Mountain Bikes For Sale…
It’s a buyers market ! wherever you go you will be bombarded with bikes for sale adverts, add to this the fact bike retailers are popping up everywhere… at least in my hometown.
Buying cheap mountain bikes has never been easier, as well, the internet is flooded with no-brand or branded “made in China” bargains – some of them are good bikes for the money if you don’t expect too much from them…
But taming the hype and finding a good bike amongst all the noise can be a challenge.
What each of us considers being a good bike is relative – often our choice is based on what we can afford or our riding experience, other factors to consider are – how hard will you use it, how often you will ride it, how long you expect to own it before upgrading…
The first step I take when buying a new bike is to set a budget, I seldom stick to it but at least it is a guide – I do this before I start searching online or visiting bike shops
A couple of questions to ask…
- do you expect your new bike to spend most of its life in the garage – ridden one weekend a month ? If you answer Yes, then a $200 – $500 bike is a good price range.
- are you are going to use it to commute to work during the week and hit the trails on weekends in other words – Hammer It ! if you are getting tons of use from your bike – even if you spend $600 – $1,500 this could be considered great value, especially when you take into account savings from not running your car… a bike you actually ride saves you money big time, long term…
There Are Two Main Types Of Mountain Bikes…
Hardtail (front suspension fork)
Mountain Bikes, like all machines, benefit greatly from simplicity … there is an on-going debate regarding the benefits of Hardtail Mountain Bikes vs Full Suspension – Hardtails, you will find, are easier to keep on the road and dollar for dollar give better value for your money, they are a good choice for hitting the trails on weekends or commuting during the week – as a rule they are cheaper to buy and for most repairs or maintenance when needed, you could quite easily learn to do at home.
In my opinion you need to spend $300-$600 to get a good Hard Tail for weekend use – if you are going to use your bike a lot, look at bikes over $600, once you are buying in the $1,000 plus price range you will feel the difference – you will be riding with much better components, better brakes – disc each end, stronger rims, smoother shifters and a lighter frame – Nice ! – all the things that make mountain biking and single tracks fun !
Full-Suspension (front and rear suspension)
For full suspension bikes, you start to get value once you move over $700 you will find full suspension mountain bikes for sale for less than this…which is fine if you are just starting out and there is a good possibility it will live in your garage more often than on a single track.
To get a really nice well equipped full suspension mountain bike that will not disappoint you should be looking to spend $1,000 – $1,500+ … my advice would be if you don’t use you bike enough to warrant spending that amount – then buy a quality Hardtail for $600 – $1,000 and enjoy the quality components … rather than put up with the low quality components you will get when buying a cheap full suspension bike.
How Much Suspension Travel Do You Need ?
When buying a full suspension mountain bikes – How much suspension travel do I need? should be one of your first questions. The answer is – it depends, on what you’re going to use the bike for.
A cross country mountain bike will have less than 4.5 inches of travel – less travel means less weight and less expensive, try to match your end use to the suspension capabilities (which is governed by the amount of travel). bikes with 4.5 inches of travel are ideal for general, not too technical, cross country riding they tend to climb hills quite well – if you are beginner rider this is all you will need.
Trail bikes have up to 6.5 inches of travel they are ideal for long trail rides over harsh terrain, where they provide a reasonably comfortable fast ride.
When you go above 6.5 inches of travel you are into specialist mountain bike territory ( i.e. white knuckle – full face helmet riding ) they will be – jump bikes or downhill racing.
If you are a regular trail rider moving from a hardtail to full suspension – you will be disappointed with a cheap bike… but for a good solid no-nonsense bike at a budget price – Diamondback Recoil would be my recommendation there is a 2014 model out now ! Or if you won’t ride it very often but insist on full suspension – look at a Schwinn Protocol for a cheaper option…
Cheap Mountain Bikes…
We all love a bargain ! So for those of you determined to buy the cheapest mountain bike possible – here are a few tips…
You will find a few bikes for sale in the larger “Big box” discount stores that you should never think of buying !
But in the same store there are bikes that on the surface look similar that are a bargain – it can be a bit of a trap if you are not careful, but you don’t really need any real expertise to find a good deal even amongst the cheap crap – once you know what to look for…
- One thing you will see occasionally is a manufacturer warning on a cheap mountain bike, stating “not to be used off road” – Hmmm my recommendation, don’t buy it ! it would be like buying a ladder that says “do not climb”.
- Look For Shimano or SRAM derailleurs (whether buying cheap or quality bikes this advice is solid) even their cheapest components will be better quality than the no-brand components on many cheap bikes, if it doesn’t come with Shimano or SRAM components don’t buy it !
- When buying mountain bikes online – it pays to read the component description if only to see if there is one ! if the bike description is very short, be very careful or just don’t buy it – when a manufacturer or wholesaler can’t find anything good to write about their product – it probably is rubbish !
- As a rule I would always buy aluminum frames, not steel when buying a cheap bike – steel can be a high-end product if you are buying handmade bikes but the cheaper bikes will be made from poor quality steel – an Alloy Frame is my recommendation as a bare minimum when buying cheap mountain bikes, check the welds are of a uniform pattern – professional looking
- Be prepared to change the inner tubes for good quality tubes (read the reviews on Amazon to find quality tubes) cheap bikes ship with thin inner tubes that need to be pumped up on a daily basis or puncture every time you ride them ! – at least, after a couple of punctures, it will seem like every ride !
Don’t limit yourself by buying cheap mountain bikes just because you are new to mountain biking – mid range bikes are lighter, easier to adjust to your riding style… but more importantly they are a lot more fun to ride.
If you can afford the more expensive bike, don’t hold back – You won’t regret buying better quality !
What you don’t want to do is get caught with a dodgy cheap bike you will eventually hate and you can’t sell to anyone, in the long run, low quality bikes are not a bargain – no matter how little they cost you.
There is a vast range of excellent mountain bikes for sale at various price points, with a little effort you are sure to find a bike to suit your budget – take your time, be realistic about your requirements, read buyer reviews… it is possible with a little research to buy good quality cheapish mountain bikes that last for many years !