What to look for in a mountain bike

mountain bikemountain bike
mountain bikemountain bike


What to look for in a mountain bike

Mountain biking is a popular sport with the more adventurous at heart. You are able to experience the wild outdoors in a unique and exciting way, and get in some exercise too. But it can be difficult for beginners to know what to look for in a mountain bike. With so many options to choose from, it is easy to see why.

You can spend hours browsing bicycle shops looking for the perfect mountain bike, but if you are not sure what to look for you might not find one that fits your needs. Below are some top tips on how to choose a mountain bike so that you can join in the adventure too.


Start with the size

Arguably the most important aspect of choosing any bike is to look for one in the right size. Bicycle shops have mountain bikes for sale in a wide range of sizes so you will have plenty to choose from, but if you are not sure what size you need, this can be confusing.

To judge the size, you will need to look at how far apart the saddle and bar are as well as how far from the mid-head tube the centre of the crank is. If you are a taller person, you will need a bike that is the right height and size for your build, and shorter people will need a bike that will not make it difficult for their feet to reach the pedals. Starting with the size will help you to choose the perfect bike for your body.


What about wheel size?

The wheels of a mountain bike are vastly different to a road bike. Not only do they have a different type of tread and thickness, but they are also much wider in diameter. This means that you will have to look carefully at their size

It is important to note that smaller wheels accelerate much faster than larger wheels, which is something to take into account when considering your level of expertise in mountain biking. This is due to where the weight of the wheel is distributed. Larger wheels place the weight of the spokes, rims, tubes and tyres away from the centre of the wheel which slows acceleration. If you are a more experienced rider, you could opt for a smaller wheel, but for those who are new to mountain biking, a larger one is best.


Full suspension or hardtail

Most bicycle shops will have mountain bikes for sale with built-in suspension, which will help with rolling over ground that is bumpy and uneven as well as maintaining traction on uphills and downhills.

Full suspension bikes are made with forks at the front and a rear shock. This will allow you to cover terrain with more speed, confidence and accuracy. Hardtails are more rigid and have a rigid rear and forks. These are more suited to climbing and for cross country riding due to their stability. They are also a better option for those looking for their first mountain bike and do not have large amounts of money to spend.


Weight is important… but don’t obsess

While it is important to consider the weight of the bike, you should not obsess over this. The strength of a mountain bike is what you need to look at, because if you choose a flimsy bike, you will battle to conquer rocks, tree roots and uneven terrain.

While it might be difficult at first to use a heavier bike, it will help to improve your steering accuracy and speed, all of which can be affected by the weight of your bike. A lighter bike might be easier to carry but you will find that you battle to steer and handle the terrain. But it is important to look for a bike that you can actually ride and load into your car, so it is a good idea to look at bicycle shops for beginner mountain bikes for sale.


Get pedalling

One of the most important things you need to consider when looking for a mountain bike is what type of riding you enjoy. Now, you might think that all mountain biking is the same, but there are differences when it comes to abilities and types of trails that people enjoy.

If you prefer trails that are not too steep and are a little less challenging, you should avoid looking at downhill bikes. A lift-serviced trail is a trail where you ride a lift similar to a ski-lift to the top of the mountain and then ride down the mountain. A trail bike is the best all-rounder for both beginners and more experienced riders because you can choose any type of terrain to try out without worrying about how the bike will handle it.

mountain bike