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Best Mountain Bike Helmet Under $100

While mountain biking is exciting and adventurous, it comes with a fair share of danger for obvious reasons. When you are tackling rugged terrain on your bike, a lot can go wrong, no matter how seasoned mountain biker you are.

One of the absolute musts for biking, especially mountain biking, is a good-quality helmet. Fortunately, you can now easily find the best mountain bike helmet under $100. But before we get into my top recommendations, let us have a quick look at what goes into choosing the right mountain bike helmet.

Mountain Bike Helmets Versus Road Bike Helmets

While any good quality helmet will provide excellent protection, if you are an avid mountain biker like me, it is wise to invest in one that is exclusively designed for challenging terrains.

One of the most significant differences between a mountain bike helmet and a road bike helmet is that the former features a visor in the majority of the cases. From blocking sunlight to protecting your eyes from rogue specks and low-hanging branches, the visor plays a critical role in significantly boosting your safety while mountain biking.

Also, most of the latest mountain bike helmets, be it a full face shield or a half shell, now have a lower back cut for added safety. As the chances of accidents are considerably higher during ascents and descents, these helmets are equipped with additional safety features to keep you protected.

Types of Mountain Bike Helmets 

Here are a few different types of mountain bike helmets-

Half Shell/Open Mountain Bike Helmets

The half-shell or open lid helmets are ideal for less aggressive trail riding. While these helmets look similar to road bike helmets, there are some significant differences between the two.

  • The open lid or half-shell mountain bike helmets are bulkier in the rear portion to offer added protection to your head in case of a backward fall
  • Many of them feature visors for safety, as discussed above
  • Even the shell texture is generally flatter and rougher compared to road bike helmets which commonly have a glossy texture

Open Face Mountain Bike Helmets

These are more protective and heavier versions of open lid helmets recommended for more aggressive trail riding. Compared to a half-face shell, the open-face helmets are even bulkier at the back for added safety.

Most of the models also feature a retention system to ensure that the helmet stays in place. The venting system is generally less open, offering more protection against sharp objects or rocks getting through.

Full Face Mountain Bike Helmets

Full-face mountain bike helmets are also known as downhill bike helmets as they are built to assist descents when the bike speed is high and chances of accidents are higher. Unlike half-face or open face helmets, a full-face helmet offers utmost protection to your head, face, and chin.

As these helmets are designed to offer more protection, they are not the best when it comes to ventilation. Riding uphill wearing a full-face helmet will leave you more uncomfortable and hotter than other helmet types. However, in the last few years, the designs have evolved considerably, and many latest models come with excellent ventilation features.

Safety Standards for Bike Helmets

If you are new to biking, especially mountain biking, you should also know about their safety standards. Bike helmets available in the USA should comply with the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) standards. While there are other standards and certifications, like ASTM, CE, and Snell, CPSC is the most important if you are purchasing a USA-made bike helmet.

If the helmet has been manufactured in another country, it is possible for it not to have CPSC certification. In such cases, you can ensure that the helmet meets similar safety regulations of that country. 

Choosing the Right Mountain Bike Helmet

Thanks to technological advancements, you can now easily find feature-packed quality mountain bike helmets under $100. But the selection should be based on a few critical factors, such as-

Helmet Fit

The safest and highest quality helmet might not be the best choice for you if it doesn’t fit you well. As there are no related fitting standards, helmet manufacturers are free to choose any mold of their choice. This is the reason why some helmets will fit you better than they will fit others.

Here are a few tips to get the right fit-

  • Your entire head should be in contact with the inside of a helmet and it should sit at the right level above the brow without interfering with your vision in any way
  • Helmet strap should ensure that the helmet does not move more than 1-inch from the level after fastening
  • Once fastened, give a slight tug to the buckle to check its strength
  • In case if the helmet is sliding over your head or moving more than an inch after the above steps, you should look for a different helmet

Helmet Construction

While many different types of materials and construction technologies are now used for manufacturing bike helmets, the most vital consideration is the foam liner that sits between your head and the helmet’s outer shell.

EPS or Expanded Polystyrene beads are used for creating these liners for spreading the impact energy through deformation so that your head stops slowly in case of a mishap. The density of EPS can also be tuned for fitting the application of a bike helmet.

Helmet Ventilation

Mountain bike helmets, especially full-face helmets, feature ventilation ports for drawing in air and channeling to the exit points to complete the convection circuit and keep you cool. A simple way to determine the ventilation of a helmet is the size of the front vents—larger vents on the front offer better cooling.

However, while more vents will keep you cool, in some of the models, they might negatively impact the safety of the helmet. So, when searching for the best mountain bike helmet under $100, aim for a balance between safety and ventilation.

Top 5 Mountain Bike Helmets Under $100

As an avid mountain biker, I’ve used a wide range of helmets over the years. While my current helmet still has at least a year to go, I regularly check out the latest models online to keep myself updated. Based on my experience and knowledge, here are some of the best mountain bike helmets that you can consider if your budget is $100 or less

OUWOR MTB Helmet

The OUWOR MTB Helmet is my top recommendation if you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a mountain bike helmet. Made from durable PC shell and quality EPS foam through integrated molding technology, the 56-61cm OUWOR helmet ticks all the right boxes, making it an excellent choice for mountain biking.

With its rear dial and chin straps, you can easily adjust the helmet for a custom fit. It also features 16 air vents for keeping you cool over longer distances. There is also a removable visor to easily convert the helmet into a road bike helmet when riding on city streets.

Top Features

  • Integrated molding technology for added protection
  • Adjustable rear dial for a custom fit
  • 16 air vents and removable visor
Click below to compare prices and check availability

GIRO Fixtures MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet

An increasing number of mountain bike helmets now feature a thin MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) layer on the inside of the helmet. In case of an accident, this MIPS layer allows the helmet to slide off your head to reduce the oblique impact on your brain. This GIRO Fixtures MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet is one of the few that offers this feature in the sub-$100 range.

GIRO also has its testing lab where each of its products is thoroughly tested for safety and quality. The universal size helmet is created with in-mold construction and features 18 wind tunnels for a cooler and more comfortable ride.

Top Features

  • MIPS layer for extra protection
  • In-mold construction for improved quality
  • 18 wind tunnels for ventilation
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Exclusky MTB Helmet

Another excellent mountain bike helmet under $100 is this Exclusky MTB Helmet. Made from thicker multi-density EPS foam, the helmet is more capable of absorbing impact energy for minimizing head damage in case of an accident. It also features a dial retention system for easy adjustments and a custom fit.

There are 18 holes throughout the helmet to keep you cool on the trails. The universal size helmet from Exclusky also has a reinforced adjustable sun visor to protect you against sun and dirt specks when cruising through muddy terrain.

Top Features

  • ·       Thicker multi-density foam for improved impact absorption
  • ·       Dial retention system for a custom fit
  • ·       18 ventilation holes and adjustable sun visor
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Demon Podium Full Face Bike Helmet

Finding a good quality full-face mountain bike helmet under $100 is difficult but not impossible. If you are looking for a full-face helmet, check out this Demon Podium Bike Helmet. The shell of the helmet is made from injection-molded thermal alloy resin PC for enhanced protection. High-density EPS foam between the helmet and your head ensures a comfortable fit and added safety.

The helmet liner is also removable and washable. The sun visor is fully adjustable, and there are 13 vents for easy airflow.

Top Features

  • Injection-molded thermal alloy resin PC shell for improved protection
  • High-density EPS foam offers excellent comfort and safety
  • 13 vents for effective ventilation
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PTSOC Adult Mountain Bike Helmet

#5 on this list of best mountain bike helmets under $100 is this PTSOC Adult Mountain Bike Helmet. It features a hard shell made from polycarbonate and EPS hard foam for reliable protection when you are out in the mountains. The helmet also meets the CPSC standards for guaranteed quality and safety. The helmet has a crank fit dial for easy fitting.

Moreover, the helmet also features an adjustable tail light at the back for added safety when riding during the night. The lightweight, universal size helmet also has 11 vents with internal channeling for improved cooling.

Top Features

  • Helmet meets CPSC safety and quality standards
  • Crank fit dial for a custom fit
  • Adjustable rear LED light for improved safety at night

A helmet is the most critical safety gear for any cycling enthusiast, especially if you love mountain biking. Now that you know how mountain bike helmets different, their types, and how to choose one, you can start browsing through the options available online to purchase one at the earliest.

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on the purchase, you can check out the best mountain bike helmet under $100 that I have listed above. Feel free to share your inputs and recommendations through the comments section below. 

Click below to compare prices and check availability

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mountain bike handlebar

Best Mountain Bike Grips for Numbness

Searching for the best mountain bike grips for numbness but yet to reach a conclusion? You are not alone. As someone who has recently started mountain biking, I was in a similar spot not too long ago. While there are hundreds of online stores selling a wide range of bike grips, it took several days’ worth of research before I was ready to make the purchase.

Now that I have been through the process, I believe I can save you from all the trouble and confusion. In this post, I’ll share my learnings and experience to make the whole process of purchasing mountain bike grips straightforward and quick. I’ll also share some of my favorite picks that you can check out if you are interested.

