Mountain Bike Questions

Looking For More Information On Mountain Biking.

Why Should You Buy A Mountain Bike

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Health Benefits

A Brilliant Way To Improve Your Fitness Levels

Challenging

Mountain Biking Is A Great Way To Challenge Yourself

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Fun

You Will Have Plenty Of Fun

Mountain Bike Questions

 

Thinking about buying a mountain bike and need more information on why you should purchase one. We have put together on mountain bike questions. To help an entry level cyclist learn more about mountain biking.

 

What is a Mountain Bike?

 

A mountain bike is commonly referred to as a MTB. A bike designed for cycling off road. Mountain bikes are designed for tackling different types of terrain. A mountain bike will tend to have a front or full suspension, large tires with durable wheels, straight handlebars, hard wearing brakes and low gear ratios

Mountain bike are commonly used on unpaved surfaces, exploring mountain biking trails or used for travelling over uneven terrain. The uneven terrain can contain rocks, dirt, steep grades and inclines. Mountain bikes are designed with a strong durable frame, wide tires, responsive brakes that can provide the rider with plenty of support.

Mountain bikes have become popular with urban riders who need a bike that can handle a wide variety of activities. To continue,, our article on mountain bike questions we will now look at how mountain biking evolved.

Development of Mountain Biking

 

The first mountain bikes were designed in the 1970’s. Cruiser bikes were modified to go down mountain bike trails. In California USA riders used single speed bikes to descend hills and were referred to as bloomers. Joe Breeze specialised in designing bike frames used the bloomer design to build the first ever mountain bike.

Moving forward to the late 1970’s, the popularity of mountain bikes lead to the leading manufacture designing mountain bikes. The first mountain bike was built in 1979 “Lawhill Pro Cruiser” by Terry Knight of Oakland. An impressive six hundred bikes were made.

By 1981, Randy Ross, the vice president of Ross bicycles Inc stated in New York Times that mountain bikes are one of the biggest developments in the biking industry and changes the image of the modern mountain bike. Next in our article into mountain bike questions, we will look at the differences between a full suspension and hardtail mountain bike.

Full Suspension Vs Hardtaail Mountain Bike

 

Hardtail: A hardtail is a mountain bike with a suspension fork for the front wheel with a rigid frame.

 

Full Suspension: A dual or full suspension bike comes with a front and rear suspension.

 

The suspension of a mountain bike will affect the bikes control, comfort, traction and how enjoyable the bike is to ride. If your planning on going on technical trails, then a full suspension bike may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you intend to go on smother terrain, then a hardtail may be the better choice.

Choose A Full Suspension Bike

 

You have a bigger budget: Full suspension bikes are a little bit more technical and tend to be more expensive than hardtail bikes.

 

Technical Mountain BikeTrails: If you intend to use the mountain bike exploring mountain biking trails. Then a full suspension bike may be a better choice.

 

More Comfort: One of the main benefits of a full suspension bike is that it is designed to absorb the shocks and bumps of going over uneven terrain. Having a full suspension while going over uneven terrain will offer the rider a more comfortable ride allowing them to travel further.

 

Speed: Having a full suspension allows the mountain bike to travel through technical sections of a trail at much faster speeds.

 

Choose A Hardtail

 

Tight Budget: A Hardtail mountain bike has a simpler design, allowing them to manufacture bikes a lot cheaper and pass on the savings to the cycling enthusiast. In addition, the customer will be able to get more value for their money by having a higher end specification than if they were going to buy a full suspension bike.

 

Smooth Trails: If a rider intends to spend most of their time on flatter surfaces then a hardtail bike can offer a comfortable ride with the front suspension absorbing much of the shocks and bumps.

Low Maintenance: A hardtail has fewer parts, less expensive to maintain and require less maintenance. However, a basic maintenance is still needed.

Lighter Bike: The simpler design of a hardtail mountain bike means that a hardtail is lighter than a full suspension mountain bike. However, if you intend to purchase a high-end full suspension bike, then the weight difference may quite minimal.

