Are you an avid mountain biker? Then you’ll be glad to know that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on this exciting sport. In the following guide, we’re going to show you the best mountain bike forks under 300 if you’re on a tight budget.
These bike forks are affordable but well-made and guaranteed to not let you down on the trail. Truth is, you don’t have to pay through the nose for a good quality mountain bike, quality suspension, and all.
Best Budget MTB Fork
Keep reading as we share with you the best mountain bike forks under 300 and what to look for in them.
1. RockShox Recon Silver TK
The Recon Silver TK Fork from RockShox is one of the best bike components that you can install into your bike, especially if your old suspension fork is no longer operating as it should.
It quickly adjusts to the bike to offer comfortable performance both on and off the trail. It comes with a great lockout feature which makes it especially attractive. In terms of performance, this fork is fully adjustable and offers a fair amount of versatility. It will also assist with any momentum and force issues that you might be experiencing.
You’ll also be glad to know that this is a fully adjustable fork enabling you to change its tension if you like, granted that you have a shock pump to do this with. This will help to inflate the bike’s PSI in order to adjust to the rider’s specific weight.
Not only that, but the fork’s flexible rebound makes it ideal when you want to adjust the fork’s tension. This means that this fork is the perfect replacement for an entry-level fork.
2. Manitou Markhor Fork 26″
Here we have a fully kitted out fork from Manitou which comes with extra grey colored decals to fit in with every type of bike color. At first encounter, this fork might seem plush but it does become linear after some time.
Of course, it comes with many benefits, such as a level of durability that enables the bike rider to handle rough terrain with ease while the included disc brake setting means that it does limit you in that you won’t be able to use it in a bike that has rim brakes.
With that said, this good-looking fork is rather efficient and it’s made to last. It comes with interesting and attractive features such as a blue steering tube and black stanchions.
Although it’s one of the best MTB forks under 300, it’s just as good as more expensive options.
3. RST Aerial 29 Disc Hydraulic Lock Fork
Next up in our list of cheap mountain bike forks, we have the RST Aerial model which is large enough to fit into 29-inch wheels, and is what most avid mountain bikers prefer.
This bike fork offers an exceptionally smooth ride, allowing you to run roughshod on even the most challenging terrain.
Plus, the fact that you’ll be able to use large bike wheels comfortably with this bike fork is a real plus, along with the fact that it comes with a hydraulic lockout feature on top of its air suspension mechanism. Of course, this is much better than the common coil springs that you’ll find on the most affordable mountain bikes.
It’s also worth noting here that this bike fork is particularly designed for entry-level bikes but it’s also suitable for doing jumps and downhill riding as well. All told, this is one of the best mountain bike forks under 300 for beginner cyclists.
4. ZTZ Kashima Front Fork
ZTZ has done its best to make the best budget MTB fork with a 100mm travel and other features that offer great value for money. With this high-quality front fork, you’re guaranteed a comfy and smooth ride.
Like all the best MTB forks, this one is made from a combination of magnesium and aluminum alloy, materials that are strong yet lightweight. It’s layered with a lubricating coating that’s resistant to scratches to ensure longevity. This goes well with the fork’s matte black design.
As most ZTZ MTB suspension forks, it’s particularly designed to have a 28.6 mm upper tub with a straight design. This is in addition to its 100mm inner width and a 32mm long tube which makes it suitable for bikes that have 26-inch wheels.
All told, this mountain bike front fork is a great option for anyone who is looking for an affordable option.
5. Bolany MTB Suspension Fork
What sets the best mountain bike forks under 300 apart is the fact that they are typically flexible enough to cater to the individual bike rider’s needs and preferences.
That’s exactly what you get with this Bolany magnesium alloy suspension fork, which comes with such features as a flexible air pressure value to suit different weights, and easy to assemble and disassemble design, as well as a durable outer tube that’s strong enough to keep the dust out of the vital components of your bike.
As mentioned, this fork is constructed from magnesium alloy as well as aluminum alloy, both of which are incredibly strong materials that help to increase your bike’s road durability.
