The sport of mountain biking has evolved dramatically since the first mass-produced mountain bike in the 1990s. Today’s mountain bikes are incredible machines built with incredible confidence and fun in a variety of trails. To make the most out of your hard-earned dollars, it is important to understand the basics of mountain bike design and be honest about your riding style and abilities, as well as know that you will spend most of your time. We will break down all these issues and much more, to help you choose a mountain bike that is right for you and the way you will ride.
1. Downhill & Freeride Mountain Bikes
Downhill bikes are designed for steep, rugged terrain, speed, big drops, and jumps. With these bikes, the only other route you are usually looking for at the top of the trail is hiking, shuttling, or chairlift. These are not just made to go in any direction but down.
If you’re also not interested in riding from a distance, keep track of the trails and terrain to support high speeds and airtime and the level of skill to handle yourself in this situation, a downhill bike that you’re looking for. 6.7 “/ 170mm – 10” / 250mm + suspension travel rear and 7 “/ 180mm – 8” / 200mm front dual-crown forks that are seen on motorcycles.
These bikes play extremely slack (less than 65 ° head angle) and very low gravity centers (bottom brackets) for confidence in steep terrain and aggressive, brown powder roasting angles. Downhill bike tires are ready for traction and durability with a 2-ply (seemingly double-thick) casing for traction and durability.
2. All Mountain or Enduro Mountain Bikes
You can call this category the cockatoo sister of the trail bike. All-Mountain bikes are the focal point of a race format called “enduro”, where climbing is required, but only the hollow parts are scheduled and scored. An all-mountain or enduro mountain bike is the perfect rig if you are willing to earn your ride by paddling, keeping in mind the technical terrain and airtime it is for the descent.
That being said, if you want to avoid paddling and do a few laps in a bike park or even some shuttle access terrain, an all-mountain bike can handle it too. Enduro Mountain bikes come with 27.5 “or 29” wheels, or even 29 “front and 27.5” rear in the form of “mullet”. All-mountain bikes have slightly higher suspension travel than trail bikes, ranging from 5.5 “/ 140mm to 6.7” / 180mm.
Geometry strongly supports landing for the ascent. The head angles of the 65 ° – 67 range may require some refinement when it comes to steep climbs. Long wheelbase and reach, low brackets, and slack head angle are the main conditions for talking about all modern mountain/enduro geometry.
3. Cross Country (XC) Mountain Bikes
Cross Country Mountain bikes are designed for riders who want pedaling performance as their top priority. These are ascent crushing, lung-breaking machines that are bred for patience and efficiency. The geometry of cross country bikes is the same as road bikes.
The focus on efficiency and lightweight doesn’t come without a tradeoff, but cross-country bikes go beyond downhill performance for efficiency and weight. Modern XC bikes are leaning towards the size of the wheels of the largest mountain bikes, 2”. It has the same rim diameter as the size of a 700c road bike.
Ultra-lightweight builds (in some cases less than 24 pounds.) The lightest mountain bikes with a travel of 4.7 “/ 120 mm or less are the longest chain bikes you’ll see anywhere with long chainsaws and wheelbases, steep head angles (° ° or steepers) as well as long stalks. This puts them in an efficient climbing position.
4. Trail Mountain Bikes
This category is related to most people when they think of “mountain bikes”. Trail bikes are the Swiss Army knife for mountain biking and both great riders and capable landers. Trail bikes add more suspension, more gravity-based components (such as chunky tires for better traction and larger brake rotors), and more transparent geometry than their XC brethren makes them more capable in all types of terrain.
Do you find yourself wandering around the city and your local trail all day with the backcountry epic ride? Do you measure your journey with laughter and laughter instead of seconds? If you’re into mountain biking as much as uphill and downhill and occasionally looking for a drop or jump, a trail bike is probably what you’re looking for. Trail bikes come with 27.5 ”or 29” wheels.
The suspension can travel anywhere from 4.7 “/ 120mm to 6” / 150mm (front and rear). The geometries of trail bikes are typed by “neutral” head angles (66 ° or 68 °) but vary widely for different riding styles. Trail bikes will maintain a balance between tire stability, traction, and rolling efficiency.
5. Mountain Bike Geometry & Specs
Once you’ve got the right neighborhood, once you’ve chosen the type of mountain bike you want, how narrow will it be between the different bikes in these categories? Brand and price are of course a factor here, but if you want to be more scientific, you can compare geometry and glasses. For a complete breakdown of this measurement, see our guide to the geometry of mountain bikes.
The main acceptability is that differences in touch such as reach, head tube angle, and length in the chinrest affect the fit of the bike and its ride. If all this conversation sounds like a foreign language, your best bet is to write some simple notes on these differences, and hit the trail! Biking is the best way to see what works for you.
6. Mountain Bike Sizing
We have a complete guide to mountain bike sizing, but here’s the key – a properly fitted bike is essential for having a good time on the trails. Start with a size chart, and work from there, and keep in mind that sizes can vary across brands. All factors that measure horsepower style, body dimensions (long legs, short torso, etc.), and power level decisions. These are all good things to keep in mind during the mountain bike selection process.
7. Mountain Bike Components & Pricing
Mountain bikes are complex machines, they are called tons of small pieces or components. These factors not only have a huge impact on your ride performance, but they also have a huge impact on the price of your bike. These components are packaged as a “build kit” with the frame until you are building your bike from scratch. A bike model from a manufacturer will usually have different build kits that hit different price and performance levels.
8. Mountain Bike Frame Material
The specs and build of the bike need to be considered first when viewing, and sometimes the starting point for riders looking for a new mountain bike, the actual frame is created. In the case of most mountain bikes, the decision is simple, aluminum alloy or carbon fiber, although other materials such as steel or titanium are rare.
There are different types of mountain bikes. They have different geometries, tire size, rigidity, weight, suspension, seat post, and turn. Variations are endless. This mountain bike has no front fork or rear suspension. If you’re a beginner and can’t wait to talk about your choice for this without your pavement / hard-pack dirt, you’ll just hate decor and mountain biking before you get a chance to like it.
These are comfortable versatile bikes for pedestrian riding that are safer and more user-friendly than road bikes. A mountain bike with suspension shock on the front fork, but not the rear. These are more affordable, which, for your budget, will allow you to buy a bike with lighter components. Hardtail bikes have better handling than entry-level full-suspension bikes.
Hardtail mountain bikes are not just for entry-level riders who want to save some money: their lightweight and toughness make them excellent cross country bikes and racing bikes. Look down. The full-suspension bike has front and rear suspension, which improves comfort and helps you run more technical trains. These are usually more expensive and weigh more.