With a sturdy mountain bike, you can venture off the road and go exploring. Whether you love riding off the beaten path or you want to explore trails that are nearby, choosing a model that can handle rough trails is a must. However, choosing a bike can be difficult if you are just getting into the hobby.
What types of mountain bikes are there?
There are four main types of mountain bikes:
- Cross Country - These bikes are built for riders who need quality pedal performance to travel up steep hills. These bikes can have large wheels up to 29 inches and are designed to be lightweight. They also often have longer chains, wheelbases, and are most likely to be hard tails.
- Trail - These mountain bikes are designed for all riders who love going on back country rides. They are versatile with balanced, lightweight frames.
- All-mountain - These mountain bikes are similar to trail bikes except they have a thicker, sturdier frame. They are able to both climb and travel down steep paths.
- Downhill and freeride - Downhill bikes are design to go fast down steep terrain. The frames are extremely burly and are geared for traction when heading down the bumpy terrain.
What size bike do you need?
When choosing a mountain bike, you need to ensure that you are choosing a correctly sized bike. Otherwise, you may end up doing more work than you need to. When figuring out your bike size, you should consider the following:
- Seat-tube length - You should be able to stand over the bike and have an inch between the bike seat and your seat.
- Top-tube length - The top-tube lengths range from extra small to extra large depending on the manufacturer of the mountain bikes. To get this size, you should refer to the manufacturer's specifications.
- Frame size - When you try out all-mountain or trail bikes, check to make sure that the handle bar stem is not too long. If it is too long, you could suffer from a sore back and have a lack of control.
What should you consider when looking for mountain bikes
If you love riding mountain bikes over rough terrain, you want bicycles that are durable and comfortable to ride. To ensure you get exactly what you want, you should consider:
- Frame materials - Some all-mountain or trail bikes are made from steel and titanium while others are made from aluminum or carbon fiber. The materials can affect the weight of your ride's frame.
- Features - Consider what type of brakes, wheels, and shifting system the model has. You can always find a seat that is comfortable to ride on.
- Personal needs - You want a type of bike that can handle your favorite parts of the trail. If you like riding up hills, for example, chose a cross country or all-mountain model.