If you like to cycle in the great outdoors, you might be considering purchasing a mountain bike. But what kind of bike do you need? You can work out your requirements by asking yourself some questions, like these:
What kind of biking am I going to do?
This is probably the best question to start out with. You’ll have to think about what terrain you will be riding on most of the time and under what conditions. If you ride on rocky terrain, for example, you might not want a hardtail mountain bike (without rear suspension).
If you are upgrading from an older mountain bike, did it fit your needs?
Your older bike might not have handled downhill riding as well as you would have liked. Perhaps you need a high-quality, disc-brake system on your new bike? You will have to search for a bike with all the features you’ll need.
Do you want a cross-country mountain bike?
In essence, cross-country mountain bikes are designed for trails. They are not designed, for example, for terrain where there might be a lot of rocks or debris in your way. This type of bike can be lightweight and diverse for multi-terrain riders. Additionally, you can choose a freeride mountain bike (a mix of downhill and cross- country models) or even a dirt-jump mountain bike (with greater suspension).
Is weight an issue?
Some bikers want a very light bike. Different types of bikes weigh more according to what they will be used for. Cross-country mountain bikes are often the lightest type, while downhill bikes can weigh much more.
What is your budget?
Bikes range from the department store model which is very affordable up to the specialist bike which can cost as much as a new car. Now consider these mountain bike essentials in light of the needs you’ve discovered: Types – Cross country, hard tail, full suspension, downhill, dirt jump and enduro mountain bikes; tailor your choice to your individual preferences.
Assembly – Bikes may be purchased fully assembled or as a bare frame to which you can add individual hand-picked components. Brakes – The basic brake is a pull V-brake or cantilever. Disc brakes are a good choice for muddy or hilly conditions and rim, or calliper brakes are found only on very basic, inexpensive bikes. Frame – Steel, carbon fibre, alloy. Steel frames are inexpensive and durable but also heavy, and require more riding effort. If you want to ride on paths or roads, you may need a little more versatility on your mountain bike. As weight may not be an issue because you are not competing or tackling muddy hill paths, an enduro mountain bike might do the trick. It doesn’t weigh as much as a downhill mountain bike, but it will still allow you to bike on different types of terrain.
The different types of mountain bikes feel and handle very differently. Make sure you try out several different models before deciding on which bike best suits your needs and requirements.