The Rutland Difference Rutland Rewards 30 Day Test Ride 1 Hour Delivery Slot Price Match Promise Free Click & Collect

Earn Rewards Points

Our Customer Rewards scheme allows you to earn points every time you shop with us. The points you earn can be used to spend on products both online and in store. You can spend your points as soon as they're on your account, so you won't have to wait around for your savings.

Signing up to the Customer Rewards scheme is free, and the points you earn can be used both online and in store. You can spend your points as soon as they're on your account, so you won't have to wait around for your savings. Rewards Points are valid for 12 months from purchase date.

Any bike purchased using 0% finance and/or Cyclescheme (or other employee salary-sacrifice scheme) is excluded from this offer.

Read more about Rutland Rewards

30 Day Test Ride

All the convenience of buying online, without the risk
When you buy a new bike at full RRP from rutlandcycling.com, you can now benefit from the added reassurance of our Rutland 30-day test ride. Once your new bike arrives, you can ride it as your own for 30 days, and we're confident you'll love it! However, if it's not right for you, we'll exchange it for another model. (There's a nominal charge of £10 for us to collect your bike - just make sure you keep the box your bike arrived in.)

On which bikes is the 30-day test ride available?
The Rutland 30-day test ride is available on all full price, non-discounted bikes available for home delivery on rutlandcycling.com. It is not available on discounted or special offer bikes, click and collect bikes, bikes bought on finance, bikes bought through Cyclescheme, or bikes bought in store. This offer is only available on bikes delivered to mainland UK addresses.

How does the test ride work?
Your 30-day test ride starts from the date your bike is delivered. You must notify us by email within 30 calendar days of delivery that you intend to return the bike within this scheme. This offer applies to all bikes purchased on or after 14th August 2014. To ensure you remain eligible, we would ask that you adopt a 'fair usage' attitude during the test ride period, and make sure there is no damage to the bike outside of the minimal wear you would expect from a bike ridden for 30 days or a few rides. Please note that any damage to the bike, including damage from incorrect assembly, will invalidate the test ride.

How many times can I use the 30-day test ride?
We will allow up to two exchanges within this scheme.

Full T's & C's

1 Hour Delivery Slots

Choose our Interlink Predict Priority service and avoid the hassle of waiting around all day for your delivery. Interlink will notify you of your one-hour delivery window by SMS and email, and you can track the progress of your delivery on a real-time map, all the way down to a final 15-minute time slot.

Furthermore, if you find yourself busy on the day of delivery, Interlink will off you rescheduling options, both the night before and on the day, so you can select an alternative delivery date, deliver to a nominated neighbour, leave the parcel in a safe place, collect your parcel from your local Interlink depot, or upgrade to delivery before 1200.

This service is available on most items, but does exclude bikes. If you require a 1 hour delivery slot for your bike delivery then please call our customer service team who can book this service for you over the phone.

Interlink Predict Priority is a premium delivery option. Additional charges apply.

Delivery Information

Price Match Promise

Price is important to everyone these days, so we regularly price check our competitors to make sure we have the best offers for you — but if you see the same product cheaper from one of our listed competitors, then get in touch and we'll do our very best to match the price.

Please note that we can only price match identical items (including size and colour), which are in stock and available for immediate delivery. Comparison price includes all delivery charges.

Ask us to Price Match

Free Click & Collect

Our Click & Collect service offers all the benefits of shopping online, combined with an award-winning retail experience in one of our stores.

Simply order your items, select Click & Collect and pick up your item at a time that's convenient for you - our stores are open 7 days a week. Best of all, the service is completely free.

Don't live near our stores? Use our Collect+ service to collect your package from one of the (many) locations near you.

Find out more

Mountain Bike Buying Guide

   Words by Mark

   on 09/03/2015 12:20:00

Buying your first mountain bike

With every year, choosing your first mountain bike becomes harder and harder as the genre fractures into more and more sub-sectors, offering vast choice and myriad new technologies separating each class of bike into a ride for every situation and terrain. So which do you choose? Will a hardtail not go where a full-suspension bike will go? How much of a difference will the frame material make? And does it matter which size wheels you go for?

You may choose a task-specific bike if you’re seriously committed to riding trails, downhill or full mountain, but most bikes will tackle all terrain to a degree; it’s just a matter of where you’re willing to compromise...

If your budget will only just stretch to four-figures, then you’ll be looking at a well-kitted out hardtail (no rear suspension) or an entry-level full-suspension bike. And suspension on both ends doesn’t instantly add up to more fun, as a full-susser can take the edge off softer trails where a hardtail will excell. Over trickier terrain the hardtail will be twitchier than the full-susser, which you’ll be able to ride faster as it soaks up the bumps better. A few years ago, your fore and aft suspension would wallow and sap power once on the flat, but now with lock-outs and improved tech, full sussers are more rideable and hardtails offer excellent equipment for their asking price. You really are spoilt for choice.

