What to consider when buying a mountain bike

Determining what brand and type of bike to purchase can be stressful for a first time buyer.  Not being familiar with the different product lines and understanding the variations in craftsmanship only brings more questions to the process.  In an effort to help you understand some of the basics I put together a few points to consider when purchasing a new or used mountain bike.

  • Avoid buying your bike at Walmart or Target because you probably will not find the service that you need.  A bike store or an online website selling new or used mountain bikes for sale and bike parts.
  • Determine how you are going to use the bike.  Will you be riding on the trails in the woods for fun or are you going to be racing?
  • Make up a budget because mountain bikes can be costly and you want to buy the best bike within your limits.  You will probably feel very excited when entering the store and seeing all of the bikes for sale so keep your goals in perspective.
  • Buy a product that has a frame constructed out of steel, aluminum, carbon fiber or titanium.
  • Decide on a 21 or 27 speed mountain bike drive train. Some bikers like the 27 speed for the extra gears. Buying a 21 speed and then upgrading to a 27 speed could be more costly then spending a little more up front.
  • Educate your self on front suspension forks.  A suspension fork will help improve the comfort and control of your mountain bike on the trail.  Since there are many manufactures you need to research before you buy your bike.
  • Purchase a MTB that has components from a reputable manufacturer.  These components do not have to be top of the line however just make sure they are a familiar brand.
  • Determine if the tires are appropriate for the terrain that you want to ride on.  If you are buying a cross country bike then make sure it has good cross country tires.
  • Ride as many bikes as you can.  Test drive as many bikes as you can at the bike shop.

Hopefully the information will help you think through the decisions you need to make before you buy a new mountain bike.  Enjoy the process and have fun.

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