Why Hand Numbness While Mountain Biking?

First things first, why do the hands get numb when mountain biking?

The off-road fun of mountain biking is what sets it apart from cycling on roads. Whether you like technical obstacles, trail-shredding, flowy and fast tracks, or a combination of everything, nothing matches the thrill of mountain biking.

But for all the thrill and adrenaline rush, mountain biking is also very tough on your body. When you are riding on uneven and rough terrain, the bike forks, and your arms absorb the shock. Internally, our hands have a complex network of tissues, muscles, tendons, and bones.

When it comes to cycling, the Median and Ulnar nerves in your hand play a very critical role.

Median Nerve

You might have heard about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. It occurs when the Median nerve suffers from hyperextension or excessive compression, leading to numbness and pain in the middle and index finger, which could also extend to the thumb.

Cyclists who prefer the death grip when riding down a trail are highly susceptible to damaging their Median nerve as it distributes a lot of weight inside the hand.

Ulnar nerve

Many professional cyclists suffer from a condition known as Handlebar Palsy, which is caused due to problems related to the Ulnar nerves. While cycling, these nerves could hyper-extend or go through excessive compression, leading to numbness and pain in the ring finger and pinkie.

How to Prevent Hand Numbness When Mountain Biking?

While replacing the mountain bike grips is definitely a great solution, there are a few other ways in which you can prevent hand numbness when riding. Here are a few things that have made my biking experience more comfortable and pain-free.

Riding Position

Your weight on the bike and riding position has a lot to do with the hand and wrist-related problems. Here is a simple 3-step process to ensure whether your riding position is safe for your hands and wrists-

  1. Make the bike stand up against a wall and climb onto the bike
  2. Ensure that the saddle is properly adjusted as per your height before you sit down with your feet laying flat on the pedals
  3. Grip the handlebar as you generally do while riding

When getting into the riding position, ensure that you keep your arms straight, with the bones correctly aligned through the hand and wrist.

If your wrists are unnaturally bent, it is a sign that your weight is on your wrists, and this could lead to Median and Ulnar nerve problems. You can avoid this by relaxing the shoulders slightly to the back and bending the elbows a little for improved weight distribution.

Wrong Cockpit Setup

Another very common cause of hand numbness when riding is the wrong cockpit setup. When you are comfortably sitting on your bike as before, check whether the brake levers are tilted a little too back or forward. How about the dropper post remote? Can you reach it easily?

By making small adjustments to the brake lever and remote, you can protect your hand against unnatural movements when riding.

Not Stretching Before Riding

I have been guilty of this myself in the past. While I love trailing mountains on my bike for hours, just a few minutes of stretching before getting on the bike used to feel very tiring and boring. But not anymore! Not stretching before mountain biking is one of the worst things you could do to your body, especially to your hands.

It is necessary to get your body ready for the shock it is about to receive when you are riding in the mountains. It helps in improving blood flow and minimizes the risk of ligament and tendon damage. And not only before riding, but you should also get into the habit of stretching after riding.

How Do Mountain Bike Grips Help?

The handlebar grips that are exclusively designed for mountain bikes are generally thicker and softer as compared to ones created for road bikes. They are designed in a way to release the pressure points when you are riding on challenging terrains.

Good quality mountain bike grips will ensure that you are not required to hold on to them as hard, and this makes riding more comfortable for you, your hands, and your wrists. In fact, there are now many different types of mountain bike grips to choose from.

What are the Different Types of Mountain Bike Grips?

Here are some of the top options-

Traditional Grips

These are generally rubber sleeves that you can simply slide on and off the handlebars of your bike. Most traditional grips are one-ended to eliminate the need for using bar end plugs. They are highly affordable, light, easy to use, and available in many different sizes.

Foam Grips

Foam or silicone grips are very much similar to the traditional grips in their design. However, they have much better vibration damping properties which makes them very popular among mountain and long-distance riders.

Lock-on Grips

Lock-on grips are mostly made from rubber but feature a metal ring on one or both ends for locking in the grips on the handlebar through an Allen key bolt. Apart from rubber, you can also find lock-on grips made from multiple compounds.

5 Best Mountain Bike Grips for Numbness

Here are some of my top picks that I’d like to recommend to anyone looking for quality grips for their mountain bikes.

Ergon GA3

Ergon GA3’s design has been inspired by the brand’s award-winning GP1 grips. The signature enlarged wing design effectively distributes pressure from the palm for protecting the Ulnar nerve. It also keeps the wrist in a more natural position so that it aligns with the Median nerve. Also, unlike GP1, which has a rigid wing, GP3’s wing is flexible to allow a fuller range of motion.

As the grips are made from a rubber compound, they build a strong connection with your gloves while riding so that you don’t have to put a lot of force to hold on to the bars.

Top Features

  • Improved enlarged wing design with enhanced flexibility for riding comfort
  • Dedicated grip zones to better match with hand contours
  • Aluminum clamp to adjust the grip handle
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SQlab Griffe 710

SQlab, a German brand, has gained widespread popularity in the American markets for its innovative product design and longevity. For instance, the Griffe 710 series of MTB grips feature a deep downward and a wide outer wing design for a secure grip when you are riding on tough mountainous terrain. Even the handle end is slightly raised to improve the contact between your hands and the grip.

The unique higher inside design also ensures a more neutral riding position, effectively protecting against Ulnar and Median nerve damage.

Top Features

  • Revolutionary deep downward and wide outer design highly compatible with the shape of the hand
  • Thicker block on the inner sleeve to improve diameter and holding comfort
  • Wavy elevation at the front and bottom for improved finger grip
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Wolf Tooth Silicone Mountain Bike Grips: Fat Paw

If you are looking for functional and affordable mountain bike grips, check out the Wolf Tooth Fat Paw Bike Grips. Made from silicone foam, the grips are light in weight and easy to use. With a thickness of 9.5mm, the grips are aptly named. While your hand size determines the right grip size for you, a lot of riders prefer larger grips for effective protection against numbness and pain.

But if you have small hands, these might not be the best choice for you. Difficulty in reaching the brake levers and inability to comfortably hold on to the grip with a clenched fist are some of the problems you might encounter. But if you have average-sized hands, these Fat Paw grips are worth trying.

Top Features

  • Solid silicone foam build for improved vibration damping
  • Large 9.5mm diameter for effective protection against hand numbness
  • Tacky texture for providing excellent grip even without gloves
Click below to compare prices and check availability

GPMTER Bike Handlebar Grips

With an additional gel layer and single lock-on system, the GPMTER Bike Handlebar Grips are a dynamic blend of functionality and comfort. Made from non-slip rubber, the grips easily slide onto the handlebars and can be locked in place with the aluminum alloy lock system. The outer build of the grip features a unique high-friction pattern for improved grip and comfort.

Ideal for any bike with a 22.2mm handlebar, the GPMTER Grips is highly recommended for anyone looking for a solid performer without a lot of bells and whistles.

Top Features

  • Aluminum alloy lock-on system on one end to keep the grip in place
  • Non-slip rubber build for improved grip in every weather
  • Extra layer of gel for maximum comfort while riding
Click below to compare prices and check availability

SAPLIZE Bike Handlebar Grips

If you want your mountain bike grips to come with the lock-on functionality without spending more than $10, the SAPLIKE Bike Handlebar Grips are an excellent contender. The grips feature a soft TPE wrap on the outside with a solid plastic core for enhanced durability. Both the sides of the grip feature aluminum alloy rings for locking the grip in place.

For improved grip and comfort, the grips have a slightly wider outer wing, enabling it to correctly match with the hand contours.

Top Features

  • Dual lock-on system for both ends
  • Anti-slip pattern on the outer TPE wrap for solid grip and improved comfort
  • 12 month warranty

Now that you know a lot more about mountain bike grips and their importance in preventing hand numbness, you are ready to decide. Browse through the best mountain bike grips for numbness that I’ve listed above, or use your newly acquired knowledge to check out some of the top options on popular online stores.

Click below to compare prices and check availability

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Bike gears

How To Use Gears On A Mountain Bike

When riding the mountain bike trails, you will have definitely heard the heavy clunking sound of someone changing gears badly. This noise sounds awful, but it also sounds expensive. This grinding and crunching of gears can cause severe damage, as you run the risk of snapping your chain while speeding up the wear and tear of your drivetrain. In this post, we will tell you how to use gears on a mountain bike correctly.

Before You Ride

You must check your gears before you set off on a ride. The reason your gears are crunching when you shift may be down to a mechanical issue. For example, your gears may not be appropriately adjusted. Therefore, shifting up and down the cassette may not be smooth, and your chain can jump gears.

Another thing to check is that your rear mech is properly tightened. The bolt that attaches your rear mech to your frame can wind itself out over time on some bikes. When this happens, the mech isn’t correctly aligned, causing gear-changing issues. You can experience similar problems if your rear mech is bent. It only takes a strike from a rock to bend your mech and knock everything out of alignment. Sometimes you can bend it back into place, but you will need to replace it if it is too bent.

It is essential to make sure your chain is clean and lubricated too. A clean and lubed chain is free-flowing with minimal friction, which is critical for smooth gear changes.

