Whether you're looking for a bike that climbs like a mountain goat or descends like a bullet, one of the most important choices to make when choosing a new bike is what you want to ride most. While most all bikes today are becoming more versatile in all aspects of the sport, there are still bikes that perform better within certain disciplines(XC, enduro, downhill) than others.
Much like deciding on your intended use for your bike, knowing which locations you will be riding most is another important factor to keep in mind. Will you primarily be riding Boise foothills and then taking your bike on camping trips? Are you riding around Boise when you're in town, and spending your summer searching far and wide for the world's best bike parks? Spending some time thinking about where you'll be riding your bike the most, or where you plan to take it can effect which bike will be best for you.
Your budget that you'll be spending on your next bike may play the biggest role in what you pick for your next steed. The biggest factors that change the costs of bike across the market are things like frame and component materials, as well as the quality of your suspension and components.
Another key decision to make when purchasing a new bike is what size you're looking to ride. This decision is more difficult now than ever, with varying frame and wheel sizes, and different ways to combine them. When choosing a frame size, knowing your intended use becomes important being that if you're looking to charge downhill at race speeds and keep up with the pros, you'll likely be more comfortable on a larger size frame. If you're someone that likes to find all the hidden features and play your way down the mountain, a smaller frame size would be more suited for this style of riding. Wheel size is another thing involved in the conversation of bike sizing. The main options being 27.5", 29", and mixed wheel size(29" in front and 27.5" in the rear). The 29" wheel size is known for its speed and climbing ability, while the 27.5" size is known to be more nimble. Mixed wheel set ups are often called a "mullet" set up, and the saying holds true, business in the front and party in the back.
|First or Second Bike?|
One last thing to consider on your bike purchasing process is other bikes that may be in your fleet. If this is going to be your one and only, your daily driver, refer back to parts 1-4. If this is going to be an addition to an existing fleet, what do you already have? If you're currently riding a shorter travel XC bike, are you looking to improve your speed at the local resort? Consider something with more travel! Are you a downhill racer looking for off-season training and a fun bike to hit the foothills with friends? Something more efficient with less travel may be right in your wheelhouse!