How to Choose a Mountain Bike: A Buying Guide

Mountain bikes today are wonderful machines which are purpose-built providing supreme confidence and enjoyment on a variety of routes. This has been made feasible by new technology and innovations, but also complicates how to choose a mountain bike.

How to Choose a Mountain Bike

There are far more aspects to consider after you’ve decided on the right style of mountain bike, ranging from pricing to the various pieces which make up the bike. We’ll go over all of these variables and more to assist you pick a mountain bike that’s right for you and your riding style.

How to Choose a Mountain Bike Based on the Type

Finding out what kind of terrain you prefer to travel as well as how you can ride them seems to be the key to maneuvering this muddy center way. A reduced travel or maybe even a full suspension mountain bike can make the ride quick and energetic if you’re usually on easy trails, but a longer journey bike can mellow out the journey to the extent of boredom.

1. All-Mountain

For some time, the word “all-mountain” got thrown around haphazardly, however it’s now mostly used to describe lengthier travel, not-quite-enduro kinds of bikes. Such bikes feature 140 up to 160mm of ride but lack the aggressive construction needed to pinpoint exactly the gnar at maximum velocity.

This is where the Enduro classification comes in. Such bikes level out the rougher parts of the route a little more than a regular trail bike even while ascending quite easily.

Related: Can You Get a DUI on a Bike?

2. Trail

MTBs with the best balance are indeed the trail bikes. escending, climbing, and whirling on flowy/flat terrain are all possible with these. Geometry distinguishes among steep XC bicycles versus enduro bikes that are very low, slack, and long.

Trail bikes, which have travel spanning from 120mm up to 140mm, provide a harsher downhill experience compared to enduro bikes and are much more dynamic (i.e. poppy as well as hops) at reduced speeds. Different bikes’ descending and climbing abilities vary greatly within this broad standard, with many emphasizing one or the other plus a few ideally blending the two.

3. Cross-Country

These bicycles are designed with ruthless efficiency in mind. They’re a masochistic kind of entertainment that foregoes comfort and pleasure in favor of sheer pedal force. Shorter front ends, skinny tires, and aggressive geometry are now all designed to get you to the finish line early. Cross-country bicycles either are hardtails or possess a suspension travel of roughly 100mm.

Such bikes were only ever suitable for calmer terrain when you don’t really have excellent bike handling abilities or enjoy banging your route over rocks. Most mountain riders would not want a bicycle like this. Maintenance roads to calm blue trails are all good options.

4. Enduro

This enduro category is established to meet the needs of enduro-style cycling, which includes required but untimed mountainous stages. For the victory, downhill parts are recorded. Enduro bicycles, as you might guess, are more slope orientated compared to trail bikes.

They feature higher travel (approximately 150-170mm) with frames that are frequently lower and longer to the ground, which increases descent steadiness. At incredible velocities, these motorcycles are at their finest.

Related: What Is MIPS Helmet?

5. Downhill

These kinds of bikes are designed for descending as well as descending exclusively, with roughly 200mm worth of reach and a twin crown suspension. To bring these creatures to the summit of a double-blacks they’re supposed to kill, you’ll need to have a lift or a shuttle.

6. Fat Tire

Do you dread the winter’s frigid, snowy days? Are you often losing momentum on desert or coastal sand trails? Start with a new fat bicycle so you can cycle all year, regardless of the weather or the route’s composition: snow, sand, ice, or mud.

Oversized tires, generally 3.6 up to 5 inches in diameter, are the unique characteristic of the fat bike. Because these bikes have more tires on the road, they have higher grip in snow and sand. This fat bike could be the best option if you really want a bicycle for an off-season or for the peculiar conditions of the local trails.

Related: What Is the Best Bike for Commuting?

How to Choose a Mountain Bike Based on the Features

So you’ve discovered the ideal mountain bike that match your riding style as well as gotten your fit just right. Now you must find out how to construct it.

How to Choose a Mountain Bike

This can proceed in one of two directions. You may either purchase one of the company’s or owner’s complete bundles, or you can buy a component and finish it manually. To respect the ideals of its designers and to evaluate a brand which you can probably purchase, we acquire full bike construction kits for our testing.

Unless you just have a large stock of parts as well as a lot of expertise, this is typically the most cost- as well as time-effective alternative.

1. Size and Weight

Light, according to one school of thinking, equals right. This results in a  lot of component changes designed to save weight. While riding a lighter bike seems undoubtedly enjoyable, it isn’t the be-all and end-all of bike speed.

