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Recommendations for purchasing my first Mountain Bike

Hello! I have been borrowing my roommate's mountain bike to use on local trails and have been enough that I want to start thinking about purchasing my own. I don't need anything crazy as I'm still new to the sport and I mostly anticipate using it on easy local trails. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated!!

4 Replies

Hi there @mckenziethompson!

Thanks for reaching out to the Community looking for some advice!  Exciting to hear that you are enjoying cycling enough to want to get a mountain bike! 

I’m first going to encourage you to take a look at this expert advice article on how to choose a mountain bike. This will help you identify what features are important to you based on your personal experience and location. 

Any additional information you can share with us about where you like to ride can help us make a recommendation. Also, here is some helpful information in terms of proper bike fit.

As you start to narrow down some potential options, please feel free to reach back out with any follow-up questions!

My personal recommendation would be to check out our DRT 1.1



At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-AlyS After doing a little research I'm interested in either the GHOST Lanao 4.7 27.5" Women's Bike - 2019, Cannondale Trail Tango 2 Women's Bike - 2020, or Co-op Cycles DRT 2.1 Bike. The bike I have been riding has front suspension but after reading the article I wanted to know if it's worth the extra money to purchase a bike with full suspension? I like in Duxbury, MA so I am mainly riding through the town forest (small to moderate climbs and descents, lots of roots, narrow trails).



I am a Massachusetts native myself!  I miss the South Shore!

Knowing now where you are riding, I can provide even more advice.  I truly don't  think you can go wrong with any of these bikes.  In terms of suspension and knowing the types of trails you will be on, I honestly don't see full suspension as a priority.

I will put a plug in for the Co-op DRT 2.1!  I like this bike a lot and really enjoyed riding it last year up in Vermont on the Kingdom Trails.  The dropper seat post was a nice additional feature on this bike!  

Hope this helps and you are hitting the trails soon!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@mckenziethompson Of those 3 options, I'd probably second the DRT 2.1, mainly because of the air fork. After my own entry experience into MTB, having an air fork over cheaper coils is something I wish I would've spent a little more $ on the outset for. Dropper posts are also 👌 it seems like a silly little thing at first, but the ability to get the saddle out of the way for descents and gnar then raise it up for climbing without having to pause your ride to dismount... absolutely worth it (though any bike without a dropper can always have one added later). The current 15% off with the Anniversary Sale also makes this attractive right now.

That said I think the Cannondale is a close contender, it just seems to have slightly lower spec components like the gears and such. On the plus side, that paint job with the yellow striping looks pretty rad! 😎 Both of those bikes look to have a good base to build off for future upgrades if you want to change anything down the line.

As for a full squish? I'd say if you can, test ride one on trails you know well. At least around my trails, local shops will often have demo days where they bring a trailer full of bikes to the trailhead. By being familiar with how the trail feels on what you've been riding, it gives you a great sense of the difference much better than circling around a store's parking lot. From my experience, full suspension can be extremely confidence inspiring and total fun even if the terrain isn't super aggressive, but also isn't required by any means. Hardtails can be particularly good at pumping over rollers to maintain speed. Many riders actually keep both and full-sus and a hardtail around.

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