As a keen mountain biker, I am constantly looking for the best mountain bikes accessible. I have bought countless (well should be at least 10) mountain bikes through the years, and whenever I am looking to include in my collection or upgrade one of my bikes nowadays, I may rush into it. Main reason for this gets stung on the past, when I select a new mountain bike and one intended for my wife, from a local specialist store.
Looking back, I regret not really taking my time, as the option was so limited to just a few brands and my wife and I were swayed when i say good salesmen, convenience and ultimately (for my wife more so! ) a decent looking machine.
I should have known better, as I worked in a large bicycle retailer in the UK for 5 yrs when I was younger, and obtained seriously into mountain biking at the same time. I know that you need to decide what kind of bike you happen to be after as the first step. Is it pure off road riding you’ll be performing? Is it mostly on fairly degree terrain, or are there lots of hills and mountains? Do you prefer a good upright stance when riding to a more racy stretched out position? The list goes on…
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There are so many brands around now, a lot of which are quite reputable and founded, but even when shopping within these brands, you have to be careful you are not sold something that isn’t suitable. I direct back to my experience after shifting to a new area… I wanted to obtain my wife into mountain biking, but she didn’t have a bike, or any experience. I too had a slight craving for a new bike, and we ended up buying his and hers – mine was too newbie like for my level, plus hers was a bit advanced… but they looked nice parked up side by side! Shortly afterwards I realised my mistake, but by then it was a bit late. It does vary, but some of the greatest brands are Kona, Specialized, Marin, Trek, GT, Cannondale, Mongoose and Gary Fisher.
These days you can get many different kinds of bikes to suit all ages/sizes/styles and preferences. I am soon to start looking for a kids mountain bike for my boy. And hopefully (funds permitting) a new bike for my spouse that she will be much more comfortable on.
So the moral or my tale, and the reason for being compelled to write this article, is to do your research in advance. Usually do not whatever you do limit yourself to one store nearby. By all means if they share some bikes that come up within your search, head down and take a test ride (another essential factor to never forget before buying! ) yet don’t feel pressured into purchasing until you know exactly what will fit your needs best.
A few of the key areas to pay attention to:
Style of riding you do
Your size/shape – make sure the frame does fit!
Your budget – set it and stick to it!
Suspension – front, complete or none at all?
Extras – what accessories are you going to find important?
Test ride… and test trip… and test ride again!
Choose a good dealer, one who you can rely on and go back to in the event of problems
If you choose wisely then you will be able to maximise the value, thrills, benefits and all round enjoyable you can get out of your prized purchase. Take pleasure in!
For further info on MTB reviews and the way to identify the best mountain bikes, read the details below.
Simon is a confident Mountain Biker and has worked with bikes for the last 20 years. He has been involved in the purchase of countless mountain bikes for friends and family, as well as having bought a significant amount of his own since his first purchase of a Black and White Raleigh Mustang back in 1988.