Are you planning to buy a mountain bike? With so many options in the market, how do you choose a mountain bike that’s ideal for you?
There are several things you will need to consider when you go through your options.
1 – Get to Know Your Options
You’ll come across many types of mountain bikes. They not only look and cost different but their function also differ.
It’s important to get to know the kind of mountain bikes you’re looking at so you can find the one that fits your purpose.
Types of Mountain Bikes
There are three main types of mountain bikes: rigid, hardtail, and full suspension.
Rigid bikes have a solid frame but with no suspension. Suspensions or shocks are there to cushion the impact of bumps and rough terrain.
Hardtail mountain bikes have a solid frame. They have a suspension fork at the front that allows travel when you’re riding on difficult terrains.
Full suspension mountain bikes have suspensions on both the front and the back. If you are planning to use this bike for adventures on rough terrains, this is the best choice for you.
2 – Where Will You Ride It?
Are you going to ride it long distance on smooth roads? Are you planning to ride it in unfamiliar mountains with rough terrain? Or you want to learn aerial tricks?
Where you plan to ride your bike determines the kind of mountain bike you should buy.
Under the three main types mentioned above, these are your mountain bike options and where they are best used.
Cross country mountain bikes: for going on long rides on smooth trails
Trail mountain bikes: for riding up and down mountains
Enduro mountain bikes: if you want to go downhill in high speed
Fat bikes: named after their wide tires; for snowy and sandy trails.
3 – Tire and Wheel Size
You’ll have three options for wheel size: 26″, 27.5″, and 29″.
26″ wheels used to be the standard wheel size for mountain bikes until larger tires were introduced in the market.
The 27.5″ inch wheels have become a popular choice because they can give good traction without being too heavy. This makes it more agile.
A lot of bikers prefer this middle ground because it generally works well with enduro, trail, and downhill riding.
29″ wheels can give you more traction. But they are also heavy and can make your bike harder to maneuver.
4 – Plan Your Budget
Once you have an idea of what kind of mountain bike you’re going to buy, it’s time to set your budget.
Mountain bikes with special features can go over $10,000. But there’s no need to spend this much, especially if you’re a beginner.
You can easily score a good mountain bike you’ll enjoy for many years for a lot less than this.
You can start your budget at $500. For this amount, you can get an entry level hardtail mountain bike. Or you can find a mid-level hardtail that’s from the last year or so.
For this amount, avoid full suspension bikes though they fit the price. You will be getting one of less quality. You ‘ll likely find yourself replacing parts soon.