 

Rigid Mountain Bikes

 

A Rigid mountain bike does not have any suspension at all. The newer rigid bikes are extremely light and easy to use. In considering, mountain bike questions, we will now look at why you should buy a mountain bike

 

 

MTB Metrics

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Customer Satisfaction

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Happiness

Why Should You Ride A Mountain Bike

 

Fun

 

One of the main reasons to buy a mountain bike is that it is a great way to have some fun. When you’re a child, it’s not about training to beat your best time. It’s about getting sweaty, covered in mud and spending some quality time with your friends and family. Building up memories that will hopefully last a lifetime. Furthermore, mountain biking is an inexpensive way of spending your weekend.

 

Challenging

 

Mountain biking is a great way to challenge an individual’s riding skills and help them reach the next level. By exploring new mountain bike trails, the rider will push themselves into taking on more challenging terrain. Becoming a more experienced mountain bike rider.

Handling Skills

 

Practise makes perfect. Going out on a regular basis is a great way of improving the riders handling skills. Peter Sagan who won the junior mountain biking cross country championships, combined both road and mountain biking into his training practises. One of the main benefits of taking on a few off-road descents, is that the rider will easily be able to tackle descents on the road.

Off Road Access

 

One of the big benefits of mountain bikes is that it allows individuals to get to the hard to access places and allow the rider to go on real adventures exploring their local surroundings. Exploring Scottish and Welsh Forests, the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales. Not forgetting about heading down to the local café to collect their well-deserved treat.

Mountain Bike Frames

 

One of the easiest parts of the decision process, is deciding that you are ready to buy a mountain bike. The next confusing part is when you realise there are many different types of frames. There are four main options when choosing a mountain bike frame. Steel, Aluminium, Carbon Fibre or Titanium.

 

Steel

 

Steel is one of the most common bike frame materials as it is strong, still and easy for bike manufactures to work with. In addition, cost effective allowing the manufacture to pass on the savings to the consumer.

On the other hand, steel is density challenged and is usually heavier than aluminium or titanium. Steel can also rust if its neglected. However, manufactures such as Reynold have produced stainless tubing that largely stops the problem.

Steel is a strong and durable material in the event of a minor bump or scrap. Offering the rider plenty of support when riding. Furthermore, will help boost the rider confidence when trying to take their riding skills to the next level.

Aluminium

 

Aluminium is normally not as strong as Steel, however the reduced in density will normally give the rider a thirty percent lighter frame. An aluminium frame will use around twice as much volume as steel. The two main types of alloys used are 6061 and 7005. 7005 can be slightly cheaper for manufactures to work with.

One of the of the common misconceptions is that aluminium frames don’t offer the best ride. In the early days this may be of being true. However, advancement in technology has allowed manufactures like Cannondale to produce “Cannondale CAAD series who wielded areas that would reduce stress and increase the durability of the mountain bike. Aluminium is considered a lightweight material that will offer the rider plenty of stability in the event of a minor bump or scrap.

 

Titanium

 

Titanium is commonly uses in the aero space industry. An material that is used in aerospace needs to be taken seriously. A titanium frame is harder to weld and work with, normally wearing out tools quicker. However, a titanium frame provides a frame for life and is known throughout the biking community of a true sign of quality.

 

Carbon Fibre

 

Carbon fibre or more commonly known as Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer is one of the newest materials used for bike frames. One of the main benefits of Carbon Fibre is that it can be designed specifically for its application. Offering incredible strength for such a lightweight frame. Next in mountain bike questions, we will look at mountain bike suspensions

  • Features – 98%
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  • Build Quality – 96%

Mountain Bike Suspension

 

A suspension is designed to help a rider travel over uneven terrain and help absorb the shocks and bumps. Allowing the rider to stay in control of the mountain bike. Most mountain bikes have a front suspension fork that helps the rider control the bike control. In addition, a rear suspension which helps the rider have a comfortable ride by absorbing the bumps of travelling over uneven terrain.

Having a suspension on a bike will add to the weight of the bike and tend to be make the mountain bike more expensive.

 

Pros and Cons Of A Bike Suspension

 

Pros

 

  • Comfortable Ride

 

  • More Control of the bike

 

  • Faster rides on more difficult and technical terrain.

