As co-owner of a bike shop, Marty Pearson gets asked the same question a lot: “Which mountain bike should I buy?” Because there is no single answer to that — the best type of bike depends on where and how you like to ride — Pearson put together a flowchart.
- Best MTB: How to choose the right one for you
- Best bike: our buyer’s guide to which bicycle type you should buy
“I came up with this flowchart as more of a laugh, but the more people I tried it out on, the more it worked,” said Pearson, co-owner of Gila Hike and Bike in Silver City, New Mexico. “We have great riding in our area, but not everything the bike industry releases works for our pretty specific riding.”
The arid high desert around Silver City is worlds away from where Pearson was born outside Norwich, England.
Climate aside, Pearson’s flowchart also address facial hair (beard or no beard?), Strava (Hate it! or I’m King of the Hill!), and uphill propulsion (lift ticket, baby! or pedaling, of course).
“Obviously, there are a couple of things missing. Women’s bikes don’t get adequate representation and I’m still not 100 percent sure where a 650+ hardtail fits into the scheme of things,” Pearson admits.
But please take this for what it is: some light-hearted infotainment from a guy who spends his days wrenching on bikes, talking to people about bikes, and then — whenever he can — riding bikes.