/ Best mountain bike for less than £300??
The best mountain bike for less that 300 quid is going to be a second hand bike, what that would be is anybodies guess. All you can do when buying bikes is to buy something you like the look of, is functional, (bearing in mind the more you ride the more things wear out), and most importantly is a good fit for the type of riding you will mainly do. Sorry for the generic rather than specific answer but no doubt many recommendations of bike types will follow.
At that price look for something fully rigid (if such a thing exists). Cheap suspension forks are worse than useless.
If your primary requirement is good gears, set aside £100 to fix any and all problems with your drivetrain (if you do the work yourself). Now spend £200 on a second hand bike you like the feel of (probably rigid - and if you're on roads + cycle paths it doesn't really need to be a mountain bike either).
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