If you’re struggling to know how best to spend your pennies on getting the best mountain bike, here’s everything you need to know and more to get you matched with your perfect MTB.
From what type of mountain bike to opt for, to the levels of components you should expect for your budget, Bex Hopkins has got it all covered.
How to buy the best mountain bike
Before you jump in with both feet and rush off to visit a shop, we recommend you have a good think about what type of riding you’ll be doing, and where you’d like to be in a year’s time.
It’s practically a given that once you get started, you’ll get hooked and a year down the line, you don’t want to regret buying a hardtail, when what you really needed was a full-suspension. Look at mountain bikes that are suitable for the level of riding you realistically think you’ll be at within a year, rather than your current skill level. It never hurt anyone riding a ‘better’ bike, if anything it helps you progress faster.
We highly recommend you book yourself onto a Demo Day – sign up, pay a small fee and you get to test ride a couple of bikes on some decent trails. It’s a fun day out and you get some personal attention from the staff to set the bike up for you and help you along the way. You can usually book the mountain bike and size in advance and most demo days offer some women specific mountain bikes so you can compare them alongside the ‘blokes’ bikes.
You can of course test ride a bike from a store, but it’s never quite the same riding around a car park. Having an hour on varied terrain will give you a better feel for the bike. Remember to take your credit card along to demo days – as a deposit against the bikes you test, it’s a standard procedure.