Whether you’re scrolling through Facebook or just enjoying your favorite YouTube videos – ads are everywhere. Do you remember the last time you saw that good looking mountain bike in one of those ads?
You might know how to buy a mountain bike, but learning how to buy a mountain bike online might be a challenge.
While there are a couple of additional things to pay attention to (and of course, there’s no test ride), the process is still fairly the same.
We all know that bikes, components, and accessories are often cheaper online – and if you’re looking to learn how to buy your next mountain bike, keep on reading.
You’ll be in no time on your brand new mountain bike!
Should You Buy Your Next Mountain Bike Online?
You might have just recently purchased a new bike, but the chances are you’re still looking at bikes. Everyone who’s passionate about cycling knows that the only sky is the limit (and storage of course) when it comes to bikes.
Some of the best discounts can be found online as they’re used to attract leads and generate sales. If you’re into purchasing a bike that’s a year or two old – you might get an amazing deal online.
But should you buy a mountain bike online? You get no test drive and most images online are made with a white background so you just can’t get the feel for the bike, right?
My advice would be, yes! You still should purchase your next mountain bike online. At this point, most of you might think I’m crazy.
But if you know what you’re looking at and you understand mountain bikes – there’s no reason not to purchase a bike whether it’s online or offline.
Most quality stores come with a great description for the bikes they sell which includes every a list of single component the bike is equipped with.
Therefore, you still get a pretty great visual with high-quality images most stores own.
If you’re hooked on the idea and you just can’t wait to buy that mountain bike you’ve been looking at for a couple of days now, let’s get started with the rest of the article where you will find out how to buy a mountain bike online and what you should look out for!
How to Buy a Mountain Bike Online?
Most of the things you should be paying attention to are relevant for both offline and online bike purchases.
However, the process is probably a lot simpler than you have been imagining. And if you were putting your purchase on hold just because you’re purchasing a bike online – don’t let it stop you.
Even vehicles such as Tesla electric cars are being sold online! You can actually choose a car and make a purchase on their official website.
Therefore, let’s get started!
Mountain Bike Type
As you probably know by now, there are a couple of different mountain biking disciplines. Most of these disciplines utilize a different type of mountain bike.
If you haven’t read my article on mountain bike types – give it a read in case you aren’t sure which mountain bike type you need.
The most common mountain bike types are:
- XC (cross country)
I don’t recommend proceeding to the next steps before knowing which bike type you’re after. If you love riding downhill – you will require a downhill mountain bike.
It’s not hard to choose a type. Just go for a mountain bike type that fits your riding needs.
Just like with any other bike, mountain bikes come in different sizes to fit riders of different size.
Each mountain bike frame is labeled by a frame size and this number is something you should be looking out for. When shopping online, most manufacturers will post the frame size in the description – but also, sometimes, bikes can have frame size displayed on the bike frame itself.
If you don’t know which frame size you require – follow the chart down below to find out which mountain bike size you need.
Once you know the size, just pay attention to frame sizes and find the one that matches your height.
Now when you’re got two of the most important things right – it’s time to think about the frame material. As you probably know, mountain bike frames are made out of:
- Carbon fiber
Everyone likes the sturdiness and lightness of carbon fiber, but the frame material will mostly depend on your budget.
There is no good or bad material, but it’s important to understand that each material has different characteristics that can affect comfort, weight, the general feel of the bike, and of course, cost.
You might have been used to the good old 26-inch wheels, but if you have a look at the most modern mountain bikes – you’ll notice that they come with wheels of different sizes.
The most common wheel sizes for mountain bikes are:
The bigger the wheel size is – the bigger the contact area will be. This leads to a better balance and the bike itself will be better at overcoming larger obstacles.
Also, the acceleration rate is better with larger wheels. Almost all benefits point to larger wheel size, and even though I recommend going for the larger wheels – you have to pay attention to your budget as well.
Full-Suspension or Hardtail
Hardtail mountain bikes come with a front-suspension only while full-suspension bikes come with, you guessed it, both front and rear suspension.
Depending on the mountain bike type and discipline you’re into, you’ll be choosing a suspension type accordingly.
Hardtail suspension is a bit lighter since it has less moving parts – and they’re also more affordable. However, full-suspension bikes utilize both rear and front suspension which is ideal for very rough terrains and downhill rides.
It’s a bit more costly, but it’s worth the price if you’re someone who doesn’t like to feel every trail bump.
The third and less common type of mountain bike is a rigid mountain bike which doesn’t come with any suspension at all. They’re pretty limited when it comes down to trails, but they’re very comfortable on the road.
Since you’re not going after a road bike – I recommend you not to obsess yourself with the weight of your mountain bike.
In some situations, the lighter mountain bike isn’t the better solution and you should rather focus on the frame, type, and a couple of other factors before even thinking about the bike’s weight.
Also, the frame is one of the major factors that will determine the weight of your bike – and if you don’t have a big budget – you won’t be able to go for the lightest frame out there no matter how much you want it.
The groupset is a combination of brakes and the drivetrain. There are also many other parts that are included in the drivetrain and brakes themselves.
Two most common groupset brands are:
The groupset choice will mostly depend on the quality level of a bike, but also on the price tag too. Groupsets will also play an important role in the number of gears your new bike has, the braking power it can produce, and even how light or heavy your bike will be.
Every cyclist has a dream groupset and is drooling over the professional components, but the truth is – not everyone has the right budget for these types of groupsets.
Instead, you should focus on a groupset that will do well for your needs and mountain biking discipline – even if it means going for an entry-level groupset.
I usually wouldn’t list budget as one of the factors you should pay attention to – but we all understand how things work.
You might have a set budget already, but the more you look at bikes, you might think that adding just a bit more money could get you a better bike.
While this is true, it can create an illusion of overspending a lot more than you initially had in mind – and this could create financial problems.
Instead, you should set a budget and know exactly how much you can spend. Also, I recommend leaving some extra money for accessories and equipment you might require along with the bike.
You might have had no idea how to buy a mountain bike online, but now, you’ve most likely realized that buying a mountain bike online isn’t any harder than buying one in your local bike store.
Of course, one of the saddest parts is that there is no test ride – but if you’re really into the bike you’ve been looking into for quite some time, the chances are you’ll enjoy it whether you had a test ride or not.
I highly recommend you to read through the article once again before hitting that purchase button – and of course, don’t skip any step as every single bit is important!
Lastly, with the experience of buying bikes online – I can say that plenty of bike stores offer a warranty and even money-back guarantee for bikes purchased online. If you’re still in doubt – this should have you rest assured!