HomeBuying GuidesSports & FitnessMountain Bike Buyers Guide

Mountain Bike Buyers Guide

Looking to buy the best Mountain Bike? Check out our guide below and you’ll be well-placed to select the correct one for your needs.

Do you want to go off-road and explore pathways, muck, and rock-strewn trails?
Then use our shopping guide to pick your ideal mountain bike.

There are few things that compare to fooling around on bikes in the woods.


However, if you’re looking to get off-road for the first time, or if you’ve been away from the bike for a while, the variety of alternatives presently accessible can be overwhelming.


It pays to do some research before reaching for the credit card, with bikes catering for many disciplines ranging from light, quick cross country steeds to ultra-burly downhill rigs, and each available with a variety of wheel sizes.

How do you choose the right mountain bike for you?

What type of mountain bike should I get?

With so many specialty bikes on the market, we think the best place to start is with the trail bike, the most adaptable do-it-all member of the MTB family.


This type of mountain bike is equally at home zooming around the neighbourhood park, trudging about your local trail centre, or soaring down a high alpine slope, making it the ideal first bike.

However, just because a trail bike can do it all doesn’t mean it’s only for beginners.
Even the most basic bikes have come a long way since a decade ago, and are ideal for tackling more technical, difficult courses as your skills improve.


Larger, smoother-rolling wheels, more powerful braking, lower weight, more efficient suspension, wider gearing, and increased durability all work together to offer you the confidence to tackle terrain and distances previously impossible.

I‘m not sure how much I’ll need to spend.

While you can obtain a fine starting mountain bike for about £500 and get out on the slopes, these bikes will stall as the going gets tougher – and the components will simply not survive the abuse that UK trails can dole out.


You’re looking at a bare minimum of £800 once you add in the cost of a nice frame, high-quality components, and a good suspension fork.

We still recommend spending around £1,000 or more – you can go cheaper, but if you want a good quality Shimano or SRAM groupset that will handle the rough and tough of UK riding a suspension fork that won’t be out of its depth the moment the trail heads south, and the kind of ride quality that will prove capable – you’ll need to spend more.

Which wheel size should I choose?

The spread of diverse wheel sizes has been one of the most significant advances in the mountain bike scene in recent years.


Until recently, practically all mountain bikes had 26-inch wheels, but these have now been mostly phased out in favour of two new standards: 27.5-inch (also known as 650b) and 29-inch.

Regardless of which option you choose, the wider diameter wheels roll more readily over uneven terrain and are less likely to become bogged down in rockier terrain than the old 26in standard.


29in wheels typically lead in straight-line speed, not least because the larger wheels hold speed better across difficult terrain, although 27.5in hoops provide a suitable medium ground between the quick-turning agility of their 26in predecessors and the faster 29in generation.


It’s also worth mentioning that some smaller-sized bikes include 27.5in wheels, which make it easier for manufacturers to construct compact frames for riders with lower statures.

Do you want to have the best of both worlds?

Then there’s the new breed of 27.5 Plus bikes to consider.
For better grip and rock-swallowing ability, these combine the 27.5in standard with enormous 3in tyres.


Best of all, bikes that employ the standard frequently let you to swap out the original wheels for 29in ones, allowing you to quickly transform one bike from a 29er speed demon to a 27.5+ trail monster.

Is it necessary to have both front and rear suspension?

The next important decision is whether to choose a full suspension bike with front and rear shocks or a hardtail bike with only front suspension.

Suspension protects the rider from bumps on the road and assists in keeping the tyres in contact with the ground when the going becomes rough.


This allows for faster travel over uneven terrain while also boosting control, safety, and grip.
It also means you’ll be less tired when conquering difficult terrain because your arms and legs won’t be beaten up by every lump and bump.

There’s a lot to be said about novices learning on a hardtail and then going to a full suspension bike once they’ve mastered the basics — full suspension bikes are a lot of fun, but the ability to plough through tough terrain without learning good technique can instil negative habits.


