For new riders, this is one of the most important topics. Most people new to the sport don’t know what they are getting when buying a mountain bike. So follow this guide and you will be more prepared when buying a mountain bike of any budget.
1. Department store bikes
Remember this: A bike is half parts and half assembly work. Walmart, Target, Canadian Tire and many others try to sell affordable bikes for everyone, but these bikes often are heavy and use very old parts to save costs. The result is a very cheap bike with technology that is easily 20 years old.
Ever seen Walmart’s fat bike? It weights almost 50 pounds and it’s a single-speed!
Some friends will tell you to go for a used bike when on a budget. They are probably right, you can find some good used bikes for under $300 and even if they are 8 years old, they will probably perform better than a department store one.
2. Too many features at low price
We all want bikes with double suspension, dropper seat post and made out of carbon, but when you find it at a very low price you know you are sacrificing quality. It’s better to ride a hardtail with Shimano SLX and a Rock Shox suspension than a full suspension with a generic fork and shock and bad quality parts.
In other words, avoid this:
3. Bad shop
Some shops will ignore the fact that different people use bikes for different purposes and have different budgets. Start by mentioning your budget, then negotiate on that slightly go over your budget.
4. Avoid This Year’s Model
It’s is much easier to get good deals on last years model. Chances are, you will be perfectly fine with a brand new bike from last year.
5. Beginning of summer (or winter for fat bikes)
At the beginning of a season you won’t find good deals, as most shops are selling brand new models and everyone wants a new bike by then. Try visiting the store off season, as they will have lots of last years models for much cheaper.
6. Sketchy ads
Bikes are stolen, and you could be buying a used bike that was previously stolen. Well, bikes have serial numbers, so make sure the serial number wasn’t reported as stolen.