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Nestled in the heart of Central Oregon, Bend, Oregon is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an abundance of scenic trails and breathtaking landscapes. If you’re eager to explore this mountain biking paradise, choosing the right bike is essential to maximize your enjoyment on the trails. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to select your first mountain bike for riding trails in Bend, Oregon.

kids at mt bachelor

1. Understand the Terrain

Bend boasts a diverse range of trails, from smooth and flowy singletracks, like Phil’s Trails, to technical and challenging descents. Before choosing a mountain bike, familiarize yourself with the local terrain and the type of trails you’ll be riding. Consider factors such as elevation gain, trail surface, and technical features to determine the most suitable bike for your adventures.

2. Choose the Right Type of Mountain Bike

In Bend, you’ll encounter a variety of trails catering to different riding styles and preferences. Here’s a breakdown of the main types of mountain bikes to consider:

  • Cross Country (XC)

    Ideal for riders who enjoy covering long distances and tackling moderate terrain. XC bikes are lightweight and efficient, making them perfect for exploring Bend’s extensive trail network.  These bikes typically have 100-120mm of travel.
    lightweight xc mountain bike held over head

  • Trail

    Versatile bikes that offer a balance between efficiency and capability. Trail bikes are well-suited for a wide range of terrain, from smooth singletracks to technical descents, making them a popular choice among Bend’s mountain bikers.  These bikes typically have 130-150mm of travel.
    mountain biking trail bike

  • Enduro/All-Mountain

    Designed for aggressive riding on rough and technical terrain. Enduro bikes feature more suspension travel and a slacker geometry, providing enhanced stability and control on steep descents and challenging obstacles.  These bikes typically have 150-180mm of travel.
    bike park mount bachelor

  • Downhill

    Built for high-speed descents on challenging terrain, with heavy-duty components and robust frames for maximum durability.  These bikes typically have 200mm of travel.
    downhill mountain biking at mt bachelor

3. Consider Bike Sizing and Geometry

Ensuring your mountain bike fits you properly is crucial for comfort, performance, and safety on the trails. Pay attention to factors such as reach, stack height, and standover clearance to achieve an optimal riding position. Additionally, consider the bike’s geometry, including head tube angle, wheelbase, and bottom bracket height, to assess its handling characteristics and suitability for Bend’s trails.

Visit local bike shops in Bend and consult with experienced professionals who can help you find the right size and geometry for your body type and riding style. Test ride different bikes to get a feel for their fit and handling, and don’t hesitate to ask for expert advice to ensure you make an informed decision.

4. Evaluate Bike Weight and Budget

While lighter carbon fiber bikes tend to offer better performance and agility on the trails, they often come with a higher price tag. Determine your budget and weigh the trade-offs between bike weight, component quality, and cost. Consider investing in a bike with durable components and a reliable frame that will withstand the rigors of Bend’s trails and provide long-term enjoyment.

5. Explore Reputable Brands

When choosing a mountain bike, consider reputable brands like Forbidden Bikes and Revel Bikes, known for their quality craftsmanship and innovative designs. These brands offer a range of models tailored to different riding styles and skill levels, ensuring there’s something for every rider in Bend’s diverse mountain biking community.
enduro bike revel rail29

6. Seek Guidance from Local Bike Shops

Navigating the process of choosing your first mountain bike can be overwhelming, but local bike shops in Bend are here to help. These establishments are staffed with knowledgeable professionals who are passionate about cycling and eager to assist you in finding the perfect bike for your needs. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned rider, don’t hesitate to reach out to local bike shops for guidance, advice, and support throughout your mountain biking journey.

7. Don’t Forget About Kids Bikes

If you’re planning to hit the trails with your little ones in Bend, it’s essential to choose the right bike for them as well. Kids bikes come in various sizes and styles, catering to different age groups and skill levels. When selecting a kids bike, consider factors such as frame size, wheel diameter, and weight to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable riding experience for your child.

Don’t forget to include the little ones in your mountain biking adventures in Bend, Oregon, and watch as they develop confidence, skills, and a passion for the great outdoors.
kids mountain biking at mt bachelor


Choosing your first mountain bike for riding trails in Bend, Oregon, is an exciting and rewarding experience. By understanding the local terrain, selecting the right type of mountain bike, considering bike sizing and geometry, evaluating weight and budget considerations, exploring reputable brands, and seeking guidance from local bike shops, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on unforgettable adventures in Bend’s stunning outdoor playground. So gear up, hit the trails, and let the mountain biking adventures begin!

Need help finding the right bike? 
Give us a call (541) 647-2614 or pay us a visit and TJ will be happy to help.

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