Mountain biking is a wonderful hobby. In fact, it is one of the healthiest “addictions” that you could ever have. When you choose to mountain-bike, you give your body the cardiovascular exercise it needs to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy heart. With that said, though, you can’t mountain bike without a mountain bike, so how do you choose the best mountain bike to meet your needs?
There is no simple answer to that question. However, one thing you can do is to read reviews from other consumers to find out what they liked and didn’t like in specific bikes. From there, you can do further research, visit bike stores in person, and exhaust all possible resources to find the best mountain bike for your needs.
It’s also important to know what you want in a bike and to know the key features to look for in a good, quality mountain bike.
Know Where You Want to Ride
One of the first things that you will want to keep in mind is that the name “mountain bike” is kind of a misnomer. Most people don’t truly ride their bikes through the mountains, though some do.
Instead, “mountain bike” is kind of a catchall term for bikes that are meant to handle heavy outdoor terrain.
The key, then, to choosing the best mountain bike for your needs is to choose one that can handle the type of terrain on which you intend to ride your bike.
If you plan to check out local trails, for example, all you will need is a simple trail bike. If, on the other hand, you’d like to ride your bike in cross-country races, you’ll need a slim, speedy cross country bike.
Then, there are also true mountain bikes, fat bikes, downhill bikes, park bikes, and more. Knowing your preferred riding terrain can help you to choose the best mountain bike to meet your needs, so decide that before you even start shopping and consider it throughout the shopping process.
Cross Country Mountain Bikes for Cross Country Riders
If you are someone who would like to be able to take your bike on many different terrains, to ride in bike races, or just to achieve high speeds, then a cross country mountain bike is probably your best option.
While some bikes are clearly labeled as “cross country bikes,” this is not true of all mountain bikes. Also, it is not strictly necessary to choose a bike with the “cross country” label and still get the same capabilities.
For instance, Diamondback’s Overdrive Hardtail mountain bike delivers on sturdy durability while also maintaining a rather light overall weight. These characteristics, paired with an accommodating suspension fork and a full 32-tooth gear system make for a particularly well-rounded ride.
Basically, if you want a bike that can handle racing or any kind of terrain- a good “catch all” bike, then you want a bike that has big wheels, lower amounts of suspension, and that peddles efficiently. You also, ideally, want a bike that is lightweight, easy to carry when you have to, and that can easily bounce over the bumpy, unpredictable terrain you may encounter. If you choose this type of bike, you should be good on just about any surface.
Know Your Budget and Stick to It
In addition to choosing a mountain bike that is right for your preferred terrain or that can work across a wide range of terrains, you will also want to be realistic when it comes to price.
Mountain bikes vary greatly in price, all the way from around $100 up to thousands of dollars.
Obviously, you need to buy what you can afford. Decide what features are important to you and what your budget is, and then try to find a bike that matches both as closely as possible.
If you shop online, you won’t have to deal with “upsells” from the seller, but, if you do shop in person, be wary of these and stick to your guns as you make a purchasing decision. Remember, you do not have to spend a lot to get a good, quality bike.
Buy in the Fall or Winter if You Can
Once you have decided what features you want, how much you’re willing to pay, and various other factors, try and do your shopping in the fall or the winter if you can. This is especially important if you are trying to save money.
While you can buy a mountain bike anytime, you will typically enjoy discounts and markdowns in the months when biking isn’t on most people’s minds.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about as you choose a mountain bike. As long as you do your research, though, read reviews, and put genuine effort into selecting the perfect bike, you should be able to find one that matches your wants, your needs, and, of course, your budget. And, once you have your dream bike, you can start look for fun bike accessories to go with it. Happy biking!