You have decided, you are going to buy mountain cycles. You go to various stores and discover that there is a world of bicycles, brands, styles, colors. You do not know exactly what you want or need and the problems begin. This will be your basic guide to buying an MTB bicycle just for what you need it before you visit Stead Cycles.
1. Choose which modality you want to practice
The first thing you should do is define the style or modality of the MTB that you want to practice. Many of us want a bicycle that can be used for everything. But if you have decided to make mountain biking a hobby, it will be necessary to have a suitable bicycle. And even if we want to cover all the modalities, it is not totally possible.
If you are starting in mountain biking, we recommend buying a bicycle according to your economic possibilities, which also allows you to learn and have a pleasant experience in the mountains. For someone just starting out in mountain biking, a Cross-Country XC or Trail bike is a good starting point.
XC bikes can be found mostly with front suspension and some with full suspension, no greater than 110mm. These bicycles are made up of an aluminum frame and components from the most basic to the top of the range. The geometry and setup of this bike are designed to have a more comfortable riding position.
For their part, Trail bikes are full suspension and their travels vary between 120mm and 140mm. The geometry of this bike is a mix for both getting on and off comfortably.
But if you want to get fully into Downhill, for example, the idea is to do it with a downhill Stead Cycles. Remember, it does not have to be the best or the most expensive, but it does have to be designed for this discipline (or the one you decide to practice) to have a better experience.
2. Find the right frame size
One of the biggest mistakes we can make when buying our first bike is choosing the wrong size for us. This mistake will make our mountain experience not the best. If the bike is too big or too small, we won’t be able to get the potential out of our purchase. We know many people who were convinced by the seller to take another size and regret it long after this decision.
Sizes may vary between brands, but most use inches and are based on the distance from the base of the vertical frame tube height. Many times we believe that only our height is what will define our size, but it is not entirely true. Some people may have a longer trunk and short legs or vice versa, that is why the real measurement to choose the size is based on the measurement from the ground to our crotch.
3. Select the braking system
In mountain biking brakes are extremely important. You need an effective, efficient, and safe braking system. The simplest bicycles in components and therefore in cost, have v-brakes. However, these will ask us for more strength to squeeze the levers and brake in time. These brakes complicate us especially on the descents since we are more concerned with braking than in what is ahead of us.
Another disadvantage of v-brakes is that when riding on very wet or muddy terrain, both the pads and the rim get wet, affecting braking. Also, when you need to remove the tires from your bike, you will have to be adjusting the shoe each time so that it is centered and adjusted.
Because of the above, many mountain bikers prefer disc brakes. Bicycles vary in price depending on the disc brake they have, whether mechanical or hydraulic, from the most basic to the top of the range.
As a mountain biker, I find hydraulic disc brakes to be quite comfortable and efficient when braking. They ask us for less pressure force on the levers, and even these have an adjustment button to bring them closer and further away depending on the length of our hand.
Another great advantage is that, for an extra, by buying it already with them, you will be avoiding changing your mechanical brakes for hydraulic ones in a short time and you will not be paying the retail price.
4. Determine the suspension you need
Suspension is another factor that varies from bike to bike and will depend on the type of terrain you are constantly going to ride, or the modality you choose. And the first thing you should know is that there are two types of suspensions:
- Spring suspensions
- Air suspensions
The spring suspensions are internally shaped by a spring that will make them work. And the air suspensions, they bring a cartridge loaded with air at a certain pressure and this is what makes it work. The most basic bikes have spring suspensions and as you go up the range you will find them with air suspensions.
5. Invest in the components you really need
To get started in mountain biking it is important to know how to invest our money well. The variation in the price of a mountain bike depends, to a large extent, on the quality of its components.
Generally, the low ranges (Stead cycles has a list of cheap bicycles online) have components that use plastic materials in their structure, which will make wear faster and more likely to break in case of misuse or a direct hit on the component. By choosing a larger range, we have the quality to face daily use, especially if we are learning.
We advise you not to look for anything too complex or superior to the use that you are going to give your new mountain bike. It is convenient to verify and investigate what components your future bicycle brings and if you are between brands this can help you make the best purchase decision on quality and price.
6. If you are going to buy second hand, check that it is not stolen
Bicycle theft has increased and the world of mountain biking has also been engulfed in this problem. Many stolen bicycles are sold on sale web portals, markets, flea markets, or from person to person.
For this, if you buy a second-hand bicycle, it is important that you ask or know where the bicycle comes from. Ask the seller for the sales note or an invoice where the specifications of the same come, ask him why he sells it.
Verify that the serial number (usually comes in the box, in the center axle box) is not rubbed off or carved. If the price is too low compared to the general prices, hesitate a bit and ask all these questions. If you do not have how to verify the ownership of the bicycle with a note, ask him to show you photos of the bicycle with him using it (of course we all have photos of our Stead cycles). It will already depend on your criteria for the purchase of the bicycle.