300ht,400ht, or dawes haymaker 1000?
So I am trying to get a bike as cheap as possible. Which one should I go with? I like the sound of $299.
To be brutally honest all three of those bikes are crap, so it doesn't really matter which one you pick. If you only want a bike to tool around on and not really do any real mountain biking than any of the three will be fine, just get the cheapest one.
If you actually want to get into mountain biking and can only come up with about $300, then I would recommend you get a Forge from Target. They are only available online and in sizes 17 and 19. The price is $379, but you can often find 20% off Target coupons to get the price down.
2013 Santa Cruz TRc 650b
2015 Lynskey Cooper CX
2010 Soma Groove
1987 Haro RS1
Of all those bikes, I would go with 400 HT because it has the best component specs, and motobecane frames are higher quaility taiwanese frames compared to the dawes chinese frames. In my opinion the two most important things at that price point is the quality of the fork and the wheels. Those will probably make the most difference in your ride.
If you aren't comfortable doing minor assembly and repair work on your bike, you would be better off buying an entry level bike shop bike. A good shop will help you get the right size and make sure everything is in working order. They also will provide free tune ups. A well tuned lower spec bike is better to ride than a higher spec poorly tuned bike. The trek 820 would be a good entry level bike, for example.