Gear cables can stretch over time, and their housing can get full of dirt. When this happens, your gear shifting may be sluggish or inaccurate. Therefore, it is a good idea to inspect your gear cable and replace it if needed. If you ride often, you may want to think about changing your gear cable two to three times per year.

Learn About Your Gears

If you fully understand your gearing, you will have a better chance of changing gear smoothly. Knowing how much of a jump there is between your gears will allow you to keep your pedaling cadence up and know what gear to be in when you approach a climb. This is especially the case if your bike has a 1X setup. For example, if you have a modern 1X12 setup, the jump from a 42 tooth gear to the easiest 50 tooth gear is significant, with a very different feel.

Knowledge of your gearing will come from experience. The more you ride, you will get a good feel for what gear you need to be in at any time. You will also be able to change gear in advance to anticipate changes in the terrain relative to your speed.

Avoid Cross-Shifting

Cross-shifting happens if you have both front and rear derailleurs. This is where your chain is at an extreme angle from being on the big gear at the front and the largest rear gear. You will get the same problem when the chain is on the small gear up front and the small one at the back. When you cross-shift, you put lots of strain on the drivetrain while limiting your gear-changing options. Sometimes you will feel and hear a difference if you have crossed your chain.

How To Make The Perfect Gear Shift

The first thing you need to be doing before you change gear is to keep your pedaling smooth. You also need to reduce how much power you put into the pedals. 30% less energy should be sufficient before clicking the shifter once or twice, depending on what you are doing.

As soon as your bike has changed gear, you can put the power back into the pedals and get going.

This may seem simple, and it is. However, when you get it right, it can be very rewarding. A smooth shift will get the power you need to the rear wheel when you need it. It helps to keep your riding smoother and faster while maximizing your grip.

You will know when you change gear correctly, as you won’t get a loud, clunky noise but a nice quiet click. Also, the chain will slip along the cassette with much less effort.

Changing Gear When Climbing

When you are riding up a challenging hill, your gears are under the most stress. This is the case whether you are standing up on the pedals or sitting on the saddle. For this reason, it is vital to only shift one gear at a time. If you try to change down more than one gear, you will hear a loud crunch and feel the extra strain in the chain as you pedal.

It is a good idea to pre-plan your gear shifts for your climb. Make sure you look at the incline and try to shift as early as you can. By doing this, you will be able to keep your momentum and avoid grinding to a halt or mistiming your gear shift. If you mistime your change, there is a good chance that you will need to change gear while your chain is under lots of stress, increasing the likelihood of snapping it.

Changing Gear For A Descent

Descending can be much easier on your drivetrain than climbing, but there are some things to be aware of.

For example, you have just completed a climb, ready for a big, fast ride back down. But, you have forgotten that you are still in a low gear. So, as you set off, you realize this and bang through the shifter to get to an appropriate higher gear. The danger with this is that the chain can drop off the cassette and get wedged between your chainstay and highest gear.

To stop your chain from coming off the cassette, you need to ensure that your limit screws are set perfectly.

Sometimes, downhill racers will snap their chains. This happens when they don’t reduce the power to the pedals enough, or they are trying to change gear in the wrong position. To prevent snapping your chain, just make sure you back off the power slightly before changing gear.

Refine Your Gear Changing

A part of becoming a good mountain biker is to change gear with finesse. Reading the terrain ahead is a big part of refining your gear changing. Make sure you are looking around corners and well ahead of you, so you know when to brake and shift gear.

By being in the correct gear, you are pedaling at the proper cadence for the climb or descent. Sometimes you can enhance your gear changing by pushing your gear shifter a little further than you need to. This can make the chain shift up the cassette a little quicker. But this depends on the type of shifter you have and how good your gear cable is.

What To Do If Your Chain Comes Off

Sometimes your chain can drop off the cassette. Usually, this happens when you shift with too much pressure on the pedals. This is where that refinement comes in; try not to change gear when you can barely move the pedals. If you really need to change gear at this point, ease off the pedals to allow your chain to slip smoothly into the correct gear.

Another way your chain can drop off is when the terrain is particularly bumpy, especially if you run a 1X drivetrain. This can be especially common on full-suspension bikes. This is because the chain tension changes as the bike’s rear moves up and down with the shock.

If you are running a 1X setup and realize that you drop your chain regularly, you may want to buy a chain guide. A chain guide will keep your chain in place and stop it from coming off. 

However, if you don’t have a chain guide and you drop your chain, there is a simple process to get it back on. Gently push the rear derailleur towards the front of the bike. This will slacken the chain so you can manually hook it back onto your chainring. To make sure it goes on properly, lift up the rear of your bike and turn the pedals. The chain will seat itself back onto the gear and run smoothly. You will get oily fingers, but at least you will be riding again.

You may be able to get your chain back on while you are still riding. If the chain drops off the small gear, pedal slowly while using the shifter to select a larger gear. However, if this doesn’t work straight away, get off your bike and do it manually to prevent damage to your bike.

If your chain drops every ride, you may need to index your gears and set the limit screws. You can do this at home without the need for specialist tools. But if time is an issue, a good bike shop will easily do this for you.

Final Thoughts

If you are new to mountain biking, you will probably come across problems like dropping your chain. However, with experience, you will know how to reduce the likelihood of it happening and have stress-free and fun rides.

How To Use Gears On A Mountain Bike Read More »

bike exercise

Road Bike vs Mountain Bike For Exercise

With cycling being one of the best cardiovascular exercises, your decision to invest in a new bike is a wise one. As an avid biker, I now understand that the quality of your workouts and your overall experience have a lot to do with the bike you select. But road bikes vs. mountain bikes for exercise- what should you choose?

As road bikes and mountain bikes are very popular among fitness enthusiasts, the selection could indeed be very daunting, especially if you are new to cycling. I was in a similar situation not too long ago when I wanted to upgrade to a new bike.

But guess what, you don’t have to go through all the troubles to choose one. After having used multiple bike models from both categories, I believe I can help you make the decision. Apart from that, I’ll also provide some great recommendations at the end of the post to accelerate the buying process for you.

What are Road Bikes?

Road bikes are lightweight bikes that are commonly used for recreational riding. They are built for speed as their narrow tires are able to roll farther and faster. Drop handlebars are also a signature style of these bikes. This category is further divided into models like endurance, ultralight, aero, all-road, and touring.

Many of the latest road bike models now feature disc brakes and multiple gears. Moreover, some of the top brands now offer road bike models specifically designed for women.

Are Road Bikes Good for Exercise?

Professional racers have been using road bikes in marathons for several years. One of the primary reasons for this is the speed and the simple design of these bikes. While you can now find models with multiple gears (as many as 20+) and complex components, traditionally, these bikes have been known for their straightforward design, lightweight build, and simplicity.

In other words, you can ride road bikes for a longer duration without using as much muscle power as you would when riding a mountain bike. The longer you ride, the higher the number of calories you burn. Also, these bikes are great for flat surfaces. So, if you live in a city and need a new bike for exercising, a road bike is definitely a great choice.

Last but not least, road bikes are generally cheaper than mountain bikes. While you sure can go for top-of-the-line models with 18 gears and other advanced features that could cost a bomb, standard models are more affordable than mountain bikes.

Pros and Cons of Road Bikes

Pros

  • Lightweight and great speed
  • Easier to ride for longer durations
  • Ideal for in-town riding
  • Great choice if you are new to cycling

Cons

  • Unnatural riding posture
  • Can be discomforting on bumpy roads

What are Mountain Bikes?

Mountain bikes are heavier rugged bikes with wide tires and flat handlebars that offer improved control on challenging surfaces such as dirt trails. For better traction, the tires of these bikes feature knobby tread. Full-suspension trail, full-suspension enduro, full-suspension cross country, and hard trail are some of the subcategories of mountain bikes. 

You can now also find mountain bike models designed for women with smaller grips, shorter crank arms, narrower handlebars, and women-specific seats.

Are Mountain Bikes Good for Exercise?

It is not just the distance for which you ride that matters when it comes to burning calories and exercising through cycling. Even the intensity with which you ride impacts your workout. As mountain bikes are generally used on challenging terrains, like trails and mountains, they require more effort than you would have for covering the same distance if you were riding a road bike on a flat surface. 

Carrying your weight as well as that of a heavier bike on a bumpy and challenging terrain will help you burn a lot more calories than riding a road bike on a flat surface, even if you do it for the same duration. Also, this does not mean that you cannot use a mountain bike on roads. However, using a road bike on dirt trails and mountains can be very difficult and unsafe.

As these bikes have a more complex design and are more durable, they are more expensive than standard road bikes. But if you have challenging terrain or mountains close to your home, a mountain bike can be a great way to exercise.

Pros and Cons of Mountain Bikes

Pros

  • Sturdier frame and more durable
  • Natural, upright riding posture
  • Require more effort to ride
  • Excellent choice if you live near mountains

Cons

  • Difficult to ride
  • Expensive

What Should You Choose Between Road Bikes and Mountain Bikes for Exercising?

Cycling is one of the best ways to improve your lower body and cardiovascular health. So, you are sure to burn calories and enjoy all the other great health benefits, irrespective of the bike you select.

