We may be biased, but we like to think that New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to be a mountain bike rider. With some of the most rugged terrain imaginable, New Zealanders are never far from an intense off-road adventure. People who enjoy a more causal off-road experience can find trails at very corner of our great country. There’s an off-road trail for everyone, now it’s just matter of choosing the right mountain bike.
Thanks to the huge popularity of mountain biking in New Zealand, there are tons of mountain bike options available to you. All skill and fitness levels, all ages, all sizes, and all budgets can find their ideal bike. BikeExchange brings together enthusiasts and bike shops from all across the country, where you can find great deals on all types of bikes and bike equipment, apparel, and services.
But before you start shopping, take a minute and answer a few questions. Your answers can guide you in your search for the perfect mountain bike.
Ask yourself the following questions:
• Are you a relaxed Sunday rider who enjoys observing nature as much as you enjoy finding challenging mountain trails?
• Do you like to work up a good sweat and burn as many calories as possible when you’re riding?
• Do you try to find the hardest, most technical trails to challenge your skills?
Determine which type of riding you prefer and do most, as this should guide you in your choice of mountain bike. Choosing the wrong bike (for example a hardcore, off-road model when you enjoy casual, relaxed cycling) can discourage you from riding as often compared to purchasing a bike that adds to your enjoyment of the ride.
Certain mountain bikes are designed for steep hill climbing and descending, others are more suited to mud and sand crawling, while others still have the suspension you need for lots of bumpy surfaces.
Picking a bike that fits your physical size may seem obvious, but some cyclists are disappointed when they don’t put enough consideration into this factor, and end up with a bike that fits them poorly and doesn’t suit their weight.
Frame size and wheel/tyre size both need to be factored in, and the best way to be sure the combination fits is to try many different models. Suspensions, pedals, and seats all need to be chosen in function of your weight. Underrated, your mountain bike could lack in comfort; overrated, your bike won’t provide the shock absorption, performance, and longevity you desire.
Mountain bikes in NZ can range from under $100 for a basic used model to thousands of dollars for a competition model. With such a range, it’s important to establish your budget ahead of time, so you can narrow your search down to the bikes you can afford.
Your budget also helps you determine what material you can choose: if your budget is tight, you’re better off going for a more affordable steel or aluminum frame and spending more on a quality seat and tyres. If money is not an issue, you might orient your search to composite and titanium bike frames, which offer the best weight-to-strength ratio.
Once you have answered these questions, you’re well on your way to finding the right mountain bike for you. If you’re itching to get out and explore this beautiful country from the saddle of your mountain bike, take a look at our marketplace here at BikeExchange. Find all the bikes, parts, and info necessary to make the most informed choice.