in three categories when it comes to suspension.
The first is a rigid mountain bike. This means there is no suspension on the bike. The front fork is rigid and there is no rear suspension on the frame. Rigid bikes are typically ridden on smooth trails, roads, or gravel. The lack of suspension will make the bike feel fast on smooth terrain and very bumpy on rugged terrain.
The second type is a hardtail mountain bike. This means the front fork has suspension, but the frame does not. Hardtail mountain bikes are used for riding variable terrain — these bikes will feel fast on smooth surfaces and will be able to handle moderately rugged terrain. Riding a hardtail mountain bike will feel smoother than a rigid bike, but not as smooth as a full-suspension mountain bike.
The third type of mountain bike is a full-suspension mountain bike. These bikes have both a front suspension fork as well as a rear suspension on the frame. Within full suspension bikes, there is a wide range of options. Some full suspension bikes have as little as 50mm of suspension in the front and rear. These bikes are suited for mild terrain. The largest full-suspension bikes, used for downhill racing, can have as much as 200mm of suspension. These bikes are not intended to ride uphill, but will be able to handle the most rugged downhill terrain.
Within mountain biking, the typical choices of wheel size for adult mountain bikes is either 26”, 27.5” or 29” in diameter.
26” wheels have mostly faded from popularity for mountain biking. Typically, larger wheels make for smoother, faster, and more comfortable riding. However, some mountain bikes do still have 26” wheels. Some childrens bikes also have 26” wheels.
27.5” wheels are known for feeling snappy, quick, and smooth. Smaller riders may also prefer 27.5” wheels to ensure the bike feels comfortable and fits well.
29” wheels are typically considered the fastest wheel size for most people when they are looking for climbing and descending capabilities. 29” wheels can roll over rugged terrain most easily.
Another important feature to consider is the gear ratio of a mountain bike. Most mountain bikes have both a front and rear derailleur. A common gear setup is to have two or three gear options in the front and eight options in the back. A bike with three gears in front and eight in back is called a 3×8 and has 24 different speed options.
However, with a 3×8 gear setup, there can be significant overlap in the gear ratio. In many cases, more gears does not necessarily correlate with an added range of gears. For example, a 1×12 gear setup may have an easier small gear than a 3×8 gear setup, making the 1×12 advantageous for challenging or steep climbs.
Understanding brakes is also an important feature to consider when shopping for a mountain bike. In general, there are two types of brakes, rim brakes and disc brakes. Rim brakes have a caliper that squeezes down on the rim of the wheel itself, whereas disc brakes have an additional disc near the center of the wheel where the brake caliper is attached.
Disc brakes are more powerful and seen as a safer option for mountain biking.
Rim brakes are sufficient for riding on gradual terrain but should not be trusted on rugged trails or steep descents which require sufficient braking potential.
What type of riding will you do?
With these features in mind, we can consider what type of terrain you are planning to ride.
Mountain bikes can be ridden on extremely precipitous terrain or on smooth dirt paths. Each bike is built with a certain type of terrain in mind and may lean towards either more intense or less intense terrain.
For example, a hardtail mountain bike with 90mm of front suspension, 29” wheels, 3×8 gears, and rim brakes is likely built for smooth trails. This bike would feel comfortable on dirt paths, and could, occasionally, push the limits on more rugged terrain.
Alternatively, a full suspension mountain bike with 120mm of suspension in both the front and the rear, a 1×9 gear setup, 27.5” wheels, and disc brakes is likely built for having fun on primarily downhill trails. This bike would lean towards less intense downhill terrain though, due to the relatively small amount of suspension compared to other downhill bikes.
By considering what type of terrain you are likely to ride, then choosing the primary use and finally the secondary use will be helpful.
For example, if I am an adult who is most likely to ride on dirt paths as my primary routes but I would like the option to ride smooth trails occasionally, I would likely look to a hardtail mountain bike, 29” wheels, rim or disc brakes, and a wide range of gears.
- Best Mountain Bikes Under 1000
- Best Hardtail Mountain Bikes
- Best Electric Bike Under 1000
- Best Beginner Mountain Bikes For Newbies
What size do you need?
