When most people go looking for a new mountain bike, they can be shocked at the prices! Some of the most expensive models go for crazy amounts of money, which can make getting a new bike surprisingly difficult. Fortunately, there are several excellent options out there for less than $200. But how do you decide which bike is right for you without breaking the bank?
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Are Cheaper Mountain Bikes OK?
Some people have an issue with buying a cheaper bike. Price is associated with quality, and when you are buying something like a mountain bike, people tend to want the best. There may also be safety concerns, and questions of upkeep (is my $200 bike going to break quickly?).
These are understandable concerns, but you don’t need to worry. Expensive mountain bikes get their price from a number of factors that don’t impact their quality as a biking machine, including cutting edge technology that is more fancy than functional, brand name recognition, and materials/hardware that far exceed the requirements for a quality bike. Simply put, if you are riding a cheaper mountain bike, you can have just as much fun on the trail as someone who spent five times as much.
What Makes a Good Mountain Bike?
As with any vehicle, there are key components you want to look for when buying a bike. You also want to consider what you are planning on doing with the bike, and what matches your style.
Size and Style
The first things to consider are the first things you will notice about your new bike – how big is it, and how does it look! Fortunately, there are many styles available at great prices. Whether you are a man or a woman, you can find the right type of bike, and in a world of different colors.
Choosing the size is important. If the bike is too small or too large, it will not be comfortable to ride, and may even be a little risky! Be sure to choose a mountain bike that, when you sit on the seat, reaching the handlebars is comfortable. Many bikes have adjustable seats up and down, so keep that in mind as well.
Basic Biking Hardware
All bikes have hardware for basic functioning, from shifting the gears to a solid frame for a smooth ride. Even on the best mountain bikes under $200, the gear does a great job of filling these basic functions. Choosing the right bike depends on your goals.
Depending on what kind of riding you are doing, you may want to prioritize a stronger frame for a heavy-duty, bumpy trail, or you may want to prioritize quick and smooth shifting for a trail with lots of turns. If you are planning on riding this bike on the streets as well as the trail, then buying a bike that’s a little lighter than most mountain bike frames may be the best choice.
Durability and Portability
One of the biggest concerns for people when buying a bike that is lower price is durability. Whatever the cost, a bike is an investment that you want to have last a long time. If a bike costs less than $200, is it something that will last?
The answer is yes. Even cheaper bikes are made out of high-quality aluminum and steel and designed to absorb shocks and impacts without taking any permanent damage. While you do need to be careful about some of the fragile parts such as the gear shifters, this is true on any bike no matter how expensive.
Mountain bikes that cost a ton of money can be made out of cutting edge materials such as carbon fiber or bamboo. However, these materials are not necessary for a good bike, and paying extra for them isn’t always worth it!
Portability is also a common concern, and this is another area where you need to choose the right bike for you. Overall, most mountain bikes are fairly rigid. Most also do not come with quick-release wheels because that improves their stability. However, there are some good mountain bikes that are also foldable, making them much easier to transport. If portability is an important issue for you, there are still great mountain bikes at less than $200.
Whatever You Need, There’s a Bike For You
As you can see, if you are looking for a solid quality mountain bike for less than $200, you have plenty of options. Finding the right one for you is just a question of finding the right model for whatever trails you might be riding and matches your style. Safe riding out there!