If you are struggling to find the right mountain bike for your outdoor trip, worry no more. The market offers a variety of budget mountain bikes you can choose from.
Understandably, it may be a task, especially if you are buying a mountain bike for the first time. However, the joy of finding the right mountain bike that meets your budget supersedes any current fears.
Now that you need a bike, what do you expect? Here are tips that can help you land the best budget mountain bike for your outdoor trips. After reading through all the tips, you can pick a bike of your choice from this list of 10 best budget mountain bikes.
Tip 1: Know the Bicycle Types
The market offers a variety of mountain bicycle types. Each type is designed for specific terrain. However, certain types of bicycles can be used on several trails. Narrowing down the type of mountain bike you need helps you to concentrate on other necessary pointers.
Trail bike – this type of mountain bike is designed for any trail. You can use it to climb and descend reasonably steep hills. Trail bike emphasizes on user-efficiency, fun, and sensibleness. You do not have to worry about your weight when purchasing this mountain bike.
It has a suspension that ranges from 120mm to 140mm.
Fat bike – the dominant feature of a fat bike is its oversize tire. Thanks to the full diameter, fat bikes have exceptional traction. If you plan to ride in a sandy environment or on ice, this is the ideal bike for you.
Beginners will appreciate this mountain bike because, with the wide tires, you are assured of a safe ride.
Cross-country bike – the term cross-country itself means a lot. The bike is designed to help you ride fast. The bike can cover over 30 miles within a few minutes. Cross-country bikes do not accept much weight because this will hamper their speed.
The bike is ideal for those who want to enter into competitive sporting. It has a suspension of 80mm to 100mm.
Downhill/Park bike – this type of bike is strong, robust, and can resist minor damage. The bike looks big. When you ride it, you must be properly-dressed with riding gear that includes body armor and full-face cover and helmet because you are going to jump over several obstacles.
Park bikes have a suspension of 170mm to 200 and over mm.
All-mountain bike – this is a bit similar to park bikes but has a slightly smaller suspension of 140mm to 170mm. You can use the bike to make daring climbs and scary descents. The bike is light, but pedaling uphill is a simple task.
Tip 2: Know the Wheel Size
There are typically five different types of wheel sizes. Each wheel size is ideal for a specific category of people and terrain.
24 in – if you are going camping for the first time with kids, you might consider them using the 24 in-tire mountain bikes. The bikes have basic components that make it easier for kids to enjoy their ride. If your kid is between the age of 10 and 13 years and you have trained them to love camping, they will use this bike.
26 in – this is the standard wheel size for an adult mountain bike. However, things are changing fast that only a few shops store these mountain bikes with this wheel size.
27.5 in – this is perhaps the available wheel size. Most adults who are looking for a best mountain bike on the market for their daily rides go for this wheel size. With the 27.5 in wheels size, you will easily roll than if you had a 26 in. The beauty is the wheels are hardtail rigs and full-suspension.
27.5 + in – these wheels cover a wider area. The 27.5+ in indicates you can find even bigger wheel sizes. One good thing about bigger wheels is excellent comfort.
29ers – bikes with 29ers wheel size are unique. They are slow when starting. However, once the ride gains momentum, the bike moves faster than what the 26 in would cover. If you love long trips, 29ers is the best tire choice.
Most cross-country sportsmen and women use this wheel size because of its ability to keep momentum and cover a longer distance.
Tip 3: Know the Bike Frame
The mountain bike frame determines the strength, the weight the bike can carry, price, ride quality, and how long the bike will last. If you look at these things keenly, you will realize they matter a lot in any mountain bike.
The most common bike frame material is aluminum alloy. Expensive mountain bikes use lighter aluminum alloy tubes because manufacturers spend millions of dollars to select the best material.
What do you expect from other bike frame materials?
Carbon fiber – the material is expensive. To manufacture the tubes, it requires a lot of labor. However, cross-country, trail, and fat bikes use this material because it is strong and lightweight.
Titanium – the material is solid. It is tough too. However, the material is too pricey. You will only get it in costly mountain bikes.
Steel – is the most common bike frame material. Steel is sturdy, reliable, durable, and inexpensive. You will not have problems with repairing your bike if you get into an accident. The only drawback of this frame material is weight. The steel frame is heavy.
Remember, when you are on a trip, you may want to do other things such as play volleyball, soccer, or even tennis with friends and family.
Because you will be carrying the shoes for outdoor games, it will be wise to choose a mountain bike whose frame will not be heavy hence; you will not have the energy to enjoy the sport.
Tip 4: Understand Bike Gears
You calculate the number of bike gears by multiplying front chainrings by sprockets contained in the cassette. The market has a single-gear mountain bikes, 10-gears or even 30+ gears.
The basic things you need to worry about are your comfort and terrain. If you want to use the bike on flat ground, you may not need many low gears. Besides, you do not need many gears. It will be good to go with ten gears.
However, if you want to ride on rugged terrain, steep hills, or you find yourself having challenges climbing and passing many obstacles, you need more gears.
Mountain bikes with a single chainring tend to be lighter. They are simple to operate because you don’t need additional shifters to change the gears. One shifter is enough for a comfortable ride.
For climbing mountains, you may opt for bikes with two or more shifters, which make it easy to shift through different gears for a variety of terrains.
Tip 5: Know the Type of Brakes
Any moving machine must have good brakes. Without serviced brakes, accidents are inevitable. Mountain bikes come with two types of brakes.
Disc brakes – if your mountain bike has disc brakes, the pads will grip on the rotor, which is usually mounted on the hub of the wheel. Even with this first braking system, you have the option of either hydraulic, which requires less finger power and the mechanical brakes that need you to adjust the brakes manually when they wear out.
Rim brakes – these types of brakes grip on the rims of the wheel the moment you step on the brake pedal.
It is easy to monitor rim brakes. They are very economical when you need to replace them. However, they may wear out the rims faster and do not offer maximum stopping.
Disc brakes, on the other hand, are consistent. The brakes work well in extreme weather conditions such as hot and when very wet. They are cheaper when you need to replace them. It is hard to conduct inspection and expensive when it is time to replace the brakes.
After looking at the five tips, you are now ready to find your best budget mountain bike. Avoid mistakes that will ruin your vacation. Emphasize the most important things that matter before you purchase the bike, such as the type of bike, wheel size, and the frame. The other two considerations will follow after you have bought the bike. Remember, you can modify your bike’s gears and braking system.