Now that you’ve considered which features you’d like and what terrain you are hoping to ride, it is important to choose the right size bike.
Adult sized mountain bikes typically come in sizes ranging from S-XL (occasionally XS). This chart will help you decide which size bike you need:
|Rider Height||Frame Size (in)||Frame Size|
|5’2 – 5’6||15”-16”||Small|
|5’6 – 5’10||17”-18”||Medium|
|5’10 – 6’1||19”-20”||Large|
|6’1 – 6’2||23”-24”||X-Large|
Within this chart, different riders may like different frame sizes. If you are between two sizes, thinking about how long your legs are compared to people your height can help. In general, people with longer legs should choose to size down, and people with longer torsos should choose to size up.
Best Mountain Bike Under 300 or More than 300 a bit – Comparison Table
|Head Approach- Hardtail||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Schwinn GTX 1.0 Comfort Hybrid||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Mongoose Status||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Schwinn Network Hybrid Bike||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Schwinn High Timber||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Kent Pomona||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Huffy 27.5 Matte Black||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Best Mountain Bike Under 300 On The Market Reviews
P.s : Some MTB maybe more than $300 a bit because price can change by time. Updated: 2nd April 2020
1. Head Approach Mountain Bike – Best Overall Mountain Bike
The Head Approach is a great option for a 29” mountain bike. The Rise offers 100mm of suspension in the front and disc brakes for sufficient stopping potential. This bike has a 3×8 gear setup, enough to allow you to climb and descend at speed. The 2.125 tires are wide enough to make it through challenging terrain and will also roll quickly on smooth surfaces.
If you are looking for a quick bike to ride, or even race, the Head Approach may fit your needs. This bike is also a great choice for riding dirt paths or paved roads due to the stiffness of the hardtail frame and the relatively narrow tires.
2. Schwinn GTX 1.0 Comfort Hybrid – Best Beginner Mountain Bike
The Schwinn GTX 1.0 Comfort Hybrid is a great bike for beginner riders. This bike offers riders an ample transition from riding primarily on smooth roads, to integrating some gravel or trails. This bike offers a front suspension fork which will help keep the ride smooth on rough surfaces.
The GTX 1.0 offers a reasonable middle point between a comfortable upright fit and an aggressive race fit. If you are looking for a bike that will help you transition to mountain biking, while still spending time on the roads, this could be the best mountain bike for you.
3. Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle – Best Budget Mountain Bike
The Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle is a great bike for an entry level rider who is accustomed to riding on the road but is interested in riding some dirt terrain. This steel bike will feel snappy and quick while riding. It is designed primarily for smooth dirt paths or roads. This bike can be taken on dirt trails in certain areas.
The Speed Alpine Eagle has 26” wheels and a front suspension fork. It features 3×7 gears and comes with a kickstand for easy access commuting and stopping.
4. Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport – Best Value Mountain Bike
The Diamondback Trace St Dual Sport is a great entry level mountain bike. This bike is perfect for riders who are transitioning from predominantly riding on the road to spending some time on the dirt. The rigid fork and narrow tires on this mountain bike will feel best on smooth dirt paths or roads.
This aluminum frame will feel quick and snappy, the 3×8 gear setup will allow you to tackle any hill. The Trace St offers a relatively aggressive geometry, putting riders in a position oriented for riding quickly. By choosing a rigid fork, this bike has been able to cut costs on suspension, therefore improving some of the other components. If you are looking for a stellar bike to ride on primarily smooth surfaces, the value of the Trace St Dual Sport is hard to beat.
5. Mongoose Status- Best Full Suspension
The Mongoose Status is a full suspension mountain bike that offers an aluminum frame and an aggressive geometry for aggressive riding. This bike will float over rugged terrain and is best used on rough trails.
Riders looking to challenge themselves on trails will enjoy the suspension capabilities of this bike. The Status has grippy tires for riding in varying conditions and mechanical disc brakes to keep riders safe in high-risk situations.