Frame

Forget the bells and whistles and pay attention to the frame - this is your bike’s foundation and if you get the right frame for your needs, what’s attached to it is less important, as a good frame will last and can be upgraded later on.

It goes without saying that lighter is better, so a super expensive carbon frame will indeed make muscling your bike through direction changes and popping air off tree-root kickers easier and more fun. But until you’ve ridden one, you won’t know. Most frames are formed from lightweight alloys anyway, and as they benefit from the trickle down of technology from the manufacturers’ flagship models, there are few bad examples out there.

So, the question is all about geometry: how serious is your riding? You’ll essentially choose between relaxed or neutral geometry and a more aggressive, racey frame. The former will be more all-day comfortable and user-friendly, with its slacker geometry and relaxed cockpit. But on a serious downhill trail, it will feel less responsive than a race-bred machine. The sportier set-up will have a longer stem that stretches your arms forward and place you over the bars. It’ll have a steeper head angle and consequently feel twitchier, requiring smaller inputs and turning sharper but at the cost of user-friendliness. The more hardcore the geometry the more one-track minded your bike will be.

So, you’ve settled on your frame, but now you’re told it comes in a number of sizes. Does it matter? Well, certainly not as much as it does on a road bike where precision tailoring is critical, but you definitely want the right fit. However, the rules are different for mountain bikes because, unlike on a road bike, MTB riders have more dynamic movements and need to shift around the bike much more, which needs to be taken into account. It also means you have a bit more leeway in frame size. However, too small a bike and you’ll restrict your movements and limit the power or speed of your inputs. Too big a frame will also limit your ability to move around the bike as you’ll find it harder to hang over the back wheel or shift right up over the bars quickly. The best solution is to take expert advice in any of Rutland Cycling’s stores, or book yourself in for a bespoke bike fitting service at our Whitwell store on Rutland Water.

Uldis managed to book me in at short notice and took great care of myself and my bike during the fitting and I'm very pleased with the result. I feel I can enjoy my new bike now even more. Even the touches of getting the bike into the workshop before and after the session were not expected and make this session great value for money. I will certainly recommend your services to my cycling friends and hope you will continue with this high level of service in future.

Wheels

Wheel size will make a noticeable difference and big 29” wheels are all the rage at the moment, and for good reason. A bigger wheel will roll more effortlessly over rougher terrain and so you can ride trails faster and carry more momentum, making 29ers great fun for downhill. But on a more technical trail, the bigger wheel can feel cumbersome and harder work in the tighter sections, where a 27.5” wheeled bike will be more maneuverable and sharper to turn. These are essentially the two wheel sizes to choose from these days, with the 27.5” size starting to replace the traditional 26” size wheel, offering the ideal compromise between the biggest and smallest wheel size.

Mountain Bike Wheels

Components

Once the frame and running gear are sorted, the trinkets that hang from it are the next most important aspect, making the difference between seamless gear shifting and precision braking or clunky gear changes and seat-of-the-pants stopping. Fortunately even the cheapest bikes these days feature perfectly adequate components for the average rider, but the more you spend, the better the spec, and the more effortless your riding will be.

Most MTBs feature disc brakes, which work in all kinds of mucky conditions, unlike old-school rim calipers. At the cheapest end of the scale you can find cable operated disc brakes, but the majority of mountain bikes run hydraulic disc brakes, just like a car or motorbike. These can provide powerful but progressive one-finger braking, even in the wettest of conditions.

Your groupset is the gear cassette and derailleur on the back wheel and typically will offer 7-10 gears. Coupled with a twin or triple chainset up front gives you up to a 30 speed bike, for bombing down the fastest hills to climbing back up them again, and every gear in between. However, competition bikes aren’t likely to need all those gears, and so having just a single chainset and no front derailleur reduces weight and simplifies frame design. SRAM announced a 1x11 (one chainring up front and an 11-speed cassette on the back) in 2012, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games saw all competitors using a 1x11 drivetrain. Most gear systems are one-touch thumb and finger operated shifters making for quick and efficient gear changes. The more you spend, the smoother and more positive the gear shift.

Accessories and Clothing

Although you might not need to kit yourself out in as much bespoke clothing as for a road bike, you’re still going to need a helmet. MTB lids are lightweight and aerated for comfort but competition helmets tend to be full-face like motorbike helmets. You can pick up a very good helmet from as little as £39 new. The rest of the kit is up to you but a proper pair of shorts will make your riding easier and more comfortable and a decent base layer will wick sweat away and keep you cool. Gloves will prevent blisters and aid your grip on the bars, plus protect your hands should you hit the deck. And MTB shoes offer far superior grip on beartrap pedals than normal trainers, and most can be fitted with cleats for SPD-style clip-in pedals, like those used on road bikes.