If you ask me, the selection between the two is pretty much clear. If you are new to cycling and need a simple and affordable bike to ride on flat surfaces, go with a road bike. But if you have some cycling experience, love adventure cycling, and do not mind spending more, a mountain bike can be the one for you.

The area where you live is also a vital consideration. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to invest in an expensive mountain bike when you live in a city. If you live close to a mountain or the terrain around is uneven and challenging, you can consider purchasing a mountain bike.

Now that the confusion between road bike vs. mountain bike for exercise is eliminated, let us quickly go through some of the top recommendations from both categories-

Top 3 Road Bikes

Eurobike EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike

If you are looking for a budget-friendly road bike, Eurobike EURXC550 could be an excellent choice. The 21-speed road bike with dual-disc brake can be your ideal companion on city roads. It has durable steel frames with a rigid suspension type, making it a great choice for anyone investing in a new bike for exercising.

Moreover, the model is available in multiple sizes, ranging from 49cm frame to 54cm frame. This ensures that you can easily choose one that best suits your size.

Highlights

  • 21-speed shifting system
  • Dual-disc brake system
  • Lightweight steel frame
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Marin Presidio 4 DLX Complete Bike

If you are a cycling enthusiast looking to upgrade to an improved road bike, Marin Presidio 4 DLX Complete Bike can be the one for you. With the frame constructed from 6061 aluminum tubing, the lightweight bike will let you cycle for a longer duration so that you can burn more calories. It features a hydraulic disc brake system to offer controlled and smooth stopping in every condition.

Moreover, as it is an 11-speed bike, you can pick the speed you like as you ride through your favorite roads.

Highlights

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Hydraulic disc brake
  • Gates carbon belt drive
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Schwinn Phocus 1400 and 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle

This 16-speed Schwinn Phocus 1400 and 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle also deserves your attention if you want to invest in a top-notch exercising road bike. The combination of aluminum frame and carbon fork ensures that the bike is light in weight and perfect for riding over longer distances. It features a micro shift integrated shift/brake lever combo for improved control while riding.

For the best braking power, the Schwinn Phocus bike has Promax alloy dual pivot caliper brakes. So, no matter how challenging the surface is or what your bike’s speed is, you’ll be able to stop it almost instantly and smoothly.

Highlights

  • Aluminium frame and carbon forks
  • Micro shift integrated shift/brake lever
  • Alloy crank for broader gear range
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Top 3 Mountain Bikes

Yeti Cycles SB115 T-Series Special Edition Complete Mountain Bike 2021

The SB115 T-Series Complete Mountain Bike 2021 from Yeti Cycles is a perfect combination of strength and technology. It features top-of-the-line Switch Infinity suspension with the premium quality TURQ Series carbon frame to offer a safe and comfortable riding experience no matter how challenging the terrain is.

The bike is also equipped with SRAM X01 Eagle drive train and SRAM AXS Eagle rear derailleur and shifter for uncompromising performance.

Highlights

  • TURQ Series carbon frame
  • Switch Infinity suspension
  • Maxxis Rekon race tires
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Devinci Django 29 NX 12s Complete Mountain Bike 2020

If you are a trailhead searching for a high-end mountain bike for exercise, check out this Devinci Django 29 NX 12s Complete Mountain Bike 2020. It features patented Split Pivot suspension for intuitive performance and improved customization. The bike is equipped with Maxxis Minion DHF front tire and Maxxis Aggressor rear tire, making it an exceptional choice for mountainous terrain.

The mountain bike also has SRAM Level 1 Brakeset to provide consistent and powerful braking across surfaces.

Highlights

  • Lighter carbon DMC-G 120mm frame
  • Split pivot suspension
  • SRAM NX Eagle drive train
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Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike

If you want to purchase a mountain bike without spending a lot of money, you should check out this Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike. With the frame made from lightweight yet durable steel, this 21-speed bike is perfect for anyone new to mountain biking. The bike features Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur with a micro-shift twist shifter for on-demand speed, even on challenging terrain.

The handlebar of the bike is slightly raised to provide riders a more natural sitting position. And with Kraton grips on the handles, you are sure to enjoy a comfortable and fully controlled riding experience.

Highlights

  • Lightweight steel frame
  • Shimano TZ-31 rear derailleur
  • 21-speed mountain bike
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Ready to Ride?

There you have it! I hope that now you have all the information to choose between a road bike and mountain bike for exercise. Apart from the factors that are critical to making a decision, I’ve also provided a few top recommendations from both categories to help you pick the best without wasting a lot of time or effort.

Go through this post a couple of times, and it shouldn’t be difficult for you to make a decision. Also, don’t forget to invest in good quality protective gear and clothing for complete safety while riding. 

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Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike Under $3000

$3,000 gets you a lot of mountain bike these days. You can expect fancy 12-speed drivetrains, lightweight frames and high-end brakes. Combine these components with full suspension and you can buy yourself a seriously capable mountain bike.  In this post we will go through the best full suspension mountain bikes under $3,000 available online. However, we will start with some buying tips, so you can be sure you buy the right one for you.

Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Explained

For serious mountain biking, there are two types of bike, hardtail, and full suspension. A hardtail has suspension built into its fork that connects the front wheel to the bike. The suspension absorbs shock and vibration using either a metal spring or an air spring.

The idea of reducing shock and vibrations is to improve tire grip on the trail and make your ride more comfortable. With less shock and vibrations transferred to your hands and arms, you can ride much longer before getting tired.

A full-suspension mountain bike has a suspension fork and rear shock absorber. The addition of rear suspension improves grip even more while giving you a smoother ride. A full-suspension mountain bike will allow you to ride on terrain much more technical than you could on a hardtail.

The downside of full-suspension mountain bikes is that they are a little heavier and less efficient to pedal than a hardtail. The bobbing effect when you pedal takes some of the energy from your efforts. However, some bikes have the functionality to lock out or stiffen the suspension for climbing hills. Once you are ready to descend, unlock the suspension and enjoy the blast back down.

Types Of Full Suspension Mountain Bike

You can buy full suspension mountain bikes for specific types of riding. The bikes have different characteristics to suit the style of the rider and their preferred terrain. Here is a brief rundown:

Cross Country Mountain Bikes

Cross country mountain bikes are lightweight and don’t have a huge amount of suspension travel. They are efficient to pedal and built for long rides.

Trail Mountain Bikes

You can buy hardtail and full suspension trail bikes. These have a medium amount of suspension travel and are the most common type of mountain bike. They are very versatile and can be ridden in many different environments.

Enduro Mountain Bikes

Enduro mountain bikes have lots of suspension travel. They are built to tackle big alpine climbs before smashing back down the mountain at high speed. Enduro bikes can do it all. However, if you ride trail centers, an enduro bike may be less engaging due to how much suspension travel it has. Some would say they are overkill for many rider’s needs.

Downhill Mountain Bikes

Unsurprisingly, downhill mountain bikes are built to go as fast as possible downhill. They are very heavy and have the most suspension travel of all types of mountain bike. They are geared to accelerate quickly while riding downhill, so going uphill is a challenge.

Now you have a little overview of the type of mountain bikes out there, you can narrow down your choices based on the type of riding you want to do and for your local terrain.

Best Cross Country Mountain Bike For Under $3000 – Our Picks

Vitus Mythique

Vitus added the Mythique to their lineup in 2020 to provide mountain bikers with a full suspension mountain bike featuring excellent components that won’t break the bank. Vitus has definitely managed to achieve its goal, which becomes apparent when comparing the components with similarly priced bikes.

The Mythique has low and slack geometry, which is in keeping with modern trends. Its geometry figures make it lots of fun to ride and very capable of technical terrain. It is also the ideal bike to develop your skills on, when you graduate from a hardtail.

There are several versions of the Vitus Mythique to choose from, depending on your budget and preferences. The higher-end VRS and VRX versions still come in under the £3,000 mark with plenty of change to spare. The lower-end VR is still a good bike, but the VRS and VRX versions have better components that will stand the test of time while enhancing your ride.

You can choose between versions with 27.5” or 29” wheels to suit your preference. There is also the VRW, which is designed for women. The main difference is that it has narrower handlebars fitted to a shorter stem.

On the trail, you will love how the Vitus Mythique climbs steep hills, especially with the lower rolling resistance of the 29″ wheeled versions. To make ascending even easier, the four-bar suspension reduces suspension bob significantly when you are pedaling.

When it comes to descending, the Vitus Mythique is very composed and forgiving while providing a lively feel. It feels sure-footed on technical terrain, which inspires confidence.

For an outstanding trail bike with exceptional components and value for money, the Vitus Mythique is a worthy contender.

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GT Force Elite 29”

The GT Force Elite 29” is a very competent enduro mountain bike designed to hit big and technical terrain hard. If you like to be able to ride up a mountain and back down it as fast as possible, the GT Force Elite 29” is a great option.

This is one of those bikes that can be ridden anywhere and is pretty good value for money, considering its specification.

The GT Force Elite 29” has an aluminum frame, which is the same that Martin Maes used on the Enduro World Series. With 170mm of suspension travel on the fork and 150 on the rear shock, you get plenty of squish for big jumps and obstacles.

