Becoming a Mountain Biker
5. How to buy a bike?
The process of buying the bike shouldn't be a weekend
event! Everything depends on your first bike - whether
you are going to enjoy the sport and consequently become
off-road enthusiast or not. So, if you really want to try out
the sport, then you should try it with proper equipment.
Buying a bike is more similar to buying a prom dress
than a car, since it has to fit your body perfectly in
order the ride to be fun and not pain.
Explore the market!
First, buy your local bike magazine to see the actual
advertisements of your local dealers. Visit the stores,
see what they offer and make a list with prices, ask for
possible discounts, check whether there are bike
services included in the price, and if the servicing
is available on site, etc.
A good point is, if they offer free exchange of parts
to fit the bike better, i.e. if the bike is a little too
short then you can change the stem to a longer one. They
should of course be capable to help you with fitting the
bike in any case. Then take a look at the brand names
they offer. If there are also more expensive ones is a
plus. And last but not least, if the staff is committed
to off-road riding and if they practice the sport
themselves is also a plus, since they can help you at
Take a good look at the bikes!
When choosing your new bike, be wary about all the
components and other parts not just the obvious ones,
i.e. front suspension, rear derailleur, etc. Since the
later are usually of better quality. And yes, this is
marketing! Be careful about the chain, bottom bracket,
a-head set, etc.
Ask the shop assistant to weigh the bike for you,
since there is usually no weight data available. If the
shop doesn't have a pair of scales, then you can
question their credibility. The weight is important!
(More about it later).
It is quite fair possibility, that they will offer you
a bike that is too big for you. Don't ask me why! So
please, read the next chapter about sizing and try out
as much bikes as possible to get the feeling before
deciding on the size of your bike.