Mountain bikes are exceptionally flexible all-terrain bikes They feature higher volume tyres and suspension – this permits them to gain traction, and provide convenience, even on rough off-road trails.
Within the mountain bike classification there countless further variations; these consist of the level of suspension on the frame, the frame geometry itself, along with the wheel size.
Picking the right mountain bicycle for your type of riding in 2018, will make an excellent difference to your comfort and performance.
What Are They Made From?
Aluminium: The most common material for contemporary bike frame manufacture; aluminium is light and long lasting, and has good flight qualities; providing reputable overall efficiency. View our range of aluminium framed mountain bikes at Wiggle.
Carbon fiber: This composite material is superlight, incredibly strong, and has vibration soaking up properties. Carbon fibre bike frames are a reasonably contemporary intro for mountain bikes, however they offer the highest level of performance of all frame products. View our range of carbon fiber framed mountain bikes at Wiggle.
Steel: Steel frames are renowned for their comfort, strength and sturdiness. Steel is rather a heavy frame product though, and for that reason despite its good ride qualities, it is used less typically. View our range of steel framed mountain bikes
Titanium: Titanium is the metal used in a lot of airplane manufacture; it is pricey, however it has ended up being a bespoke option for bicycle frame manufacture. The distinct look and exceptional strength are the main attractions.
Why Are There Different Mountain Bike Wheel Sizes?
Historically, mountain bikes had wheels that were 26 inches in diameter; it was the standard wheel/tyre size for all off-road bicycles. In the late 1990s though, people started to try out larger wheel sizes; specifically 29 inch wheels (29ers), which is the same wheel size as a 700c wheel on a roadway bike. Larger wheels roll over challenges more quickly, and although they are a little much heavier and a bit less responsive, the new standard rapidly grew in appeal; this was due to the fact that of its capability to offer better traction and speed, especially for cross country racing.
Although 29 inch wheels became popular with cross-country riders, downhill racers largely stuck to 26 inch wheels. This split was because of the nature of downhill riding, which demands ‘snappier’ managing; the smaller wheels and much shorter wheelbase of the 26 inch wheeled bike still met these demands best. Then, in the mid-2000’s, bike makers brought in a half-way-house option … the 27.5 inch (650b) wheeled bike. This new requirement has actually become the most popular with Downhill, Enduro and Trail bikes; supplying a good balance between straight-line speed and fast control; whilst 29 inch wheels stay the most popular for cross-country speed demons!
Type of Riding on a Mountain Bike
Mountain bikes can be used for all kinds of off-road and on-road riding, nevertheless particular frame styles are better to particular terrain.
Below are the 3 main classifications of mountain bikes, which we sell at Wiggle.
1. Cross Country (XC) mountain bikes
Cross Country riding places more emphasis on physical fitness and endurance than trail riding; it consists of extended climbing and riding quickly rolling surface.
To perform best on cross country surface, these bikes are lighter weight and often just have front suspension (hardtail).
29er (29 inch wheel) bikes dominate this category, though 27.5 inch mountain bikes are acquiring appeal.
2. Path mountain bikes
A typical trail riding mantra, is that you reach the top at your very own pace; then you race your friends on the downhill!
A good trail bike will have sufficient suspension to handle quick technical descents, without compromising on climbing up ability.
Another important function of trail bikes is their geometry – while you don’t want the ‘super slack’ head angles of a full-scale Enduro (Downhill) race bike, you will desire a geometry that influences confidence on the descents, and enables you to draw out 100% enjoyment from the tracks you are riding.
When it pertains to wheel size, believe 27.5 inches and 29 inches as being both ideally fit for trail riding.
3. Enduro mountain bikes
This is one of the most popular formats in mountain biking today. Enduro is a race discipline, which includes a mix of climbs and timed descents; it is the race-ready version of trail riding.
Enduro bikes are constructed with a predisposition towards coming down; so expect slacker head angles and longer wheelbases, to preserve stability when riding strongly.
Another noteworthy function of Enduro mountain bikes is their reach; these bikes have longer top-tubes, to particularly cater to using much shorter stems – supplying more immediate rider control.
When it pertains to wheel size, 27.5 inch mountain bikes are the most popular platform for this style of bike.
Hardtail vs. Full Suspension
Hardtail mountain bikes provide a lightweight bike, with simply front suspension. These bikes have a completely rigid rear end, and are perfect for a variety of trails.
Full suspension mountain bikes provide the rider increased comfort and control. The front and rear suspension cushions the rider from the influence on the trail.