Mountain bike buying guide
MOUNTAIN BIKES BUYING GUIDE
How to Choose the Best Style of Mountain Bike For You
What Type of Mountain Bike Should I Buy?
With so many different types of mountain bikes to choose from it can be a bit mind-boggling when choosing the best style for you. There isn’t really one style that suits all, but with so many great options to choose from you can be sure you’ll find a bike that hits the sweet spot and is perfect for your size, experience and the way you want to ride. Here is our guide to choosing your next off-roading sidekick...
HARDTAIL MOUNTAIN BIKES
FULL SUSPENSION MOUNTAIN BIKES
Which Mountain Bike Wheel Size is Best?
Once you've decided whether to ride a hardtail or full suspension mountain bike you will also have the choice of several wheel sizes...
The 26 inch wheel was once the traditional mountain bike wheel size but these have been gradually phased out for larger wheels. You will now only find 26 inch wheels on secondhand bikes.
650b/ 27.5" WHEELS
Very versatile and suited to lots of off-road riding styles including XC, Trail, Enduro and Downhill mountain biking, 650b or 27.5 inch wheels are super nimble and they will help you to quickly hop and glide over trail obstacles. They are also good for smaller riders who might struggle with the larger 29er wheels.
29er/ 29" WHEELS
Very popular amongst XC riders, 29er wheels carry more momentum and will roll over rough terrain with ease. Smaller riders may struggle a bit with acceleration and they are less agile on twisty singletrack, but you’ll benefit from less rolling resistance and more speed once you get going.
Other Things to Consider...
MOUNTAIN BIKE SUSPENSION
Getting the right mountain bike suspension for your weight and riding style can mean the difference between a nice smooth flowing ride or being bounced around the trail like a loose pinball. So, take time to find the best setup for you. Whether you have coils or air in your front or rear suspension, most good quality forks and shocks will allow you to adjust the compression and rebound settings. Entry level suspension systems will be heavier and a bit stiffer where-as the better quality suspension setups will be plush and lighter in weight. Some models also have the option to lock the suspension out so you can climb hills with less compression, saving energy and making your pedalling more efficient. You can then turn the suspension on again for a grin inducing descent!
MOUNTAIN BIKE FRAME MATERIALS
MOUNTAIN BIKE FRAME SIZE
Getting the right sized frame for your height is essential to enjoying your time on the bike. A bike that is too large might make you feel stretched and unwieldy and a bike that is too small will feel cramped and sketchy at speed. Mountain bike geometry will vary between sizes as well as across different brands so take time to research the different options and get the right bike fit. There are recommended size guides for each manufacturer but nothing beats getting on a bike and trying it for size, so pop in to see us and our in store cycling gurus will help you to find the right sized frame, handlebars and wheels to fit your intended riding perfectly.
MOUNTAIN BIKE GEARS
Mountain biking gear ratios will vary according to each individual bike. Many of the entry level mountain bikes will offer two or three front chainrings to help you cover lots of different terrain where-as the top end bikes tend to have fewer gears with one chainring on the front and an 11 or 12 speed cassette on the back. This simplifies the setup, saves weight and allows more space for clearance and frame optimisation.
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