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 and your choice was limited to the number of bikes the store had in stock. However today, there are increasingly more options on where you can buy a bike. Traditional brick-and-mortar shops are still key, but online retailers now provide an abundance of choice, and many manufacturers themselves now sell direct via their own websites. There's also a huge second-hand market, long-term bike leasing schemes and more.
Mountain biking has been increasing in popularity over the years and, like all forms of cycling, that growth became exponential with the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. Pair all of that with the lockdowns in recent years, where millions of people were furloughed and for many, the only legitimate reason to leave the house was for exercise, and you get a booming 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 issues and stock shortages, so it's more important than ever to know where you can find a bike. Even when stock issues, yes they are still on-going, become 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 mountain bike, no matter if you're still on the journey of working out how to start mountain biking, or you've been riding for decades. Or if you would like help with choosing a bike, you might like to check out our guides to the best budget mountain bikes and the best trail bikes.
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. In a traditional bike shop, there are employees to help you find the right bike for your individual needs, but these don't exist on retail sites. Of course, that's where we can help with our comprehensive mountain bike reviews and buyers guides.
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. Or be ready to pay your local bike shop a fee to do it for you.
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 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.
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.
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.
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, and even hold your order for you to pick up at the shop. Or conversely, many stores will offer to deliver your bike to your home, making it convenient if you only own a small car.
The obvious downside to all this is that you don't quite get the convenience of shopping from your armchair at home. Also, rarely does a bike shop stock all available brands, so your amount of choice is usually limited to what the store has in stock or can get from its suppliers.
However, other benefits to buying in person include 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 mountain bike helmet is likely to be for your style of riding, they'll have an answer, and they might even throw the helmet in as part of the purchase.
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 mandate delivery 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.
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 better bikes with better components for less money than if you were buying new, however, if you're buying from an individual rather than a company, beware of the risks.
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 secondhand 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.
Also look out for catastrophic failures such as cracks to the frame, damaged welds or even crash damage. A bike's warranty will only cover the original owner, 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.
However, with those red flags out of the way, there are ways to buy second-hand without risk.
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 about 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.
- Best mountain bike deals: Save on all things off-road, from bikes to kit and more
- Cheap mountain bike tires: Today's best deals on new tires for your mountain bike
- Cheap MTB shoes: Today's best deals on mountain bike shoes
- Cheap MTB helmets: Today's best deals on mountain bike helmets
- Cheap MTB wheels: Today's best deals on cheap mountain bike wheels