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Buying a mountain bike can be a bit frustrating as well as time consuming. But, when knowing what to look for, this task can become enjoyable. So, below you’ll find some tips and things to be aware of before taking out your wallet and buying a mountain bike.

Determining Your Price

If you ever looked at mountain bikes before, you are well aware of the gigantic range of prices out there. Indeed, there’s no limit as to how much money you can spend on a new mountain bike. To help you keep your spending under control, you should figure out your price range first. How much are you willing to pay for a new bike? This is truly the first question you should answer before setting foot in a store (or online) and buying a mountain bike.

Furthermore, you should ask yourself if you’re willing to buy a use bike. There are a lot of used bikes on the market, and not all of them have been beaten up. A lot of them are still in good condition and could be the right option for a first bike. It might be an option worth thinking about.

men on a mountain bike going for a steep descent (finding your style)

Finding Your Style

Mountain bikes are designed with several different riding styles and terrain types in mind. Thus, the different types of mountain bikes on the market. So, you’ll need to figure out what type of riding you will be doing the most. Are you a jumper, cross-country racer, mountain cruiser, or liftaccessed downhiller? Your style will determine your need. So, you better figure it out up front to have the maximum fun out on the trails. And then, make sure that the bike you select fits your personal style and not that of the sale’s staff.


Full Suspension or Hardtail

Knowing your style of riding will help you know what kind of suspension is best suited for you. If you really like going down, and if you can afford it, a full-suspension mountain bike is always worth the purchase. And if you’re truly a lift-accessed downhiller; you’ll want to opt for a full dual crown. However, a hardtail, without rear suspension, is much lighter weight and pedal more efficiently. Thus, better suited for cross-country. Although full suspensions offer more comfort and overall better control.

You’ll want to make that decision based on your price range, riding style, and the type of terrain you’ll be riding on the most. Also, it’s a question of preferences.

men on a mountain bike jumping (finding your favorites)

Finding Your Favorites

When buying a mountain bike, comparing component to component is nearly impossible. In fact, there are far too many combinations possible and available. So, how can you do it?

The best way is finding the few components that are the most important to you. And from there making sure the rest fall within your price range. You can start with the group set: brakes, shifters, rear shock, and derailleur. Then looking at the front fork, wheels, and crankset. But know right up front what’s the important components you absolutely want.

Additionally, for women there are now bikes with geometry more adapted to their generally shorter and lighter built. It can be worth looking into those.

men sitting on a mountain bike in the woods

Sales and Seasons

Like with any seasonal article, the prices of mountain bikes can fluctuate quite a bit during the year. Indeed, spring through summer being the main buying season. So, if you can wait until the fall or winter, you have more chances for the right price to pop up. And that way, you may save a few hundred dollars. You should also shop around. Many bike shops offer discounts or include other accessories if you buy from them.

Also, bike shops are more willing to make a deal at the end of the season. Indeed, as most people want the latest model that came out, unsold models are less likely to get sold the following year than new ones.

men on a pump track with a dirt jumper

Finding a Good Dealer

When buying a mountain bike, you shouldn’t buy from mass merchant stores. You should instead support your local bike shop. In return, you’ll get a much better bike and much better service. Also, finding a good bike dealer is more important than finding the best price.

Find a dealer that cares more about selling you a great bike than selling you a high-priced one. Indeed, a great dealer will give you advice and recommendations based on your preferences, not prices. It will also have a clean repair shop and great service you can trust.

Sizing Mountain Bikes

Along with giving you a better selection and expert advice, bike shop personnel can help you get fitted to the right size bike. Indeed, when buying a mountain bike and paying that much money it’s important to get the right size. Getting a bike either too big or too small, will cause your riding to suffer as well as the fun factor.

Test Ride

Before buying a mountain bike, you should test ride as many bikes as you can. Of course, bikes within your price range and riding style. Indeed, you’ll discover that some bikes will feel right, while others won’t. And, the more bikes you test, better you’ll understand what works for you and what doesn’t.

If possible, test the bikes on the actual terrain you would be riding it. Also, be sure that you have the right tire pressure and that it is adjusted to you properly, so you can really have the feel for it. And, of course, make sure you wear a helmet.

people with their heads down showing their biking helmets

Obviously, the more you ride bikes and the more bikes you ride, the easier it will be to tell the difference in the riding. Talk to people riding the bike you like and see what they think of it. Also, look at people with the same type of riding as you, and see what they ride. Ask questions if you can. Furthermore, talk to your local shop personnel, see if they ride the bikes they sell. This way, you’ll learn more about the mountain bikes you like.

Doing the Research

Product reviews and bike reviews are some of the best ways to find out about a mountain bike reliability and overall performance. You should always look at what other owners and reviews think about a bike before you make that final purchase.

What would be the first thing you would be looking for in buying a new mountain bike?

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