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Where to buy a mountain bike

Juliana
(Image credit: Juliana)

For a long time, the answer to 'where to buy a mountain bike' was simple: you went to the bike shop in your local city or town. Today, there are increasingly more options on where you can buy a bike, ranging from the manufacturers themselves to online shops and of course traditional brick-and-mortar shops. 

Mountain biking has been increasing in popularity over the years and especially since the COVID-19 pandemic began. More and more locations around the world are realizing the value of mountain bike trails in their community, and youth cycling programs are making it easier to get into the sport. Couple that with worldwide lockdowns last year, which caused more people to participate in outdoor sports, and there has been a boom in demand for bikes and bike parts. 

That boom has been a good thing for brands in the bike business, but it has also caused headaches, supply chain, and stock issues. It's more important than ever to know where you can find a bike. Even when stock issues are a remnant of the past, knowing your options could help you get a better deal or buying experience. 

Continue reading for our guidance on where to find a bike, whether it's for mountain biking, gravel riding, or an e-MTB. 

Online

Browse a wide variety of bikes from the comfort of your home

Lots of different places to shop
Home delivery
Convenience 
Can't test ride the bike
Need some assembly and maintenance knowledge 
Too much choice may create decision fatigue

As with everything nowadays, there is a huge selection of websites where you can buy a mountain bike, e-MTB, or gravel bike. These online shops make it easy to browse a wide variety of bikes from the comfort of your own home. You can easily see information and specifications about the bikes, too. 

There is the possibility of decision fatigue though, where so much choice makes it hard to decide what you actually want. There can also be an absence of expert advice. In a traditional bike shop, there are employees to help you find the right bike for your individual needs. 

Another thing to think about is actually assembling the bike once it arrives at your home. You should know how to assemble a bike and make sure that it's safe to ride if you're going to be ordering one online. 

In the list below, we've rounded up our pick of the mainstream retailers that sell bikes, along with clothing, components, accessories, and more. 

Where to buy a mountain bike online

Competitive Cyclist is one of the largest cycling retailers in the US, and despite the worldwide bike shortage, they've still got a few bikes in stock, across mountain, e-MTB, and gravel. 

Jenson USA is another USA-based retailer that has mountain as well as gravel bikes. Currently, they stock e-MTBs from Devinci and Marin. Jenson also offers exclusive builds that you can't find elsewhere. 

REI is a general outdoors retailer based in the USA. Since they aren't solely focused on bikes, their stock isn't as comprehensive as other websites, but they do carry brands like Cannondale and Salsa. 

Wiggle is a well-renowned retailer that covers most of the globe. If you're looking for a bike from Vitus, Cube, or GT, Wiggle is a great place to look. 

Backcountry is connected to Competitive Cyclist, so many of the same products are on offer across both sites, but it's always worth checking both sites as there are occasionally site-wide discounts that can help you save money. 

Chain Reaction Cycles is connected to Wiggle, so you'll often find the same bikes on both sites, but we recommend checking both sites since you might find differing prices. 

Cyclestore is a small UK retailer featuring loads of reputable brands like Specialized, Cannondale, Kona and more. 

Evans cycles is one of the longest-serving bike retailers in the UK with stores around the country. It has a reputation to uphold, and will do so with high levels of customer service, therefore, should your bike ever have an issue, you can be sure they'll look after you. 

Tredz is a UK retailer offering bikes from the likes of Cube, Orbea, and Lapierre. 

Rutland Cycling is one of the best-stocked bike retailers in the UK, featuring bike brands like Specialized, Giant, and Scott. With stores around the UK and a long-serving reputation, you can be sure to trust the bike and the customer service will be solid. 

Hargroves Cycles is well stocked with bikes and has options covering all disciplines, from mountain biking to gravel. 

Leisure Lakes is another UK retailer with plenty of stock. 

Pure Electric is based in the UK, but it has stores elsewhere across Europe. They are dedicated to electric bikes, so if you're looking for an e-MTB or e-gravel bike, they may have something for you. 

Your local bike shop

Local bike shops will never go out of style

Helpful advice
See and test bikes in person
Professional bike build
Possible discount on accessories bought at the same time
Best place for beginners to buy a bike
Comparative lack of choice
Less convenient than browsing online

Many riders value the ability to get expert buying advice from their local bike shop. Purchasing a bike is of course a big financial commitment, so speaking with a sales representative at the bike shop can ensure that you are truly buying the right bike for you. 

