April 27th, 2012
Mountain Bikes Advice: What are they like to ride?
Mountain bikes need to be tough and durable to take the punishment of rugged tracks and off-road potholes. They’re designed more for durability than speed, and are generally tougher and heavier than you’ll need for road riding, with lots of extra low gears to help you get up the toughest of hills in the roughest conditions. They have sturdy, strong frames and thick wheels with heavy, rugged tyres, designed to absorb the hard bits of off-road trails and paths as well as find their own way in the wild. Many also come with hydraulic suspension to soak up the knocks and bumps.
You sit a little higher on a mountain bike, giving you a better view and easing the stress on your back. The front bar is fixed high so that you can hang when going downhill for extra stability.
- Mountain bikes are made to withstand the bumps, jumps and stresses of off-road riding while giving you as much stability and comfort as possible.
- There are three types of mountain bike, with different levels of suspension – rigid (no suspension), hardtail (front suspension only) and full suspension
- Frames give better clearance over obstacles while making sure the bike’s centre of gravity keeps it stable
- Braking systems are tough and sensitive
- Seats are made to maximise comfort in difficult conditions
- The wheels have rims and spokes that are strong, durable and resilient
- Tyres tend to be fat, knobbly and soft to maximise traction on challenging surfaces
- You can increase your speed on roads by up to 20% by fitting thinner tyres to a mountain bike
Anyone from complete beginner to seasoned cyclist.
- If you’re planning a lot of off-road riding, you’ll need one of these to cope with potholes, ruts, rocks and roots
- Commuting – if your route involves insane hills and rough roads
- Downhill racing
- You plan to do most of your riding on the road (see hybrid bikes)
- You have a need for speed (see road bikes)
- You want to do long-distance cycle touring (see touring bikes)
Still want more advice?
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