Mountain Bike Buying Guide For Beginners

Mountain biking is always thrilling. You can go outside for adventure on the rocky trail, rough terrain and have a lot of fun. If you’re an expert, you’ve already known that the mountain bike is the only safe way to ride in rocks. But, if you’re a beginner, do you know how to select the best mountain bike for the beginner?

In this beginner mountain bike buying guide, I’ll express all the necessary things from the top to bottom. After completing the entire guide, you’ll be confident to choose you very first own bike by yourself.

The Ultimate Beginner Mountain Bike Buying Guide

You’ve to consider a lot of aspect before selecting your first mountain bike. However, as a beginner, you’ve to consider the budget first.

The Best Mountain Bike for the Money

In these days, you may already hear a complaint about too much expense of cycling. Premium biking can cost around 10,000 bucks or more, and it's true. But do you know, those are the classic example of modern technology? Those bikes are not essential for having the ultimate fun in riding. Bike Company's research & development team, makes those bike for your every use within a small budget. Thus, the yesterday's advanced bike come as today's entry level. For myself, I prefer an entry level hardtail at around $1,500 and dual suspension bike around $2,500. But you can buy your own at a very less price if you can adjust with the brands and accessories. However, you'll have to spend more with time for replacing and upgrading the bike. You may also find the cheap bike are not comfortable for long riding.

The most important thing about fixing a budget for a mountain bike is “Which amount is too much?”

If you need a mountain bike on a small budget, I always prefer a hardtail. For the entry level good quality hardtail bike, you need around $350. Most of the entry level mountain bikers start with a hardtail bike. I can still remember the first bike, which was a hardtail and I spent only 600 bucks.

Sales people from the bicycle shop may irritate you if your budget is too small. Don't feel low because they only know inside the box. Personally, I prefer not to use too many bucks if you're a beginner. And from my experience, I know most of the beginners start with a hardtail bike.

Are you confused about getting an entry level mountain bike at less than $500? Don’t be upset. The good news is it’s possible. Nowadays, you can easily get a best quality hardtail MTB under 500. For a full suspension bike, you have to fix a budget within $400- $1000. Unless you need some upgradations in your bike, it’s a budget.

Quick Tips: On Selecting A  Mountain Bike 

In the dull season, I mean in later part of fall and winter, bicycle shops offers a good deal of waiver for taking new inventory. Over the year, in most of the e-commerce site like Amazon, eBay etc., you’ll get different types of waiver, all over the year. If you think, you can purchase online and get a reduction price.

The Best Mountain Bike Frame

This is very important to know what to look at in an MTB, especially if you’re a beginner.

Frame Size

A key component of the frame is size, which ensures a good fit on the ride. Bike are measured from the top of the seat tube and bottom bracket shell center. You may already hear about 16, 26, 29 inch etc., which denotes for frame size. It’s very important for choosing the perfect size match for you.

Another important size is top tube measurement. It is measure from the center of the head tube and a nominal line of the center of the seat tube. The frame size is proportional to the top tube measurement. Larger rider goes for a larger frame, and top tube and smaller goes for small ones. You can also see the MTB size guide from the below MTB SIZE CHART. For the novice rider, the bikes are upright and fairly comfortable. And the bikes are comparatively less expensive.

Mountain Bike Size Chart
Frame material

The frame material is crucial to find the best quality MTB within your budget. Most of the beginner's mountain bikes have aluminum or alloy components. Aluminum is a versatile component for mid and entry level MTB frame. These are less expensive but great components for MTB. You can also find MTB, having carbon, steel or titanium. These are great for damping and lightweight but more expensive components.

Carbon bikes have a common complaint about fragility in a few years ago. But the modern carbon bikes are as strong as steel. Therefore, you'll get a durable bike in your invest. If the budget is an issue, the aluminum or alloy is the right choice for you.

Need to read about:

The Best Mountain Bike Suspension

rear front shocks

If you think about an MTB, the suspension is always the most important consideration. Whether go for a hardtail or full suspension bike. Hardtail bikes have single suspension in the front while the full suspension bike has both front and rear suspension. Most of the MTB beginners start riding with the hardtail. Hardtails are relatively cheaper than the full suspension bike. However, you’ll get a low price full suspension bike in the market. But, you’ll spend more bucks with time in its maintenance and upgrade.

Many companies have their own suspension. Only the design and orientation vary from the brands. All will tell you about their best criteria. There is a minor difference between them. I know the truth is the most of the designs of the reputed brands are very well for the beginners. So, I'll recommend the MTB beginners not to worry much about the suspension quality.

The Best Mountain Bike Wheels

With conventional 26 and 29 inch wheel, you'll get another 27.5-inch wheel on the market in the recent time. The 27.5-inch wheel has exclusively replaced the 26-inch wheel. You may have some fat tire bikes which are still using the 26-inch wheel.

Your riding terrain is also very important for choosing the wheel size. For riding in fast flow trail, you need the 29-inch wheel. But for rough trail riding, you need a 27.5-inch wheel. Again, your height is a key factor in selecting the perfect size for you. If you’re a tall person, you need a 29 inch, but if you’re a bit shorter, the smaller size will be perfect

No matter, what you select for you, this is the area you can save your budget. You can easily upgrade the wheel at any time. Manufacturers also save their cost of making in this particular points.

Where You Ride?

This is another important factor in selecting the right bike. Selecting the right track will help you to understand what type of MTB, you’re in need. XC trial, rolling and the smooth trial is the most common. You may also go for rock climbing and down hilling. For rolling and smooth trail, the hardtail is perfect. But if you are a fashionable biker, you need a full suspension bike for off-road riding, especially if you’ve more weight and aged.

Tire Size

Like all another component, tire size is also crucial. You MTB tire width has an impact on your MTB performance. Wide tires move fast and more stable than thin tires. Thin tires can easily cross the muddy and gummy roads with great speed. Less contact causes less hindrance.

Perfect Drivetrain

Another important factor is the drivetrain. The cassette, derailleur, crankset and chain are collectively known as drivetrain. There is much range of mountain bike drivetrain available. You’ll get 3 by 8, 2 by 10 or 11 and 3 by 9 in low range bike. You also get 1 by 11 or 12 drivetrains. But as a beginner, I recommend avoiding 3 by options.

The 1 by 11 or 12 drivetrains is a good choice for the beginner, as you may not involve infrequent shift and gear changes. In an entry level bike, now you'll get drivetrain from Shimano and Scream.Single shifting options always reduce the chance of doing wrong.

Saddle Post and Saddle

In modern MTB, the dropper saddle post is vital. You’ve to search a lot if you have a low budget. For the beginner, it is very important to have a dropper post if you take a hardtail bike. This allows you to drive and jump comfortably in the rough terrain.

The saddle is crucial for comfort. I always prefer to buy it separately. But if you have a low budget you can take it aside and upgrade at your convenience.

Biking Accessories

Always the mountain biking is thrilling and adventurous. Thus safety comes in the frontline, which you can’t avoid. The first and most important safety gear is the helmet. I prefer to have the own helmet in each of your rides. I also recommend wearing special shoes and hand gloves for mountain biking especially when you’re on the off road. You’ll also need a special costume for smooth and faster riding. Moreover, you need a proper hydration arrangement in the case of long riding under the sun.

Also, you'll take multiple toolkits, air pump and puncture repair in each XC riding. Therefore, you need a bag pack with you while enjoying a ride.

Final Verdict

Mountain biking is fun to do in daily activity. It's a good medium to enjoy the freshness. After knowing the importance of the vital components, it'll easier for you to decide the best MTB in your budget. A single learning may not be enough for you. So why wait, start asking the question in comments.