How to choose a bike? We buy a mountain bike

Choosing a mountain bike

Whether you need to set a minimum price at the same time - decide for yourself. Perhaps you are not considering too budgetary models or mastering a specific budget - we do not know.

Do you have any idea what he is, your new great? It so happened that the so-called mountain bikes are especially popular. Most of them are not intended for conquering mountains at all, but a solid "mountain" was and remains one of the most versatile, and therefore the most popular types of bicycles. It will not be the fastest on smooth asphalt or off-road, it is not distinguished by its low weight, cost, or ease of maintenance. But at the same time, it combines the qualities of many other types of bicycles and is suitable for those who are not aimed at sporting achievements, but want to have a bike for all occasions: to ride along the bike path along the Svisloch, and drive into the forest after a rain on Thursday.

Having chosen the "mountain" class, we were left face to face with less than one and a half thousand models. This itself speaks of how popular this type of bike is.

"Female"? "Teenage"?

Two basic filters to help you narrow down your choices even more. With them, everything is simple: yes or no. Nevertheless, we recommend not to bypass these options. Purely physiological features should still be taken into account when choosing a bicycle: for example, frames designed for women most often have a beveled top tube, and teenage bicycles are produced in the corresponding size with a reduced wheel diameter. We believe that the days when we briskly rolled under the frame of a huge grandfather's "adult" are gone. You can already choose something that suits you.
Purely physiological features should still be taken into account when choosing a bicycle
It also helps to reduce the number of options again. We chose "Female" - we got only 210 models, you can even look at everything with due patience. There are about the same number of teenage bikes.

But even by pressing "No" both times, we noticeably bring the magic moment of acquaintance with our new bike. It remains to choose from just a thousand options.

"Wheel diameter"

A fairly important filter that reflects your riding style. In the mountain bike category for adults, we will choose from three options: 26 ″, 27.5 ″, or 29 ″.

26 ″ and 27.5 ″ are bicycles of the same type. At one time the standard for MTB (mountain bikes) was 26 "wheels. Then the industry decided that 27.5 ″ was just a huge improvement, affecting literally all parameters, a definite must-have for progressive cyclists. Cyclists have no choice but to obey the laws of the market - the level of progressiveness does not affect this at all. It's just that with a high degree of probability you will not meet new bicycles of well-known brands with 26 wheels.
But bicycles with wheels with a diameter of 29
For the sake of fairness, we note that the enlarged, 27th wheels, in theory, really have the best roll forward, so there is no particular sense in going against the system. We can say that the standard 27.5 ″ is the modernized 26 ″.

In the meantime, there are almost equal numbers of models with 26 ″ and 27.5 ″ wheels in the Catalog - you can choose both options or give preference to one. 

But bicycles with wheels with a diameter of 29 ″ - that's another song. "Twenty-nines", or "Niners", are bicycles, let's say, large. The idea was the same - to increase the roll and cross-country ability. It turned out, but at the expense of maneuverability, weight, compactness. Decide what is your priority and check the box.

In our guide, by default, we will choose the most popular option - 27.5 ″ - and move on with four hundred models in the range.

Bicycle drivetrain

At this stage, it makes sense to open the "Advanced Settings" tab and decide how many speeds your bike should have. There are two sets of stars: front and back.

The front ones are called "system" - we are looking for the "Number of Aluminum Bicycle Chainring in the system" filter. Bikes with the highest gear count are generally easier to sell to the general public by default. We will not argue, but simply accept the fact that in this price category there will almost certainly be three stars in front. This is good - you will definitely have the right transmission message for any occasion in your life.

The rear sprockets are called "cassette" - the "Number of stars in cassette" filter. In this price segment, we can count on 7, 8, or even 9 stars in the back. The more - the richer the choice of gear ratio, the easier it will be for you to choose the optimal gear. Just remember to switch on time.

The MTB market in terms of attachments is essentially split between two big companies: Japan's Shimano and America's Sram. This means that both the Specialized bike and the Aist bike will be equipped with equipment from one of these companies.

In the budget segment, in most cases, we will be dealing with Shimano. You need to remember this: attachments differ in their level. The Japanese line (within our price segment) looks like this (from the budget to the most expensive): Tourney - Altus - Acera - Alivio - Deore. The higher the level, the more stable, accurate, and reliable equipment works, in particular, gear shifting. Plus, its weight is lower, which is a big plus for a bicycle. But the price, respectively, is higher.


There remains, in fact, the only fundamental question - the Bicycle Disc Brake. Mountain bikes with rim brakes are not that many today. You can take a closer look at them if you do not plan to ride in real weather and road conditions. Rim brakes feel noticeably worse in the rain and muddy roads. The explanation is simple: the brake track on the rim is close to the surface you are driving on. Moisture and dirt from the road inevitably get there, making braking difficult.
Mountain bikes with rim brakes
Therefore, more and more manufacturers are switching to the production of models with disc brakes on an uncontested basis. Disks are effective - no doubt about it, but there are some nuances. The most proven option is disc hydraulics. The brake pads are driven by a special hydraulic fluid. The main disadvantages of hydraulics are that it is more difficult to maintain and much more expensive.

Mechanical disc brakes are a compromise option. On the one hand, these are still discs, on the other hand, braking is carried out using a metal cable. A cheap and easy-to-use option, but much less efficient than hydraulics.

There are more models with mechanical disc brakes in the Catalog (over 200). With half the size of bicycles with rim brakes and about 50 units of disc hydraulics, there is plenty to choose from.

In the dry residue
From 14 thousand we have narrowed the selection down to 100-200 models, using the filters correctly. What else do you need to pay attention to before making a choice?

"Frame material"

The choice will have to be between aluminum and steel. Carbon is still quite expensive.

The steel frame is generally cheaper and more maintainable. Aluminum is lighter and does not corrode - this option is often chosen.


In the budget "mountain" almost always installed a shock-absorbing fork (the front wheel is attached there). Softness is not only about comfort on bumpy roads. A curb or root of a tree, unexpectedly caught under the wheel, can literally knock the steering wheel out of your hands if the structure is rigid. A suspension fork reduces this risk.

Manufacturer and year of manufacture

budget MTB almost always install a suspension fork

It is no coincidence that we turned to these filters last. It has already been mentioned that all manufacturers in a certain price segment use approximately the same equipment. Build quality shouldn't be a stumbling block either - it's just a bike. Much more important is your visual impression of a particular model. You should like a bike: the geometry of its frame, color are the most important criteria, and in the budget segment, perhaps the most objective ones. From this point of view, both a model of a fashion brand from the United States and a domestic product has a chance to please you.

Go for it, we have already helped you reduce your selection to 100-200 models. Then it's up to you!