What size mountain bike should I get? Answer:
Welcome to mountain biking for beginners.
In this video we will be discussing some bike geometry… at least just a couple of the basics you should be aware of for your first bike.
Since you are just starting off, going out and spending a decent amount of time and money on a proper fitted racing bike is not likely what you are looking to do.
After all, a properly fitted bike also must take into account you own personal riding style, body type, and trail type.
But you are just starting out, so how could you possible know?
Well, you can’t until you get some experience.
For a beginner, the first thing you need to do is ride the bike you are interested in.
Then you need to ride at least one other bike size to get a sense of the differences.
This is usually accomplished at a bike store with a simple test ride.
Knowing your height and weight, the bike tech can usually point you in the direction of a bike most likely to be your size.
One thing to look closely at is be sure the bike doesn’t feel too big.
With a bike that is too big, there is very little you can do to make it ride right.
However, with a slightly smaller frame, you have the ability to shift your body weight to keep the bike balanced.
Another thing to keep in mind is if you get a 26er, you will have more room to make adjustments if the size isn’t just right.
If you buy a 29er, pay closer attention to how large the bike feels and don’t be afraid to get a slightly smaller frame if it gives you the sensation of being too big.
Once you own your bike, there are certain do’s and don’ts for adjusting the bike geometry.
For example, if you upgrade the front fork, you want to try your best to keep the angle close to 70 degrees.
A longer suspension will decrease the angle and will cause your front end to grip less and your turning angle will be wider.
A shorter front suspension will grip or bite more and will not do well with rocks, branches, roots or sand.
So what are some simple adjustments a beginner can do to improve their ride and improve geometry and balance?
One of the things that are greatly different from rider to rider is their torso and arm length.
For this reason, many manufacturers will default with longer stems.
To counter this you can make a slight adjustment in your saddle.
But this could put you off balance.
If you have too much weight to the rear, you will find that downhill is easier and climes are hard to steer.
But, more common are new riders having too much weight to the front, since it is easy for your body to recognize the weight to too far back.
Some common complaints for people that have too much weight forward are:
Overshooting banked turns, and having to slow down just to make the turn
Muscle soreness between your shoulder blades instead of your forearms and pecks.
Frequent falling over the front of your bike when hitting small obstacles.
Fortunately, stems are relatively low cost and simple to replace.
Check out your stem length and angle and look for one that is relatively the same angle but shorter or longer depending on your need.
For me, I had too much weight forward on my first bike.
I was constantly having to slow down for banked curves and would frequently fall over the front of my bike with small obstacles.
The bike came with a 110mm stem.
I purchased an 80mm stem on ebay for $25 and it turned out great.
You can usually find stems on ebay between $10 and $20 with shipping included.
I spent the extra $5 just to get a cool color.
If your front wheel isn’t gripping like you want, a longer stem could be a low cost temporary solution.
Remember, this is your first bike, so it is a learning curve.
Your bike fit does not need to be perfect.
If you stick to the sport, as you ride certain things will start to bother you… just look into them one at a time.
As you fix or take steps to adjust one issue, you will start to notice other things you didn’t know about.
When you are ready to buy your second bike, if you spent time adjusting parts on your first bike, you will know exactly what your riding style is and how to fit into a bike that fits you back.
Please feel free to let us know in the comments section some things you did to adjust how your first bike fits you.
Thanks and have fun out there.
Created By ThreeDigitIQ