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Mountain Bikes

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Mountain Bike Buying Tips

Which mountain bike is right for you? There are plenty of factors, but we're breaking it down for you to make shopping for your women's or men's mountain bike as easy as possible.

First, think about your mountain bike style. Are you planning on riding a mix of climbs and descents? A trail bike is a good option. If you want to ride quickly and climb easily, look at efficient, low-weight cross-country mountain bikes. Or perhaps you're looking for traction for sand or snow: get a fat bike. All-mountain bikes are best for bigger climbs, longer, tougher descents and technical features.

Next, choose your MTB features. You'll want to choose your suspension type: rigid, hardtail or full suspension. Wheel size is also an important consideration. Choose 26 inches, 27.5 inches (650b), 27.5+ inches, 29ers or 24 inches for kids. Mountain bikes come in aluminum alloy, steel, titanium and carbon fiber. Take your fitness level and the terrain you'll be riding into consideration when picking out your bike gears. If you want to ride steep hills or find climbing challenging, opt for more gears. Remember you can easily modify your gears after you buy a bike, so don't worry too much about this one. Lastly, get the bike brakes that make the most sense for your needs. Disc brakes, which grip onto a brake rotor mounted on the wheel hub, can be hydraulic or cable-activated and rim breaks have pads that grip onto the wheel rims.

Finally, you want to make sure your bike fits you well. Mountain bikes come in standard sizes - S, M, L - and generally correspond to your height. Check the bicycle manufacturer's size chart to find your size. You can head to a bike store to get fitted in person. While you're at it, test out several bikes for a 5- to 10-minute ride over different surfaces. With the help of a REI specialist, you will be able to find the perfect bike for your body.

When you're ready to buy, we have the top brands for you: Cannondale, Diamondback, GHOST, Salsa and Co-op Cycles. We look forward to seeing you out there!