GT has finely tuned the rear suspension linkage to work very well when climbing or descending. The shock absorber is a high-end air-sprung item from Fox Racing that is lightweight and smooth running.

The linkage system and high-end SRAM SX Eagle, 12-speed drivetrain make the GT Force Elite an efficient climber. It is a very rewarding bike on fast descents too, making it an excellent choice for thrill-seekers. The suspension components and geometry figures allow you to smash through trail sections littered with big rocks and roots with a solid and confident feel.

The GT Force has a burly nature that will suit some rider’s tastes, but for riders that prefer a nimble feel to their mountain bike, a Nukeproof Mega may be a better choice.

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Nukeproof Mega Comp

The Nukeproof Mega is another fantastic enduro mountain bike. Its long-travel suspension and high-quality components allow it to take on the most gnarly terrain. On top of this, Nukeproof has an excellent reputation for building reliable and durable bikes that last for years of hard riding.

It was originally designed to win the Megavalanche competition in Alpe d’Huez, France, a grueling race from the snowy glacier at 3330m all the way down to the village 2,600m.

The Nukeproof Mega has seen lots of success on the Enduro World Series too, which has been won by Sam Hill on a Mega several times. The Nukeproof Mega Comp is the entry-level version, but it still uses the same geometry as Sam Hill’s bike.

With all this pedigree, you can be sure that the Nukeproof Mega is very capable of taking on big mountain terrain. When it comes to climbing, the ascents are made easier by the Mega Comp’s Shimano Deore 12-speed drivetrain.

Descents are super fun while feeling nice and stable thanks to its low and slack geometry. The suspension setup soaks up the bumps effortlessly while giving you plenty of confidence when it gets technical.

You can choose between 27.5” and 29” wheels on the Nukeproof Mega Comp. The 29er rolls much easier, making climbing more efficient and riding rough surfaces smoother. However, the 27.5” wheels give the bike more agile handling, so whichever you choose is down to personal preference.

For riding trail centers and less technical terrain, the Mega will dull the sensation, as it is built for the big stuff. Therefore you should go for something more trail oriented, such as the Orbea Occam H30.

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Orbea Occam H30

The Orbea Occam H30 is focused on trail riding, but it’s geometry is inspired by enduro bikes. It is long, low, and slack, which suits aggressive trail riders, but it’s steeper seat tube angle makes it an excellent climber.

You can choose between aluminum s or carbon frame materials, but the carbon frame will take you over the $3,000 budget. However, the aluminum frame is lightweight and stiff, so it is super responsive. It has a polished finish, which looks fantastic, so you can feel smug about the attention it gets in the trail center car park.

However, you don’t have to restrict yourself to the trail center, thanks to its excellent capabilities. The 29” wheels and 140mm of travel front and back allow the Orbea Occam H30 to roll over rough terrain with ease. The Shimano Deore M6100 12-speed drivetrain has a massive 51 tooth gear that makes steel climbs feel like you are riding an e-bike.

When it comes to descending, the Shimano MT201 hydraulic disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power so you can be assured you are in control. Its handling is very agile, with a balanced feel, which also adds to the control you have over it, inspiring confidence.

To top off the H30’s impressive specification list, it comes with a dropper seat post as standard. If you have never used a dropper seat post before, you will soon realize that it is a game-changer for riding variable terrain. Raise your seat at the touch of a button to help you climb, and drop it back down to get it out of the way for descents.

Overall, the Orbea Occam H30 is a fantastic trail bike. It should be a consideration for anyone that wants a high-performing 29” wheeled trail bike that can slay the trails with ease.

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Final Thoughts

If you have $3,000 to spend on a mountain bike, you have some excellent but difficult choices ahead of you. Do you go all-out enduro or opt for a more lively trail bike? It is a nice problem to have, but any of these bikes will do their job exceptionally well.

Best Full Suspension Mountain Bike Under $3000 Read More »

Best Mountain Bikes For Big Guys

Each summer, I see people of all ages, shapes, and sizes having a fantastic time on the trails. When you see these people, you realize that nobody needs to miss out on mountain biking. Therefore, even though you are a bigger guy, you don’t need to worry about finding a suitable mountain bike.

We are going to give you some tips on what to look for, and we have compiled a list of the best mountain bikes for big guys available online.

What To Look For In The Best Mountain Bikes For Big Guys

The first thing about buying a bike as a big guy is that there is no need to worry about the bike not being able to take your weight. Mountain bike manufacturers make their frames to be super strong to carry even the heaviest of riders.

You do need to be careful about the quality of some of the bike’s components as a heavy rider. Entry-level bikes or ones made to be super light may not be as durable as you need them to be. Therefore, you need to choose a bike that is suitable for your build and needs. Here are some things you need to take into consideration:

Brakes

I’m sure you will agree that stopping is essential when mountain biking, as is controlling your speed on descents. Heavier riders should choose a mountain bike with a good set of brakes.

If possible, buy a bike with hydraulic disc brakes. These will give you the most stopping power, while the brake levers will be easy to modulate to stay in control. If hydraulic brakes are out of your budget, go for mechanical disc brakes.

Gears

No matter how fit you are, the more gears you have, the easier it will be to pedal up hills. If you have a bike with a wide range of gears, you will spend less time pushing your bike up the hills or resting halfway up.

Forks

The fork attaches your front wheel to your mountain bike. It is common for mountain bikes to have suspension forks to soak up bumps in the trail.

Lower-end mountain bikes are fitted with entry-level forks, which may not suit you as a heavier rider. These low-cost forks are not durable due to their flex under heavy loads. Also, entry-level forks don’t offer much in the way of adjustment. Therefore, they don’t always have the capacity to cater to heavier riders.

If you don’t want to spend money on a mountain bike with an expensive fork, you may want to opt for a rigid fork. Alternatively, you could go for a fat bike.

Wheels And Tires

The wheels on a mountain bike can be a problem for heavier riders. It is common for a rear-wheel to be damaged no matter how heavy you are. A sharp rock or a cased jump can dent your rim or break a spoke quite easily.

As a heavier rider, you may want to upgrade your wheelset quite soon after buying your bike. With a set of downhill specific wheels and spokes with heavy-duty tires, your wheels will be able to take big hits.

Another good thing to do while upgrading your wheels is to go tubeless. Tubeless tires are less likely to puncture when the wheel hits sharp rocks and are resistant to pinch flats.

Earlier, we mentioned fat bikes. These are mountain bikes with oversized and squishy tires. They are primarily designed for riding over soft surfaces such as sand and snow. However, they are great fun to ride anywhere, even though they take a little more effort to pedal.

Those high volume tires provide lots of grip, but they also act as the bike’s suspension. They soak up the bumps, reducing the shock and vibrations that transfer into your hands and arms. Less vibrations make your ride more pleasant and you can ride for longer in comfort.

Here are some of our top picks for mountain bikes for big guys.

Mongoose Dolomite Fat Tire Mountain Bike

Mongoose has been making mountain bikes for over four decades. They still make some great bikes, including the Mongoose Dolomite Fat Bike.

This bike has been designed to take on any terrain in any conditions. Those big chunky tires give you an incredible amount of traction on soft surfaces. At the same time, its geometry makes it a stable platform that instills confidence.

It may not be the highest specced fat bike, but it is well priced for something so capable. The idea of the Dolomite is to provide an accessible bike that you can take anywhere. Which means it is excellent value for money.

Although the Dolomite doesn’t have hydraulic disc brakes, it does have mechanical items. These brakes do give you plenty of stopping power to keep you in control and safe when things get tricky.

The 7-speed drivetrain is operated by twist shifters integrated into the handlebar grip. The twist shifter system is easy to use and allows you to change gear quickly to keep you moving. It doesn’t have a vast range of gears, so climbing steep hills can be hard work.

For an entry-level mountain bike, the Mongoose Dolomite is a well-priced way of accessing a range of mountain bike terrain and trails.

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Marin San Quentin 1

The Marin San Quentin 1 has a frame made from very strong 6061 alloy. This material and the way the frame is constructed make it very stiff. The advantage of this is that the frame is very responsive and doesn’t flex too much under heavy loads. An additional characteristic of the frame’s design is its low standover height, so it is easy to get on and off.

The San Quentin has boost spacing. This is an industry-standard that allows manufacturers to fit wheels with a wider hub, which contributes to a stiffer and stronger wheel design. Stronger wheels are less likely to be damaged by rocks and heavy landings.

Marin says that the San Quentin is designed for enduro and downhill trails, even though it has no rear suspension. But, its design is influenced by dirt jump bikes, which is a testament to how bomb-proof it is.

The geometry of the San Quentin is low and slack, which makes for a fun and stable ride, perfect for thrill-seekers. However, the Suntour fork is quite basic, with not much adjustment. But its stiffness will suit the heavier rider.

A great addition to the Marin San Quentin is the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. These have a good feel in the levers while giving you a decent amount of stopping power.

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Schwinn High Timber

The Schwinn High Timber is very much an entry-level mountain bike. But, it is a great bike to introduce you to mountain biking. Its durable aluminum frame is stiff and lightweight, which is more than adequate for anyone that wants to ride light to moderate off-road terrain.

