5 Decisions To Make Before Buying A Mountain Bike

man rides his mountainbike

The variety of mountain bikes on the market today is staggering.
With so many choices available, it is tempting to think that you must evaluate each feature and option on every model.
However, buying a mountain bike can be less complicated if you break the process down into simple decisions about function, comfort, fit, cost, and components.

1. Function

How you plan to use the bike should be your first consideration. The many different functional styles of mountain bikes range from nimble, lightweight endurance racing bikes to more hardy downhill bikes for adrenaline junkies.
Recreational riders and mountain bikers of average skill can save time by narrowing their search to within the cross-country, or XC, style. This kind of mountain bike is available in multiple levels of comfort, and it will best fit the needs of beginner-to-intermediate cyclists.

2. Comfort

Mountain bikes are categorized by suspension type. Just like with motor vehicles, the more available suspension, the softer the ride. There are three categories: dual or soft tail suspension, with front fork shocks and a single rear shock; hard tail, with only front shocks and no rear cushioning; and rigid, which has no suspension whatsoever.
It is not enough to contemplate the type of riding you will be doing. You should also consider the average length of your rides. Plan to pay more for the comfort of extra suspension travel, but you will reap dividends on those longer rides! Additionally, if you are just starting out, a little extra padding on the seat will make your time in the saddle more joyful. If the bike you really want has a hard, skinny seat, just buy a comfortable one to switch out until your hindquarters adapt.

3. Fit

Frame size is the basis of good bike fit. The same frame will not work for a tall, 220-pound male and a petite female. While sitting on the seat and remaining upright, you should be able to reach the handlebar by gently leaning forward. If your shoulders cannot stay relaxed in this position, or if the reach is too far, then you will have trouble on long uphill climbs.In addition, when you straddle the bike, there should be a comfortable amount of space between your body and the top tube of the frame. If you have to get on your tiptoes, then the frame is too big.

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