With the bike and kit sorted, you might want to consider accessories such as bike racks for transporting your ride to the trails; hydration packs for carrying your tools, snacks and water; a high-powered lighting system for fast riding in the dark; a bike tool and puncture repair kit, at the very least; and a work stand for taking the back ache out of cleaning and maintenance. Oh, and after spending your hard-earned on a new ride, be sure to secure it with a decent lock.

View our Mountain Bike Range

Riding Mountain Bikes

Got a question?

Send it to us on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #askRC and we will answer your questions in our video Q&A.

Share this Article

Search Articles

Recent Articles

Rutland Cycling Verdict "The best execution of a plus-sized bike I've ever ridden. The Levo FSR offers incredible traction through the corners, great grip as you're climbing and overall it provides a really stable, confidence inspiring ride." Features: 530 watts of pedal-assisted power, SRAM GX1 gearing, SRAM Guide R brakes, 140mm Rockshox Yari RC fork, Fox Float rear.... More Video Review: Specialized Turbo Levo FSR Comp 2017 Electric Mountain Bike
We're giving you the chance to demo a brand-new Specialized Levo e-mtb for FREE* throughout November. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions and then you'll be ready to book your free 48-hour demo slot at your closest store. REGISTER FOR YOUR FREE SPECIALIZED TURBO LEVO DEMO HERE Specialized Levo Demo Offer; What you.... More Specialized Levo Electric Bike FREE Demo Offer
Near perfect rendition of the entry level road bike. Giant's Contend SL 1 Disc is a great bike for anyone with only a few personal preferences preventing a perfect score. Buy it! Price: £1,148.99 Discipline: Road Usage: Sportives and.... More Giant Contend SL 1 Disc 2017 Review
Fancy riding a brand-new 2017 Giant or Live bike for Free? Now's your chance as we're personally inviting you down to our Giant Rutland store, at Normanton, to ride our 2017 Giant demo fleet. To book out your favourite 2017 Giant bike, call 01780 720888 or email our Giant Rutland Store, before Sunday 30th October. Simply.... More Demo your Dream 2017 Giant Bike for FREE!
Rutland Cycling Verdict "It’s powerful, it’s effective, but it’s smooth and it’s refined. It’s not harsh like some race bikes used to be, it’s something which you can get on and enjoy and let’s face it, it’s a pretty good looking bike too!" Features: Shimano Dura-Ace R9100 Groupset, Fulcrum Racing Zero C17, Countervail Composite Technology, Vision Metron 5D.... More Video Review: Bianchi Oltre XR4 Dura-Ace First Impressions
Rutland Cycling Verdict "The Powerfly isn’t simply about climbing higher, riding further or exploring more; it’s also about having incredible fun in the process." Features: RockShox Deluxe RT3 RE:aktiv, RockShox Pike RC 150mm travel, Bosch Performance CX Motor, SRAM EX1 Driverain, Bontrager finishing kit. Highlights: Bosch performance motor provides control to attack technical climbs, frame.... More Trek Powerfly 9 LT Plus First Ride Review
Fresh off the boat, we've managed to snag ourselves one of the new Giant Contend SL 1 Disc Bikes to put through its paces. Chances are you haven't heard of the Contend before, but I'm sure it'll look familiar. For 2017 Giant have split the range of Defy bikes into two models, with the Carbon models remaining.... More First Impression: Giant Contend SL 1 Disc 2017
In this guide, we show you how to find the right size Frog Bike for your child. Helping your little ones build their confidence and enjoy their first experiences of cycling is so important – it sets them up for a lifetime of healthy, active living. Getting the right size of bike is crucial – we know that children grow.... More Frog Bikes Sizing Guide
Eagle-eyed Bianchi enthusiasts will have no doubt spotted the new Bianchi Oltre XR4 CV being debuted by Bianchi sponsored Lotto NL Jumbo riders at the Tour de Suisse back in June. Then if you were watching the Tour de France you will have seen George Bennet and co. at Lotto-Jumbo smashing stages aboard the latest incarceration of the aero-Oltre. But,.... More First Ride: New 2017 Bianchi Oltre XR4 CV
Rutland Cycling Verdict "A light, agile, and composed bike, which provides ultimate grip for all situations" Features: 135mm rear travel Rock Shox Monarch RT, 150mm Rock Shox RC Pikes, 2.8 inch Maxxis tyres, WTB i45 Scraper rims with Hope Pro4 hubs, Race Face finishing kit. Highlights: Immense Grip, Stable and confident at speed, Climbs well Lowlights:.... More Santa Cruz Hightower C 27.5 Plus S Review
Cycle to Work is a government scheme, aimed at making cycling more affordable and accessible for commuters and leisure riders. It's a simple three-step process, which will help you save up to 42% on a brand new bike, cycling accessories or a combination of the two! Find out how the Scheme Works Step 1 - Choose.... More Cycle to Work at Rutland Cycling