Fitted with 27.5” wheels, the High Timber rolls over bumps in the terrain easily while providing nimble handling characteristics. The wheels are solid and resistant to damage, while the tires provide lots of grip on many surfaces.

The 21-speed drivetrain makes light work of steep climbs, and gear changes are effortless thanks to the twist shifters. Schwinn has fitted the High Timber with a suspension fork. Although it is quite a low-end item, it shouldn’t cause any problems unless you regularly ride very rough trails.

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GaoFan Fat Bike

The GaoFan fat bike is a bruiser of a mountain bike that will cope with anything that you can throw at it. Its superior off-road ability comes from the traction provided by the fat tires and its dual suspension setup.

The rear shock absorber has a spring, which dissipates heat better than an air shock. This keeps it working at its optimum performance under high load. The fork is a high-strength item with minimum flex, making it very durable.

Its disc brakes are strong and reliable, which is essential considering the type of terrain available to you with a bike like this. But climbing hills is made easier with the 21-speed drivetrain.

All these components are bolted to a strong aluminum frame. The extra strength comes from the frame’s oversized tubing. It also has a geometry that keeps it stable on technical terrain while being comfortable on extended days out in the saddle.

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Get Out On The Trails

With these pointers and examples of the best mountain bikes for big guys, there are no excuses for not hitting the trails. These bikes will open up a whole new lifestyle and make sure you are active and enjoying life.

Best Mountain Bikes For Big Guys Read More »

How to Choose a Mountain Bike

Enjoying a biking trail is one of the most thrilling ways to appreciate the scenery as well as get the exercise you need. The thing is, you will need the right equipment to confidently get the most out of your ride. The first step is the right bike. If you’re wondering how to choose a mountain bike, read on.

How to Choose a Mountain Bike

Choosing the right mountain bike does make a difference. The type of mountain biking you’d like to do will play a role in your choice. For example, if you are like me who prefers a more casual ride, you’ll choose one that is sturdy, easy to use and doesn’t have the more involved aspects like the bikes for serious riders.  

On the other hand, choosing a mountain bike for serious riding takes a little more thought and decision.  

How to Start – Choose the Right Type for You

If you are a beginner, or you usually are a road cyclist, it is necessary to learn more about the different types of mountain bikes there are available.

There are 4 main categories of mountain bikes. These include the cross country (XC), the trail bike, all mountain or Enduro as well as the downhill (DH). Each type of mountain bike is specific to a certain type of ride.

Cross Country bikes: an efficient bike, they’re lightweight and have the suspension system that will give you the most forward movement. They also make sure you get the maximum speed throughout your ride. Their emphasis is on endurance.  The price range is extremely varied from high to low with a comprehensive, couldn’t ask for anything more bike like Yeti Cycles SB115 T-Series Special Edition Complete Mountain Bike

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all the way to a basic highly rated Hiland 26” Aluminum Mountain Bike.

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Trail bike: these bikes are a good all-round bike for cyclists. Its design means it is effective at climbing up the trail as well as coming down. The descent is something that many cyclists, including myself, struggle with. If you’re considering an all purpose riding bike that can handle most trails, this is the one to choose. Have a look at the Yeti Cycles range – the SB115 T-Series Special Edition Complete Mountain Bike. This may be the trail bike for you.  

Enduro and all-mountain bikes: this type of bike is for enduro racing, long-distance cycling as well as for use on harsh terrain in mind. Enduro pushes the limits of mountain biking. These bikes bridge the gap between the downhill bikes and the trail bikes. Enduro combines the skill of the cyclist’s technical ability of riding downhill as well as his ability to handle a trail ride. This is not for the faint hearted!  

Downhill bikes: a downhill bike allows the cyclist to go downhill as fast as possible. They allow the cyclist to handle both jumps and drops, as well as navigating over rocky obstacles.  They’re heavier and stronger than other mountain bikes. They also have specific suspension and powerful brakes that enable their effectiveness. Scott Gambler 910 Complete Mountain Bike 2021 is a perfect example of a downhill bike.

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Choose the Right Size

The size of your mountain bike is important. Just as the words ‘location, location, location’ are all important indicators for selling or buying a property, size is the all important term for buying a mountain bike. The one that is just right for your particular body shape and weight is the one to get. You’ll also need to choose one that you will be able to easily manoeuvre it through tough and rocky terrain when you’re on a trail. Use a size chart for the right guidance. Bear in mind that sizes can differ among different brands. Ensure that you take note of the distance between the saddle and the bars, as well as the space from the middle of the crank to the mid head tube. If you aren’t entirely certain, ask the sales rep who is assisting you for advice.

Mountain Bike Build Kits

A mountain bike is for off-road cycling. It is an intricate piece of machinery and has many different small parts or components. The components have a large influence on the way the bike performs. The actual price of your mountain bike will also depend on the components. The components of the mountain bike are available, along with the frame in the build kit. Different bike kits from different manufacturers are available at different prices and at different performance levels.

Choose Between Hardtail or Full Suspension

Most all mountain bikes have a built-in suspension. A rear shock and a suspension fork in the front is typical of a full-suspension mountain bike. Whereas there is only a suspension fork on a hardtail bike. The suspension makes your ride easier. Riding over rocky terrain and keeping traction while going uphill or downhill is possible with a built-in suspension.   

A mountain bike with a full suspension has a shock at the back and forks at the front.  With a fork and a shock, you will be able to cycle on rocky ground with more speed. The combination of both the rear and front suspension makes for a much smoother ride, and with far better traction as well as handling.

A hardtail bike has a rigid back as well as forks. This type can provide both a fun and fast ride that will handle mild bumps with the front suspension fork. It is the bike to choose if you ride mostly smooth trails. One of the differences between a hardtail bike and one with a full suspension is that the former is easier and less-costly to maintain than a bike with a full suspension. It also weighs less than a full suspension bike because it has a simpler design and has fewer parts. A suitable bike if you plan on a little climbing and long distances.

Wheel Size

The wheel size of your bike is another aspect you’ll need to think about when choosing your new bike. The 26-inch wheel was, at a stage, the standard size of the mountain bike wheel. However, larger wheel sizes are now more popular. The larger wheels allow for better mobility on the trail. Now, there are sizes up to 29-inches. Twenty-nine-inch wheels are super for bigger, tougher terrain, but are a little more difficult to handle. On the other hand, 27.5 inches makes the best balance between the 26-inches and the 29-inches. While the latest technology all but demands consumers keep up with the trends, the most important part is, regardless of the size of the wheel of your bike, you enjoy your ride.

Types of Mountain Bikes Available

There isn’t a one-size fits all approach to mountain biking.  Think about the type of mountain biking that you are most comfortable with and move from there. There is little point in spending large sums of money for a mountain bike that doesn’t meet your specific needs. You do need to know what your needs are and how the mountain bike you choose will fulfil these needs. 

Try One Out

You’ve had a good look at all the different available types of mountain bikes. You’ve considered the best type for the type of mountain biking you’re planning on doing.  You have also asked a whole lot of questions and you have a good idea of the type of bike you want. But, there is no alternative to actually trying out a mountain bike. Trying out a mountain bike is truly the best way to get a proper feel for the bike and whether it actually suits you. Each bike has a unique combination of design, geometry and build which makes up its own particular characteristics that will suit different riders best. It is an excellent idea to try one out to see if it is the one that suits you best.

Time to Buy

It needn’t be overwhelming or challenging to choose a mountain bike. Keeping these factors in mind, along with our short guide, you can find the perfect mountain bike, one that is perfect for both your needs and your budget. Remember also to ask questions. When you are at the cycle shop having a good look at all the bikes, ask the rep for advice. Ask him specific questions. Remember to try out the mountain bike that looks like it will be a good fit.

In a nutshell, the following points are a brief guide to choosing a mountain bike:

  • Choose the right type for you
  • Choose the right size
  • Check out  Mountain Bike Build Kits
  • Choose between hardtail or full suspension
  • Consider Wheel size
  • Try one out
  • Ask questions

The long term increase on your body’s overall health is countless so have fun, enjoy the scenery, and get into nature with your new mountain bike.

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Mountain Bike Fitness For Beginners

When I first started mountain biking, I found out I wasn’t as fit as I thought I was. Pedalling up steep hills proved to be challenging, as my legs and lungs were complaining. But I loved the whole experience and wanted to do more. I realised my enjoyment would be enhanced by being fitter. So I looked into mountain bike fitness for beginners to see how I could improve my time in the saddle.

What Should I Work On?

When you are mountain biking, you use your whole body. Therefore, having all-round fitness will make your rides easier, more fun and safer.

It goes without saying that strong legs will help you tackle those steep climbs. But they will also help you with long technical descents. This is what I found out when I started riding in the French Alps. Holding that squat position on bumpy terrain for several minutes can be gruelling.

Having a strong upper body will give you an advantage too. When riding rough downhill terrain, your arms, shoulders and chest are working hard to absorb the bumps. With good strength in these muscles, you will be able to stay in control for the whole day.

