Looking to buy your first mountain bike? Not sure where to start?  Minnesota was recently named as the second most bike-friendly state, according to the League of American Bicyclists. With paved trails and friendly roads, mountain bikers can choose from a variety of tracks in town and the surrounding area. So, whether you’re looking to commute to work or start training on your downhill declines, choosing the right features is vital to making your purchase and satisfy your adrenaline rush.

The sport of mountain biking has dramatically evolved since the early 1890s. That means, not every bike is made the same. Modern bikes are built for various riding styles and exhilarating mountain trails, like the one at Buck Hill. To help you get the most value out of your money, it is important to understand the basics of choosing your mountain bike based on trails, design, and riding style. In this guide, you will find everything you need to know about how to choose your first mountain bike.

Know Your Budget

If you plan to purchase a brand new mountain bike, most modern bikes can cost anywhere from $500 to $12,000. While the higher brands may include awesome features, there is no general need to spend that amount for a safe bike to use on the trail. If you have extra to spend on a bike, consider the added features like compact storage, cushion padding, and more.

Determine Your Riding Style

Mountain bikes can be compared between two categories – trail or downhill. Keep in mind that while most mountain bikes are relatively the same, you will need to be realistic about your needs. If you spend most of your time riding local trails, buying a downhill bike may not be the best idea.

Instead, you can choose a quality hardtail that will get you through the trails and ride out safely without injury. On the other hand, if you plan to trail in lifts or shuttles, there a downhill or freeride bike will be the best option for you.

Types of Mountain Bikes

Not sure which option is best for you? Generally, most styles are designed to be versatile and effectively perform on a wide range of trails.  Here are some of the different types of mountain bicycles:

  • Rigid
  • Front Suspension
  • Full Suspension
  • Dirt Jumping
  • Freeride
  • All Mountain
  • Downhill

Understand that within each bike type, there are designs that offer various differences. Most mountain bicycles are built of aluminum, which produces a quality-looking frame that is responsive and lightweight. No matter which model you choose, always opt for a comfortable ride.

Hopefully, this guide should give you a better understanding of how to get started on choosing your mountain bike. Be sure to give the bike a test drive to help you determine what’s right for your new riding machine.


Author: Jane Sandwood