Finding your first real mountain bike is one of the hardest things about gear buying. Do you get something more expensive? Do you need a full suspension? Is it a good deal? So many questions that require answers, and most of those answers are entirely too subjective.
First and foremost, I truly believe if everyone on earth was only allowed to own one bicycle for their entire life, it should be a front suspension mountain bike, AKA a hardtail. These bikes open up vast terrain, are relatively low maintenance, and are significantly cheaper than their full-suspension counterparts.
First things first, money. If you’re looking at a new bike and don’t want to break the bank, spending between $600-$800 is a great place to start. Usually, these bikes are built to get beat up and provide an awesome value proposition to entice you to get into the sport.
While the spec is one of the most important things on some of the higher-end bikes to determine the value you’re getting out of your buy, it’s actually less important for the entry-level buyer. Obviously, you want a reliable kit on your ride, but looking at just the name brand isn’t enough. All Shimano & SRAM components are not created equal. Shimano Altus & Acera are widely considered “quality” for the price, same with SRAM’s X-3 and X-5 groups. Microshift has also entered the budget market over the past few years, and has made some noticeable gains. I personally really like this stuff for the money.
At $600, you’re getting a quality brand, at a relatively low price. Competing with the big box store bikes can be difficult, but Giant has managed to do it quite well.
The big “S” has a bunch of great entry-level mountain bikes on sale right now, and the value is really hard to match. Simple 2x drivetrain, and an extremely reliable brand is a good place to start for most people.
One of the most seasoned brands in the game, Trek, offers a high-quality build for the money. Like many brands right now, there are some really solid deals to be had if you can find one. This one even features a fork lockout and hydraulic disc brakes.
Finding the right price point mountain bike for you can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Got questions on what bike is right for you? Email email@example.com
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