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Beginners Guide to Buying a Mountain Bike Page 2
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Size Does Matter

Mountain bike frames are built low. This is because if you bounce off the saddle, you don't want to land on the cross bar, which can cause seriously painful and embarrassing damage. Smaller frames are also stiffer and a bit lighter, therefore MTB's always show a lot more seat pin than road bikes. To choose your new bikes size, put the seat pin an inch from the top end of it's travel (look for the max height line on the pin) then sit on the bike, if you can't reach the floor or the pedals, the bike may be too big for you. Alternatively it may have an extra long seat pin.
Compare it to other mountain bikes you have seen, is the seat pin very long? If you're still in doubt, set the saddle height so that whilst sitting on the saddle and peddling backwards, your knees almost lock out at the bottom of the pedal stroke. Again the seat pin should be more than half extended, or the frame is too large. If you could still pedal comfortably with the seat pin a fraction over it's limit mark, you need a larger frame.

 The Psylo range is getting flat out rave reviews at the moment so I wouldn't mind if one came with my new bike. Given a choice I'd still buy a Bomber though.

At the lower price points there are some important points:
Make sure the bike has alloy rims.
V type brakes are essential.
Avoid narrow tyres, especially if the tread around the middle of the tyres is continuous.
Avoid full suspension!
It becomes valid to lift the bike to try and gauge if it's way overweight!

Marin make brilliant bikes, although beginners will need a big wallet for one of these.

Look for a chainset with replaceable rings (cheaper ones are in one piece)
Go with an established big brand like Trek, Giant or Specialized. These companies do the volume needed to hit really low price points without too many silly-cheap components. Halfords Carrera brand also has a few gems at their higher price end.
Buy your bike early in the year from last years stock. Also see if the shop will throw in a helmet, you really must have one of these! Whatever you end up buying, ride it just for the pleasure of being out on a bike. They're the same hills on a cheap bike as they are on a Cannondale Raven.

The important factors are these:
1. Spend more than you can really afford.
2. Don't buy a bike that's too big for you.
3. Choose a bike that suits your riding style.
4. Get a cut price deal unless you're feeling very flush.
5. Buying from a local shop makes sense as they can give you a lot of after sales service.
6. But also consider mail order if you can't get a good deal locally. Try or

Beginners Mountain Bike FAQ - Answers you won't get from some publications.

Beginners should seriously consider getting some proper instruction on a well organised course. run great courses for those new to the sport. Go on, invest something in yourself for once!

Print Text! the whole article in text only form.


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