Another way of staying in control is having a solid core, as it keeps your lower spine working well with your pelvis. But a strong core also makes your pedalling more efficient. It gives you a good platform for your quads, glutes and hip flexors to push the pedals from.

Cardio is essential for mountain biking. By making improvements in this area, you will be able to ride faster, longer and with more power. All this adds up to more fun on your bike, and that is never a bad thing.

How Can I Improve On These Things?

I will now go into a few things that I have done, and still do to improve my mountain bike fitness. These are suitable ways to improve mountain bike fitness for beginners, but they should not be overlooked by more experienced riders either.

The most obvious thing to do is to get out and ride. I try to ride at least two to three times a week in the summer, spring and autumn. Winter mountain biking isn’t really an option for me, as I live in a ski resort which is full of snow. I have the advantage of staying fit in winter from lots of snowboarding and splitboarding.

If you only get to ride on weekends, there are some things you can do at home to prepare you for mountain biking.

Lower Body Exercises

There are some great leg exercises you can do to build strength. One of the most effective exercises is the squat. I started off with just squatting with my own body weight, but I built up to incorporating dumbbells while working out at home and a barbell in the gym. You can gradually add weight as long as you can maintain the perfect form throughout the exercise. Alternatively, you can add a dynamic element to the squat by adding a jump. Jump squats get your heart rate up, too; just remember to land softly to protect your knees.

Squats work your glutes and quads, which mountain bikers use all the time. I also like to throw some lunges into my leg workout too. Again, I started off with bodyweight exercises and progressed to adding weights. I like to do jump lunges, where I quickly swap legs in the air; unfortunately, my downstairs neighbour doesn’t appreciate it.

To even things out, I add in some calf raises to my leg workout (not that you would think so by looking at my skinny calves). I do this by standing on a step on one foot on my toes and slowly raise myself up 12 times before swapping legs. I do 3 sets, 3 times per week of each exercise.

When you get to a point where you want to start adding weights to your workout, there are many options. I find dumbbells and kettlebells to be ideal for this. However, I currently live in a small apartment, so the space is a little tight for workout equipment.

I have some BowFlex SelectTech weights. These are great, as you can change their weight with the twist of a dial. I find them a little long, which can restrict your range of movement while doing specific exercises, but overall, they suit my needs pretty well.

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Upper Body and Core Exercises

One of the most effective upper body exercises for mountain biking is the push-up. It works your chest, shoulders and triceps, which are used to absorb the bumps in the trail.

You can vary your push-ups to make them easier or more challenging. If you are new to push-ups, start on your knees until you build some strength.

To make your push-ups more challenging, try to add some instability to them. I like to place my hands on an upturned Bosu ball to provide an unstable platform. If you are feeling strong, push up on an old set of handlebars or some kind of stick resting on the inflatable side of the Bosu.

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A plank is an excellent way of improving your core strength. Start with holding a plank for 20 seconds. After doing 3 sets, 3 times per week, you will soon start to see improvements.

However, there are many plank variations that will get your core strong for mountain biking. Add in side planks, planks with dumbbell rows or change from high plank to low plank.

You may want to use a TRX set up to use for your mountain bike training. TRX is a suspension training system consisting of straps you suspend from the ceiling or a door. There are loads of exercises for your upper body, lower body and core that will enhance your fitness for mountain biking.

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Cardio Workouts

I used to struggle with cardio workouts, as I found them pretty boring. But when I started to see results, I kind of grew to enjoy them.

Cardio workouts include running, swimming and cycling. But to monitor your progress, you might want to get a fitness watch. I was very surprised how well mine motivates me, especially as I have it linked to Strava.

There are different types of fitness watch, depending on your budget. But I really like my Polar Vantage M. It makes it super easy to set a program, and it tells me how hard I should be working at any time. It also monitors my rides more accurately than the GPS on my phone.

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I definitely notice the difference on the bike now I do some cardio training before the season starts. I find hills that were a struggle in the earlier days much easier now. But the recovery time is much shorter too, so I can still have fun on the descent without feeling wiped out.

Some of my friends use a turbo trainer during the winter to keep their cardio level up and their cycling legs in shape. Turbo trainers are excellent preparation for mountain biking, and they are good for when time is short, or the weather conditions are not particularly favourable for riding.

A great example of a turbo trainer is the Tacx Flux 2. It isn’t exactly cheap, but it simulates your ride by automatically changing its resistance as you climb hills. It is worth noting that to get the most out of your turbo trainer, you need to have a good space to ride it in.

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I definitely notice the difference on the bike now I do some cardio training before the season starts. I find hills that were a struggle in the earlier days much easier now. But the recovery time is much shorter too, so I can still have fun on the descent without feeling wiped out.

You will need something to entertain you while you ride, such as music or a film to watch. Also, make sure you have a fan to keep cool, and something to catch your sweat, or a puddle will form around your bike.

Your First Few Rides

As a beginner mountain biker, you need to be realistic about your fitness and ability. Therefore, you may want to plan your first few rides to suit you.

Start off with an easy ride to get used to the bike, not too long or too technical. Your first ride will give you a good indication of how much you can do in terms of your fitness and ability. It will also give you an idea if you have the proper clothing and accessories for mountain biking on your local trails.

I remember going mountain biking on my own once when I was a beginner. I was highly unprepared, as I had no water or food with me. My breakfast of a bowl of cereal did not cut it, and I got tired very quickly. This became more of an issue when I got lost in the forest. Not my finest moment, but I learned to never go out without fuelling my body correctly and taking emergency snacks.

It is good to find all these things out on less challenging rides rather than getting yourself into a mess on something you are not comfortable with.

Remember, it is your ride, so be careful about what other people are telling you. You may have a super confident friend who is an excellent rider but lacks common sense. Don’t let them take you somewhere you are not ready for. Progress at your own pace to start off with, then start to push yourself after gaining some experience and skills.

If you have a local trail centre, they may provide mountain bike coaching, so it is worth inquiring. A qualified mountain bike instructor will teach you some essential skills to keep you safe while you are on the trails.

Final Thoughts

Mountain biking is a very rewarding sport. It is ridiculously good fun while providing you with many health benefits. With a good base level of fitness, you will be able to ride more and ultimately have more fun. 

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Best Full Suspension Mountain Bikes for the Money

Finding the right mountain bike can be extremely challenging, especially if you aren’t exactly sure what you are looking for. This post will be highlighting several of the best full suspension mountain bikes that you can get for the money. 

The balance between quality and value is always important when searching for the best full suspension mountain bike. Many of the top recommendations will be listed here for you to evaluate and compare. 

OBK 26″ Full Suspension Folding Mountain Bike

If you are looking for a cost-effective full suspension mountain bike that has a solid reputation within the industry, then you might want to consider the OBK 26” Full Suspension Folding Mountain Bike. 

This bike has been manufactured by Eurobike and has been equipped with a 17-Inch Frame and 26-Inch Wheels. This mountain bike has been equipped with shock absorbers on the front and rear of the bike to make the ride significantly more comfortable. 

There are currently six different color schemes available to choose from when attempting to purchase this particular mountain bike. The portable frame is ultra-convenient because it can easily be folded into compact spaces for travel or storage. 

The integrated disc brake system creates an ultra-sensitive braking capability on this particular mountain bike. The extra sensitivity ensures that the brakes will have enough power to stop the mountain bike in short order. 

Pros

Cons

  • Top-Rated Disc Brake System
  • Full Suspension with Front and Rear Shock Absorbers
  • Portable Folding Frame
  • Multiple Color Schemes are Available
  • Minor Durability Issues

To conclude this initial review section, it’s worth noting that the recommended height for this mountain bike is anywhere between 5’3 and 5’9. While it may not be the best overall mountain bike on the market, it certainly has several high-quality features. These top-rated features include an effective disc braking system and a suspension system with equipped shock absorbers to make the mountain bike more comfortable during rides. 

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Devinci Troy 29 SLX 12s Evo Complete Mountain Bike

The Devinci Troy 29 SLX 12S Evo Complete Mountain Bike has been recognized as one of the best full suspension mountain bikes for beginners. 

You could describe this mountain bike as durable, reliable, versatile, and extremely maneuverable. While it may be particularly appealing for beginners, it really can be used by riders of all skill levels. 

The frame material that was used to craft this mountain bike is aluminum alloy. The bike is also equipped with a high-quality hydraulic disc brake system. Speaking of the braking system, you might notice that the primary focus of this braking system is to enhance stopping power and to provide riders with superior braking performance.

Pros

Cons

  • Great Balance of Quality and Value
  • Durable Frame Material (Aluminum Alloy)
  • Exceptional Hydraulic Braking System with Enhanced Stopping Power
  • Great Full Suspension Mountain Bike for Beginners
  • Only Available in One Size and Color Variation

If you are looking for a high-quality mountain bike that comes equipped with everything that you need to get started, then you will likely be interested in the Devinci Troy 29 SLX 12S Evo Complete Mountain Bike. This mountain bike selection has a top-rated hydraulic braking system and a full suspension design to make the right as smooth as possible. 

