We are lucky to live in a place with beautiful outdoor environments, stunning vistas and diverse landscapes. Too often, though, we only explore these from behind car windows. It’s time to get knee-deep in the landscape that surrounds us. One healthy way to do that is with mountain bikes.
There is a common perception that mountain bikes are difficult and require skill. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, if you know what to look for and how to use a bike properly.
Deciding on a style
The first thing to decide, when it comes to mountain bikes, is what style of biking you’re interested in. Mountain biking has a number of diverse styles. For example, the most common is known as “trail”.
As BikeRadar explains in their guide to bike styles: “Trail bikes blend the easy speed of ‘cross-country’ bikes with the tackle anything technology of ‘enduro’ machines.”
Another style is “cross-country”, which make up the majority of more affordable bikes. Other popular styles are “enduro” or “all mountain” , as well as “downhill”.
After deciding precisely what style you want, you then should then look at mountain bikes for sale to decide which fits best.
What makes up a good mountain bike
Your most important decision will be how to work with your budget. Be prepared to spend on gloves, helmets and other accessories. Considering you’d want the best quality, you should probably not settle for anything too cheap. Maybe consider keeping an eye on sales or deals at your favourite local bike store.
The next thing to note is there are three main types of mountain bike: “rigid” has no suspension, “hardtail” includes a suspension fork in the front and, finally, “full-suspension” which has both front and rear shock absorbers.
This helps you identify the right bike for your style. You can determine this from the suspension travel, which is the amount of up-and-down movement you get from the bike’s front and rear suspension. Trail suspension travel is about 120-140mm, while all-mountain/enduro is about 140-170mm. These are rough guides, but emphasise what to look for.
Your budget will also dictate whether you buy steel, aluminum or carbon bike frames. Naturally, the more expensive, the better it will be. Yet, this will also affect your bike’s performance and must be factored in to how much you want to invest.
These would be some of the initial steps you would take, when considering a mountain bike. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your local bike store and get advice from seasoned bikers. People love giving advice and helping those who want to share the love of biking.