If you are going to get yourself your first or a new mountain bike, shopping can be frustrating not to mention time consuming.  For a new buyer mountain bikes can come with all kinds of bells and whistles not to mention the huge price differences.  Before you start shelling out your hard earned cash here are some tips on buying a mountain bike to make the whole process a little less confusing.

Set the budget

As far as price goes you can shell out as much for a new mountain bike as you would a new car.  So it’s important to keep your budget within a reasonable range.  Determine a price you can afford and stick to it, buying locally is easier and the sales staff are far more knowledgeable than in a regular sporting goods store.

Find a style that suits

Mountain bikes are built for different terrains and riding styles, where will you be using your bike?  Are you going to hit the mountain trails or using it more locally on paved roads.  Find one that works where you want to ride it.

Comfort

Bicycle seats are notoriously uncomfortable so if you can afford it find a bike with some good suspension, your backside will thank you for it later.  However a hard tail without suspension can be lighter and faster if racing is your thing.  Full suspension gives you better control with a lot more comfort.

Research

Before you buy a bike always check the review to see what others are saying about the performance and reliability.  It will let you know how other liked the bike and whether there were any issues with durability.

Look for a good dealer

Finding a good dealer is more important than you think, local bike shops are more knowledgeable and the staff are better at steering you in the right direction.  Your bike will need tune ups and maintenance down the road so you want to find a place that can do both.

Get a good deal

Mountain bike prices change throughout the year and you’re going to pay the most for your new bike in the springtime.  If you can hang on until fall you can get a great deal on a bike for the following season.  However, the later in the year the less inventory will be on hand.  If you hang on until the fall you may get discounts too on all the gear you need to go with your bike.

Always take your bike on a test drive before buying to make a final decision, make sure it is comfortable and fits you properly.