Mountain bikes are more robust and versatile than regular street bikes. They are designed for off-road use, meaning you can cycle through rough terrains such as woods or mountains. If you consider yourself something of an adventurer and want to purchase your first mountain bike, then allow us to help you make the best decision.
Below, you will find all the top tips for choosing a mountain bike, ensuring you get great value for money and don’t buy a piece of junk!
Figure Out Your Budget
Before you think about bike specifications or types, you need to figure out how much you are willing to pay for one. As with everything, mountain bikes come in a broad range of prices. Generally speaking, the more you pay, the better-quality bike you get. Regardless, decide how much money you are setting aside for this bike, and you can shop around accordingly.
Choose the Right Bike For Your Riding Preference
For people with no experience riding a mountain bike or no knowledge of them, you won’t be aware that there are different categories of mountain bike available to you. Each one is designed slightly differently from the other and is aimed at a particular riding preference/terrain.
XC Mountain Bike
XC mountain bikes – also known as cross country bikes – are built to move quickly. Their aim is to get you from point A to point B as fast as possible, regardless of terrain. They are often used in mountain bike races, but they can also be great for personal use too. XC bikes are typically best suited if you are doing a lot of uphill cycling or travelling over relatively flat terrain.
With this bike, the wheels are typically 29 inches, but you can get some that are smaller at around 27.5 inches. The tread is not the thickest either; these tyres are designed to be as light as possible so you can cycle as fast as you can across the country.
Trail Mountain Bikes
If you’ve had a small experience on a mountain bike, the chances are you went on a trail one. These are by far the most common option amongst the general public. Trail mountain bikes are designed to work well when descending steep hills and mountainous terrain. Not only that, but the whole makeup of the bike is sturdier than a cross-country one. They are built to take a beating, and the design of the handlebars offers more control too. If you are a complete novice, this is the safest bike for you.
Again, the wheels are around 27.5 inches, but they are much heavier and more durable here. There is no emphasis on speed, it’s all about control and durability with trail mountain bikes.
Enduro Mountain Bike
This final type of bike is very racing orientated. It’s remarkably light to make the long climb to the top of a hill a lot easier on your legs. Then, it’s built with aerodynamics in mind for a fast sprint downhill. If you are serious about mountain biking and want to really get into racing them, this is possibly the best option for you.
Regarding the wheels, you are looking at 27.5 inches as the most popular size, and as light as possible to make them quick downhill. These mountain bikes are typically heavier but that allow the bike to be more robust. This type of bike is not suitable if you are looking for something that is light weight and aerodynamic.
Think about the type of riding you are most likely to do with your mountain bike. If you live around a lot of flat terrains, then the first option is good for you. If you live in a very hilly area and want to ride your bike up mountains, then trail bikes are your best bet. If you want to live life on the edge and try racing your bike up and down hills as fast as you can, the third option is for you.
Pay Attention To The Suspension
As well as the different types of mountain bike you also have different types of suspension on the bikes. On the one hand, you have hardtail suspension which is basically a bike with only front suspension. The rear end is completely solid, which gives this bike a good balance for all terrains.
Then, you’ve got full suspension mountain bikes with the suspension on both ends. This offers way more comfort and cushioning support as you ride over bumpy terrain. If you are looking to ride your bike over seriously rocky terrain, this is the suspension of choice.
That’s really all there is to it; set yourself a budget first of all, so you know what quality of bikes you are looking at. Then, decide on how you will ride the bike to figure out the category that suits you best. Finally, consider the type of suspension that will benefit your riding style the most. Now, you can make an informed decision and buy the best bike you can afford.
Get in contact with Spokes and Spanners today to discuss your mountain bike requirements and we can find a bike that is suitable for your needs.