When it comes to conquering the toughest, steepest trails, hardtails push you to absorb impacts with your legs and arms, as well as use your body weight to ease the bike over obstructions in the trail.

Full suspension bikes are meant to tackle more difficult tracks, and will make clattering down rock-strewn trails far easier and less exhausting.


The addition of rear suspension does, however, come with a weight penalty, and they are also more expensive to maintain, in addition to being more expensive in the first place.
Suspension manufacturers like Fox recommend yearly service intervals – or every 100 hours of riding – as a bare minimum, with a service costing roughly £100 per shock or more.

If you choose a full suspension bike, keep in mind that finding the proper suspension settings for your weight and riding style will require time and work before the bike can operate to its full potential.


This can be a bit of a dark art, so be prepared to put in some effort to get it properly.

What characteristics should I be on the lookout for?

The groupset that a bike comes with is one of the most crucial factors to consider.
The cranks, chain, cassette, derailleurs, shifter, and brakes are all part of the groupset, which transmits your pedalling input to the wheels and brings you to a standstill.
Shimano and SRAM are the two main makers of MTB groupsets, and while they both have their own way of doing things – not to mention a devoted following – they both provide a wide spectrum of group sets, from entry-level kit to cutting-edge technology found on the bikes of professional racers.


Spend more to obtain lighter, higher-performance gear with smoother gear changing and more powerful braking, but don’t feel compelled to spend a fortune; performance is so honed these days that even the most basic groupset from both brands is more than adequate for most riders.

Should I have as many gears as possible?

No, for off-road riding, the range of those gears is more crucial.
Most mountain bikes have recently transitioned from two or three front chainrings to a single front chainring, which is a recent trend.


This may appear to be a step backwards, but it is not.


Although single-ring bikes are currently limited to 11 gears (12 with the most recent, ultra-expensive SRAM groupsets), the cassette (the cluster of cogs on the back wheel) has everything from a tiny 11 tooth cog to a plate-sized 42 tooth cog, giving you a similar range of gears to bikes with double and triple chainsets.

A single gear up front also allows designers to construct frames that can take larger wheels and tyres, and it creates a more simpler, more robust system that is less prone to being broken, clogged with muck, or requiring maintenance to function properly.


The bar and saddle, for example, have a significant impact on comfort and control, and it’s definitely worth replacing them if they don’t suit your hands or your back.


Another important option to make is whether to continue with flat pedals or try riding clipped-in with a pair of clipless pedals. Both have their supporters and advantages and disadvantages, but novices should acquire confidence on flat pedals before moving on to clipless pedals.

Then there are optional features like dropper posts.


These extendable seatposts allow you to have the saddle at the ideal height for pedalling on the flat or uphill, but then drop the saddle out of the way with a push of a button on the handlebar, making it much easier to descend difficult, steep terrain without the saddle catching your shorts or getting in the way.

Is it necessary for me to purchase a model that is specifically designed for women?

Some marketers and designers may tell you that women need bikes that are specifically created for them, but this is mostly simply marketing.


Women’s bikes do exist in smaller sizes, which can be useful if you’re short – and a saddle specifically made for a woman’s derriere is definitely worth investing in – but there’s no reason to limit yourself to bikes that claim to be developed with female-friendly geometry in mind.


With multiple lengths of stem and handlebar widths, you can dial in the perfect fit as long as you choose the proper frame size for you.

