You love the idea of purchasing your very own mountain bike but it can become overwhelming when you begin to research which bike is best for you. Some of things you consider are price (of course), size of the bike, color and maybe even ease of use. You have been in a sporting goods store before and noticed that some mountain bikes seem harder to operate than others. But when it comes to purchasing the perfect mountain bike for you, this article has all the details you will ever need.
Things to Consider to Help You Decide
1) Determine how much you are willing to spend. As with any major new purchase, you must first come up with a price range on your new mountain bike. These bikes can cost from over $100 to as much as over $1000.
2) Never purchase from a major retailer. As good as these mountain bikes look at Wal-Mart, Sears or Target, you should purchase your bike from a smaller bike shop because they will be more knowledgeable and have better service for when something goes wrong.
3) What will you be using the bike for? There are several ways to use a bike. You may just want one to ride on the beach. You may want one to ride with your dog running alongside. You may want one to ride on dirt roads in the middle of the country. Here are some simple tips to help:
* If you just want one for an easy ride in the park, then you don’t need to spend a lot of money.
* If you plan on riding off-road, then tires become an issue. You should look into buying a bike with big treads.
* If you plan on riding in rough conditions, you will need a bike with suspension. By visiting a local bike shop, they will be able to help you find the perfect bike based on how you answer the questions above. Otherwise, you may choose the wrong bike from a major retailer.
Comfort vs. Efficiency
The question of comfort versus efficiency really leads to the question of suspension versus hardtail.
You should think about choosing a bike with suspension if your wallet can afford it. Bikes with suspension are much more comfortable and enjoyable to ride. They are also more controllable. The negative to bikes with suspension is that they weigh more and they are less efficient.
Hardtail bikes on the other hand pedal more efficiently (especially on smooth terrain). These bikes are weigh less and are easier to maintain. Hardtail bikes are popular for the dirt jumping stunt crowd and a good number of cross-country racers.
The decision between comfort and efficiency is a tough one. Full suspension mountain bikes are more expensive than their hardtail counterparts. In the end, this may be all the influence you need when choosing a hardtail. But as mentioned earlier, because of the comfort and overall control of the bike, a bike with full suspension is the way to go.
When to Find a Good Deal
As with many consumer products, bikes shift in price depending on the time of the year. Clearly, the main buying season lasts from the beginning of spring and throughout the summer. If you are patient and wait until the fall or winter, the price may drop a few hundred dollars on the bike you are interested in. And one other word of advice: Never ever be afraid of purchasing last year’s model. There is nothing wrong with that at all.
Find a Good Local Dealer
Finding a local dealer will be very beneficial. When purchasing from a local bike shop, they will be able to match you to the perfect bike based on your needs. Sure, you may run across that commission hungry salesperson who will try to talk you out of your price range but just stay on course to get the bike you want.
The good things about local dealers is that they will send you reminders for maintenance, send you information on new deals and discounts and will always know how to service your bike when something goes wrong. Let’s face it, bikes are like everything else we purchase. After a little while of use, things will start to break down. Having an experienced local bike shop take care of the repairs will be very important. You are also more likely to find discount mountain bikes at a local bike shop compared to a major retailer.
Test, Test, Test and Test Again
It is human nature to find the perfect item and want to buy it right away without testing. Maybe it’s the perfect color or it’s not too big or the price is just right. Regardless of these factors, you should always test ride all bikes in your price range.
As you are testing these discount mountain bikes, you will easily notice that some bikes “feel” better than others. Whether it be the amount of strength it takes to pedal or the amount of force it takes to stop, bikes will differ from model to model. The more bikes you test drive, the more you will start to narrow down on which bike is right for you.
Do Your Research
After you have narrowed your decision to a few bikes, now it is time to do some consumer research. The Internet is full of customer reviews, especially at Amazon.com. Find the bikes you are interested in purchasing and see what other buyers have to say.
The good thing about Amazon.com is that both positive and negative buyers will post reviews. When you visit another site and every review is negative, you really don’t learn anything. So do your research and chances are, you will find the same bike you are interested in at a lower price.
But what about all that talk about buying from a local dealer? Well, you have actually visited the dealer and you took the opportunity to test drive their bikes. So you already know which bike you would like to purchase so you are not risking anything by ordering online. But what I would recommend is that you let the local bike shop take care of the warranty and maintenance work in the future.
When choosing a mountain bike you should purchase a bike with full suspension that you have road-tested and is in your price range. In order to do road testing, you will probably have to go to a local dealer rather a huge department store. Always read consumer reviews and look for a better price online. And if you are looking for the absolute best price, purchase your bike in the fall or winter.
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