It is no news that mountain bikes indisputably sit at the top of the bike class spectrum as they are highly sought-after by bikers. They have evolved through the decades, with more innovative and technological implementations coming into play. In actuality, no other bike comes close to achieving the feat already established by this bike class. Mountain bikes’ versatility makes them almost everyone’s favourite, whether the occasion calls for trail biking, mountain biking, cross-country biking, or any other off-road riding expedition. Its application is suitable for a vast category of ages and skill levels.
Newbies and professionals can enjoy the feel of a mountain bike. It gives one an immersive experience of being in the action. Mountain bikers get the feeling of being pumped up after a ride. These bikes have much more to offer beyond aesthetics. Hence, it is essential to look in the right places when shopping for one. Interestingly, Canada offers some of the best spots to mountain bike, including Mont St Anne, Quebec; Rossland, BC; Le P’tit Train du Nord, QC; Burnslake, BC; Hardwood Hills, ON; Jasper National Park, AB; Bromont, QC; and Whistler, BC. This guide contains everything that there is to know about the mountain bike.
Mountain Bike – Its Definition
What comes to mind when the word “mountain bike” pops up? One can imagine a sturdy bicycle coursing through the jagged rocks and terrains of a mountain, like a stallion. But a mountain bike is more than that. This type of bike is designed to handle off-road cycling – thanks to strategic features that are in place.
Other than these incorporated elements, a mountain bike is no different from other bikes. When it comes to the bike’s application, two things come to mind – high performance and durability. Other bikes may not be able to handle the intense adventure that comes with rough terrains. This disparity crowns mountain bikes king of off-road cycling.
The Mechanics of a Mountain Bike
What makes a mountain bike powerful? This type of bike comes with the ability to travel speedily and produce precise reactions. But that is not all; it can take on whatever the road throws at it, whether it be a big piece of rock, pothole, or bump. Some mountain bikes have more performance than others, by offering the cyclist better shock absorption, traction, comfort, and durability. A mountain bike comprises the following:
- Front/full suspension
- Light, but sturdy frame
- High responsive brake system
- Long-lasting wheels
- Lower gear ratios
The ordeals of off-road terrain can be burdensome for the bike’s frame. Other types of bikes will have a hard time keeping up with the demand associated with such activities. On the other hand, a mountain bike can handle intense vibrations and bumps without falling apart.
Types of Mountain Bikes
It is worth noting that mountain bikes fall into different categories. Even though they can handle off-roading conditions, each of them has specific features that create a unique adaptation.
Trail bikes are popular among cyclists as they provide an all-around application. This feat is linked to their versatility, both in design and performance. They are light-weight and comfortable, yet provide sufficient speed and sturdiness to handle rough terrains. Trail bikes are available in both front and full suspension options. Interestingly, there is a bike for every budget.
Trail bikes excel at undertaking rising and flat trails. In the same vein, they can course through a descending terrain with ease. Their speed tends to increase on plain off-road tracks.
Cross Country Bikes
Cross-country biking fans consider XC mountain bikes as the real deal. In the category, biking activities combine more smooth off-road terrains and a considerable number of rough trails. Two things stand out for cross country cyclists, which the bike can provide – speed and endurance.
Cross-country bikes are extremely lightweight. Their frames, often made of carbon fibre, are ideal for ascending and flat trails. As such, they possess a less-aggressive design. Most XC bikes come with front suspensions.
No bike does it better descending a trail than downhill bikes. They provide the biker with balance and comfort – thanks to their slack frame design. As such, controlling the bike at incredible speeds is a walk in the park. Downhill bikes come with full suspensions, creating a spread-out balance on the travel amount. But that is not all there is to this category of bikes. They can handle stress resulting from the insane level of drops off of jumps and cliffs.
The downside to downhill bikes is that they cannot handle flat trails or intense trail cycling. As such, downhill bikers tend to carry or roll their bikes up the trail.
If there is one mountain bike that is gaining popularity among bikers, it is the fat bike. Why has such a name? Fat bikes are known for their humongous set of tires and rims, which generally come in 3.8 in (97 mm) and 2.6 in (66 mm), respectively. As such, they are ideal for soft, unstable trails. These include sand, snow, and mud.
All-mountain bikes are hybrid bikes with two or more combinations, most especially downhill biking and trail biking functionalities. This type of bike has a suspension that is similar to that of a trail bike. However, it comes with a full suspension. All-mountain bikes also come with a high-performing braking system and wider wheels.
Selecting the Ideal Mountain Bike
Having gone through each category of mountain bikes, it is clear that these bikes provide an awesome biking experience. The thought of riding through the snow or woods can be exciting for any biker. There are areas to consider when shopping for a mountain bike.
- What size bike do I need? Find a mountain bike with the right size; this makes a tremendous difference when undertaking a biking adventure.
- Know the type of riding activity is required, whether it be downhill biking, cross-country biking, or any other off-road activity.
- Find the bike with the right gear.
- Understand that mountain bikes come in different wheel dimensions and suspension types, which influences one’s biking experience.
- Bear in mind that maintenance comes into play as well.
Mountain bikes are must-haves for off-road bikers as they handle the job efficiently. These bikes are available at different prices. High-end mountain bikes tend to outperform other types as they come with more features and detailing.
Image Source: BigStockPhoto.com (Licensed)