Even without a big budget, newcomers can expect to get their hands on a quality bike that offers reliable technology and good handling characteristics. Whether it's for everyday city life, getting out and about in your local area or going on trips with friends, these bikes can do everything. From even entry level models you can expect proper shifting comfort with a wide transmission range, a solid suspension fork and a stable aluminium frame. The seat position and geometry of these bikes are usually designed to offer beginners better comfort and improved control.
Where and how should the bike be used?
Trips in the country should be just as easy as your commute to work. The focus is on versatility and balanced, easy-to-control riding characteristics uphill and downhill – on both fixed and unpaved routes.
What equipment should you expect?
Typically mountain bikes come with minimal equipment. There’s no need to look for mudguards, lighting sets or stands. However, beginner bikes are usually equipped with threaded eyelets, which make it easy to attach any of these extras if you want to. Whether for everyday use or off-road adventures, powerful brakes and a high-performance shifter from Shimano or SRAM are important. For mountain bikes under £500, v-brakes are often used. The simply constructed and relatively light v-brake performs excellently in dry conditions. However, hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes win-out on braking performance in wet conditions. A suspension fork is necessary for off-road riding – usually an air suspension fork – which can be precisely adjusted to the rider's weight using a suspension fork pump.
What should you invest in?
For under £500, you can expect a stable and reliable beginner’s bike which is fun to ride over light – medium terrain, and which (with the addition of a few attachments such as mudguards and lighting) will also prove a robust and full-bodied everyday bike.
From £500 on, you can get your hands on a sporty mountain bike which is noticeably lighter due to its higher-quality components. With up to 30 gears, longer climbs will also seem a piece of cake. During descents you’ll enjoy the higher-quality brakes and suspension fork.