This fork is also designed to handle the pressure of vibrations and bumps on the road so that you can enjoy a comfortable and fun ride.
How to Pick the Best Mountain Bike Forks Under 300
When looking for the best MTB forks under 300, it’s important to keep the following information in mind so that you can make an informed decision that leads you to the best bike fork for your needs.
Most bike forks are made from alloy or carbon both of which are durable yet lightweight.
For the most part, you want a bike fork that’s durable and made to last and these materials definitely tick all the right boxes.
With that said, aluminum alloy and magnesium alloy are the more budget-friendly options and they are also lightweight.
You also want a mountain bike fork to offer reliable damping control as this will determine the bike and suspension fork’s performance. Without proper damping, the bike fork will go back and forth all the time, leading to a difficult riding experience.
The good news is that it’s possible to control the movement of the bike fork using a type of lubrication of your choice, including the oil in order to dampen it.
Rebound damping comes as a standard feature in most suspension forks, while certain models may come with compression damping and rebound mechanisms.
It really doesn’t matter which one you pick, as the most important thing to note is that both options make it easier to control shaft speeds.
It’s important to understand what materials your suspension fork is made from. The main parts in any suspension fork include legs, spring, axle, crown, and steerer tube.
Most manufacturers use magnesium alloy and aluminum alloy to fashion these components. Both of these materials are durable, lightweight, and affordable, not to mention particularly effective to make tubes out of.
But some models are made from high-quality carbon fiber which is slightly pricier but gives your bike better performance overall.
The most important thing is to ensure that the bike fork you use for your bike is reliable and resistant to the most common damaging factors. It should also be the right dimensions with the size range going from 26 inches to 29 inches.
Mountain bike forks also typically come with two types of springs; namely coil-based and air springs.
Air pressures come with pressure chambers that are designed to absorb shocks and vibrations on the road, while coil-based springs also absorb shocks but come at a heavier burden.
If you’re lucky, you could get a suspension fork that features both types of springs without being too heavy.
You want a responsive fork that moves when you apply force onto it. This is known as travel and it’s essential to ensure a comfortable ride.
The greater the travel your fork has, the better it will be at absorbing shocks on the road. However, bike forks with a lot of travel tend to add a lot of weight to the equation as well.
Selecting a suspension fork with correct travel will largely depend on the particular bike that you’re using. Unfortunately, greater travel isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes, it can add an uncomfortable amount of weight to your bike, making it difficult to enjoy your ride, especially over long distances.
That’s why it’s important to consider the type of bike you have and the applications that you’ll be using it for to determine the best mountain bike forks under 300 for your needs.
Consider your budget when looking for the best mountain bike forks as this will help to narrow down your options.
At first look, you’ll come across some of the more expensive options but it’s important to keep looking as you’ll have a better chance of getting value for money that way.
That’s part of the reason why we’ve created this article to help you find the best mountain bike forks.
How to lubricate an MTB fork?
The best way to lubricate a mountain bike fork is through the use of fork oil. It’s designed for ease of use and all you have to do is soak it up in a sponge and gently apply it throughout the entire fork to help keep it smooth.
Do different forks work for all types of bikes?
Most bikes come with a 1 1/8-inch head tube with the other option being ones with a tapered head tube even though it requires a matching steerer tube.
What is the recommended travel for MTB?
For the most part, a 4 inch or 100mm bike fork is perfect for cross country applications, a 1.5 inch or 130mm for trail biking, while a 6.3 inch or 160mm is perfect for endurance and mountain bikes.
Is it possible to install bigger forks on my bicycle?
Large bikes typically come with the ability to handle large forks of up to 20mm so yes it’s entirely possible.
Now that you know what the best mountain bike forks under 300 are, you’re well on your way to finding your ideal choice. If you were to ask us, we would recommend the RockShox Recon Silver TK.
It’s the best MTB fork for the money because it comes with adjustable fork tension, an amazing lockout feature, a versatile design for off and on-road trail riding, as well as an adjustable rebound.