If you decide to get into mountain biking and you’re serious about the quality of your equipment, keep in mind these tips for buying your first mountain bike.
Set a Budget
We’ve all met that guy who shows up completely tricked out in all the latest gear and then doesn’t know how to use or take care of any of it. Mountain bikes come in a range of brands and options, from full-suspension bikes to so-called “hardtail” bikes with no rear suspension. Quality mountain bikes are a significant investment, so you might consider a bike that will help you learn the sport and the terrain. You want the bike to be durable, and you’ll want a bike that makes you want to ride—not park it in the shed and forget about it. GovVelo can help you choose a bike in your price range that will get you into the sport and have fun!
Type, Size and Suspension
Beginners should consider a bike with hardtail suspension. Hardtail bikes will do fine along trails with varied terrain with ascents and descents, meadows and forests, and some dirt road. You’re not racing (yet), just enjoying the outdoors and challenging yourself physically for a feel-good workout. Hardtail suspension means the bike doesn’t have a shock absorber for the rear wheel. It may sound uncomfortable, but it actually keeps you in touch with the ground a bit better and helps you get a feel for different types of trails and terrain. It’s unlikely as a beginner that you’ll be tackling rock gardens right out of the gate. As you become a better rider, you might want to upgrade to a full-suspension bike.
Another important decision is the wheel size. The standard used to be 26 inches, but more often these days, you’ll have a choice between 27.5 and 29-inch wheels. Bigger wheels need more power to get going, but once they’re rolling, they roll over obstacles more easily and they maintain momentum. They have more surface area in contact with the trail, so they get better traction, but they’re also slightly heavier.
Manufacturers developed 27.5-inch wheels to be lighter and better performing than the older 26-inch wheel, but with a smaller circumference than a 29-inch wheel. This makes them lighter and easier to maneuver because there’s less wheel rotating.
Finally, you’ll need to decide on the tires and the frame. Some riders prefer a “plus-sized” tire. These are wider, giving the rider more rubber on the trail for traction, but the tradeoff is that you have a heavier wheel. If you’re bikepacking though, a plus size tire can be a great choice. Frames come in aluminum alloy, steel, titanium, and carbon fiber. Considerations are weight, strength, cost and what you’re planning to do.
From our Hardtail collection to our Marin bikes for sale, browse our inventory and contact us with questions. We’re happy you decided to take up mountain biking and can help you make a choice that will keep you going and growing with the sport!