Bestseller No. 1
Eurobike Mountain Bike 27.5inch Adult Men and Women Full Suspension 17 inch Frame Bicycle (spoke)
  • 21 speed shifting system mountain Bike;
  • The double disc brake system improves braking efficiency and safety;
  • The bike arrives with 85% assembled. You need to install the front wheel, pedals, handlebar, seat and air up the tires; Easy assembly. The bike assembly instruction and required tools are included in the package;
  • Suitable for riders 5’7”-6'
  • Quality guarantee .Pls feel free to contact us if you have any problems,we will do our best to help.
Bestseller No. 2
Full Suspension Mountain Bikes 27.5 Inches Wheel for Adult 21 Speed Dual Disc Brakes Men Bike Bicycle (Wheel 1)
  • 【Shimano 21 Speed Professional Mountain Bike】Shimano trigger shifters combines with the rear Shimano derailleurs to deliver gear changes easy and smooth, for uphill Climbing, downhill riding, or pure acceleration, to keep you pushing through any terrain in your path. 3 gears front derailleur and 7 gears derailleur deliver 21 speeds of ultra smooth shifting
  • 【Dual Disk Brake】Durable stainless steel mechanical front and rear mechanical disc brake giving you the stable and strong braking force and help you stop confidently in all conditions
  • 【High Carbon Steel Frame & Anti-skid Tires】The 18” sturdy frame, mountain bike frame and excellent welding technology make it a sturdy and durable cruise bike. The anti-skid tires for mountain bikes have a super excellent anti-skid function, it has a strong grip and reduces wear and tear, so it can also be used on rainy days.
  • 【Full Suspension】Mountain bikes are equipped with powerful shock absorber that can challenge all kinds of rough surfaces. The height of the seat cushion is adjustable, which is both comfortable and ergonomic, can meet the needs of riders of different heights and reduce the fatigue caused by riding.
  • Free pedals and comfortable seat include in package.
Bestseller No. 3
Wind Greeting 26" Mountain Bikes,24 Speed Bicycle,Adult Fat Tire Mountain Trail Bike,High-carbon Steel Frame Dual Full Suspension Dual Disc Brake (Cyan)
  • ☀Rugged frame: The frame is made of high carbon steel, with strong support strength, ergonomic design, wear resistance and corrosion resistance, providing you with a safe and reliable travel plan.
  • ☀26-inch full-shock mountain bike with 24-speed Shimano makes it easier to climb, finger derailleur, and rear derailleur gearbox kit for easy and convenient gear changes during riding.
  • ☀Widened tire design, width up to 13 cm, low resistance tread, wear resistance is 5 times that of ordinary bicycle tires, strong grip, anti-skid, conquer any off-road trails and urban roads. High-speed riding is easier.
  • ☀Shock absorption design: All-terrain mountain bikes use shock-absorbing front forks. The thickened outer wall is more resistant to shocks. The thickened shock absorbers help absorb shocks. The parallel bars can adapt to pressure road conditions. Rear box shock absorber and double shock absorption system can greatly improve the comfort during riding
  • ☀The thickened and widened comfortable saddle can be adjusted according to your height. The brake system adopts a double disc brake system. Both front and back are equipped with mechanical disc brakes to protect your riding safety. Applicable height: 26 inches, suitable height: 5.7ft -6.4ft
Bestseller No. 4
Wind Greeting 26" Mountain Bikes,Adult Fat Tire Mountain Trail Bike,21 Speed Bicycle,High-carbon Steel Frame Dual Full Suspension Dual Disc Brake (Orange)
  • ☀Rugged frame: The frame is made of high carbon steel, with strong support strength, ergonomic design, wear resistance and corrosion resistance, providing you with a safe and reliable travel plan.The maximum weight that our bike can carry is 150 kg.The bike is fully assembled. You can choose our expedited delivery for free, the delivery time is 3-7 working days.
  • ☀26-inch full-shock mountain bike with 21-speed makes it easier to climb, finger derailleur, and rear derailleur gearbox kit for easy and convenient gear changes during riding.
