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Mountain Bike Overview
Mountain bikes as a broad category are perhaps one of the most popular bike choices, second only to road bikes. The reason for this is that they are excellent all rounder bikes allowing the rider to ride anywhere with comfort and efficiency. Because of this they are also recommended for beginner, youth and novice riders, though this is not to say Pro's don't ride mountain bikes. Mountain bikes are also renowned for their durability, being able to tackle the toughest conditions over and over again.
Breaking down the broader MTB category into more specific categories there are several distinctions.
Dual suspension mountain bikes feature the standard 26" wheel size but have two shock absorbers both from and rear. Dual suspension mountain bikes are best suited to off-road riding as road riding efficiency is slightly compromised.
Rigid mountain bikes where common through the 90's and now can be found at the lower price margin of the mountain bike market. This is because rigid bikes have no suspension and hence are cheaper. Because of the lack of suspension they are less comfortable and efficient on bumpy off road terrain but still feature treaded 26" tyres and strong frames.
Hardtail Mountain Bikes feature a single suspension shock absorber usually located in the front forks. These bikes are the most common mountain bikes and are the true all-rounder bike, providing efficient and comfortable riding in all conditions whilst being reliable.
29er mountain bikes are similar to the previous 26" wheel mountain bikes, bar the wheel size which is a larger 29" hence being dubbed "29ers." 29er mountain bikes can come with varying suspension setups. Due to their larger wheel size they are desirable for off road terrain and navigating obstacles.
650B mountain bikes are not common place as only a few manufacturers produce them. 650Bs are relatively new on the mountain bike scene, 650bs feature 27.5" wheels and similar suspension setups to the other mountain bikes types. Whether or not the 650B mountain bikes perform better/worse than other mountain bikes remains to be confirmed, at the current time it comes down to personal preference.
This mountain bike is mainly for the everyday rider that wants an easy job of riding on the road and occasionally going off the road. The stiff frame of this mountain bike as with most mountain bikes provides the rider with stability when going over those unseen bumps. One thing worth noting, is that there is no suspension on these bicycles which means that you will feel every bump that you go over, but then again if you don't plan on using your mountain bike for off road riding it does not really matter.
This mountain bike will offer the rider that extra bit of comfort for normal road riding as well as provide better performance for off road riding. The suspension for the bicycle is on the front fork to allow the user to take the larger bumps from off road a lot better, as the mountain bike will come down on the front wheel. This bicycle however is not suitable for purely off road riding, on those big dirt tracks – if this is what you want to do then the dual mountain bike is for you.
Dual suspension mountain bikes are the ultimate in off-road setups, providing the smoothest possible ride while maintaining wheel contact on the ground allowing for maximum transference of power. Because of the extra suspension, dual suspension mountain bikes do not perform as well on road losing some of the pedaling power in the soft suspension.
29er bikes have large 29 inch wheels that are perfect for downhill and off-road mountain biking. The large wheels make navigating obstacles a breeze. 29ers are also more comfortable than their standard counterparts again thanks to their larger wheels, particularly when in combination with dual suspension shock absorbers.
650B mountain bikes are relatively new to the mountain biking scene and only a few manufacturers are producing them. 650B MTBs have 27.5 inch wheels and come with various suspension setups. 650Bs have been proclaimed as the new and improved 26" mountain bikes though this yet to be proven.
Mountain bikes can be expensive, make your budget first and then choose a mountain bike that not only fits it but also suits your style of riding.
Make sure the mountain bike fits you and is the correct size for your height. Ask someone at the local bike shop what size mountain bike you should purchase.
Compare different brands and models of mountain bikes, this will make it easier to find the Mountain bike that you like.
Popular Mountain Bike Brands:
There are a huge range of different Mountain Bike Brands available. Some of these brands offer a complete range of bikes to suit every terrain and activity while some specialise in particular areas. Some of the world's most popular brands are:
If you have any specific questions about our Mountain bike range, or would simply like to hear more about what makes Mountain bikes so much fun, please feel free to contact us directly.