Ultimate Beginners Guide to Buying a MTB

Buying your first mountain bike can be a daunting task. Bicycles Online want to make the process as easy as possible for you by narrowing down your choices. We will look at the riding you will be doing, what bikes are best for terrains and how to get the best bang for your buck. 


The terrain is the number one determining factor of what bike will suit you best. Let's use the Siskiu range from Polygon to show you how a bike matches the terrain.

Suppose you are riding a lot of flat, undulating terrain or climbing more than descending. In that case, the Siskiu D series will be perfect for your riding. A trail bike with 120mm of travel is ideal for a rider who prioritises efficiency on the climbs and an active ride on the downs. The D series is perfect for you if you are mainly riding flowy trails without many big rock or root sections.

When the trails begin getting rougher and you are riding burlier terrain, the T series shines. While you lose some of the climbing prowess, descending becomes a lot more fun. The D series is perfectly fine on a technical descent. Still, it requires more finesse and technique from a skilled rider to make it excel.

The T series is classified as an all-mountain/trail bike. It will get you up the climbs with a bit of extra effort, and the downs will come alive. This style of bike is often recommended for beginners who don't know what style of riding they will prefer in the future. The extra suspension and modern geometry will add additional support for those "Oh No!!" moments. 

If you find that getting to the top is just a means to earn the fun stuff, the N series is for you. The N series is a much bigger chore to climb, but it is all worth it when you point it back down the hill. It eats up rocks and roots like they are sticks and pebbles. The downside to being a bigger bike is they can feel lethargic on tamer trails; the T8 will be a better bike if your favorite tracks are smoother. 


As is with most sports or vehicles, you want to get the best bang for your dollar. We pride ourselves on offering the best bikes for your money. The main things to consider when looking at a bike are the frame, suspension, and wheels. They are the big money components and can change the way a bike rides significantly.

A frame's geometry can't be changed or adjusted cheaply or easily. You want to make sure the chassis is going to suit the riding you aim to do. A steeper head angle will make your bike more agile in tight corners and while climbing. However, if you want stability at speed or more safety on the downs, a slacker head angle will give you those traits.


Chainstay length and the overall wheelbase will also determine how the bike handles. Longer chainstays or wheelbase will give a rider more stability but the bike requires more effort to maneuver.   Shorter wheel stays make the front end easier to pick up and manual. Longer will give more stability but make it much harder to pick up the front wheel. Short wheelbases will give a rider more agility and quick handling at the sacrifice.

We try to ensure that we provide the best suspension package possible for the end price. Suspension can make or break a bike. You want to get a suspension that is going to perform well as you start riding faster and harder. Dampening is how you tune your suspension to suit you and your riding. The better the dampening, the better your fork will feel. Air sprung suspension is lighter and easier to adjust as you can change the fork settings as you get better. The better the suspension from the start, the less you need to change in the future. 

Good strong wheels with good hubs can make a bike come to life. Our Entity rims are strong and ready to rip. We make sure that we don’t spec hubs that aren’t up to the task. We want you to have the best wheelset possible. However, there are ways to upgrade in the future. For XC bikes you might want to go to a super lightweight carbon wheel. If you are an enduro rider then a stronger heavier wheelset might be better. If you can get the best wheels possible from the start, you will be guaranteed a good ride. 

Finding Balance

We would all love to start off riding the best superbike possible but, we know that not possible for everyone. The best bike may also be overwhelming for a lot of new rides due to the insane amount of adjustment and technology.

When you are on a budget we recommend aiming to get the bike closest to your maximum amount. Bikes really represent a greater product for the more you pay. Settling for a lower price can often mean you are settling for a lower-grade product. 

If you are looking at riding extremely rough terrain a lot of the time, a bike that isn’t up to the challenge will end up costing you more over the long run. You want to be riding your bike, not repairing it all the time. Spending the extra money at the start will save you money in the long run. 

While Bicycles Online offers the best bikes for the best value, we still understand that balancing your budget with the bike you want is hard. When you are sitting at your desk wondering which model you want to get if you can stretch the budget and get the better bike we highly recommend doing so. Sacrificing higher-end components to save some money at the start will only hurt your wallet in the long run. Get on the best bike now and enjoy the ride. 


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