Buying a mountain bike

Posted by Paul​ Walton on June 23, 2009 0 comments

Buying a mountain bike is a real pain in the ass and it can take some time to find one that you're happy and comfortable with. Let me help you avoid the pitfalls of buying a mountain bike before you spend all that hard earned cash and make the whole process that much sweeter.

Your maximum price?

The money you can spend on a new mountain bike is virtually limitless if you take too much notice of all pro level hype. To keep you from spending too much money, you have to decide on the maximum you are willing to spend on your new mountain bike. When you figure out what your willing to spend, stick to it!

What's your bike for?

What sort of riding do you want to do?. Mountain bikes can pretty much do anything these days, but you need a mountain bike for different riding styles and terrain. Figure out what sort of riding your going to do. Is it trail riding, XC/cross-country, racing, all mountain, or general on road commutes ? Make sure the bike you get fits in with what you want it for.

Do I need a suspension?

Do I need a suspension? At the very least I would recommend a front suspension mountain bike,, hard-tail. When pedalling, hard-tail mountain bikes can be more efficient than what a full suspension design is, but full suspension bikes can offer more comfort and more fun.

Places of purchase

There are basically three ways you can purchase your bike. On-line, pick out of a catalogue in a bike shop, or go to a large shop which has bikes in stock that you can actually look at.
I have bought bikes in all of these ways and although I am happy with my bikes I would recommend, (especially to new first time buyers) to choose the latter.
Going to a large store gives you the chance to get up close and personal with the bike before you buy it. You can check out all the parts, see how it feels when you sit on it and sometimes even take one out for a test ride so you know whether it is going to be comfortable for you on the move. Needles to say, buying on-line or picking out of a catalogue gives you none of these benefits. Although this way is fine if you know exactly what you are after.
Oh and there is a fourth option for the more experienced, buy parts you are familiar with and which you know you like, buy a frame and then just build your own!!

Research never goes amiss!!

Product reviews are a great way to find out about mountain bikes, how they perform and which ones are reliable. If you decide to buy on-line or through a catalogue you will be able to look your bike up before you buy it and make sure there isn’t some component on it that you weren't quite expecting and know you won't be happy with.

In all aspects of buying your bike...the more knowledge you have of your choice the better!

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