  • ☀Widened tire design, width up to 13 cm, low resistance tread, wear resistance is 5 times that of ordinary bicycle tires, strong grip, anti-skid, conquer any off-road trails and urban roads. High-speed riding is easier.
  • ☀Shock absorption design: All-terrain mountain bikes use shock-absorbing front forks. The thickened outer wall is more resistant to shocks. The thickened shock absorbers help absorb shocks. The parallel bars can adapt to pressure road conditions. Rear box shock absorber and double shock absorption system can greatly improve the comfort during riding
  • ☀The thickened and widened comfortable saddle can be adjusted according to your height. The brake system adopts a double disc brake system. Both front and back are equipped with mechanical disc brakes to protect your riding safety. Applicable height: 26 inches, suitable height: 5.7ft -6.4ft (175-195cm)
Bestseller No. 5
Viribus Adult Mountain Bike, 26 Inch All Terrain Bicycle with Full Suspension, 21 Speed MTB with Dual Disc Brakes Adjustable Seat Light Aluminium Alloy Frame Kickstand More
  • ADULT MOUNTAIN BIKE: This rugged 65 cm (26 inch) mountain bike is perfect for serious athletes and weekend cycling enthusiasts alike, with its premium aluminium alloy construction offering great durability and corrosion resistance for years of riding fun
  • SUPERIOR COMFORT: Our MTB's seat height is adjustable from 81.5 to 101.5 cm to accommodate teens and adults of all heights, while the padded saddle offers long-lasting comfort for big miles
  • FULL SUSPENSION: This all terrain bicycle’s powerful front fork shock and rear single pivot suspension absorb impact as you handle bumpy roads and rugged trails, offering a smooth ride everywhere you need to go
  • 21-SPEED DERAILLEUR: The 21 speeds let you fly through straightaways while still providing plenty of power once it's time to start climbing; the micro-grip thumb shifters give the speed or torque you need right at your fingertips
  • VERSATILE DESIGN: Our aluminium alloy frame offers lightweight responsiveness and dependable support for riders over 15 st. 10 lb. (100 kg), with the front and rear mechanical disc brakes keeping you in full control even during steep descents
Bestseller No. 6
Wind Greeting 26" Mountain Bikes,Adult Fat Tire Mountain Trail Bike,21 Speed Bicycle,High-carbon Steel Frame Dual Full Suspension Dual Disc Brake (Red)
  • ☀Rugged frame: The frame is made of high carbon steel, with strong support strength, ergonomic design, wear resistance and corrosion resistance, providing you with a safe and reliable travel plan.The maximum weight that our bike can carry is 150 kg.The bike is fully assembled. You can choose our expedited delivery for free, the delivery time is 3-7 working days.
  • ☀26-inch full-shock mountain bike with 21-speed makes it easier to climb, finger derailleur, and rear derailleur gearbox kit for easy and convenient gear changes during riding.
  • ☀Widened tire design, width up to 13 cm, low resistance tread, wear resistance is 5 times that of ordinary bicycle tires, strong grip, anti-skid, conquer any off-road trails and urban roads. High-speed riding is easier.
  • ☀Shock absorption design: All-terrain mountain bikes use shock-absorbing front forks. The thickened outer wall is more resistant to shocks. The thickened shock absorbers help absorb shocks. The parallel bars can adapt to pressure road conditions. Rear box shock absorber and double shock absorption system can greatly improve the comfort during riding
  • ☀The thickened and widened comfortable saddle can be adjusted according to your height. The brake system adopts a double disc brake system. Both front and back are equipped with mechanical disc brakes to protect your riding safety. Applicable height: 26 inches, suitable height: 5.7ft -6.4ft (175-195cm)
Bestseller No. 7
26" Mountain Bikes,Adult Fat Tire Mountain Trail Bike,21 Speed Bicycle,High-carbon Steel Frame Dual Full Suspension Dual Disc Brake (Cyan)
  • ☀Rugged frame: The frame is made of high carbon steel, with strong support strength, ergonomic design, wear resistance and corrosion resistance, providing you with a safe and reliable travel plan.The maximum weight that our bike can carry is 150 kg.The bike is fully assembled. You can choose our expedited delivery for free, the delivery time is 3-7 working days.
