When you are shopping for your first mountain bike, there are some things that you should take into consideration.

Mountain Bike Size

Selecting the right size frame for you is very important. There is no standard sizing among the manufacturers. The things you need to be comfortable with are the reach, which is the distance from the bike saddle to the handlebars and the distance from the middle of the crank to mid-head tube known as the stack. Look for a more extended front triangle to protect you from going over the handlebars. A longer front triangle also aids with inclines by keeping your front wheel planted on the ground. The seat tube will provide good standover and easy maneuvering as long as you still have full pedalling height.

Mountain Bike Weight

Your new mountain bike should be solid, not flimsy. A little extra weight on the bike will ride much better when you run into random ruts, roots and rocks.

Full-Suspension Versus Hardtail

A hardtail typically will offer you a better parts specification than on a full-suspension model. A hardtail is approximately the same price as a full-suspension bike but requires less maintenance and fewer things seem to go wrong with them.

Mountain Bike Wheel Size

The wheel sizes are 27.5 inches and 29 inches. Aggressive trail and downhill riders would prefer the 27.5-inch wheels while beginners, cross-country and trail riders most often use the 29-inch wheels. There are also plus-sized wide-rimmed wheels. The 29 inch wheels are light, stiff and strong.

Suspension

On full-suspension bikes, check out the reviews on shocks and forks. The original equipment on these bikes can be a lower specification than aftermarket ones that look similar.

Budget

Avoid flashy rear mechs and focus on the shifters, cranksets and chainrings. Flashy rear mechs are more cumbersome and cost more; they are not necessary. Use your mountain bike budget on the essential features of the bike.