Are you thinking about buying a mountain bike? This Complete guide to buying a mountain bike will help you find the best bike for your requirement.
Let us help you out with some tips and advice about buying your first mountain bike.
BEFORE GOING TO YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP:-
Do your research first and have a good idea of your budget and what you can realistically get within the budget range.
A common mistake for many first-time buyers is to overreach their budget, so if you want to get the best value for money bike, be realistic with your budget. (For example, if your budget is less than 90k, don’t go into a shop with the expectation you can get a carbon full suspension bike, as you will be disappointed).
Know why you want to buy a bike. Knowing this will help a shopkeeper show you the bikes suited to you. It could be for the following:-
- I want to commute to work
- I want to commute and also do social off-road rides with my friends on the weekend
- I want to do morning rides and social rides
- I want to be a competitive rider and do races
- I am interested in All-mountain and Enduro riding
Thinking about what it is you want to get out of your bike and what your budget is, helps salespeople recommend the best bike for you.
Familiarize yourself with some of the terminology used:-
Hardtails – Refers to bikes that only have a front suspension or fork and are rigid in the rear (Most budget bikes under 1Lakh will fall into this category)
FS – Also referred to as full suspension, Softail or Dual Suspension. A bike with both front suspension fork and rear suspension shock.
XC – Cross Country. It refers to both the type of riding you might do (ie undulating up and down hills, offroad, but not extremely technical or downhill) It also refers to a breed of bikes – XC bikes which are purpose-built for XC riding and racing, they are normally light, have less travel (from 90 to 120mm) and are built to be quite rigid.
Travel – the amount which a suspension goes up and down. The travel amount depends on what the bike is built for.
DH – Downhill, refers to tracks and trails specially meant for downhill riding, with big jumps, technical features. DH bikes are specially built for this and have a travel of 160mm plus. All downhill bikes are FS.
Enduro/All Mountain – Refers to a riding style and bike that is cross between XC and DH. Bikes are built to both climb and descend and have from 140mm to 170mm travel.
LBS – Your Local Bike Store – a term widely used in the industry
Drivetrain – This refers to the moving components of the bike, the bits that make it move – The crank, chain, cassette, etc.
A Guide to Giant and Liv Bikes
– Liv is Giants female-specific bike brand.
– Most giant Models are labeled with numbers, ie – Talon 0, Talon 1 etc the lower the number the better the bike is specced and the higher it will be priced.
– Giant upgraded their bike models every year so when looking for a bike it will normally also be prefixed by the year for example – 2021 Talon 2 or 2019 Trance 3 etc etc.
– The models available depends on the country you are in, they do vary from country to country.
Talon and Tempt (Liv) – These are Giants entry-level hardtail bikes. They come in 4 different models identified by numbers (0,1,2,3). They come with 29er or 27.5 options and the lower models have spring coil 80 or 100mm suspension and the upper models have air-sprung suspension. These bikes don’t come with droppers and the gearing is more simple than other models. The price range is 65k to 120,000npr.
Fathom – Fathom is a higher-end, playful hardtail designed for trail riding. With 27.5 or 29er wheels and 130mm travel, as well as a dropper post and a 1 by set up, these bikes are simply awesome for trail riders who don’t want a full-suspension bike. They are more high-end, aggressive, and more playful than Talon. Price range is 150,000 to 200,000npr.
XTC and Obsess (Liv)- Carbon fiber high-end race bikes that have a price range from 2 to 9 lakh depending on the series and model. These bikes are super light, well set up, and designed for cross country racing.
XC FULL SUSPENSION (Note XC means Cross Country)
Anthem – Giants Anthem is designed as a fully suspended cross country and trail bike. The higher-end Pro or Advanced Models are super light carbon or composite and are pretty race-ready. The Aluxx models are more affordable and aimed at everyday riders. All are 29er wheels. The price range is from 2 lakh to 9 lakh depending on the model. These are great bikes for climbing and long riding.
ALL MOUNTAIN/TRAIL FULL SUSPENSION
Stance – Giants Stance series comes in 29er or 27.5 options and again has models 1 through 3. these are entry-level full-suspension bikes suitable for off-road riding and trails as well as XC style riding. The price range is from 150,000npr to 250,000npr.
Trance – Since 2021 Trance comes in 3 categories
Trance 29er – Trance 29er comes in models, from 1 to 3. These are pretty great trail bikes with 130mm progressive travel and 1 x 11 or 12 set up depending on the model and all have dropper seat posts.
The price range is from 275,000npr to 4 lakh.
Trance X 29ER – With models from 1 to 3 the x refers to the Flip Chip technology installed in the bike which allows the rider to modify the bike’s frame geometry to suit the trials they are riding. This is new in 2021. Otherwise, the bikes are the same as the standard 29er lineup.
Trance Advanced Pro – This series refers to the carbon range of Trances and normally has higher-end components. Prices range from 5 lakh to 7 lakh in this high-end Pro series of bikes.
Reign – From the bike park to enduro tracks to steep singletrack shredding, this all-mountain bruiser has swagger to spare. The reign hs up to 160mm travel and is the preferred bike of enduro riders. Comes with a 29er wheel set up and both in carbo fiber and Aluxx models.
Glory – Downhill machines!!!
BUYING ONLINE VERSUS BUYING FROM YOUR local bike shop (LBS)
Nowadays it is very easy to search and purchase online and it makes sense and convenient for a lot of things. But here are a few reasons why you should invest the time, and a little extra cash in buying from your LBS.
- Your LBS will normally offer you after-sales support like free servicing. (Himalayan Single Track offers free servicing when you buy a bike).
- You will be able to actually test ride the bike and have it fitted properly for your long-term comfort.
- You can see the actual color. Sometimes colors look different online.
- Damage return policy. It’s much easier to return a damaged bike to your LBS and claim a warranty.
- Freebies and discounts. You can have an open and friendly banter with the salesperson about the best deal for you.
- Friendship and community. By becoming a regular at your LBS you are becoming a part of a community that will help you learn, get fit, and find places to ride.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?
To be able to go out and ride off-road you will need a few basics to go along with your bike so that you can enjoy the riding.
We Highly Recommend:-
- A spare tube in case you get a puncture
- A pump
- A Patch Kit
- A Multi-Tool
- Water Bottle
- A small backpack to carry it all in
- A Helmet
- Chain Lube
Additional accessories to carry:-
- Cycling computer to track your distance and speed
- Lights for riding at night
- SPD Pedals and Shoes for added performance
MAINTAINING YOUR NEW PURCHASE
Bikes, like any type of machine, need maintenance.
How much it will cost and how often you need to do it depends on where and how much you ride. But you should at the least:-
- Keep your drivetrain clean and well-oiled.
- Get your bike fully serviced once every three months
You should expect to pay 1500 – 5000nrs every three months for a full service, brake pad replacement, cable and housing replacement, etc. Again this depends on how much you use your bike.
Stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page for tips on how to maintain your bike, new products and other bike-related topics.
THE LAST WORD
Overall, when you go into a bike shop you should have an idea of the kind of riding you want to do, be it city ride, casual weekend romps into the countryside, racing, or full-on downhill and have an idea of the budget you want to spend.
As a general rule, you should buy the best quality bike you can afford as in the long run it will cost you less to maintain and it will perform better.
Good Luck and Happy Trails.