Some shops will also operate a website, which could enable you to virtually browse the store without ever stepping foot inside. You may even be able to get purchases shipped to your home. Alternatively, shops with websites can also hold your order for you to pick up at the shop. 

The other benefits to buying in person are the relationships you can build with the staff at your local bike shop. They are likely keen cyclists themselves with years of experience. There will no doubt be mountain bikers, road racers, bikepackers, and others who simply enjoy the convenience of two wheels. So when you inevitably have a question about good routes to ride or what the best enduro tires are, they will have an answer. 

Plus, if this is your first bike purchase and you need all the accessories that go with it like helmets, gloves, and shoes, the shop might be able to give you a discount. 

Canyon Stoic

From click to corner, manufacturer direct provides hard to beat value for money (Image credit: Canyon)

Manufacturer direct

Great if you have your eye on a specific brand

Most will offer pick up via a bike shop
Access to a brand’s full lineup
First access to available stock
No ability to test ride
Discounts are rare

If you have your heart set on a specific brand or model of bike, a great way to shop is to go direct to the brand that makes it. The exact process will differ depending on the brand in question. Some will offer delivery direct to your door, while others will deliver to your local bike shop so that it can be built up by a professional mechanic. 

The benefits of buying directly from the manufacturer are that they typically have stock before shops or online retailers. However, the downside is that previous-model-year bikes and discounts are almost impossible to find, as their usual tactic is to sell those onto retail stores in bulk, so they can focus on the current crop. 

Trek Bikes is a worldwide bicycle manufacturer catering to everyone from first-time amateurs to WorldTour professionals. Their website allows bikes to be ordered direct, and they'll happily deliver it to your local Trek dealer where it can be built up by a professional. 

Specialized is another one of the big bike brands that now offer online shopping on its website. Browse a huge variety of mountain bikes, e-MTBs, gravel bikes, plus an entire range of clothing, tires, accessories and more. 

Canyon is one of the biggest direct-to-consumer brands and arguably paved the way for many other brands to follow. The German bike manufacturer caters to all riders from downhill racers to urban e-bikes for commuters.

YT Industries is a brand that specializes in selling directly to the consumer through the internet, rather than through shops. They offer a wide range of top-notch mountain bikes and are known for offering great value builds as well. 

Second hand

Often cheaper, but a potential minefield if you're new to cycling

Lowest prices
Potential for great value
Limited or no warranty/protection
Real risk of scams
Harder to find the correct size/model
You need to know what to look for in terms of wear and damage to the bike

The list of potential places to buy second-hand goods online is enormous, from popular outlets such as eBay and Facebook marketplace to lesser-known cycling-specific outlets like The Pro's Closet. However, with the enormity of the opportunity comes an increase in risk.  

If you know what you're looking for, buying used can lead to a great value for money purchase. You can find nicer bikes with nicer components for less money than if you were buying new ones. However, there are a number of pitfalls when buying from individuals rather than companies. 

The biggest concern in any online marketplace is criminals and scammers, and if you're not careful with how you pay, you could quickly fall victim to a scam. Our best advice is to use your gut instinct when dealing with sellers. If something feels off, don't go through with the purchase. 

Most sellers are legit, but the most common issue when shopping second hand is the unknown quality of the product you are buying, and the lack of any warranty support if things go wrong. You need to really know what to look out for in terms of wear and tear or even potential damage to the bike. It's also important to factor into your budget any maintenance or upgrades that may need to be done. The bike will have been used, so for example, new drivetrain components may be needed in the near future. Lots of companies' warranties only cover the original owner of the bike, so keep that in mind when weighing whether to buy used or new. 

So if you're going to shop second-hand, ensure you do your research and your due diligence, only pay using a protected method, and if you find a deal that looks too good to be true, it probably is. Also, never meet a stranger with thousands of dollars in your pocket unless you're 100 percent confident they're legitimate, and even then, meet somewhere public and take a friend.

The Pro's Closet is an online bike marketplace in the USA that does things a little differently. By acting as the intermediary between sellers and buyers, The Pro's Closet ensures that all second-hand bikes are inspected, serviced and then sold at a fair price, removing all concerns about the bike's condition as well as any concern around scammers. 

It covers bikes of all disciplines for all ages at the full spectrum of budgets, and will even allow you to trade in your old bike. 

Check out our deals roundups

Whether you're shopping for a bike, jersey, helmet, tires, or a spare derailleur, there are tons of online deals to be found. Here are a number of lists that we have curated after searching the internet for the best products at the best prices.