A beginner's guide to buying a mountain bike

This is a guideline for a buying a mountain bike. I consider both off-road riding and riding on paved surfaces. It doesn't suggest any particular bikes, but instead explains what you should be looking for, and it will allow you to choose a bike in your price range that is good quality, appropriate for the kind of riding you want to do, and fits you correctly.

I assume that you want something that isn't too expensive (since you are a beginner and aren't sure how much you will end up riding it) nor too cheap (since you want a decent-quality bike that will keep you happy for awhile). Thus I'm only considering bikes costing something between about 250 to 500 pounds.

The article is organized into several sections:

Click here for the first section.

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