Imagine going down a mountain so fast that everything around you is a blur, and all you can do is trust your instincts and paddle for your life.
If this sounds good to go, then mountain biking is for you, my friend. This extreme sport is not for the faint of heart.
One miscalculation and you can at the bottom of the mountain injured beyond repair. Despite the risk, mountain biking is earning its fair share of popularity among the youngsters.
However, before anything else, you must have a good mountain bike if you want that thrill.
There are different types of mountain bikes available in the market, and this article is your guide to choosing the best one for you.
How Are Mountain Bikes Different from Normal Bicycles?
Mountain bikes are more rigid and heavy than normal bicycles, but this also makes them more stable and durable. Mountain bikes must have wide tires with more grip than tires on normal bicycles as they have to travel through harsh trails.
Maintaining a mountain bike is extremely difficult and even more difficult to maneuver as they consume more energy, and they can’t travel as fast as some other bicycles can on a plain road.
[on a side note: To know more about how to maintain a mountain bike, click here]
However, they are more comfortable than other bicycles and not to mention they are super fun.
Different Types of Mountain Bikes Based on Design
There are two kinds of mountain bikes based on their design. There are as follows.
Full Suspension Bikes
These are the bikes that have suspension in front of the front and rear wheels.
The frame of FS bikes has two parts, the front and the rear triangle, and these two parts are connected by pivots. It has shock absorbers so that the movement of the biker can be controlled.
The bike that has suspension just for the front wheels is called hardtails. The frame of this bike is lighter than the FS bike, and they are a lot cheaper too.
They are also said to be more durable than the FS bikes.
Different Types of Mountain Bikes Based on Their Purpose
Apart from these two kinds, there are other categories of mountain bikes as well.
The reason why there are so many different types of mountain bikes in the market is that each of them is designed for a unique purpose.
It also depends on the weather, the mountain type, your experience level, etc.
So, it is crucial you know what the purposes of the specific bikes are, and for your convenience, the different types of mountain bikes are explained below.
Cross Country Bikes
If you want to travel far distances in a short time on your bike than Cross country bikes, also called XC bikes, it should be the best choice for you.
The wheels of the XC bikes are built large, usually 29 inches in diameter, and low volume so that the tires can roll fast to reach maximum speed in a short period.
Also, the pedaling position of these bikes is good with steep head angles and thinner bars to make reacting to any adverse situation and tackling it efficiently. However, this design can be a challenge for a steep downhill descent.
XC bikes are usually made of alloys or carbon. So if you want to ride for a long time and make your heartbeat as fast as it possibly can, XC bikes are the ones for you.
Trail Mountain Bikes
Trail mountain bikes are for the ones who want to try every bit of thrill the sport has to offer because this bike is designed in such a way that it can do anything.
The frame of these bikes is made from aluminum, carbon fiber, or steel.
And the bike has safer angles with long bars that enable riders to control the speed while descending more confidently, and the tires are more stable than any other bikes.
Enduro Mountain Bikes
Enduro bikes are used in trails that are extremely difficult and steep.
These bikes are designed in such a way that it can withstand the shock a rough descend can provide, but also climb up the mountain with equal ease because of their light frame and tough tires.
Almost all the Enduro bikes are full suspension bikes.
From all the different types of mountain bikes available, these bikes are reserved for the experts who love toying with death every time they go mountain biking.
Downhill Mountain Bikes
Of all the different types of mountain bikes that we talked about, this bike has the most straightforward name.
Downhill mountain bikes seem to have one purpose, and that is just descending a steep dangerous mountainside. Often the riders need to be taken to the top of the mountains to show their tricks and jump through.
These bikes are usually full suspension bikes too. There are forks on the aluminum or carbon body frame which provide support to the bike while undergoing such heavy and harsh forces.
If you want to show off your skills from the top of a mountain, then this is the bike for you.
Electric Mountain Bike (e-Mtb)
These kinds of mountain bikes have a motor and a battery attached to it to boost up your pedaling.
An electric mountain bike can be heavier than other mountain bikes because of the additional equipment attached, but they can make climbing a rough mountain a lot easier.
It would be unwise to think that riding an electric mountain bike is easy as it requires training, and even experts fumble with the controls of the motor at the handles.
This type of mountain bike is usually used on sand or snow. They have huge fat tires and are immensely popular among adventure riders.
Fat bikes have racks on their rigid frame to help carry mountain gears. People with exceptional taste would have a likely to this type of mountain bike.
Dirt Jump Bike
With one of the most simplistic designs among all the different types of mountain bikes available in the market, dirt jump bikes are used for jumping and pumping rocks, just as the name suggests.
The light frame makes it very easy for the rider to maneuver it up in the air. And the short traveling forks and lighter smaller wheels help the rider in that area too.
Single Speed Mountain Bike
As the name is speaking for itself, single speed mountain bikes are bikes that only have one gear. These bikes are for people who have a very different taste.
Single-speed bikes are not for everybody but who like them like them.
These bikes are really easy to maintain and don’t easily wear out. They can be either full suspension or hardtails and cheap or very expensive.
Which Bike Should One Get?
As there are so many different kinds of mountain bikes out there, it is very easy to choose the perfect one that will serve your purpose just right.
That is why there is no one best mountain bike out there for everybody. Before purchasing a bike, you should be clear about some certain issues, and they are listed below:
- Why would you want a mountain bike?
- How often will you use it?
- For how long will you be using it each time?
- What kind of trails will you be traveling on?
- What is the weather like in the place where you want to go mountain biking?
- Do you want comfort?
- Do you want speed?
- Do you want to acquire jumping or descending skills or you want to go sightseeing?
- How much risk are you willing to take?
- What are the top brands?
- How much are you willing to spend?
If you have these questions figured out, then it would be very easy for you to make a calculated choice and choose the best mountain bike among the very different types of mountain bikes available in the market.
Hopefully, this article has cleared all of your confusion and helped you make choose a correct mountain bike for you.
Go to the local store to touch and feel the bike you want to purchase because mountain biking is a very physical sport, and it requires you to know your bike properly.
Check the size of the bike and the comfort it provides, and the store allows you to take it for a test run to see how it feels.
Now that you have read our article on different types of mountain bikes, let us know which one you have decided to go with.
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