Mountain Bikes Buying Guide

Also known as allbicycle"'>specialized bike designed to tackle the courses they most frequently ride. Buying a bike is a very personal choice. There are multiple factors to take into account, including your budget and what you plan to do with your bike. Depending on your experience and cycling style, you can get either a serious off-roader or a simple hybrid. It all depends on how advanced a rider you are and where you plan to go. Read on. Learn what's out there, what all those terms mean and what's hot right now.

Suspension Categories

Mountain bikes typically get categorized by their suspension level. Below are the basics. * '''Hardtail: '''No rear suspension. Usually equipped with front suspension forks. * '''Fully Rigid:''' A sub-category of hardtail. It has a rigid fork. * '''Dual or Full Suspension: '''Front suspension fork and rear suspension with a rear shock and linkage causing the rear wheel to move on pivots. * '''Soft Tail:''' Has little rear suspension. Activated by flex of the frame instead of pivots.

All About Suspension

Suspension allows the bike wheels to move up and down to absorb small bumps, while keeping the tires in contact with the ground for better control. It helps the bike absorb large shocks when landing jumps. Both front and rear suspension systems have two essential elements: the spring and damper. A spring allows the suspension to move up when the wheel hits a bump and to quickly back down after it passes the bump. The damper controls the spring so that it doesn't bounce out of control after each bump. It allows it to bounce just enough to absorb the shock. The trick is to good shock absorption is finding the right balance between the spring rate and the damping.

Types of Bikes

Other Factors

'''Frame Materials:''' Read the breakdown in our Components Unless you're operating without a budget cap, it'll be tough to get all the best components at high grades of quality. But you can prioritize and go after the best model of a specific part. Concentrate on the following: * ''''''Brakes: '''It's not feasible to change from one brake system to another, once you have it installed. Know what type of brake you want before the purchase.''' ** '''Disc''': A metal disc is attached to the wheel hub, rotates with it and, when applied, presses against the wheel to slow it. ** '''Rim''': Friction pads, when applied, slow the bike by slamming against the rim of the wheel. * '''Wheels''': Consult the Bike Tires buying guide. * '''Pedals''': Consult the Bike Pedals buying guide.

Hot Bikes

From the editors at Bicycling Magazine: From

Major Manufacturers

* Avid * Cannondale * Crank Brothers * Fox * Giant * GT * Honda * Huffy * Jeep * K2 * Kawasaki * Kona * Manitou * Marin * Marzocchi * Mongoose * Orange * Pace * Pacific Cycle * Quasar * Ritchey * Rock Shox * RST * Schwinn * Smith & Wesson * Specialized * Topeak * Trek

Related Buying Guides

Mountain Bikes

International Resources

For this resource in your home country, please see: ! NL: Mountain Bikes Shopgids