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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