The mountain bike buyers guide will help you decide what mountain bike to buy. There are many mountain bike brands available and more and more models from each manufacturer. In SA we fall into European territories for most companies so we predominantly have Euro spec models. With so many options, we can help decide how much to pay and what level of spec to choose.
The rapid pace of innovation in mountain biking has added another dimension. From the first hardtails the initial changes were around front and rear suspension and disc brakes. Then came the changing wheel sizes 26″, 27.5″ and 29″ and then fatbikes. More recently the changing drivetrains from 3×8 or 3×9 to 2×10 then 1×11 and now we are at 1×12. Mixed into all of this we have carbon becoming popular, long travel trail bikes and then ebikes. It is a mine field today, a long way from the simplicity of the first hardtails conceived by the pioneers back in the ’70s.
Choosing the right mountain bike is not just about price, there are other factors to consider to make an informed choice. A reliable and knowledgeable bike shop should be able to advise on the relevant factors. This mountain bike buyers guide should steer you in the right direction if you consider the following questions and their answers.
How to buy a mountain bike
How and where will you will be riding is the starting point for choosing a mountain bike. The buyers guide identifies some of the main groupings of riders, find the ones that suit you best.
Tips for buying a mountain bike
What are the differences between all the different mountain bike components? Comparing components like brakes, suspension and gears will identify which bike is suitable and best value for money. It is all quite logical actually, understand the different levels of quality components and you can choose the better bike.
History of mountain bike technology
The continuous innovation happening in mountain biking leads to improvements and changes all the time. Understanding how this evolution is taking place helps to decide whether or not the technology is good for you at a particular time. If you understand the history and development of mountain biking technology it will help to know if it should be considered. Just because it is the latest and greatest does not mean that it is best for you. Many of the older technologies are still around and some of the latest developments may be unnecessary.