Lower-cost aluminum motorcycles with less costly construction kits are the bulkier award winners. If we evaluated more costly, lighter models of the identical bikes, they’d definitely get even better scores.

2. Material and Build

This option places a greater emphasis on weight compared to others. Carbon is around a pound each frame or a couple pounds each bike lower than aluminum. You should expect to pay around $500 up to $1,000 every pound of weight lost.

  • Aluminum vs Carbon

Carbon’s advantages in terms of strength and riding quality are more enticing. Contemporary carbon frames indeed are more durable compared to aluminum and typically provide a smoother ride, delivering power more effectively to the tires and allowing for quicker steering and  turning.

That is the true explanation for our preference for carbon. Nonetheless, we regard it a luxury rather than a productivity need.

3. Tires

Tires are indeed a simple and inexpensive modification. Conventional tubed tires and tubeless tires, that inflate utilizing a tight seal, are the initial options. Tubeless tires seem considerably nicer and can be operated at low loads without risking a pinch puncture. They’re kind of more complicated and expensive to make, but we think the result is well worth it.

4. Maintenance and Warranty

Before you ride your bike out of the door, each REI bike store will give it a last strict product examination. In addition, request that the suspension specifications be modified to fit your body mass.

Ensure you get the minimal necessities for maintenance and repairs, such as a patch kit, spare tube, tire levers, multi-tool, pump, chain lubricant, and a bag to carry everything in. And always remember to wear your helmet for utmost safety.

Many stores, like REI, offer a free initial tune-up. So reap the benefits of that promotion, remember to bring the new set of wheels back.

5. Suspension

The kind of suspension as well as tire diameter are some important factors that affect what kind of topography a bike can handle. As you limit out your bike options, think about aspects like structural material, amount of gears, as well as brake style.

  • Hardtail

Such bikes feature a front mechanical fork to assist buffer shock on its front tire, and yet no support in the back—hence the term “hardtail.” These hardtails cost just under full-suspension bicycles and possess fewer moving components (which frequently means less upkeep). For occasions wherein a fully flexible bike is required, most hardtails offer the option to shut out its front fork.

  • Full Suspension

Full-suspension bicycles come in a variety of designs, but the main notion is that the rear shock and the front fork cushion the trail’s blows. This lessens the rider’s pressure, enhances traction, and allows for a much more tolerant and comfortable ride.

  • Rigid

“Rigid” mountain bicycles do not have any suspension and are not the most prevalent form of mountain bike. Although they are simpler to maintain and typically less costly, most cyclists prefer motorcycles featuring suspension for increased comfort. Cyclists believe that the broad tires plus low tire tension give enough squish to cushion shocks on the path, therefore most fat-tire bicycles are stiff.

6. Brakes

Except for mountain bikes that are entry-level, disc brakes mostly have supplanted rim brakes.

  • Rim Brakes

These have brake pads which hold onto a wheel hub-mounted brake disc. Hydraulic brake systems provide more continuous and firmer braking with much less finger exertion and self-adjust with brake disc wear than mechanical disc brakes. While the pads degrade on cable-activated or mechanical brakes, additional adjustments are required.

  • Disc Brakes

Rim brakes are available on certain entry-level bmx bikes. Rim brakes have pads that grasp the rims of the wheels.

Related: Mountain Bike Sizing Chart: What Size Do I Need

FAQs on How to Choose a Mountain Bike

1. How do I choose the correct mountain bike for myself?

Check and see if any bicycle demos are being conducted in your region, or, much better, when you’re on a trip at a mountain riding hotspot. When you’ve had enough of reading specifications and are prepared to take the jump, contact a bike-certified professional for assistance.

2. How do I measure myself for a proper-fitting mountain bike?

Starting from the bottom bracket or BB’s to the seat tube’s top, MTBs are calculated. MTB top frames frequently slope down that connect the seat frame shorter than road bicycles to provide the rider extra standover position.

3. What should I look for in a mountain bike frame?

You might need to choose a larger or smaller size based on your body and experience. MTBs are available in three sizes: 26″, 27.5″, then 29″. While earlier designs and/or inexpensive MTBs frequently employ 26″ wheels, the 27.5″ as well as the 29″ specification has become the norm on modern models.

4. What size bike is right for my height?

There are different ways to calculate what size of bike one should get for their height. See the full guide here.


Have you decided on a new ideal bike for yourself? Perhaps not, but at the very least, you’ll know where to begin your quest. Look and see if any bicycle demos are being conducted in your region to have more inspiration. In any case, I hope you learned and enjoyed learning how to choose a mountain bike.

5/5 - (2 votes)



Related Posts