The Ultimate Mountain Bike Buying Guide

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The Ultimate Mountain Bike Buying Guide

Mountain biking is a sport that is rapidly growing in popularity since it is exciting, a great way to stay in shape, and allows participants to enjoy the outdoors all at once. In addition, mountain bikes are great for recreational users because they provide an excellent form of transportation which is both healthy and reliable. Mountain bikes consist of a few different components that dictate the bikes overall performance, and essentially its value.

In addition, it is critically important for users to size a mountain bike appropriately to ensure a comfortable ride. Finally, buyers should consider additional gear such as helmets and other protection to maximise safety. Mountain bikes are an extremely versatile product as they can be used recreationally or professionally, by beginners and advanced riders, and by young and old riders.

Types of Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes are separated into types based on their design. There are four main designs of mountain bikes that are geared toward different activities, and they can be differentiated based on their suspension. In addition, there are mountain bikes that are more heavily focused on one specific activity. These are broken into many different subcategories. The chart below outlines the different types of mountain bike divided into both design and activity.

Type of Mountain Bike





Riding on smooth terrain


Front Suspension/No Rear Suspension

Riding uneven terrain


No front suspension/rear suspension

Riding uneven terrain

Dual Suspension/Full Suspension

Front and rear suspension

Riding over rugged terrain

The four different types of suspension are the most common way mountain bikes are often distinguished. The suspension type is used as the foundation and then the rest of the mountain bike is made up of components that are activity specific. There are many different activities that mountain bikes are used for so it is important for buyers to be precise about their intended use for the bike.

Discipline Oriented Designs

While the suspension is the easiest way to classify a mountain bike, the discipline the bike is designed for is arguably more important. Mountain bikes are extremely versatile, and are capable of a multitude of different activities. Therefore it is important for buyers to realise that no mountain bike is a "one-size fits all solution", but they should instead be thought of as specialised for certain activities. That being said, some mountain bikes are more versatile than others and are better suited for more general usage.

Cross Country Mountain Bikes

Cross country races put the emphasis on a highly adaptable bike that must be able to handle top speeds. Bikes intended for these activities must be able to make sharp turns and steep climbs, stop quickly, and be comfortable enough for the rider to sit on for a bit of time. They usually have hardtail suspension and incorporate lightweight components such as aluminium frames. Since they are usually made of ultra light components, cross country mountain bikes are not typically recommended for everyday usage, or over seriously rugged terrain. They are best suited for riding on a relatively smooth track where a high rate of speed is often required.

Enduro/All-Mountain Bikes

'Endurance' and 'All-mountain' bikes are probably the most user friendly type of mountain bike available today. They are designed for all purpose riding, which makes them a great choice for recreational riders and beginners alike. They tend to have a good suspension and perform equally well on and off-road. They are capable climbers, and have a respectable top speed. They are often comfortable and accommodating, as long rides are frequent for owners of these particular bikes.

Dirt Jumping Mountain Bikes

Dirt jumping bikes are similar to BMX bikes. They are usually sized very short, have very stiff frames, and have little or no suspension. Dirt jumping bikes are used to clear large gaps, and even allow the rider to do freestyle tricks while airborne. This is a highly specialised type of bike that should only be considered by advanced riders. Dirt jumping bikes are not suited for general use so buyers looking for versatility should also avoid this type of bike.

Downhill Mountain Bikes

Downhill mountain bikes are made for downhill races, as their name implies. These bikes are also made to be exceptionally strong while remaining lightweight. A new development in mountain biking technology has been carbon fibre, which has a very high strength to weight ratio. These are frequently used on downhill mountain bikes but buyers should be cautious as carbon fibre is a very expensive item. Carbon fibre components are often double or even triple the price of less advanced components, however, its improved performance is worth it to some riders.

Other Equipment Needed for Mountain Biking

Mountain biking can be hazardous if proper precautions are not taken. Both professionals and beginners alike should consider wearing safety gear, and many organised events even require riders to wear them. This might include helmets, knee and elbow pads, as well as eye protection. The risk present in mountain biking is significantly reduced when appropriate safety equipment is used. Helmets, pads, and eye protection are always good investments to consider as well.


Helmets are worn on the head for protection from falls. They are fastened using a chin strap that can be tightened or loosened to fit the wearer. Helmets can be made to be very aerodynamic so that they are not to the detriment of the rider. Helmets come in a variety of colours and designs. Helmets may even be required in some localities by law, so buyers should investigate this carefully to avoid any issues down the road. Helmets should be standard for all riders of bikes, whether it be a mountain bike or others.


Some mountain biking events have a high probability of a crash. If the buyer intends to participate in such an event, they would be wise to consider wearing protective padding. Protective padding can defend against injuries such as scrapes and cuts, but also more serious injuries such as fractures or sprains. Especially in particularly aggressive mountain bikes events, pads are a great idea to maximise rider safety.


Protective eyewear is a great idea for riders who like to ride in the woods. With many obstacles and projections such as tree branches, eyewear is important to remain safe while riding. Not only does eyewear protect your eye from injury, but if a rider were to flinch in a moment where they could not afford to take their eyes off of the trail it could become a potential safety hazard. Eyewear comes in the form of sunglasses that may or may not be tinted. Sometimes clear lenses are used in low light situations.

How to Buy a Mountain Bike on eBay

Buying a mountain bike is easy and straightforward when shoppers use eBay. The best way to begin is to conduct a general keyword search by entering basic terms into the search box found on every page of eBay's website. This provides the shopper with all of the items on eBay's website related to that search. Buyers who are further along in the process may choose to add more terms to the search for additional specificity. Alternatively, shoppers may use eBay's various filters to sort the results by price, feature, buying format, and other relevant criteria. With so many options and such an intuitive website, buyers are assured of a great deal on the perfect mountain bike for them when they rely on eBay for their shopping needs.


Mountain bikes are a versatile product with many different uses, and that come in many different styles. Buyers should be aware that most mountain bikes are specialised to a certain activity so they need to be extremely clear about what they intend to use the bike for prior to purchasing one. Once they have narrowed down the activity they wish to participate in, that can influence their decision of which type of mountain bike to purchase. Mountain bikes also need to be sized appropriately in order for them to be comfortable to the particular user. With a bit of patience, if buyers put in the requisite amount of time for research and are clear about their intentions, they can find a mountain bike to suit any need by using eBay.

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