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Merax FT323 Full Suspension Mountain Bike

One of the best-valued mountain bikes on the market right now has to be the Merax FT323 Full Suspension Mountain Bike. This cost-effective bike is capable of delivering a smooth riding experience with 21 different speeds. 

An optimal level of stopping power can be achieved with the linear pull brakes. Many entry-level bikes ignore important features, but that is certainly not the case with this Merax FT323 Full Suspension Mountain Bike.

There are currently two different color schemes available for riders to choose from. The first color scheme features a green and grey design while the alternative scheme is blue and black. This mountain bike comes with a limited one-year warranty and has a maximum rider weight of 330 pounds. 

This mountain bike focuses on delivering a high-quality riding experience by using highly rated entry-level components that are capable of getting the job done. The mountain bike is equipped with CPSC Standard Tires and a Full Suspension that absorbs many of the violent bumps that you will experience while riding.

Pros

Cons

  • Cost-Effective Price Range
  • Two Color Schemes are Available
  • Integrated Dual-Suspension for Smooth Riding 
  • Limited One-Year Warranty is Included
  • Maximum Rider Weight of 330 Pounds

You should spend a little bit of time evaluating the pros and cons to determine if the Merax FT323 Full Suspension Mountain Bike is right for you. This is one of the best cost-effective mountain bike selections on Amazon right now and it could be a great investment for riders of all skill levels. 

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Orbea Oiz H30 Complete Mountain Bike

The penultimate mountain bike that will be featured within this review is the Orbea Oiz H30 Complete Mountain Bike. This specific bike is crafted with a sturdy aluminum alloy frame and is equipped with a reliable hydraulic disc braking system. 

This mountain bike is suitable for all types of riders because it is equipped with a full-suspension that makes the bike more maneuverable and easier to control over bumps. 

The primary color scheme features a stylish grey design. This cost-effective mountain bike is a great choice for the money because it is equipped with several components that are reliable and effective. 

This mountain bike is equipped with Maxxis Ikon 60TPI Dual Compound 2.2″ Tires. These tires are capable of delivering exceptional performance across a variety of riding conditions. When pairing these reputable tires with the high-quality hydraulic braking system, it quickly becomes apparent why so many people like the Orbea Oiz H30 Complete Mountain Bike.

Pros

Cons

  • High-Quality Shimano Deore M6100 Braking System
  • Equipped with Reliable Maxxis Ikon 60TPI Dual Compound 2.2″ Tires
  • Hydro High Polished Triple Butted Aluminum Frame
  • Only Available in One Color Scheme (Grey)

If you appreciate the high-quality components and design features that have been implemented into the design of the Orbea Oiz H30 Complete Mountain Bike, then you should strongly consider investing in it because it can serve as a great cost-effective mountain bike for riders of all skill levels. 

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SIRDAR S-900 Mountain Bike

The SIRDAR S-900 Mountain Bike is equipped with a full aluminum alloy frame with high carbon steel parts for the handlebar and chain. This bike is capable of handling harsh riding conditions and is equipped with excellent shock absorbers to ensure that the ride is as smooth as possible.

In terms of assembly, many riders will be pleased to hear that this mountain bike will arrive at your doorstep nearly assembled. The only thing that you will need to do to finish the assembly process is to install the front wheels, handlebar, and saddle. 

The double-disc brakes provide extensive stopping power in all conditions and you can be confident in all of the safety components that are integrated into this reputable mountain bike. 

Even with all of these reliable high-quality components, you can expect to only pay a generous price to acquire this mountain bike. 

Pros

Cons

  • Heavy-Duty Full Aluminum Alloy Frame
  • Long-Lasting Durability
  • Equipped with High-Quality Shock Absorbers
  • Very Little Assembly is Required
  • Only Available in One Color Scheme (Black)

For a generous price, you can become the new owner of the SIRDAR S-900 Mountain Bike. It is extremely affordable and cost-effective when you start considering the high-quality parts that are installed on this mountain bike. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice rider or an experienced rider, everyone will appreciate this mountain bike because it is affordable and reliable. 

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Conclusion

You have now had the opportunity to compare five different high-quality full-suspension mountain bikes that are available on public markets. It can be stressful and challenging to look through all of the different brands because many of them advertise similar features.

This review process makes it possible to breakdown every component on each mountain bike so that you have an in-depth understanding of each selection. These five mountain bikes have been specifically selected for this review because they provide customers with an exceptional value compared to other selections. 

It is highly recommended that you take a look at the pros and cons within the contents of each product review so that you can start to understand the main features of each mountain bike. These pros and cons will certainly help you to narrow down your selections as you continue to look for the most valuable mountain bike.

All of these mountain bikes deserve recognition for being considered as some of the best cost-effective mountain bikes that money can buy right now.

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Full Suspension Vs Hardtail Mountain Bike

As a beginner, purchasing the right bike can be quite overwhelming and confusing. After all there are so many bikes in the market. Then, these bikes are divided into categories as well making it all the more difficult. One common issue that most beginners face while choosing a bike is that they should opt for a hardtail bike or a full suspension bike. So, to make things easier we have gotten together and written down all the pros and cons of these two categories. 

What is the main difference between hardtail vs full suspension bikes?

Before diving into much detail, you should know the main difference between a hardtail and full suspension bike. A hardtail bike has a suspension fork in the front whereas a full suspension bike has a  suspension fork up front as well as a rear shock. This main difference determines many of the pros and cons of both the bikes. It also determines which bike is the most suitable one for you.

What is suspension?

Suspension is a system in the bike which offers the biker a better control of the bike. It also helps make the ride more comfortable as it is the shock absorber of a bike and its presence makes the ride more comfortable.

Pros of Hardtail Bikes

It’s time to get down to the real deal by discussing all the pros of a hardtail bike which will help you take a decision. If you are on a budget and cannot afford a very expensive bike, hardtail bikes are your go to option. The explanation behind this fact is that these bikes have a simpler design with lesser components which is easy to manufacture. You will get a good quality bike at a reasonable price. In fact, if a hardtail bike and a full suspension bike were of the same price then the hardtail bike would be of better quality. This is because the manufacturer will be able to spend more on fewer products and provide a high end bike.

These bikes are easy and cheaper to maintain since they don’t have a lot of parts such as bushings, bearings and pivots. They are also quite sturdy. Hardtails teaches riders how to choose the right line and the perfect posture for riding. It teaches riders how to use their legs as suspension and become an excellent rider and become much more connected to the trail.

These bikes are definitely versatile. They are an excellent choice for you if you plan on riding it on a smooth terrain. They are also fast on climbs because the back end of the bike offers excellent power transfer to the rear wheels. These bikes are great for cross country racing. In addition to this, the bike can be used for daily commuting as well.

Hardtail bikes are extremely lightweight because they only have front suspension which means you can take them along with you for long rides. So if you are looking for a low maintenance bike which is also lightweight and are planning to ride your bike on a track with lesser bumps, hardtails are the right answer for you.

Cons of hardtail bikes

Unfortunately, hardtail bikes are not entirely perfect. While riding a hardtail you have to be careful about your body position. You also have to learn how to ride a bike perfectly so that a sudden bump on the road doesn’t throw you off. Moreover, since the bike only has a front suspension fork it is good for smooth trails only. This is because if you ride such a bike on an extremely bumpy trail, the front suspension fork will be unable to soak up the bumps and you will get a very uncomfortable ride. 

On top of this, your speed will also greatly reduce when you will come across a bumpy trail. The bike is also not good for descents. If the bump is really big, you might even lose control of the bike and fall. Hence, get this bike only if you will be riding it mostly on smooth trails or trails that have a few bumps (the front suspension fork can absorb these).

Pros of full suspension bikes

Full suspension bikes come with their own set of perks which cannot be overlooked. These bikes offer you a comfort that no hardtail bike can ever offer. This is because the front and rear suspension of this bike soaks up most of the bumps and in turn provides you a smooth ride. 

Due to their ability, you won’t have to worry about remaining stiff while riding the bike and your upper body won’t get thrown around. As a result, the rider won’t get tired fast and will be able to pedal for a much longer time. This makes them extremely efficient. Additionally, you will also be able to ride faster and enjoy your ride to the fullest without worrying about any obstacle in your path or even falling.

These bikes are ideal for technical trails. Technical trails are those trails that have lots of bumps and include rock gardens, off of drops and up and over roots. These bikes are beautifully designed to provide you the ride of your life on these trails without experiencing any discomfort. 

Full suspension bikes are easy to ride and are sure to build the rider’s confidence as they give you a greater margin of error. This puts them in the forgiving category of bikes. They provide better traction and make the handling of the bike easier so you are bound to make lesser mistakes on rough terrain.

Cons of full suspension bikes

Full suspension bikes come at a price which is definitely not light on your pocket. They are very expensive and start at $1500. So if you want a good quality full suspension bike, get ready to spend.
They are high maintenance which means not only do you have to spend time to keep it in a working condition but also spend a lot of money. This is because these bikes have comparatively more parts.
These bikes are extremely heavy which means that you cannot take them around with you easily. 

Conclusion

We hope that after reading this article things are much easier for you and you know exactly which direction to go towards while purchasing your bike because in the end it all comes down your budget and the trails you are planning to ride your new bike on.

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