Cons

 

  • Heavier frame

 

  • More Expensive

 

  • Slows the bike down on climbs

 

Sometimes the number of cons can misled a cycling enthusiast. The most important think for a rider to remember is the type of riding that the mountain bike is going to be used for. An example is for an individual that intends to go on mountain bike trails, then a full suspension may be the best choice. On the other hand, if a rider intends to ride on smother terrain then a hardtail may be a better choice. Next in mountain bike questions, we will look at mountain bike brakes

 

Mountain Bike Brakes

 

There are a wide variety of brakes when purchasing a mountain bike. The two main types of brakes fall into two categories; disk and rim brakes. Rim brakes are most commonly found on road bikes so we will look at disk brakes.

 

Disk brakes:

 

A disk brake uses a circular metal disk mounted on the hub of the wheel. The disk brakes rotate with the caliper that contains the brake pads. When the rider applies pressure to the brake lever, it causes the rotor to slow down the mountain bike. There are two main types of disk brakes, either hydraulic or mechanical brakes.

Mechanical Disk (pistons are activated by a wire cable.)

A mechanical disk brakes are cheaper than hydraulic brakes. One of the main benefits of mechanical brakes is that they seem less daunting than hydraulic brakes.

Hydraulic Disks (piston is activated from the Hydraulic fluid.)

A hydraulic disk is where the hoses filled with brake fluid is immediately moved to the pistons. When the rider applies any pressure to the brake lever.

Pros And Cons Of Disk Brakes

 

Pros

 

  • Better Stopping Power

 

  • They Don’t Wear The Rim From Braking

 

  • Hydraulic pads automatically change according to the pad distance.

Cons

 

  • More weight on the spokes when braking.

 

  • Heavier than Rim Brakes

Mountain Biking Essentials

 

One of the first questions a cyclist enthusiast should ask is what type of bike is best for me?

 

Rigid: No suspension. Reduced weight as the bike is designed with a simpler. A rigid bike is not designed for rocky terrain. If a cycling enthusiast is on a budget, it is better to invest in a Rigid bike rather than a mountain bike with a low-quality suspension.

 

Hardtail: A suspension fork at the front, with a suspension at the backend. Hardtails are designed for tackling more difficult and more technical terrain. Hardtail bikes tend to be heavier than Rigid bikes. However, lighter and offer the rider more control over entry level handling.

 

Full Suspension: As the name suggests, a full suspension bike has a suspension at the front and the back of the bike. Having a full suspension allows a rider to more control and speed when tackling more complex terrain and are designed for mountain bike trails.

 

Helmet

 

Once, an individual has decided on what type of mountain bike they are going to purchase. A rider needs to think about purchasing a good quality bike helmet that fits well and offers them plenty of protection.

The best bike helmet in the world is no good if you’re not wearing it. A helmet should fit well, be level, and not obscure the rider vision or be over the ears. No excess movement in the helmet. Only buy a bike helmet from a reputable bike brand that has good customer testimonials.

 

Gloves

 

If an entry level cyclist is staring out it may be worth purchasing a pair of gloves as it will offer the rider plenty of protection while riding. Gloves will offer the rider protection in the event of a crash or reduce the impact of sores from riding the bike.

In addition, a rider can purchase fingerless mitts for the summer. Trying the gloves on to make sure they fit. The fingers shouldn’t feel cramped.

 

Mountain Bike Tyres

 

To continue our article on mountain bike questions, we will look at mountain bike tires. Mountain bike tires are designed for off roading and the knobs to grip uneven terrain. Well-designed mountain bike tires will offer good grip, provide the rider will plenty of stability while riding. When purchasing mountain bike tires, a rider must consider:

 

Wheel Size: Mountain bike tires generally come in three different sizes. Twenty-nine inch through twenty four inches. The wheelset will highlight the size of the tire.

 

Tyre Width: One of the main factors of the performance of a mountain bike is the tire width. Having a wider tire width provides the rider with a bigger surface area to improve the traction and grip of the mountain bike. On the other hand, tire width can reduce the mud clearance between the tire and the frame. Which in turn can affect the speed. Next in mountain bike questions, we will look at mountain bike essentials

 

 Bike Pump

 

If a rider is thinking about riding on a regular basis then may worth purchasing a bike pump. If a tyre is not inflated to the required PSI level then the bike will have to work harder.

Owning a bike pump will allow the rider to be able to check and inflate the mountain bikes tires on the go. It may be worth taking it one step further and learning how to fix a flat tire.

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