How To Buy Your First Mountain Bike
View more related buyers guides
Published by TOP4 Team
Mountain bikes are versatile bicycles that can easily handle a variety of terrain, from city roads to dirt trails. However, if you are thinking of buying your first mountain bike, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. This quick guide will walk you through all the important factors that you need to carefully consider before investing in a bike.
Set a budget
You can find a wide variety of choices at practically every price point. However, in order to avoid overspending, it is worthwhile to determine how much money you are willing to spend and narrow down your choices.
Determine your riding style
Here, it is worthwhile to consider why you are actually getting a mountain bike. Are you a seasoned road cyclist who wants to try something new or are you looking for a bike you can use for cruising the city? If you belong to the latter, you'd fare better with a basic model. If you are keen on trying a wide variety of terrain, you may want to invest in a bike made with quality parts.
If your body is in good condition, either a hardtail or full suspension bike will do. However, if you are suffering from joint or back pains or if you prefer a smoother ride, opt for a full suspension bike.
Hardtail bikes are recommended for people who prefer smooth trails, pavements and dirt trails. Hardtail 29ers and full suspension bikes are recommended for riders who prefer rocky and rough terrain.
Visit your local bike shop
If you have a small budget, it may be tempting to buy a bike at the local sporting goods store or general merchandise stores. You can easily score a built bike. Do note that most of these bikes are not well-made and you cannot expect these to last long.
Your local bike, on the other hand, carries a wide variety of options that may be more suitable for your biking needs. Another advantage of buying a bike from a local bike shop is that you'll be able to meet bikers in your area, some of whom may one day tag along for a ride.
As a newbie, you are not expected to know all the parts of a mountain bike or even what the best brands are. When you visit a local bike shop, their personnel can help you choose the best components that meet both your needs and your budget. If you have a friend or relative who has been riding a mountain bike for quite some time, you can invite him to come with you and hear out his inputs.
Choose the right frame
Before getting your bike assembled, it is important to make sure that your bike actually fits you. Some bike shops offer this service for free and there is no reason why you should not take advantage of this. Choosing the right frame size will ensure that you will have a more comfortable ride.
Test ride your new bike
Once the bike mechanic has finished assembling your bike, carefully check the bike and take it for a quick test ride, noting which parts do not seem to work properly and smoothly. Then, have the mechanic adjust these components. Do take note that some bike parts need to be broken in.