How to Choose a Mountain Bike

Everyone would love to purchase the bike of their dreams, but in reality, mountain bikes are available in a very wide price range. There are so many brands, sizes, prices… you need to do your research before you go out and buy one.

A few very important things to consider are:

1. What level biker are you–just taking up the sport, or are you an”experienced” biker?
2. How often are you going to be riding?
3. Where will you be riding? Most mountain bikes will fit into a set of categories: Cross Country (XC), All Mountain (Trail) Bikes (AMB/AtTB), FreeRide and Downhill.

If you are an “entry level” biker, you may not want to buy a “top of the line” mountain bike until you get used to riding and know for sure that this is a sport you will continue with. Of course, some of the “top of the line” mountain bikes are so light, you may end up loving the sport or, if you buy a poor bike, you may not enjoy the sport of mountain biking at all. You also need to consider where and how often you will be riding your mountain bike. If you do not intend to ride on a daily basis, is it within your budget to buy a thousand dollar bike that may not get used? If you are planning on riding on “flat surfaces, you do not want a bike that is made for downhill.

Most mountain bikes will fit into a set of categories: cross country (XC), all mountain (trail) bikes (AMB/AtTB), freeride and downhill. An all mountain (trail) bike, for most people, may be a wise choice. They are made to be the most fun (in most situations), will take you almost anywhere, and are not “tiring”. A cross country bike is the lightest and most efficient pedaller but are not the best for rough terrain. Freeride bikes are designed for jumps, stunts, and hard hitting trails and are very heavy. THe downhill bikes are the least common and are built just for downhill racing. Mountain bikes are available in two different suspensions. A bike with the suspension in the front (and not in the back) is considered a hard tail. A full suspension bike has the suspension in the front and bike. These types of bike are more expensive but are the most comfortable. After doing some research and consideration, you will be confident in the mountain bike that you decide to buy.