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Specialized Mountain Bikes

Updated on October 13, 2010

Tips for Buying Your 1st Mountain Bike

Although I'm a big fan of Specialized Bikes there are some basic tips for buying any kind of bike. If you're a biker you know it can be frustrating and it can become quite a time consuming effort finding the right mountain bike. Check out these tips to help you when you're getting ready to purchase your 1st mountain bike.

1.Determine how much you really want to spend

It's almost limitless what you can spend on a bike. Like any major purchase you want to keep your spending under control. So, before you head to the store take the time to figure out your price range. How much are you willing to spend on your new mountain bike? Also, don't shop on price alone. When you buy from mass merchant stores like Wal-Mart you may get a low prices but that's all. Instead consider supporting your local bike shop where you'll find better quality bikes and superior service.

2. Figure out your biking style

Every bike is designed for different riding styles and terrain types. You need to discover what style of riding you like the most. Street & Park riding - cross country racing - mountain cruising - or - lift accessed downhill. This is something you need to figure out.  

3. Full suspension or Hard Tail

If you can afford it, a full suspension mountain bike is always worth the purchase. A hard tail,
without rear suspension, is much lighter and pedals more efficiently, although full suspensions offer more comfort and overall better control. You'll want to make that decision based on your price range, riding style, and the type of terrain you'll be riding on the most.

4. Identify your favourites

Comparing each bike component is nearly impossible. There are simply far too many combos available. The best way to go about doing this is finding a few components that are the most important to you and making sure the rest or the minimums fall within your price range.  

5. Sales, Seasons and When to Buy

During the year, the prices of mountain bikes can fluctuate quite a bit. Spring through summer is the main buying season. If you can wait until the right price pops up, normally in the fall and winter, you can save a couple hundred dollars. Many bike shops will also offer discounts or other accessories if you buy from them.

6. Searching for a Solid Bike Dealer you can Trust

Finding a good bike dealer is more important than finding the best price tag. Always look for a dealer that cares more about selling you a great bike than selling you a high priced one. A great dealer will have a clean repair shop and give you the impression that you can trust them. You can often find good used mountain bikes that have a history with the shop.

7. Take a Test ride

Ride as many bikes as you can within your price range and in your riding style. You'll find that some bikes feel right, while others won't. The more bikes you can test drive, you better you'll understand what works and what doesn't.

8. Be sure to do your research Online and Offline

Reading product reviews and bike reviews both Online and Off-line - in magazines is one of the best ways to learn all about mountain bikes. You will uncover the reliability and overall performance of the bikes you are interested in not from the manufacturer but from people who have bought and are using the bike you are looking at. 

Specialized Mountain Bike Review

Specialized Mountain Bikes Reviews says,

If your budget is kess than five hundred bucks to spend on a mountain bike, than ConsumerResearch reviews say the "Specialized Hardrock-Sport" is the best bike to look at. Its an affordable bike with a quality aluminum frame -- the experts say it is durable, solid and upgradable for adding more advanced components as you skill improves. The Specialized Hardrock-Sport isn't designed for rugged terrain, however it is well suited to packed dirt and other hard surface bike trails. Overall, it is a good mountain bike for entry level riders who do not have unrealistic expectations. Standard components which are included on this model are not the best, and of particular note or complaint is the cheap pedals. The Specialized Hardrock-Sport comes in 6 sizes, plus a womens version. The Specialized Myka-Sport has a suggested retail price of $440). If you can up your budget a little than the Trek 4300Disc retails at $640) and has more powerful disc brakes which are far superior to the V style brakes which are found on the Specialized Hardrock.

Many reviewers don't spend a lot of time or care much about to talk about budget mountain bikes, so your best source of information is direct from users. You can find plenty of user reviews at This site has many reviews from multiple sources and also seems to have more recent comments compared to other review sites.

Cannondale Mountain Bike Review

Dawes Mountain Bike Review


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    • PartyPlannerDeb profile image

      PartyPlannerDeb 7 years ago

      Thanks mark - some good tips. My son is nuts for bikes and wants me to get him yet another Mountain Bike so your ideas will help.

    • Caverson profile image

      Caverson 8 years ago from Left Coast

      I've been looking for some sort of guidance for a while because I have a desire to get a mountain bike but absolutely know knowledge about what kind of mountain bike I should get. After reading this, one thing for sure that I know I want is a full suspension mountain bike. It is the only way to go for an old guy like me. Thanks Mark.