Do you love the extreme thrill of getting off the roads and tackle the obstacles? Then I have a piece of bad news and a piece of good news. The bad news is choosing a good mountain bike didn’t get any easier. From the right frame material to the suspension, there are literally hundreds of factors to consider. It is easier to get overwhelmed. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The good news is to clear up your confusion; I am here to help. This is a precise guideline and collective knowledge shared by the expert riders specially crafted for you. You will know about all the necessary information about how to choose a mountain bike in this article.
Decide Your Riding Style
Before you choose a mountain bike, it is important to know what kind of ride you are up to. Also, you have to consider the suspension types and wheel size and other critical components, as well. But before getting to them, I wish you to identify what will be your riding style. You have to read more about mountain bike.
1. Trail Bikes
As I have mentioned already, this versatile bike is a perfect option if you are just getting into the sport. Whether you are a casual rider or hit the forest trails hard, it will serve you accordingly. These bikes are specially designed for keeping recreational riding in mind. Its sophisticated suspensions and geometry give you the balance you crave for when going uphill or downhill.
2. Cross Country Bikes (XC)
If the idea of mixing up regular tracks with irregular track excites you, this is your perfect match. Cross Country bikes are made for racing in cross-country trails. But Cross Country riding often requires higher skills and fitness from the rider. If your fitness is not up to the par, it might not be the best choice. But if you have a squad who loves racing, it the best bike you can get. Because these bikes are made for speed and competition. You have both options to choose from full-suspension or hardtail.
3. Downhill Bikes
As its name suggests, this bike is specially designed for riding the downhill slope. Downhill mountain bikes are the most aggressive one in the bunch. It is for the most hardcore riders you have seen jumping and throwing themselves from the hills and slopes. If going down on the much harder trails is your goal, then nothing can really beat it, period. It gives you the extra edge over your squad or even for the solo rides. These are built for taking the beating for you. Built for racing and jumping hard, It’s a full suspension bike designed to provide maximum comfort.
4. Freeride Bikes
Branched out from the Downhill Bikes, this discipline has become arguably most famous of all. While the differences are very subtle between Downhill and Freeride bike, but it is important to know nonetheless. Freeride bikes are lighter compared to the Downhill bikes. So you will be able to ride faster and pedal quicker. These bikes are quite famous for their durability and fun.
Important Mountain Bike Components
You have learned about the different types of mountain bikes available. It's time for you to learn about one of the most critical factors when choosing a mountain bike.
Types of Suspension
The suspension can be found in both the front and the rear of a mountain bike. It consumes the overloads when you’re riding in tough terrain. Suspension makes It more comfortable and safe. Try to ride a hard trail without suspension, it’s possible but much more dangerous, and you will ride much slower.
Hardtail bikes come with only front suspension. Hardtail bikes are suitable for general purpose usage. But if you do plan to climb hills, it will be much more tiring. Because the front suspension can absorb the shock, but there is no rear suspension. While they are as much efficient as full-suspension bikes, they are less comfortable to ride. Hardtail bikes also require fewer maintenance costs. So overall, the right choice for if you are on a budget.
2. Full suspension
Full suspension bikes are perfect for climbing up and down comfortably. It has both front and rear suspension. In the simplest terms, it takes the vibration out of steering and helps the front wheel track more accurately. Full suspension is much better for your back and overall health. While they are a bit more expensive than hardtail bikes, the improved bike control and traction it provides undoubtedly worth it.
Rigid bikes have no suspension. Which makes it pretty hard to ride. Your ride will be bumpier and less comfortable. While they are pretty cheap and easier to maintain, most riders don’t opt for it. Because it is nearly impossible to control over very rough terrains. Obstacles that would twist and jolt the grips out of your hands can be absorbed with the suspension. A full-suspension bike can cover terrain with ease and at a speed that would be impossible on a non-suspended bike.
Bike Frame Materials
The Frame materials are vital because the frame is going to handle all the beating for you. It is also the deciding factor in price and quality. While the other factors are equally important, its something that you should consider more carefully.
Aluminum is more widely used in bikes because it is very light. It also doesn’t rust like steels. Steel frames are great too, but it's way too dense and more substantial. Steel doesn’t have the ability to be as quick or lightweight as the aluminum frames. Though it is cheaper compared to aluminum not so much preferred. The carbon and titanium frames are equally good, but it's way too expensive. So the winner here is Aluminum.
1. Deciding the Wheel Size
There are three standard size wheels to choose from now. There used to be only one standard size to in the past, which was the 26”. But then the 29” came and quickly gained popularity because it's easier to tackle the obstacles with them. The 29” covers more ground when going through a rough terrain, which makes riding more smooth. But let's not forget the 27.5”. It covers more ground than the 26” while taking less effort than 29”. So if you are just starting out 27.5” is a good option despite the fact 29” is more popular.
2. Do Not Forget The Gears
Ever since we have been blessed with the mighty gears, speed wasn’t an issue anymore. But the problem has been shifted to a new issue altogether. Now we have options to choose from bicycles with 30 or even 4o gears. But do you really need that many gears? If you don’t know, then there is a safe shortcut. Just choose a bike with 10 speeds. Because it is considered pretty standard.
People waste their hard-earned money on bikes that don’t meet their needs. Maybe all you need is some infrequent weekend riding with your friends. In that case, you will not need an expensive bike. An inexpensive trail bike is the right match.
I have given a precise guideline about how to choose a mountain bike for beginners here. Enjoy your ride and getting into shape. Don’t forget to cross-check all the information about buying a good bike.
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