Mountain Bike Buying Guide 2020 – Planning to gift yourself a mountain bike but not so sure where to start weighing down the features and pick the best ones out? Well, you’re in luck because we’ll be your saviors!
We can’t pick the ideal bike for you but we surely can help you weigh down the parameters to help you pick the best ones for yourself. Let’s give you an insight into the various types of mountain bikes available to you.
Mountain Bike Buying Guide 2020
There is two type of mountain bike which you can understand and buy. As well as it will depend on your own requirements.
Cross Country Bikes
Cross Country Bikes, usually abbreviated as XC are all about efficiency. XC Bikes tend to be lightweight with minimum travel and a suspension system which is designed specially to provide maximum forwards momentum, working alongside gearing that maximizes speed and efficiency.
For more XC racers, hardtails are a popular choice though full suspension bikes are gaining popularity as well, with travel in the region of 90mm to 120mm. Their engineering is designed towards more efficient climbing that can make them a little difficult to handle on descents.
Trail Bikes are a great option for all-purpose riding. They are designed specially to be good at climbing and descending and are well suited for most trail centers and wild singletrack. Suspension travel is usually in the region of 110mm to 140mm, with head angles around 67 degrees.
All-Mountain Bikes or Enduro Bikes
These bikes are best suited for long rides covering large distances and bigger terrain than a typical trail center combined with technical climbs and descents.
These bikes have slack head angles of 65 to 66 degrees for technical descents, combined with steeper seat tubes around 73 to 75 degrees which give power and traction on climbs. Suspension travel is usually in the region of 140mm-160mm.
#01 – Downhill Bikes
Speed and control are essentials for a downhill ride. These bikes tend to be longer and lower to the ground. The 65-degree head angle adds more control and stability to the bikes. They also have suspension travel of up to 220mm. Their metal springs and rear shocks ensure that you stay comfortable and have full control of the bikes even on the highest drops.
#02 – Dirt Jumping Bikes
Due to the reckless nature of dirt jumping, these bikes are usually simple in their designing. Although some bikes offer more features that can be useful based on the biking skill level that you have.
Even experienced riders often use simple bikes so that they can perform aerial tricks without the hindrance of added weight and other features that can add up to the weight of the bike. These bikes have a sloping design that helps with speed building. They have a high front suspension to absorb the shock of a landing after a jump. Most of these bikes use a single gear and disc brake system for simplicity.
#03 –Freeride Bikes
These bikes are made to be used in a variety of different applications. They focus mainly on tricks and styles, so they are pretty simple bikes. They are similar to dirt jumping bikes when it comes to the designs. They generally have full suspension systems with at least 170mm of suspension travel to absorb the shock of a drop.
They are also primarily made for riding downhill but they perform better ascending a trail than a downhill bike. To make the riding easy, these bikes have very light frames which allow you to go through intricate trails or riding areas. They give you a lot of control and stability regardless of the tricks that you are performing.
Now that we know the types of mountain bikes, let’s check out the parameters you need to check before getting you mountain bike home!
#04 – Frame Material
Mountain-bikes’ frames are built of several materials today. The cost of the bike can vary according to the frame material. Most of the bikes are built of aluminum. It creates a good-looking, affordable, lightweight and responsive bike that doesn’t rust easily.
There are also other frames that are built of steel, titanium, and carbon. Steel is the most traditional and inexpensive material. Manufacturers still use steel as it cuts down the cost but still offers great characteristics, durability, and lightness.
Carbon and titanium are costly materials and difficult to deal with so they are usually found on more expensive bikes only. But these frames are super light-weight, have excellent vibration damping and they have amazing corrosion resistance.
#05 – Suspension
Most of the new mountain bike buyers prefer to purchase a model that is equipped with suspension. Even if you buy a rigid bike i.e. the one without front or rear shocks, you get a certain level of suspension due to the cushioning effect of the fat tyres which float over the bumps.
However, most people prefer additional suspension fork or one with front or rear shocks. This offers many advantages for trail riding because the wheels are sprung and can travel up and down, they remain in contact with the ground even on the trickiest terrains. This results in safer and more controlled rides.
Another thing about suspensions is that they reduce the amount of beating your body takes vastly. Jolts from big hits are absorbed by the shocks and do not have a chance to hit your body.
#06 – Rim or Disc Brakes
There have been various advances in the brake designs and today you can find some amazing stoppers on every bike. There are majorly two types of brakes, Rim, which is also called the “linear-pull” or “direct-pull” or “V-brake” and Disc, commonly called “Mechanical-disc” and “Hydraulic-disc”
Rim brake is the traditional design that works great and usually weighs less than the alternatives and is also relatively simpler to repair. But they also have shortcomings! These brakes rub on the rims, causing them to wear out easily and can also damage the rims gradually. Muddy and wet conditions can wear out the rim type brake pads, reducing the gripping power.
For the upcoming shortcomings, disc brakes came into play. The disc brakes, which grip a disc also called “Rotor” attached to the center of the wheel and they work similar to some car brakes. They are not much affected due to the muddy and wet conditions and also do not wear the rims out which makes the wheels last longer.
#07 – Wheels
Mountain bikes come with really reliable wheels and tyres that are designed to withstand the severities of off-roading. The rims are wide and shaped in a way to provide optimum strength. They’re protected by fat tyres that contain good cushion of air that prevents the damage.
Off-road tyres provide great traction and control and are also soft enough to lessen the jolts and shocks you feel while riding. They’re tough and reliable enough to cut down on punctures. Some also come with additional tube protection for preventing flat tyres.
#08 – Handlebars
You are likely to find two common handlebar types on mountain bikes which are flat and riser bars. Flat bars sit lower which also depends upon the frame design and the stem. These are also relatively light and they are usually favored by country and long distance riders.
Riser bars come in different shapes but what they have in common is that they are all higher than flat bars, usually a little wider and swept back, making them easier to reach. They let you sit more upright and provide you with a wider stance, which a lot of people prefer on technical terrain and on a downhill ride as it offers more control.
#09 – Seats
Seats are usually a matter of personal preference. The best way to get the perfect fit seat is to try it out. It takes several rides until your body gets accustomed to the seat. It is also ideal to wear cycling shorts because they include a layer of padding and transfer the moisture away for more comfort.
#10 – Pedals
Basic mountain bikes come with basic pedals, sometimes simple, flat, platform models and sometimes they are equipped with toe clips and straps too. These are perfectly adequate and comfortable for all-around riding.
If you ride further or more athletically, the clipless pedal will come into play that allows you to spin the pedal faster and put more energy into riding. These pedals require cycling shoes that have cleats on the bottoms that can lock your feet to the pedals.
#11 – Budget
Budget is also one of the most common yet important criteria before buying any equipment. You should first check on to the style of riding you want and the kind of bike you want to bring home. Then you should further research the best budget buys in those particular categories.
It is not necessary that you have to cash out hundreds of dollars in order to get the ideal mountain bike, you can get the ideal one even in the limited budget. All you need is a great research work!
We hope this Mountain Bike Buying Guide 2020 will help you buy the perfect mountain bike that suits all the parameters that you need.