Buying Guide

Here at Just mountain bikes our aim is to provide you with quality bikes that will give years upon years of enjoyment at every price level.

We believe there are too many outlets selling very poor quality often dangerous B.S.O’s (Bicycle shaped Objects) We ONLY stock quality bikes from quality brands so when buying from us confidence is assured. SAY NO TO BSO

What to look for...


The chassis of the bike which determines how the bike handles and this is dictated by the geometry and frame layout, some frame designs suit recreational use and keep the rider sat up in a more comfortable position others may have a longer reach keeping the rider low for cross country racing some designs are aimed at more aggressive riding with slack head angles allowing for longer travel forks for riders who prefer to attack the downhill’s .
Choose a frame to suit your style and don't forget practicalities like mud clearance, neat cable routing or luggage rack mounts etc
Frames are most commonly made from Aluminium due to its low weight although steel frames are seeing a bit of a revival. Titanium and Carbon fibre frames enter the fray above £2k price range.

Suspension Forks

Suspension forks make a massive difference to control and comfort, keeping the front wheel tracking smoothly over the uneven terrain. A strong well designed fork will also aid your braking and steering performance. Most bikes over £500 should have a properly damped fork rather than a sub-standard, flexi pogo stick found on many BSO’s.


Wheels and tyres being (hopefully) your only contact with terrain below should never be scrimped on.
MTB wheels need to light yet strong as they are likely to suffer some abuse. Good quality items will vastly improve overall ride characteristics.
Bicycle wheel sizes are described using various different measurements most accurate being by the ISO bead seat diameter measurement although manufacturers generally refer to them using marketing terms such as "29er"
There are a number of wheel sizes in use currently on mountain bikes:

26" - the most commonly found wheelsize known as the standard size. ISO559mm

29" - A marketing term for wide ISO622mm ("700c") tyres.These larger wheel carry momentum better over rough terrain and are proving more and more popular over the last 5 years or so.

650B - Slowly becoming the new standard in the industry, this 27.5" wheelsize is favourable for its blend of agility and rolling ability over harsher terrain. 


Gearing on nearly all bikes will be from either Shimano or SRAM and even at the cheapest level the kit will be extremely reliable. When looking at components from higher up the spec and of course price lists you will see more precise shifting, greater longevity, lighter weight and new features like clutch mech’s designed to keep your chain in place over the rough stuff.

Rear Suspension

Suspension improves traction, control and makes for a more comfortable ride but can add weight and will also require more attention to maintenance.
There are a number of different designs of suspension from the simple yet fairly maintenance free and extremely durable single pivot designs found on Orange bikes , to various linkage driven designs even electronically controlled systems such as the E:i Technology featured on some Ghost/Lapierre bikes.
Look for quality shock/damper units and cartridge bearings rather than bushings in the linkages.
Full suspension bikes will of course cost a lot more than a comparable hardtail where in lieu of the rear suspension you will get a lot more bike (spec wise) for your money


For the best off road performance you can’t beat a set of hydraulic disc brakes.
Discs are kept away from the wet and mud so their performance is less affected by the trail conditions, this and the raw power of a hydraulic system means that V-brakes (cable actuated rim brakes) are outperformed in most circumstances.