I want to start mountain biking, what bike do I buy?
I’ve been asked this question so many times, so let me help and give you some direction. Side note –> I’ll definitely keep this post updated as the questions and additional info roll in.
Where do we begin… The fist thing to keep in mind when you are saving up or budgeting for a bike is that it’s not just the bike. You need to remember that you’ll have to budget for shoes, helmet, gloves, bottles or hydration pack and more. But instead of writing an entire book on starting out this post however will focus on just the bike.
Oh yes and please do note that I’m not going to tell you what you need to spend to start off… I am however going to advise you on the absolute minimum is you need to look for if you want to start and why.
New or secondhand?
This is a budget decision… you definitely can get your hands on a real good bike if you go second hand. The trick is going to be to inspecting the bike, sometimes you can easily see when someone maintained the bike properly. You’ll have to inspect this carefully. My advise would be to take the bike to a local bike shop and have it inspected/serviced.
Lets get this one out the way quickly. If you’re starting you can really look at any brand. I would advise that you stick to mainstream brands as they are typically accompanied by good components. Almost all the brands out there offer a massive range of bikes from entry level to absolute pro. Some mentions of brands: Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, Giant, Titan, Silverback, BMC, Pyga, Merida etc etc.
Probably one of the first things people look at is selecting a wheel size. In mountain bikes you currently get 27,5 and 29 inch wheels. About 8 years ago you only had 26 inch however we’ve come a long way from those days with the bigger wheels offering you better rolling and efficiencies. You preferably would want to go with current options as this will widen your tyre options.
Of the 2x available options the 29er is probably the most popular. This however is a very open point under a lot of discussion and I would not advise you over analyse this. Simply put the biggest consideration you need to consider is based on your length. If you are shorter than 1,7m I would recommend you consider a 27,5 bike where if you are longer go 29er.
Some basics to look out for is:
Air fork if possible
At least 10 gears in the back
Well, that’s about as high level as I can go… you are very welcome to comment should you have any questions.