How to Choose Your First MTB: 10 Tips for Buying a Mountain Bike for Beginners

Last Updated on April 3, 2022 by Editorial Staff

Buying your first mountain bike can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience, especially if you’re new to cycling or haven’t purchased a new bike in some time. Riding a mountain bike can help you improve your body fitness and health. Looking for the best bike can ensure you meet your movement and exercise needs.

This guide will walk you through the process of choosing your first MTB by giving you 10 tips to help you make your final decision.

1. Work out how much you can spend

Once you’ve got a general idea of what you want to get, work out how much money you can spend. Decide on a price limit and stick to it. Don’t let yourself go over. This budget is going to be important when working out which brands and models you can afford. You should also use your budget as a guide when looking at used bikes. Remember that these may not come with some accessories that new models do, such as helmet, lock, and more.

If you find something that meets your needs but is more than you wanted to pay, don’t panic! Look around and see if there are other models or makes within your budget. Finally, remember that if you don’t buy now, there’s always another bike sale around the corner!

2. Learn about the different types of bikes

If you want to know how to choose a mountain bike, learning about different types of bikes will help you narrow down what kind of bike is right for you. There are three main categories to keep in mind: hardtail, full suspension and freeride or downhill. Each category differs in terms of where they perform best and how much money you’ll spend.

Hardtails are great if you plan on commuting or racing because they are lightweight, relatively cheap and durable (unlike full-suspension models). For beginners, a hardtail would be a solid choice. Full-suspension bikes have a front fork with hydraulic shock absorbers to smooth out bumps; they tend to be expensive and heavier than hardtails, but offer more comfort for longer rides over rough terrain.

You can read this article: Hardtail vs. Full Suspension Mountain Bike: Which is Best For You?

3. Get on your bike! (or borrow one!)

The best way to know if mountain biking is right for you is to try it out. Before buying, renting or borrowing a bike is your best bet even though it may cost you some money, you’ll be able to try different types of bikes on trails in your area and decide what works best for you. The more comfortable you are on a bike before buying one, the less likely you are to regret that purchase later on.

4. Consider buying used

In recent years, mountain bikes have become more and more specialized and complex. You can now buy very high-end mountain bikes that cost $10,000 or more. For most people who are just starting out on a mountain bike, though, these highly tuned carbon fiber whips are completely unnecessary.
how to choose a mountain bike

5. Don’t obsess over brands

Focus on fit and quality. Many newer riders get caught up in obsessing over brand names and whatnot, but at its core, mountain biking is a sport about spending time outside with friends. If you can’t ride that day-to-day bike in your regular clothes, it’s not the right bike for you. It doesn’t matter if it has a $1,000 price tag if it doesn’t fit you or is ridden just once or twice a year.

6. Rent if you’re unsure

Cycling is an extremely fun sport, but it’s also very expensive. If you aren’t ready to invest hundreds of dollars in a new bike, consider renting one instead. This can help you figure out if cycling is really your sport of choice and allow you to determine what style of bike fits your needs.

You can read this article: Bike Rental Facts: What Should You Consider Before Renting a Bicycle?

7. Try before you buy

Cycling magazine Bicycling recommends finding a local bike shop to test ride some bikes. The key is that you feel comfortable on the bike and that it fits your body type. For example, while you might want a mountain bike with a more upright position, if you’re short with short legs, an upright style might be uncomfortable or difficult to control. If possible, take multiple models out for a test drive before committing to one.

You’ll also want to know what kind of parts are on each model so that if anything breaks or wears out over time, you’ll know whether to have it repaired or replaced. A reputable shop should offer free adjustments and repairs within a certain period of purchase, as well as handle maintenance tasks like tire replacements and tube changes when needed.

8. Maintenance is key

It’s important to know that mountain bikes need to be maintained regularly. As a general rule, experts recommend getting your bike tuned up at least once a year. And if you’re really serious about riding, consider taking it in for repairs after every five or ten rides—just to keep things running smoothly.

9. Buy once, cry once!

The most important thing you can do is choose a bike that’s right for your riding style and intended terrain. Are you looking to race? Spend some time on a local mountain bike trail or in an XC setting. Are you going to use it just to get out of town and have fun on dirt roads? A hardtail will likely suit your needs better than a full-suspension bike.

10. Save up for an awesome ride!

Depending on where you live, that new mountain bike might cost anywhere from $300 to more than $5,000. Before you drop your hard-earned money on a new ride, make sure it fits your needs and style of riding. While there’s no substitute for trying out several bikes at a local shop, you may find one that feels just right.

Are you wondering how to choose a mountain bike for beginners? While there are lots of great beginner mountain bikes available on today’s market, these tips will help make sure you end up with a bike that really suits your needs and style.

However, don’t forget to keep an open mind! You never know what bike you may fall in love with until you get out there and test some bikes out. And don’t be afraid to go used—you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by buying a gently used bike online or through local forums.

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