The available range of mountain bikes is so wide these days that the beginner cyclist can get lost easily in the options. It is almost endless, so let’s sum up a few general guidelines in case we decide to get a new mountain bike.
One of the most important question is what do you need the bike for? Are you planning long trips with plenty of climbs along the way? Are you planning to strom down steep descent with crazy speed? Do you compete or are you a weekend warrior?
The hardtail models are lighter and they need less maintenance, but you do have to sacrifice on comfort and many times the speed on descents. The full-suspension bikes are heavier and they do need much more maintenance but they are more comfortable and can be faster on rough terrain.
Alloy or carbon fibre? The aluminium frames are available at a lower price point, they are more durable and they can be repaired easier. The disadvantage is that they can be uncomfortable thanks to their rigidity. The carbon fibre models are much lighter and much more comfortable thanks to the damping charecteristics of carbon. They are more fragile and they have an extremely high price.
The next dilemma is the wheelsize. The trendi 27,5” size is a bit more dominant these days, but don’t forget the also popular 29ers either! To make the call keep in mind the „what do I need it for” principle. The 29ers are smoother and faster on trails but they are heavier and their acceleration is also less. The 27,5” (aka 650b) ones are more agile, they have better control and acceleration but they can be a bit slower under certain conditions. We can say that 29ers are ideal for XC and Marathon racing and the 27,5” models are better choice for All Mountain, Enduro and beginner riders.
Last but not the least lets see the specification. Be sure you choose a bike with specification that will serve your needs. The too low specification will give dissatisfaction, the too high specification will not be used.
· Always try before you buy! A test ride is necessary before you make your choice.
· Always aks for advice at your local bike shop!