How To: Buy your first mountain bike
Woot woot! You made it to the HOW TO blog post!
Mountain biking is a fun and exhilarating way to explore the great outdoors and get some fresh air and exercise. But with so many different types of bikes, components, and features, it can quickly become overwhelming to choose the right one, especially with your buddy trying to up-sell you on the fanciest stuff available. We'll provide some tips to help you buy your first mountain bike.
Determine your budget: Before you start shopping for a mountain bike, it's important to determine your budget. Mountain bikes can range from a few hundred dollars to the cost of a used car, so knowing how much you can afford will help you narrow down your options. You may also need to account for accessories such as a bike rack for your car, helmet, gloves, and protective gear (and locks... because this is Reno Tahoe and we can't have nice things).
Consider your riding style: The type of mountain bike you should buy will depend on the type of riding you plan to do. If you're planning to do mostly cross-country riding on smoother trails, a hardtail mountain bike with a lightweight frame and front suspension may be a good choice. If you plan to do more technical riding on rougher terrain or heading to any resort, a full-suspension mountain bike with larger tires and more travel will provide better control and comfort.
Choose the right frame size: The size of the mountain bike frame is also important. A bike that is too small or too large can be uncomfortable to ride and may cause injury. Review mountain bike manufacturers websites to determine what size is appropriate for you. Size charts are based on your height, inseam length, and preferred riding style. It's a good idea to test ride several bikes to find the one that fits you best.
4. Look for quality components: The components on a mountain bike can greatly affect its performance and durability. Check the bikes components such as Shimano or SRAM shifters and derailleurs, hydraulic disc brakes, and a sturdy frame. If you're in for the long haul, it can be worth spending a little more for a bike with better components, to save money in the long run on bike repairs and upgrades.
Once you're ready to make the plunge, consider "buying used" first! Investing in a mountain bike is a huge commitment, and what happens if you're not that into the sport? Or you quickly realize you want to get more technical and have to upgrade? By shopping used, you'll have access to a wider selection of high quality brands and products, within a lower budget. (Helllo Santa Cruz, Kona, Pyga!) An additional pros of checking out the used gear and bike shop? You get to try out multiple bikes in one shopping trip, rather than scheduling a bunch of failed Facebook Marketplace meetups.
Buying your first mountain bike can be a stressful experience, with lots of aspects to consider. It's important to do your research and choose the right bike for your needs. Do you want to shred it at the resorts, or are you getting into gravel riding. Will a hardtail suit your needs just fine, or do you need the extra suspension? By considering your budget, riding style, frame size, components, and support, you can find the perfect mountain bike for your adventures on the trails. Happy riding, and we hope to see you in the shop.
-Portions of this blog were generated with the assistance of chatGPT-