To the uninitiated, mountain bikes appear the same. High riding position, horizontal handle bars, wider tires, sturdier frames. There are however several variables to a mountain bike. While they may look basically the same, the components and the general build will determine the terrain that it will be best suited to.
What is your riding style?
There are so many variables and small alteration in mountain bike configuration but the general rule is that first you will have to determine the kind of riding that you intend to do.
• Will the mountain bike be used in riding smooth trails?
• Is the bike to be used in cross country cruising?
• Do you enjoy the back woods and mountain cruising?
• Are you thrilled most at the challenge of rocky trails?
• Or do you look forward to the adrenaline rush of rugged downhill riding?
Mountain bikes are not exactly cheap. Good mountain bikes come with a price tag. It will be very frustrating to shell out hard saved money only to end up with a good but wrong bike.
Find a good dealer
When sure of your riding style, find a good dealer. Good dealers offer good advice. Many mountain bike dealers care about the bike that is sold to you. They could also give you alternative choices when the cost is a question? They often speak the same language as the buyer. In the same manner, refrain from buying mass retailed bikes. There may also be good bikes on their display, but seldom will the sales pitch be of use when you want a serious bike that will suit you.
Get good deal
Like anything that is sold in the market, mountain bike prices are driven by supply and demand and so the prices fluctuate during the year. Sales for mountain bikes are up during spring until summer. If you are willing to wait, the prices of mountain bikes are significantly lower during fall and winter. During this time of the year, discounts are offered including those for the accessories and services. Technology in mountain bike design does not change so significantly every year and so it is okay to ride the previous year’s model.
Set a price limit
Mountain bikes are one of those things that you will hate setting a price tag to. Just like buying a car you would as much as possible, want to have only the best and the temptation to pamper a bike is really great. However, just like buying a car, there is virtually no limit to the money that you could shell out for a bike. Take titanium frames for example. Anybody would want that in a bike but if the price is prohibitive, you will never start owning one if you wait for the right moment to come up with enough budget for a titanium framed bike. So set a price limit, upgrades could come later.
…and test ride some more. Different bikes feel differently. The more bikes you try, the more likely that you will arrive at the best bike that will suit your riding style.
Remember that more you will be stuck with the bike that you choose today for quite a while. Your planned upgrades will also depend much on the kind of bike that is chosen.