Knowing which mountain bike to choose requires knowledge about your preferred riding style and how to the bike will marry up to your particular way of riding. As a beginner, you likely won’t have a wealth of experience riding and you probably won’t have a feel for the specific bike you require.
Before making any purchase, it is worth renting or borrowing bikes to get used to the different styles and the way they are made. You should also consider take them on different sorts of trails, as some trails will be far more demanding than others.
In addition to selecting the right style, you should try to put together a budget. It can be easy to get carried away, spending a lot of money a fancy new bike, but if you’re only going to be a weekend warrior, can you really justify the cost? When budgeting for your bike, try to include the cost of annual repairs, which are inevitable.
We came across this handy infographic from topmountainbikes.net which goes over some of the key areas when it comes to purchasing one of your first mountain bikes.