For most people, buying a mountain bike only happens every 5-10 years due not only to the cost but because of how many options there are to customize the bike perfectly to the rider’s typical terrain and riding style.
Buying a mountain bike is an investment, and with so many choices that could make or break your day the more information you have the more comfortable you’ll be when you’re ready to buy the perfect bike for you.
That’s why ASO Mammoth, your Mammoth bike rental and gear center, has put together three questions you should ask yourself before you decide on your next bike.
How Comfortable are you with your riding ability?
Your riding ability will determine everything form tire size to pedal type and suspension.
If you’re just starting out, a hardtail suspension is a good choice because it’s a well-rounded trail riding set-up that is also more affordable than a full suspension set up. While a full suspension set up may cost more in the long run, the two forks at the front and rear tire will allow you to ride technical terrain with ease.
Your riding ability will also give you an idea of what tire size is best for you. 29” wheels easily ride through rough terrain, but are also harder to maneuver in tight spots as well as heavier. 25.5” wheels have the ease and control of the 29” wheel with more maneuverability and less weight making them another well-rounded choice for beginner riders.
A recently popular option that you’ll never forget after seeing them one time is plus-sized tires. Most plus sized tires are the typical 27.5” wheel but are much wider than usual. Although they look different, the width of the tires allows for more grip and a more stable ride that is perfect for a rider who wants a consistently smooth ride whether they’re blowing through deep mud or packed snow at the price of speed and maneuverability.
Lastly, you’ll hear a variety of names for pedal types, but what you need to know is if you want to be clipped into your pedals or not.
The benefit of flat pedals, a.k.a not clipped in, is that you have more options as to how you ride when your feet are not attached to the bike. For example, some bikers might avoid a more technical downhill run if they’re clipped into their pedals since falling while attached to the bike is more dangerous than a regular fall.
Still, clipless pedals, a.k.a. attached to the bike, allow for a smoother ride due to a better connection to the bike and more power due to a better connection to the drivetrain.
No matter what your riding skill, if you’re using clipless pedals for the first time expect a learning curve as you get used your new set up.
What kind of riding are you interested in?
If this is your first mountain bike, chances are you’re still figuring out your favorite type of riding. If that’s the case for you then a trail bike is going to be the most well-rounded option for you. While more experience riders may be interested in cross-country or downhill bikes, a trail bike is the perfect starter for those who are taking their first dive into mountain biking and aren’t sure what type of riding they like most.
What is your budget?
How much you want to spend on your bike will determine how personalized your bike is. For lower budgets, chances are you’ll find a well-balanced bike that will support you on most terrains but not if your style or interest change.
The higher your budget, the more specialized your options are, which is why you should ask yourself, and the staff at ASO Mammoth, plenty of questions before you make your next purchase! Plus, ASO Mammoth has rentals for every alpine sport, so when you’re ready to lean your bike up for the season, stop by and check out our wide selection of ski and snowboard rentals!