Mountain bike

Probably the most popular bikes these days, especially among the younger generations, are mountain bikes. Originally designed to be ridden on harsh off-road terrain, these bikes have a number of features to make them very robust, including:

  • medium sized wheels (26” diameter);
  • fat, chunky tyres, designed to grip into mud and dirt;
  • slightly smaller frames, and made from stronger materials;
  • suspension. Front suspension forks are common on modern mountain bikes, and rear suspension is also increasing in popularity. On cheaper bikes, this can do more harm than good, as it can mean that other components are of lesser quality, and the suspension can add a significant amount of weight to the bike;
  • upright riding position;
  • around 21 gears, at a relatively low gear ratio. This means the bike is easier to accelerate, but more difficult to ride at high speed.

At the higher levels, mountain bikes can become more specialised. There are bikes aimed purely at people riding downhill, and people who intend to race. Downhill bikes typically have full suspension with a significant amount of travel, and are built even stronger than normal mountain bikes, but are very heavy.

Cross country bikes are built as light as possible, and suspension – where present – is designed to cause minimum loss of forward momentum when riding uphill.

There are no comments yet - add yours below

This helps to discourage spam