Mountain biking is a terrific way to exercise, explore, and relax, especially for those who are just starting. Off-road biking allows you to explore dirt roads, scenic trails, and other challenging terrain without having to deal with traffic. Mountain riding is accessible regardless of your closeness to mountains, whether you’re seeking to begin mountain bike tracks or more expert paths. The adventures range from modest forested routes to tough singletrack to sandy desert trips, making them ideal for beginning mountain bikers.

Are you ready to experience mountain biking for the first time? This page discusses what to expect before your first ride, such as mountain bike topography, styles, and how to gear up for a fun day on the slopes.

Mountain Biking Styles

mtb for beginners

Mountain bikes typically include the following features:

  • When going off-road, use fat tires with tough tread for stability and longevity. This is particularly important for a women’s beginner mountain bike.
  • A comfortable and upright cycling stance
  • Suspension systems that attenuate shock from trail features like rocks and roots.

Many bike manufacturers classify their bikes depending on the following riding styles to help you decide what type of bike is best for you. But keep in mind that just because a bike is intended for a specific type of riding doesn’t mean it can only be utilized in that manner.

Trail Mountain Biking: Due to its lack of a race focus, this is the most popular mountain biking style. It’s excellent for beginners looking for mountain bike trails for beginners. Trail riding involves meeting buddies at the local trailhead and riding climbs and descents. Trail mountain bikes balance fun, efficiency, downhill ability, and weight.

Cross-country Mountain Biking: Fast riding with climbing skills is typical of this type. Bikes that prioritize light weight and efficiency are ideal for long endurance rides. These bikes might be perfect for competition riding or a faster ride on local trails.

What Mountain Bike Should You Get?

how to get into mountain biking

Starting, rent or test-ride mountain bikes before buying them because they’re expensive. This is especially true if you’re searching for the best beginner women’s mountain bike. Bike shops often allow you to demo a bike for a charge, which you can use towards a purchase. Find a local mountain bike festival or event where brands may showcase bikes. REI offers beginning mountain biking for beginners classes that provide bikes or rent them.

Your bike type depends on where you ride. Bikes’ terrain capabilities depend on suspension type and wheel diameter. You have many suspension and wheel diameter options. Below is a brief introduction, but if you’re searching for a mountain bike, read our detailed guide on how to choose one for more information on kinds and features.

Suspension Type

Suspension keeps bike wheels on the ground, giving riders maximum control. That is a Key consideration, especially for mtb for beginners. (Read Mountain Bike Suspension Basics).

Rigid mountain bikes: There is no suspension on these mountain bikes. Although cheaper and easier to maintain, most riders, including those looking for a women’s beginner mountain bike, choose bikes with suspension for more comfort. One exception: Most fat-tire bikes are rigid, but riders find wide tires and low Tyre pressure cushion trail bumps.

Hardtail mountain bikes: These bikes have a front suspension fork to absorb impact on the front wheel but no rear suspension. Hardtails are less expensive and require less care than full-suspension bikes, making them an excellent choice for beginner mountain biking routes due to their reduced cost and ease of maintenance.

Full-suspension mountain bikes: Full-suspension bikes absorb trail impacts through the front fork and rear shock. The Greatly decreases rider impact boosts traction, and makes the ride more forgiving and enjoyable. Full-suspension bikes are excellent for those wondering how to get into mountain biking as they can absorb trail bumps and chatter but can “bob” and lose momentum when climbing. Thus, most full-suspension rigs may lock out the rear suspension for Greater power transfer and climbing.

Wheel Size

26 in.: All mountain bikes used to have 26-in. wheels. This wheel size is still Popular for its responsiveness and mobility, but now when you ask a bike store about mountain bikes, especially for the best beginner women’s mountain bike, you may be asking, 26 in., 27.5 in, or 29 in.?

27.5 in. (650b): These bikes offer the best of both worlds by rolling over terrain better than 26s but are more maneuverable than 29ers. Like 29ers, full-suspension and hardtail rigs use this wheel size.

27.5+ in.: Extra-wide wheels and tires, usually 2.8 in. or wider. Wider tires are more forgiving and pleasant. Their rolling resistance is lower.

29ers: Bikes with 29-inch wheels are heavier and slower to accelerate, but They can cover more ground than 26-inch bikes. They have a higher Attack angle and good grip, making Trail obstacles Simpler to roll over. These bikes are popular with cross-country riders. 29ers come in hardtail and full suspension.

What to Wear Mountain Biking

best beginner women's mountain bike

No matter your biking style, bike-specific apparel is more comfortable. Your clothing and safety gear will depend on your mountain riding style, especially for MTB for beginners.

Mountain bike shorts: Some mountain cyclists, especially cross-country racers, wear form-fitting Lycra shorts with padded chamois to prevent saddle fatigue. Baggy styles over padded shorts are common among trail cyclists. These overshorts are casual but protect against abrasion in collisions. Overshorts often have chamois-lined inner shorts.

Mountain bike jerseys and shirts: Jerseys come in form-fitting zip-up versions with pockets and casual T-shirt shapes, like shorts. Choose something that wicks sweat and dries rapidly regardless of fit. You also want something easy to wash and dry. A jersey with several pockets is unnecessary if you carry a rucksack.

Mountain bike gloves: Most mountain bikers wear gloves to keep their grip on the handlebar when they sweat and reduce blisters. Full-fingered gloves protect your hands in an accident and keep them warm. Some gloves include extra cushioning on the palms, hands, and fingers.

Packing Smart: What to Carry in Your Mountain Bike Pack

Hydration packs are too bulky for road cyclists, but they are great for mountain riding because of their convenience. Choose a mountain bike pack with enough storage space for an extra clothing layer, repair supplies, and food as well as a clip to fasten your hydration sleeve to the Pack’s shoulder or sternum strap. Pack a few mechanical things for in-field use, such as a spare tube, a hand pump or CO2 inflator, and a small multitool with multiple Allen wrenches and a chain tool.