Every year bicycle manufacturers make better, lighter and cheaper mountain bikes which make them more attractive to consumers. Do you want to buy a full suspension mountain bike? If you do below is a list of items that you might want to considered before buying a new mountain bike.
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is what type of terrain will you be riding on? If you are going to be riding cross country maybe a full suspension bike is not warranted and a hardtail will better suit your needs. However if you are going to be riding downhill or on rough terrain a full suspension bike might be right up your alley.
Determine your budget and stick to it. Consider buying the best bike you can afford within your budget. Many riders suggest that if you have less then $700 to spend on a bike you might want to consider a hardtail because full suspension bikes are more costly. However you could consider buying a used full suspension bike at a good price on a mountain bike classified site.
If you determine that a full suspension bike is what you need and want then consider the different frame designs. Single-pivot, sweet-spot and horst-link are a few popular designs and each has their advantages and disadvantages. The best way to truly understand the difference is to go to a few bike stores and test ride the different designs. The bike store guy will be more then happy to explain and point out the pros and cons of each design.
Remember that full suspension bikes are heavier then hardtail bikes. Full suspension frames are a little heavier and they carry more parts then hardtails so be prepared to pedal around a little more weight on the trail.
Read some of the online forums to determine what other riders like and don’t like about their bikes. You can learn a lot from other rider’s opinions.
Do not forget to factor in your maintenance costs into the equation. Full suspension bikes require a little more maintenance and for the do it yourself type you will need a few extra tools.
Finally, test ride as many bikes as you can before buying. Also do not forget to test ride a full suspension bike with the front and or rear shock locked out.
See you on the trail.