6. Schwinn Network Hybrid – Best Entry Level Mountain Bike
The Schwinn Network Hybrid is a great entry level mountain bike. This bike comes with a front suspension fork to smooth the ride in addition to a rear suspension seat post which will absorb some of the bumps on dirt surfaces. This bike will feel great on the road and can also be taken on gravel and some smooth trails.
The Network Hybrid has a relatively upright and comfortable fit in addition to a low top tube for added stability. It is important to note that this bike has narrow tires and will perform best in gravel or smooth trails rather than rugged terrain.
7. Schwinn High Timber – Best Hardtail Mountain Bike
The Schwinn High Timber is an aluminum frame hardtail mountain bike with disc brakes and aggressive geometry. This bike is ideal for riding relatively smooth trails, leaning towards slightly more rugged terrain. The grippy tires and disc brakes provide the capacity for this bike to work well on trails.
This bike will feel comfortable and quick while riding on the road as well.
The High Timber is available in both 27.5” and 29” wheel size. If you’re looking for a more playful, quick ride, I recommend the 27.5” wheels. If speed is your priority, the 29” wheels will suit your needs.
8. Kent Pomona Women’s Dual Suspension Comfort – Best Women’s Mountain Bike
When discussing women’s bikes, it is important to note that most women do not ride women’s specific bikes. Women specific bikes typically feature a wider seat to accommodate wider hips as well as narrower bars to mimic womens typically narrower shoulders than mens. Women’s bikes may also have a lower top tube — this was originally created so women could ride in dresses. The design has continued, despite the significant changes in standards while riding.
The Kent Pomona is a women’s specific bike that features an aluminum frame and 26” wheels. This bike is intended for dirt paths, roads, and perhaps some dirt trails. The rim brakes will offer sufficient braking potential but will not hold up in rugged or excessively steep terrain.
This bike has an upright position, ideal for riding comfortably and casually. If you are a woman looking for a more aggressive bike, the Pomona may not be your best option. However, if added comfort is at the top of your list, this bike may suit your needs.
9. Northwoods Aluminum Full Suspension – Best Trail Mountain Bike
The Northwoods Offroad is a great option for trail riding. This bike features front and rear suspension as well as grippy tires to take on various trails. The 26” wheels will feel quick and snappy, helping you navigate technical sections.
Paired, with mechanical rim brakes, this bike will have enough stopping potential to keep you safe while riding trails. Set up with three gear options in front and seven in the back, this bike will be able to climb and descend well enough to take on various terrain.
If you’re looking for a bike that is capable on the descents, the Northwoods Offroad could be the right option for you.
10. Huffy Hardtail 27.5 Matte Black – Best Cross Country Mountain Bike
The Huffy Hardtail bike comes in numerous different options. For cross country mountain biking though, I recommend the 27.5” wheel bike. This bike has grippy tires as well as 90mm of front suspension, meaning this bike can take on rugged terrain.
The Huffy Hardtail has a 3×8 gear setup and rim brakes. This bike has enough gears to climb and descend with ease as well as enough braking power to work well on moderate terrain.
If you are looking for a cross country mountain bike that will be fun to ride, this bike may be the perfect fit for you.
Ascher USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set – Best Bike Lights
The Ascher USB Rechargeable Bike Light Set is an incredible set of lights at a low cost. These 80 lumen lights have a sufficiently large battery size to ensure you are visible while riding in any conditions. The Ascher lights have four settings: full brightness, half brightness, slow flashing, and fast flashing.
These lights are easy to mount on any bike, bag or helmet. They have one button for simple use. If you are looking for a set of lights that is inexpensive, durable, versatile, and safe, these lights will do the job.
How do I know what type of terrain this bike is made for?
There are many components of a bike which contribute to where it should be ridden. First, look at the handlebars. Curved bars, or drop bars, like the ones seen on a road bike are ideal for riding on smooth roads. Flat bars, or the wide bars typically seen on mountain bikes, are made to ride on technical trails. The width of these bars adds to the stability of the bike.
Next, look at the tires. Road tires are about an inch across, mountain bike tires can be as wide as three inches across. If the tires are big and have lots of knobs, the bike is likely made for mountain biking.
