Whether you’re a dedicated downhill rider or just getting to grips with the trails, CycleSurgery Strype Street Manager Barry Godin recommends a mountain bike perfect for every experience level:

Entry Level Mountain Bike

The most common bike for entry level riders would be a hardtail like the Scott Scale 770. Learning to ride on a hardtail has its advantages; it promotes a smooth riding style while having front travel to take the impact from any bumps.

Entry level hardtails tend to have agile geometry which encourages fast and confident riding across mixed terrain.




helmet is a must-have and wearing one is mandatory at most trail centres. A good rucksack will store essentials like food and drink, while a multi-tool ensures that you can get home should you suffer a mechanical.



Intermediate Mountain Bike

The next step up is a full-suspension bike. These tend to be more expensive than hardtails due to the technology invested in reducing movement in the rear shock when pedalling. Full-suspension frames use special linkages and shocks to ensure that they soak up bumps while allowing an efficient ride.

With RockShox and Shimano hydraulic brakes, the Whyte T-130 RS handles like a dream on tough descents and woodland trails, so you can get the most out of your rides mile after mile.


With a full-suspension bike you can hit more challenging and technical trails. To keep you connected and controlled, a set of DMR V12 flat pedals paired with Five Ten Freerider Elements shoes is an unbeatable combination. The pedals are widely adored for their durability and grip while the shoes feature a ‘puddle-proof’ upper to keep your feet dry on damper rides. Even with upgraded shoes and pedals you still can’t rule out the odd crash; the Fox L Launch Enduro Knee Pads can take the worst of an impact.

Advanced Mountain Bike

The more advanced rider will demand a bike that will let them take on the most technical downhill without hindering them on climbs. The Whyte G-160 G Works does just this. With 160mm of travel up front and Sram X11, the G-160 is an uncompromising all-mountain machine.


A rider tackling the worst that any trail centre can offer should think about using a pair of Shimano XTR pedals to ‘clip-in’; using the SPD system saves power and improves control, but also eliminates the problem of pedal slip. When you start hitting root sections and rock gardens, a full-face helmet becomes a must-have. 

Lastly, the Fox Gradient Jacket helps you ride in the worst conditions with durable water resistance, 2-way stretch fabric and plenty of zipped pockets.



All of the bikes above include 27.5in/650b wheels, which offer a fantastic compromise between the older 26in and newer but heavier 29” wheels. 27.5in wheels afford a lower rolling resistance, meaning that they take less power to spin while being large enough to roll over obstacles, making a more comfortable ride.




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