Sunday, February 13, 2011

Buying The Best Mountain Bike

This Ibis Mojo'd do me just fine!

The Best Mountain Bike: What is your best option?:
What is the best mountain bike for you? This is a question that every single mountain biker asks as they look to replace a current bike or get into the sport for the first time. With all of the available options in today’s market, you have a wide range of possible suspects which is a good thing…but it can be crippling in your search as well.
Here are some things I would consider while searching out the best mountain bike for your trails and budget.

Some Golden Rules In Finding Your Best Mountain Bike

As you look for your best mountain bike, keep some of these golden rules of mountain biking in consideration.
  • Money doesn’t buy happiness…but if you try to stay in the $1,000 and up range, you will have a much more trail worthy bike.
  • The 5.5″ rear travel 26″ trail bike and 4-4.5″ 29er is the most popular full suspension bike for a reason right now. This is a great place to start and move up and down in travel from there when testing different options.
  • There is no one mountain bike that will be perfect for 100% of your riding. Try to find the bike that covers 75% of it really well and make adjustments for the remaining 25%…or have multiple bikes.
  • Decreasing weight drastically increases price. It is often easier and cheaper to get into better shape (assuming you are not trying to take a 35+ lbs bike on XC trails). Getting from 28 pounds to 27 pounds could cost you a grand without even being able to feel it on the trail.
  • Shorter travel bikes are better climbers and longer travel bikes are better descenders. Chose a travel range that fits the needs of where you ride…not what you wish you were riding.
  • Correct fit is very important. Consult a local bike shop that is credible and knowledgeable to make sure your best mountain bike is the right size.
  • Just because your friend likes his (or her) shiny new rig, that does not mean it is the best mountain bike for you.
  • Take reviews with a grain of salt…especially on online forums. Most of those guys spend more time online than they do riding. Only you know if a specific bike will be your perfect ride.
  • Last years brand new blowouts are a great way to get a better bike for a lower price.
and most importantly…
Ride the wheels off of it. Once you get a new mountain bike, it is very easy to get obsessed about the details. You can get yourself into a tailspin of trying to get every single components and color perfect…or you could be out riding. I am as much of a gear junkie as anyone, but it is still all about the ride.

There is more to the article but I wanted to highlight some good and smart advice about buying the best mountain bike you can. What is ideal for me is almost certainly not ideal for you. Make sure to click the link and read the full article, there's good info there!
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