Partaking in mountain biking can be one of the best physical activities that someone pursues with their free time. This excellent source of exercise can provide a myriad of benefits people of all ages. With that being said, getting into mountain bicycling can be difficult due to the sheer amount of bicycle options available coupled with the limited cycling knowledge that most people have. In order to find the perfect mountain bike for exercise or competition, riders need to make sure that they ask a few specific questions. Listed below, shoppers will find eight important questions to ask and answer before purchasing their mountain bike.

What makes one mountain bike better than the other?

This is a huge question to ask, so it will take a little detail. Mountain bikes will differ from one another based on their wheel size, different gear shifter options, and the material used for the bike frame. At Target, the Huffy Highland 24" Youth Mountain Bike is just $109.99 and it features a 21-speed shifter and 24" wheels.

What are some key features I should look for in a mountain bike?

One of the ideal features that shoppers will want to keep their eyes open for is a quality shock absorber. Mountain biking can be a tremendously physical experience, so making do without great shocks can lead to some pain. The Nomad from Santa Cruz Bicycles features RockShox absorbers with a 27.5" aluminum frame for just $3,599. This is a high-end mountain bike for serious cyclists.

Why do wheel sizes matter for mountain bikes?

Where the rubber meets the road is the most important point of contact between a rider and their bicycle. Wheel sizes will impact the level of traction that a bike has while on the trail. Smaller wheels will have less traction while larger wheels will have better traction. The Nishiki Women's Pueblo 26" Mountain Bike from Dick's Sporting Goods is just $199.99 thanks to a 33% discount. This bike features larger tires for better traction.

What kind of material is best for my mountain bike's frame?

The primary types of mountain bike bodies are aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is the most durable build that cyclists can get but it is expensive. The Diamondback Bicycles Release 5C Full Suspension Carbon Mountain Bike on Amazon is $4,704.48 and it features a full carbon body.

Are there any underrated traits that I need to pay attention to?

When shopping for a mountain bike, it can be easy to ignore cycle weight. Fortunately, bikes like the Fury Carbon Expert by GT Bicycles manages to blend a lightweight build with a carbon frame. This bike costs $4,200 from GT Bicycles and it can provide longevity for even the most tenacious of cyclists.

Do I need to get a gender-specific mountain bike?

Typically, gender-specific bicycles will have differences in their weight, tire size, and frame type. The Clutch 2 is a perfect mountain bike for female riders thanks to its lightweight build and RockShox suspension system. This bicycle can be purchased from Rei Co-Op for just $2,448.93 thanks to a huge 30% discount. This is a professional-level mountain bike that can keep women riders on even the roughest of trails.

What makes the Clutch 2 better than other similar women's mountain bikes?

The Clutch 2 has an elaborate system that requires some assembly when first purchased. Despite this slightly annoying requirement, riders will benefit from the elaborate suspension system that is built on RockShox technology. This bicycle also features 27.5" wheels and the SRAM GX 1x11 drivetrain.

What is the most durable male mountain bike I can purchase?

There are a bunch of different options for male riders. One of the best mountain bikes for entry-level male riders is the GT Men's Avalanche 29" Mountain Bike from Dick's Sporting Goods. This bicycle features huge tires, a quality frame, and a low price point. Right now, this bicycle is on sale for just $699.99.