jeudi 7 août 2008

Buying A Mountain Bike

It can be a bit frustrating as well as time consuming
when you buy a mountain bike. Below, you'll find 
some tips and things to be aware of before you lay
down the cash and buy a mountain bike.

Determining your price
There is really no limit as to how much money you can
spend on a new mountain bike. To help you keep your 
spending under control, you should figure out what 
your price range is and how much your willing to pay
for a new bike. When you buy, you shouldn't buy from
mass merchant stores such as Wal-Mart. You should 
instead support your local bike shop and get a much
better bike and much better service.

Finding your style
All mountain bikes are designed with several different
riding styles and terrain types in mind. You'll need
to figure out what type of riding you will be doing
the most. Smooth riding, cross country racing, 
mountain cruising, or lift accessed downhill is 
something you need to figure out. Make sure that 
the bike you select fits your personal style and not
that of the sale's staff.

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 weight
and pedal 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.

Finding your favorites
Comparing mountain bikes component to component is 
nearly impossible, as there are far too many combinations
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. You can start with the fork
then look at the wheels and rear derailleur.

Sales and seasons
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.  

Finding a good dealer
Finding a good bike dealer is more important than finding
the best price. You should always find 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 really 
trust them.

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

Doing the research
Product reviews and bike reviews are some of the best
ways to find out about a mountain bikes reliability and
overall performance. You should always look at what 
other owners and reviews think about a bike before you
make that final purchase.

Beginner Mountain Bike Skills

Mountain biking is an exciting sport that can be
enjoyed by anyone who knows how to ride a bike.  
Compared to the average bike ride, it does present
some danger. Therefore, you should master these
basic skills before you hit the trails or the 

You can practice these beginning skills at a local
park, school, bike path, or simply around your 
house. If you can, try to find a location with
a steep hill.

Get a feel for your pedals
Practice moving your foot away from the pedal, 
first while sitting on your bike with one foot on
the ground. Next, move on to releasing and 
replacing your foot while pedaling around for a 
bit. Those with toe clip and clipless type foot
pedals will want to spend a bit more time 

Sit and spin for position
Simply sit on your bike and pedal around. You 
should keep your arms slightly bent. You should
also adjust your seat height so your leg is 70 to
90 percent extended at the bottom of every stroke
on the pedal. Keep your body relaxed, as there 
will never be a position where you should have 
either your knees or your elbows locked.

Shifting gears
Get a feel for shifting gears with your bike. The
higher gears are harder to pedal and will go 
faster while the lower gears are easier to pedal
and will help you ascend hills. As you get to 
steeper hills, its best to shift before you get 
to the hill rather than while your on it.

You should spend a bit of time coasting while 
standing on your pedals, without actually sitting
on the seat. Keep your arms bent but don't lock
your knees. Now, try experimenting with shifting
your body towards the rear end of the bike.

Pedal while standing
You should get as comfortable as you can with 
pedaling while standing on your bike. Try lifting
yourself off the seat while standing on the pedals,
then crank them around. You should try this in 
higher gears on flat ground then again in lower 
gears while on a hill.

Dropping down a curb
Try finding a curb where you can easily get to the
upper portion of it. Practice at a moderate speed,
standing and coasting right off the curb from the
upper level to the lower level. Try this at 
different speeds until it becomes second nature.

Once you practice these techniques and get the 
hang of them, you'll be able to hit the trails feeling
comfortable on your mountain bike. Even though it
may take some getting used to, it'll become second
nature before you know it.