Top 6 Mountain Bike Buying Tips
When you venture for riding over trails, dirt roads, gravel or anything more rough than asphalt, a mountain bike is your best bet. Its built-in suspension and knobbed, wider tires ease out the challenges of riding on rugged surfaces and its more vertical riding position is better for back. But after entering a shop of mountain bikes, you may get easily daunted with the vast array. Here are top 6 tips about choosing the most suitable mountain bike for you.
- If you are ready to spend 2,000 bucks you can get a high quality, full suspension mountain bike. If you want to save money, you can have a hard trail with suspension only in its front or a fully rigid one without suspension. However, beware of too-good-to-be-true deals when you are getting a low-priced bike wherein low-quality suspension parts are used which wear out fast on rugged trails.
- Choosing a full-suspension mountain bike may seem to be a good decision; but when you don’t want the luxury of suspension, a hard tail bike or even a fully rigid bike can be good alternatives if your local trails are usually smooth or if you don’t wish to ride anything too technical. You can inquire in shops about the local conditions before making a decision. Though a simple design has little or no suspension, particularly in the budget range, it also means that there are less chances of breakage due to fewer parts.
- If you choose a bike with suspension, ensure that the shock and fork have some kind of damping ability and rebound modification ability, which adjust and slow down the speed of return. Without them, you may feel the shocks like pogo-sticks which will throw you off the bike.
- Nowadays one-by and two-by drivetrains having only one or two chain rings respectively have become greatly popular. They offer the benefits of fewer movable parts to break and light weight. However, those who have just started or buying less expensive bikes (which are usually heavier) or those who dwell in mountains, should prefer a standard three-chain ring design which provides the greatest number of gears which facilitate easy pedaling.
- The biggest debate about mountain bikes is about the wheel size. Bikes are built with about 26-inch, 27.5-inch (aka 650B) and 29-inch hoops. Though each of these has its own pros and cons, sellers are often inclined to tell overstated performance benefits. So, it is better to choose a bike which you feel the most comfortable regardless of the wheel size. There is one exception though: for fully rigid bikes or hard tails, 29-inch wheels are the most ideal because the additional circumference smoothes out the bumps on the road.
- If you plan to buy a used bike, ensure to take it to an expert mechanic for an inspection before purchasing. Though the bike may apparently look in good condition, the riding off road could have beaten up gears and suspension internals; so getting such a bike inspected might save your money.