Getting Into Mountain Biking
So, you’re looking to get into the awesome sport of mountain biking?
Well my friend you’ve made a great decision!
Mountain biking is incredibly fun and it’s great for fitness and mental well being.
Going off road with your bike makes you feel like a kid again, it always puts a smile on your face.
Riding over roots, rocks and dirt is both challenging and rewarding and leaves you with a real sense of accomplishment when your ride is done.
In order to get in the woods there’s a few things you will need to give thought to, some are obvious and some are not.
#1 – A Reliable Mountain Or “Trail Bike” & Accessories
When you start looking into getting your first mountain bike there are a few things you’ll need to think about in regards to the bike itself.
–What’s your budget for both bike & accessories?
In today’s market you can get a good starter trail bike starting at about $400 although we suggest bumping that up a bit to the $800 to $1000 range.
Starting at $400 you’ll most likely get a mechanical disc brake equipped bike with an entry level drive-train and basic suspension fork. The Trek Marlin 4 gets the wheels turning right at $400.00. The Marlin 7 clocks in at $750 and gets an upgraded shock, drive-train & hydraulic brakes. Check out this video from Trek outlining the Marlin series. ( Thanks Trek!)
Once you get into the $800 plus range the X-Caliber series bikes take over. You’ll gain a better hydraulic disc brake, better tires, a much upgraded drive-train and a much more durable and higher performance front shock & upgraded frame. At $999.99 the X-Caliber 8 is value packed! Here’s another sweet video from Trek breaking down X-cal. (Thanks Trek!)
–On top of the bike you’ll need to budget for the several of these accessories–
Bike Helmet (must have) $50 – $150
Riding Gloves (must have) $30 – $50
Hydration (must have) $20 – $15
Floor Pump (must have) $40 – $100
Flat Repair / Mini Pump & Tools (must have) $50 – $100
Assorted Bike Clothing (optional) TBD
Bike Lights (optional – must have at night) $50 – $300
#2 – Where will you go shopping for your bike?
When you begin the shopping process most folks will likely start searching the internet for a mountain bike buyer’s guide and suggestions as well as product reviews and videos.
These are all useful resources from a basic information standpoint but nothing beats talking to an expert at your local bike shop.
At the shop you’ll be able to ask questions directly to a staff member who rides and get a direct answer from them.
Ask Questions such as…
-How do I know what frame size should I be riding?
-What wheel size would they suggest?
-What features they would suggest based on your intended use.
-A suggested price range based on the question above. (this will effect what type of bike you’ll want to look at – hardtail vs. dual suspension etc.)
-What bike do they ride? And why?
-How did they get into riding?
-Why can’t you just go to a big box store to save some money?
(there are many reasons why you should not keep Big Box Stores as an option – serious safety concerns being the main one!!)
**Talking to a trained expert & rider at your local bike shop is the biggest resource you have as someone looking to get into mountain biking!!
#3 – Do you have a brand in mind?
Many folks get overwhelmed while doing their research as to what brands to look at.
No one company can be the best at everything all the time.
All the major brands are making really good bikes right now, no one brand is the best!
Today’s starter mountain bikes are incredible values for the amount of bike you receive even at the most entry level prices, in fact the value has never been higher!
We will help you decide which bike is best for you knowing that the bike we will suggest is a very high quality product & a great value!
We partner with brands that produce very high quality products but are also winners behind the scenes in regards to service & communication.
What really matters most is where you buy your bike!
You Bought Your New Mountain Bike – Now What?
Congrats on getting your new bike!!
Now you’re probably wondering what do I do now?
What should I do on my first off road ride?
Well, the world is your oyster as they say…
A mountain bike can go anywhere you can pedal it really!
But what you really want to do is go riding in the woods right?
Do you know where your local trails are?
If you’re like most folks you probably don’t know where to go to find the local trails.
– Here’s a few tips on how to find off road trails near you.
- A great place to start is by asking the shop guys where you bought your bike where their favorite riding spots are.
- We have a listing of places to ride
– A Couple More Things
- Try and hook up with a local group ride that fits your fitness and skill level – don’t be afraid to jump in with a crew that is a bit above your level from time to time – it’s a great way to become a better rider!
- Above all be safe! Wear that helmet – bring your phone – hydrate & eat – let someone know where you are riding if you’re solo!!
- NOW GO HAVE FUN!
All Of This Begs The Question – How Will You Ride?