  • ☀26-inch full-shock mountain bike with 21-speed makes it easier to climb, finger derailleur, and rear derailleur gearbox kit for easy and convenient gear changes during riding.
  • ☀Widened tire design, width up to 13 cm, low resistance tread, wear resistance is 5 times that of ordinary bicycle tires, strong grip, anti-skid, conquer any off-road trails and urban roads. High-speed riding is easier.
  • ☀Shock absorption design: All-terrain mountain bikes use shock-absorbing front forks. The thickened outer wall is more resistant to shocks. The thickened shock absorbers help absorb shocks. The parallel bars can adapt to pressure road conditions. Rear box shock absorber and double shock absorption system can greatly improve the comfort during riding
  • ☀The thickened and widened comfortable saddle can be adjusted according to your height. The brake system adopts a double disc brake system. Both front and back are equipped with mechanical disc brakes to protect your riding safety. Applicable height: 26 inches, suitable height: 5.7ft -6.4ft (175-195cm).
Bestseller No. 8
OBK G4 Full Suspension Folding Bike 26 Inch 21 Speed Disc Brakes Mountain Bike Bicycle Men or Women foldable bikes for adults (Blue)
  • Upgrade the frame Suspension to make your ride more comfortable,and foldable frame easy to store and carry
  • Durable and high quality after-sales service, so that you do not worry about the future
  • folding bikes for adults,26 inches wheels fits up to 5’3-5’9”
  • Great Braking System: The front and rear disc brakes and help keep the cyclist safe even in high speeds and down sloppy terrains. You will also have more control on when and where to stop.
  • Shimano 21 speed Shifters easy to use
Bestseller No. 9
26 * 4.0 inch Fat Tire Electric Bike for adult, Mountain Bike, TWO 48V*17Ah removable Lithium Battery, Full suspension Electric Bicycles,Dual hydraulic disc brakes Gunai MX03
  • 【TWO 48V * 17Ah Battery】 48V * 17Ah battery, support about 1000 times of charging cycle. Fully charged battery takes 6-8 hours. powerful brushless motor, strong fun power for your travel. The surmountable gradient can reach 35 ° in common road conditions. The motor has a speed limit function.
  • 【SAFETY DESIGN FOR COMFORTABLY RIDING】 The Aluminum Alloy frame is light and strong, And the load safety of this ebike is up to 180kg. Hydraulic disc brakes make your driving safety travel, 26x4.0 inch fat tires can strengthen road surface friction, which make driving more stable to meet all road conditions such as snow, road, Beach and MTB mountain. The strong Aluminum high strength alloylsuspension fork and 7 Speed ​​Shift System can give you a comfortable and safe ride.
  • 【3 WORKING MODES】 ❶ Pedal Assist Modes: The Motor Will Help You with a Moderate Amount of Energy as You Pedal Your Bicycle. In this mode you can drive 60-90km before charging. ❷Fully Electric Mode: Rotate the Throttle to Any Power Increments You Want to Power the Bicycle Motor. In its mode, it has 40-50km range of batteries. ❸Manual Mode: Bicycle Pedal Normally as You Would Any Bicycle.
  • 【WARRANTY REGULATIONS】Frame warranty:12 Months. Motor warranty: 12 Months Battery warranty: 6 Months. 95% pre-assembled when you get the bike.
Bestseller No. 10
Mens 27.5''Mountain Bike 3 Spoke Magnesium Wheel Folding Bicycle for Adult Men and Women Full Suspension (green)
  • Shimano 21 speed shifting system folding mountain bike for adult Men and Women;
  • 3 spoke magnesium wheels, beautiful design, stable performance;
  • Folding bicycle is easy to carry and use ,save space;
  • As it is big item during transportation, the bike arrives with 85% assembled. You need to install the front wheel,handlebar,pedals, seat and air up the tires. The assembly instruction and necessary tools are included in the package.
  • Easy assembly. The set up manual and necessary tools are included in the package;

Honest Bob is committed to providing genuine guides from a panel of experts. As an Amazon affiliate Honest Bob earns commission from any qualifying purchases.Thank you for your support!

Must Read