By addressing the suspension on a bike, we can also tell what it was built for. Mountain bikes generally have a front suspension fork and may have rear suspension as well. Road bikes do not have suspension.
Finally, look to the fit of the bike. Professional athletes ride in a low position, with their backs nearly horizontal. On the other hand, a beach cruiser will allow the rider to sit upright, with their back horizontal. More aggressive bikes that are built for riding quickly will have the seat height at the same height as the handlebars or even higher than the handlebars. If a bike is set up this way, it is likely built for racing or aggressive riding.
How much does this bike weigh in comparison to other bikes?
Bikes can range dramatically in weight. Some road bikes are as light as 12lbs, while some downhill bikes can weigh as much as 50lbs.
Lighter bikes are easier to ride because the rider does not need to carry as much weight with them. However, lighter bikes are also more expensive and can break more easily. For people who ride or race downhill, the added suspension and capabilities of their bikes makes the weight a reasonable tradeoff. However, downhill bikes are not built to ride uphill or even on flat surfaces.
For most entry level mountain bikes, looking to weigh less than 30lbs is a reasonable goal. A 30lb bike will feel reasonable while climbing and descending.
What other accessories do I need while riding?
While riding, it is incredibly important to wear a well fitting helmet. Ensure you have a helmet that is not cracked and fits well. Most helmets are built to withstand one crash. Therefore, if you have hit your head while wearing your helmet, it is important to bring your helmet to a shop to see if you need a new helmet. Small cracks can deem the helmet unusable.
It is also important to carry some tools to fix your bike while you are out riding. Typically, riders carry a multi-tool as well as the tools to fix a flat tire. A multitool is a small pocket sized tool with an adequate number of wrenches to fix many parts of your bike. If you are riding and part of your bike comes loose, having a multi tool can keep you safe.
Carrying the tools you need to fix a flat is also important. These tools include an extra tire, tire irons, a patch kit, and a mini pump or CO2 cartridge. Learning how to change a flat and administer basic bike repair while out riding is a critical part of owning a bike.
Depending where you are riding, it may be important to ride with lights or reflective material clothing.
In addition to these safety precautions, make sure you are riding on bike specific roads, paths and trails.
What skills can I practice to improve my riding?
Riding mountain bikes requires a mix of endurance, strength, balance, and technical skills.
The easiest way to improve your endurance is to ride often. Each time you ride, your body will adapt to the level or strain and it will feel easier to ride again the next time. While you are increasing the amount or intensity of your rides though, it is important to also increase your rest and nutritional intake. By paying attention to your body and your needs, you can improve your endurance at a healthy and sustainable rate.
Increased strength can come from riding as well as strength exercises off the bike. Many cyclists look to do core and leg specific exercises to improve their strength while riding.
Balance is also a critical component of riding. You can practice balancing on the bike by spending time riding slowly or track standing (standing on the pedals while your bike is not rolling). It is also important to practice your balance off the bike. There are numerous exercises to improve your balance, these include broad categories such as yoga and specific exercises such as doing squats on Bosu balls.
Your technical skills while riding will come as you practice riding technical terrain. Riders will often pick a challenging section of trail and ride it repeatedly until they can ride through it smoothly. Following a rider who is more technically skilled than you is also an incredible way to learn these skills.
Conclusion: Best Product
Of the bikes reviewed here, the Head Rise Mountain bike is a great option for the price and the components. This bike will be able to take on roads, dirt paths, as well as some trails. The disc brakes offer added stopping potential over rim brakes. There are plenty of gear options to allow riders to tackle climbs and descents. The components on this bike are higher quality than many similar bikes.
If you are looking for a bike that will be a companion for you to learn skills and transition from riding on the road to riding the trails, this bike may be a great option for you.
Emily Schaldach is a professional cyclist from Colorado. She grew up racing mountain bikes and competed at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she expanded disciplines to race downhill, road, and cyclocross. Emily is currently on the Firefly Bitchstix Cycling team, also known as Team BitchnGrit, and competes primarily in cyclocross and gravel events.