Tips for Choosing a Mountain Bike

Just like any other investment, a mountain bike can bring you joy or cause you to suffer from buyer’s remorse. Mountain bikes can be expensive. When you are considering purchasing a mountain bike, it is important that you do thorough research to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth. Some things you should take into consideration are:

  • Experience
  • Budget
  • Type of mountain you will be riding
  • How often you will be riding the bike

How do I Choose a Mountain Bike?

Sacredrides is an active blog where mountain bike enthusiasts share the tips and tricks of the trade. They put together a list of tips for choosing a mountain bike. We have summarized them below.

  • Set of a Budget
    • $500 or less: If you are a novice mountain biker and working on a tight budget, this may be the right choice for you. In this price range, the market or mountain bikes is very limited, but you can still find a decent bike. If you are shopping in this price range, look for an entry-level hardtail. You might even be able to find a mid-level hardtail from a previous year. Another recommendation is to avoid a full suspension bike at this price range.
    • $500 – $1,000: At this price range, you should be able to find a nice entry-level hardtail. This is also a good price range to look for used bikes that at one point were more expensive.
    • $1,000 – $1,500: Mountain bikes in this range will use the same frames as more expensive bikes, but they use cheaper parts. If you are purchasing a bike at this level, you can always upgrade the parts as you go. At this price range, you can usually find higher priced bikes on clearance or at the end of the year.
    • $1,500 – $3,500: This is for elite riders. At this range, you can buy a bike that fits your exact needs. You will begin to see carbon fiber models as well as all mountain terrain or full suspension. Most bikes in this range are also considered race ready.
    • $3,500 and up: At this price point you can have your pick of the litter. You may even want to consider buying two different bikes that fit your needs.
  • Type of Riding
    • Three main types of bikes:
      • XC
      • All mountain/trail
      • Downhill
    • If you are more of a casual rider that mainly rides on local trails, you are going to want a trail bike. If you ever go downhill riding, you can rent a bike there.
    • If you mainly ride downhill, it is recommended that you purchase a downhill or freeride bike.
  • Making the Purchase
    • It is recommended that you purchase a bike from a local shop instead of online. Purchasing your bike from the store will allow you to get a feel for the bike when you are using it.
  • Post-Purchase
    • For a new bike, make sure that you inquire about a warranty. Many new bikes come with a warranty. Also, ask the bike shop if they offer a tune up after 30-90 days. After breaking the bike in, components may shift giving the bike a different feel from when you purchased it.
    • For a used bike, be sure to go through the following checklist:
      • Check the frame for cracks
      • Check tires for usage
      • Check cables and brakes for frays
      • Check for any leaks from the suspension
    • If you are not familiar with bikes, you can ask your local bike shop if they will look the bike over for you.

We hope that this list helps you purchase your new mountain bike. Always remember to do research before making an investment. If you make the right choice, a bike can last yours for years and thousands of miles of riding.