Three Things to Look for When Buying a Mountain Bike

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Posted 04/12/21 7:45am by Prim

Mountain biking can be a really fun sport and is a great way to stay healthy. It can help you get away from the busy motor traffic and into the hills. This can be quite appealing to many cyclists.

Because mountain biking involves riding your bicycle off-road, often over rough terrain, it is not without risks, especially without the proper equipment. This article describes what you need to consider when purchasing your mountain bike.

Type of Bike You Need

When getting into the sport of mountain biking, you may be confused by all the different kinds of bikes available. There are many disciplines of mountain biking that each have a bike built for them.

The main disciplines are: Cross Country (XC), Trail, Downhill, Enduro, and Dirt Jump (DJ). Each of these bikes is meant for a different discipline and you will want to get the one that fits your needs.

Cross Country bikes or “XC” are fast while climbing up hills, and on flat ground. They are not the best at riding downhill, but they will work for most hilly terrain. 

Trail bikes are similar to XC bikes but are more of an “all-rounder,” meaning that although they are a little harder to climb a hill than an XC bike, they are better for riding downhill. If you are not sure which type of bike you need, a trail bike is probably what you would want.

Downhill bikes are built strictly to go downhill, and therefore, do not climb well. These bikes are meant to be ridden at a lift-access bike park.

Enduro bikes are similar to downhill bikes when riding downhill. But are also meant to have a fairly easy ride to the top. These are very similar to trail bikes, in the sense that they are built to do almost anything, but they don’t climb as well. 

Dirt jump bikes, or “DJ” bikes, are built to hit jumps and do tricks in the air. These bikes don’t climb or descend well but are really good at carrying speed on smooth surfaces.

A Frame That Fits You

When entering the sport and looking for a bike that can take you farther and faster, you must make sure you have the right sized bike. Getting a proper sized mountain bike is one of the most important things to consider before going mountain biking.

The first place to start when looking for the right size bike is by looking at size charts. They will provide a good baseline to help you find the right bike size for your particular height. One option is to go to the bike company’s website and use the size chart to find the right fit for you.

Each specific brand may have a different size chart so keep that in mind when looking for the right size. You can check out this article for more information on mountain bike fitting basics. Another option is to go to your local bike shop and tell them what you are looking for and your height and they will be able to find the correct size for you.

Knowing Your Budget

Mountain bikes can be extremely expensive, some costing up to $15,000, but that isn’t necessarily what you need. 

You can get a good mountain bike for $600-$800 if you are looking for a brand-new bike. In this price range expect to see hardtail bikes with a coil-sprung fork, mechanical disc-brakes, and a 3x drive-chain. If you know where to look for cheap mountain bikes for sale, you may be able to get them for a lower price. These bikes are all you need if you’re just getting into the sport or do not have the largest budget. 

After this you will be looking at bikes in the $1,000-$2,000 price range. Here you will see higher-end hardtails and low-end full suspension bikes. Here you will find 2 piston hydraulic disc-brakes, air-spring suspension, and 1×10 drive-chains. These bikes are meant to be all you need if you do not plan on racing. 

Bikes in the $2,000-$4,000 price range will start to have higher-end suspension that has lock-out and rebound adjustments, 1×11 or 1×12 drive-chains, and 2 or 4 piston hydraulic disc-brakes. These bikes should come with a dropper post. 

Once you are serious into mountain biking and may even be interested in racing on a regular basis, you will find that these bikes start to price in around $4,000 and higher. These bikes are the best of the best, and have suspension with low-speed compression, high-speed compression, low-speed rebound, high-speed rebound, 4 piston hydraulic disc-brakes, dropper posts and electric dropper posts, 1×12 drive-chains and electric drive-chains, and carbon-fiber frames. 

As you can see, bikes come in all different shapes, sizes, and prices, but there is one for you. Once you purchase your first mountain bike, make sure to ride it a lot and most of all, have fun!

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