The less experience you have with mountain bikes, the more important it is to go to a specialist dealer. Only here you can get the optimal mix of advice, test ride and individual adjustment of the MTB. Only mountain bikers who have a precise idea of the desired material and experience in assembly should buy a mountain bike online. But then you can save a euro or two.
If you are not able to distinguish between a fully and a hardtail, it is better to go to a specialist shop.
There are many arguments in favour of spring: this is the time when the newmountain bike trends and models come onto the market, which pushes down the price of the previous year's bikes. Another thing that should not be underestimated: at this time of year, the mountain bike is put to use straight away. So you don't put your good intentions to the test unnecessarily. Nevertheless, you should avoid the first warm days of the year - especially on Saturdays: Good advice takes time, jostling shoppers in crowded shops are rather a hindrance.
In addition to spring, there are also a number of arguments in favour of autumn. Great sales bargains and warm autumn days make cyclists' hearts beat faster.
The seller of the mountain bike will ask you two questions:
- Firstly, where and how often will you be riding your mountain bike in the future - sporadically in the city forest as a bike for everyday use, or regularly on a big Alpine tour after all?
- Secondly: What is your budget? Good mountain bikes are available from around 800 Euros, the equipment may have to be added. There are hardly any upper limits to the price. If you budget less, you will not find what you are looking for, even with the best advice. In this case, buying a used mountain bike could be an alternative.
Mountain bike newcomers are often surprised that the equipment of the mountain bike leaves a lot to be desired from the point of view of the road rider. Components such as lights, bells or mudguards can be purchased separately, but are not part of the standard package. This also means: Your MTB is initially not roadworthy according to the StVO.
The first decisive factor is the correct frame size, which the specialist dealer will determine for you. To be on the safe side, you can determine your own comparison size in advance. There are various methods and calculation formulas, starting from the inside leg length or stride length. Here you can find an example where the stride length is multiplied by 0.574.
Much debated (besides the issue of 26 or 29 inches) is the question of the best material. For many occasional mountain bikers, it is already decided by the price: Carbon is significantly more expensive, but offers the highest stiffness and the lowest weight. Cheaper alternatives offer frames made of aluminum or steel, whereby aluminum brings the lower weight. Aluminium is usually the first choice.
In the high-end range, frames made of titanium are used, which are considered to be extremely durable. However, you should not look at the price.
Depending on the use, various types of mountain bikes have developed, for example the "Downhill" for fast but safe descents or the "Trial" for tricks in difficult terrain. For inexperienced buyers, this is probably a thing of the future. However, one distinction has to be made in any case: between hardtail or fully?
With the "hardtail", the rear suspension is dispensed with. This makes the mountain bike lighter, easier to maintain and also cheaper to buy than a full-suspension mountain bike, the "Fully". On the other hand, a hardtail has to do without comfort in the terrain and has less control over the bike, especially on descents. Thanks to its suspension, the Fully (Full Suspension Mountain Bike) is able to compensate for unevenness. This also ensures good grip.
Tests regularly reveal big differences in braking performance, but the following still applies: If the bike has hydraulic disc brakes, you can rely on the manufacturer. When buying a mountain bike, make sure that you can easily operate the brake levers, i.e. that the lever width is adapted to your needs.
The same applies to the gears, where manufacturers such as Shimano or Scram vouch for quality. There are no real alternatives to these two manufacturers on the market.