What should you rely on when choosing a mountain bike?
Are you trying to find out which mountain bike is right for you?
Please note the following points when making your selection:
- Driving style: Different driving styles determine different types of bicycles. The first thing you need to think about is where and how you will drive.
- Main features: The most important are suspension, wheel size, frame material, drive, and brakes.
- Size: last but not least – you need to make sure the bike is suitable for your size. The easiest way to pick up a bicycle in specialty shops.
- Spring deflection 120-140 mm,
- The spring deflectionis the range of motion of the front and rear suspension.
- The angle of the head tube of the bicycle frame is 69 °.
The angle of the head tube of the bicycle frame is the angle that forms between the head tube of the frame and the bottom. If it’s a sharp angle, it’s usually a faster bike that makes it easier to get over the peaks. An obtuse angle means the bike offers better stability at high speeds but makes climbing difficult
Cross Country Bike
- Spring deflection 80-100 mm,
- The angle of the head tube of the bicycle frame is 70-71 °.
All Mountain Bike
A ride on this bike is like a ride on steroids, which causes a burning fat at high climbs and long descents. Also, keep in mind that these bikes have more technical properties – both artificial and natural. The All Mountain Bike Design offers high performance on steep slopes. At the same time, these bikes are light and sluggish when driving uphill.
- Spring deflection 140-170 mm,
- The angle of the head tube of the bicycle frame is 65-68°.
Most of them drive in the park, equipped with lifts. The trails are downhill big and heavy. Cyclists must wear equipment: a helmet that completely covers the face, a protective vest to make jumps on the way to rocky outcrops, rocky mountain gardens and wooden stairs.
- Spring deflection 170-200 + mm,
- The angle of inclination of the head tube of the bicycle frame is 63-65 °.
Key Features of Mountain Bikes
The type of suspension and the diameter of the wheels – these are the two main parameters that determine the type of terrain available for cycling. You will also need to consider features such as the material the frame consists of, the speed and the type of brake, to narrow down the number of options when choosing a bike.
Types of Mountain Bike Hangers
Rigid: not the most popular type of mountain bike, with a design without suspension. The service is simple and usually does not cost much. However, cyclists prefer spring-loaded bicycles for a more comfortable ride. Most fat bikes are rigid. According to bike owners, wide tires and low air pressure provide the necessary traction to cushion the impact of the saddle while driving.
Hardtail: These are bicycles with a shock-absorbing front fork, which is required to reduce the pressure on the front wheel, and the absence of rear suspension. Hardtails are generally cheaper than bicycles with full suspension. These bicycles have fewer moving parts (which normally interferes with maintenance). Most hardtails have the function of temporarily blocking the shape of the suspension forks so that you can also use the bike as a rig if desired.
Cross Country: Mostly near hardtails, as these bikes distribute more energy between the pedal travel and the rear tire. Hardtails are also designed for mountain tours. Low price and easy maintenance make it an excellent option for anything except demanding mountain trails with difficult climbs.
Full Suspension: There are a variety of bicycles with two springs. The main criterion, however, is that the suspension fork and rear suspension system absorb shock when driving on paths. This significantly reduces the impact on the cyclist, increases the grip and ensures a comfortable and pleasant ride.
Double Suspensions: easily overcome any bumps and vibrations on the road. However, these bicycles can fluctuate a little and lose some of the energy transferred when driving uphill. As a result, most models with full suspension can block the rear suspension to improve energy transfer when lifting.
Diameter of Mountain Bike Wheels
60 cm: Children’s mountain bikes have wheels with a diameter of 60 cm, which are suitable for their height. There are also cheaper adult cycling options in a simple design. Usually, these are intended for children from 10 to 13 years, but this does not depend on the age but on the body size. Younger children can start with a bike with 50-centimeter wheels.
66 cm: Not so long ago, all mountain bikes for adults were equipped with 66-centimeter wheels. They are still available, but now, when you go to the shop for a bike shop with a selection of mountain bikes, he will ask, “Do you need 66 cm, 70 cm or 74 cm?”
70 cm: These bicycles are the “golden mean” between 66 cm and 74 cm. They are a better option to tackle the terrain much easier than 66 cm bikes, but more maneuverable than 74 cm. They can be found on both double suspensions and hardtails.
74 cm: These wheels are equipped with 74-inch wheels, which accelerate slightly slower. But as soon as you start moving, you can cover much longer distances than the 66-inch wheels. They are more effective for long trips at a certain speed and have a higher “angle of attack”, which makes it easier for the wheels to overcome road obstacles. These bikes have become very popular on cross-country trips. 74-centimeter wheels are commonly found on rigs, hardtails and double-suspension models.