Transport Minister Robert Goodwill officially opened Cambridge station’s new £2.5 million CyclePoint at a special ceremony on Monday 27 June. Abellio Greater Anglia’s impressive new complex offers 2850 safe and secure spaces undercover, in a dedicated facility, covered by CCTV, open 24 hours a day, free of charge, and is the biggest and best facility of its type.... More Official opening of Cambridge Station's Cyclepoint - largest station cycle hub in UK
To celebrate National Bike Week (11th-19th June), we're offering a FREE Bike Safety Check all week, at all of our 10 stores – a great opportunity to get your bike checked over ready for your summer cycling. The free check-up, which usually costs £20, involves a Rutland technician inspecting your whole bike and all its components, to make.... More Free Bike Safety Check at Rutland Cycling - National Bike Week 2016
The Rutland Cycling and Active Cycling Hero winner recently picked up his prize. Now the training really begins, he told us... Picking from our shortlist of 12 Cycling Heroes, more than 2,000 Active readers voted and Jason Skinner of Bourne, Lincolnshire was chosen as the winner. Jason visited us last week to pick up his prize and get fitted by.... More Active Magazine's Cycling Hero Winner: Jason Skinner
Rugby legend and current President of the Rugby Football Union, Jason Leonard OBE, is to take on the challenge of riding the Tour of Cambridgeshire Gran Fondo in June in support of the ATLAS Foundation. The charity was founded by Leonard, along with other rugby and corporate heavyweights, in 2015 to raise people out of disadvantage around.... More Jason Leonard Swaps Packs for Pedals
To celebrate the launch of our new Road Department at Rutland Cycling Histon, our summer series of free evening road rides from Histon start on Tuesday 3rd May. Each week you’re invited to join us and enjoy the chance to ride the latest men’s and women’s road bikes from the world’s best brands, with expert advice from.... More Summer Road Rides at Histon
That poor lonely bike that sits in the corner of the shed has served you well. You’ve sweated it out together on the climbs, it carried you to and from work for all those years. Yep, together you’ve seen it all; Wind, rain, hail, snow, sunshine. Where would you be without ‘Ol’ Faithfull’? Unhealthier, miserable and short.... More The Big Rutland Trade-in Scheme at Rutland Cycling
A Brompton is the perfect bicycle for the urban environment. It folds down to a portable, practical size so can be taken on all kinds of transport and also can be taken inside your house or office, so it is a lot less likely to be stolen. So we’re delighted to now be stocking Brompton bicycles at.... More Brompton now at Rutland Cycling
The all new Trek Domane SLR is here. This amazing range of bikes features Iso speed technology in the seat stay and headset to deliver bicycles that are as stiff as an Emonda and yet more comfortable than anything you have ever ridden. The rear Isospeed decoupler is fully adjustable and can be tailored to suit your weight,.... More New: Trek's Domane SLR Road Bike Review
Frog have just launched a brand new series of bikes called the ‘Union Jack’ range, no doubt playing on the fact that these bikes are officially now ‘Made in Britain’ (read our article about the new Frog factory in Wales). There are nine bikes in the range from a pedal free balance bike, up to a 26.... More New: Frog Union Jack Range of Kids Bikes
On one hand the MTB community can embrace new technology that helps to make us faster and enjoy the ride more. The dropper post for instance, nobody remembers fondly the endless routine of putting the post up or down throughout the course of a typical ride? That said we can take on the appearance of a bunch.... More New: Specialized Levo 2016 E-Bike Review
The 12th edition of the Rutland-Melton International CiCLE Classic takes place on Sunday 24 April 2016 this year and promises to be bigger and better than ever. With just under five weeks to go to the race, CiCLE Classic has just announced  highlights of the race are to be aired on Channel 4, alongside the news that.... More Rutland CiCLE Classic 2016 Preview
Our dedicated E-bike centre at our Whitwell store is beginning to take shape, with over 40 e-bikes now available to buy or hire. So we sent one of our staff riders, Mike Lear, out on the Scott E-Aspect 720 to see what all the fuss was about when it came to electric mountain bikes. As a.... More E-bike Review: 2016 Scott E-Aspect 720
We are delighted to announce the opening of our dedicated e-bike centre at our Whitwell store, with over 40 bikes now available to buy and hire, come along and chat to one of our trained e-bike specialists today. The range varies from the more casual e-hybrid bikes from the likes of Raleigh and Ebco, to specific e-mountain.... More New E-Bike Centre at Rutland Cycling Whitwell
Need help choosing the best car rack for transporting your bike? We take a look at the four main types and assess the pros and cons, so you can select the best option to suit your needs.What's more, throughout this month we're offering a free fit service at all of our stores, simply ask a member of.... More A Buyer's Guide To Car Racks