Buying your first mountain bike can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time. There are so many different types, styles and brands to choose from. There are also so many things to consider. Standing amidst hundreds of mountain bikes, choosing the right bike may seem like a complicated process. This is especially if you’re not a bike enthusiast.
In the hopes of making the buying process easier and take the mystery out of shopping for your first bike, we have put together some tips for buying your first mountain bike. Follow these tips to score an awesome ride that suits your needs and budget.
Determine your budget
The price of mountain bikes varies considerably, depending on its features, frame material, type and other factors. Mountain bikes may range from a few hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars. As such, we recommend that you determine your budget before you visit a store and start looking at bikes.
Ask yourself, how much are you willing to pay for a bike? By establishing a budget well in advance, you can focus on those that are within your budget. This also prevents you from getting disappointed or heartbroken. There is nothing more frustrating than falling in love with a particular bike, only to find out later on that you can’t afford it. Make sure you have a good idea of the extent of your budget.
Also, don’t forget to factor the cost of accessories such as apparel, gloves and helmet. These accessories will make riding your mountain bike a practical and enjoyable experience.
Decide what type of riding you want to do
When it comes to mountain bikes, there is no one-size-fits-all. One of the most important things to consider when buying your fist mountain bike is how you plan to ride it.
You see, different riding styles require different bikes. In order to determine the right one for you, you first need to decide what type of riding you want to do and what types of trails you’ll be spending most of your time on.
If you intend to ride for hours and like pushing your heart rate as high as it will go, opt for cross-country bikes. These bikes are primarily geared toward riding fast with an emphasis on climbing power. But if you’re looking to meet up with friends at the local trailhead and ride a mixture of climbs and descents, opt for a trail bike instead.
Choose a bike that makes sense for the terrain you intend to ride. This will make a big difference to your performance and comfort.
Do your research
With a wide variety of mountain bikes available, choosing the right one for you may seem like a daunting task. To make the whole process a little less mystifying, we recommend that you read up and do your homework before visiting a bike shop. Read articles online, explore different brands, read reviews and ask for recommendations from friends. This is an important step so as to ensure that you don’t get lost in the bike-purchasing woods.
If you like a particular bike, then go online and read reviews. This will give you an idea about the performance and reliability of that bike.
Get the right size
Buying your first mountain bike can be comparable to buying a pair of jeans. Bikes come in sizes. You need to make sure that the bike you choose fits you perfectly. Otherwise, you’ll end up straining and struggling to control the bike. Worse, you may end up injuring yourself.
To achieve the most comfortable ride possible, the position of the seat, pedals and handlebars must be taken into consideration.
To determine what size of frame will be most comfortable for you, you need to know your height and inseam measurement. You may use the chart below to find the right sized mountain bike for you.
|4’11” to 5’3”||25 to 27 inches||13 to 15 inches||Small|
|5’3” to 5’7”||27 to 29 inches||15 to 17 inches||Small to Medium|
|5’7” to 5’11”||29 to 31 inches||17 to 19 inches||Medium|
|5’11” to 6’2”||31 to 33 inches||19 to 21 inches||Large|
|6’2” to 6’4”||33 to 35 inches||21 to 23 inches||Extra Large|
|6’4” and up||35 inches and up||23 inches and up||Extra Large|
Go for a test ride
At this point, you have probably narrowed down your options to 2 or 3. These bikes may be of the same type and may have similar features, but each bike is going to give you a different riding experience. We know you’re excited to bring the bike home, but it is important that you do a short test ride so as to get a feel of the bike. This will be the ultimate indicator of whether or not it’s the right one for you.
Even if you’ve done your research and have chosen a bike that matches your needs, you won’t be able to tell if it’s comfortable unless you get on it. This is one of the most important aspects of buying your first mountain bike, so don’t be afraid to ask.