70+ cm: A “+” sign means very wide wheels and tires, usually + 7 cm or more. With increasing tire width, your sense of comfort and self-confidence grows on the road. They also provide greater stability to road bumps, which is why there has recently been a tendency for wide tires and wheels.
Mountain Bike Frame Material
Aluminum alloy is the most commonly used material for the production of mountain bike frames. There are expensive models made of lightweight aluminum, which results from the cost and effort of the manufacturer in the selection of the design, the parts, and the specific manufacturing process.
- Steel is a tough, cheap material, which ensures a smooth ride, but is quite difficult for a mountain bike.
- Titanium is durable and lightweight, but it’s expensive, so it’s used for top-of-the-line models.
- Carbon – often on cross-country, fat bike, and all-mountain tours. Because of their longevity and low weight, high-quality bicycles are usually made from them. This material is quite expensive because it requires labor-intensive manufacturing.
Mountain Bike Gears
The number of gears (speeds) of a bicycle results from the number of front stars and the number of rear stars in the cassette. Mountain bikes are equipped with everything from one speed to thirty or more aisles. Consider as an important factor that the presence of many combinations of front and rear sprockets and the number of teeth is a complex mechanism.
To simplify the task, you should take care of things like your physical shape and the route you are traveling. With many hills on your way and climbing a difficult task, you need more equipment. If you are a strong mountain biker or prefer to move on level ground, you do not need so many low gears to go uphill. So you can work with fewer gears, which makes your bike much easier.
Mountain bikes are traditionally equipped with two or three front stars. However, mountain bikes with a single sprocket and a 9, 10 or 11-speed cassette are considered more comfortable. Bikes with a star are easier because only one switch is required to move the gears in the cassette, but the prices for such a design are very high.
Remember, the gearbox is relatively easy to change after you buy a bike. Thus, this question is not the primary issue when buying a bicycle.
So far, the bike of almost all difficulty levels (except the first) is equipped with disc brakes instead of rims.
Disc brakes are characterized by the fact that the brake pads are mounted on a disc embedded in the wheel hub. There are two types of them: hydraulic – characterized by super-fast and abrupt braking with minimal effort, which independently regulates the wear of the brake pads; driven by the drive (mechanical) – require a manual adjustment when carrying.
Advantages over rim brakes: Smooth braking under all conditions; it is cheaper to change the disc than the whole wheel; excellent performance when driving in mountainous and wet areas; less effort.
Disadvantages compared to rim brakes: hard-to-check and repaired pads. Hydraulic maintenance is more expensive.
Rim brakes – some entry-level models are equipped with brakes that act on the rim where the pads are accepted.
Advantages over disc brakes: economical; Easily monitor wear and replace the pads.
Disadvantages over disc brakes: The rim wears out constantly, so the entire wheel must be replaced; low braking energy; less effective at high humidity and on dirty surfaces; During active braking, the lever must be operated with double force.
Mountain Bike Selection
If the bike is suitable for you in size and riding style and also has sufficient maneuverability for you, then this is what you have been looking for. With the right bike, you can improve your driving skills, boost your self-confidence on the road and handle professional rides and rides in your spare time.
The sizes of mountain bikes: Standard – S, M, L are usually the same for all brands. Size depends on your body size. Many manufacturers offer special tables that compare size and height. If you are between sizes, it is better to choose the previous size because basically, the model with the smaller frame is more comfortable.
Contact a consultant to make a better choice: If you have a general idea of which bike you would like, you should consult a specialist store. Here you can offer suitable models. You can also try a few bikes as this is the best way to make the right choice.
Take a test drive. Ask to try a few bicycles. Thanks to the help of a consultant, your choice should be limited to two or three options. They can be identical in their characteristics and price but behave quite differently in the movement. Drive for five to ten minutes on different surfaces, including a small hill. In most cases, one of the bikes fits more than others. You should feel on a bike as if it were an extension of your body.
Mountain Bike Service
Each self-respecting bicycle store will make a final check on the mechanical safety of the bike before you roll it out of the door. Ask also to adjust the suspension to your weight.
Make sure you have at least the bare minimum for repair and maintenance: a spare chamber, a patch kit, a pump, a set of screwdrivers and keys, a chain lubricant, and something to keep everything in. And do not forget the helmet.
Many shops offer the first repair for free. Make sure you return with your new bikes to take this opportunity.
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