Monthly Archives: July 2018

Choosing Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes are designed to endure tougher terrain and to let the rider cruise over uneven and bumpy patches. Before you go buy your mountain bike, you need to consider what type of terrain you will be riding on. Based on the terrain, there are several types of bikes to choose from.

Mountain biking is a popular outdoor sport that combines healthy exercise with an element of fun. Most people go cycling in groups to have fun while enjoying the splendours of nature. Due to its popularity, the number of mountain biking options has gone up. You can choose the mountain bike that suits the type of biking you want to do. Before you go out and buy that bike, you need to know about the different types that are available.

Cross Country Mountain Cycles

Cross country bikes are very popular among the first-time riders. These bikes are extremely lightweight and easy to ride. The advantage of this is that the rider finds it very easy to ride over steep hills and rough terrain. Newer models of bikes such as the Scott Scale 29 have lightweight carbon frames and powerful shock dampening systems that make the bumps seem like they’re not even there. Some people even commute to work and back on their cross country bikes. Some of these bikes are full suspension while the others are hardtails like the Scott Scale 29. A point to note would be that a full suspension bike gives a greater ride quality over a rough terrain that a hardtail would.

Downhill Mountain Cycles

Downhill mountain biking has a thrill of its own. Most experienced mountain bikers prefer to ride down a hillside. Due to the nature of the terrain, downhill bikes are heavily built with powerful front and rear suspensions. These bikes also sport disc brakes. Downhill bikes are often customized to suit the rider’s requirements. Downhill bikes also come with a very strong frame that lends the bike some stability. It is advised that this kind of biking be attempted by the expert bikers with all possible protection on.

Professional Mountain Cycles

For the most skilled of riders, there are professional grade mountain bikes. These are used by riders at biking competitions. The bikes boast of the highest quality and are made from very light materials. A lot of engineering work goes in to ensuring that the bikes can endure the terrain and the demands put on it. These are strong and need the skill that professional riders possess to get the best performance out of them. Bikes like the Scott Scale 20 and Scott Spark 60 are perfect for riders who prefer lightweight bikes that can make riding rough terrains easy.

Personal Mountain Cycles

And finally, there are a huge variety of recreational mountain bikes that are not as high tech as the professional or the cross country models. These ones are primarily for recreational use and are a good bike to start with. These bikes are full suspension that boast of great riding comfort and quality. These bikes are perfect for going cycling with the whole family.

There are mountain bikes for all terrains and at varying budgets. Before you go buy your mountain bike, understand your needs and choose a bike accordingly.

How to Choose the Right Mountain Bike

Mountain Bikes are Tough to Shop For

You love the idea of purchasing your very own mountain bike but it can become overwhelming when you begin to research which bike is best for you. Some of things you consider are price (of course), size of the bike, color and maybe even ease of use. You have been in a sporting goods store before and noticed that some mountain bikes seem harder to operate than others. But when it comes to purchasing the perfect mountain bike for you, this article has all the details you will ever need.

Things to Consider to Help You Decide

1) Determine how much you are willing to spend. As with any major new purchase, you must first come up with a price range on your new mountain bike. These bikes can cost from over $100 to as much as over $1000.

2) Never purchase from a major retailer. As good as these mountain bikes look at Wal-Mart, Sears or Target, you should purchase your bike from a smaller bike shop because they will be more knowledgeable and have better service for when something goes wrong.

3) What will you be using the bike for? There are several ways to use a bike. You may just want one to ride on the beach. You may want one to ride with your dog running alongside. You may want one to ride on dirt roads in the middle of the country. Here are some simple tips to help:

* If you just want one for an easy ride in the park, then you don’t need to spend a lot of money.
* If you plan on riding off-road, then tires become an issue. You should look into buying a bike with big treads.
* If you plan on riding in rough conditions, you will need a bike with suspension. By visiting a local bike shop, they will be able to help you find the perfect bike based on how you answer the questions above. Otherwise, you may choose the wrong bike from a major retailer.

Comfort vs. Efficiency

The question of comfort versus efficiency really leads to the question of suspension versus hardtail.

You should think about choosing a bike with suspension if your wallet can afford it. Bikes with suspension are much more comfortable and enjoyable to ride. They are also more controllable. The negative to bikes with suspension is that they weigh more and they are less efficient.

Hardtail bikes on the other hand pedal more efficiently (especially on smooth terrain). These bikes are weigh less and are easier to maintain. Hardtail bikes are popular for the dirt jumping stunt crowd and a good number of cross-country racers.

The decision between comfort and efficiency is a tough one. Full suspension mountain bikes are more expensive than their hardtail counterparts. In the end, this may be all the influence you need when choosing a hardtail. But as mentioned earlier, because of the comfort and overall control of the bike, a bike with full suspension is the way to go.

When to Find a Good Deal

As with many consumer products, bikes shift in price depending on the time of the year. Clearly, the main buying season lasts from the beginning of spring and throughout the summer. If you are patient and wait until the fall or winter, the price may drop a few hundred dollars on the bike you are interested in. And one other word of advice: Never ever be afraid of purchasing last year’s model. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

Find a Good Local Dealer

Finding a local dealer will be very beneficial. When purchasing from a local bike shop, they will be able to match you to the perfect bike based on your needs. Sure, you may run across that commission hungry salesperson who will try to talk you out of your price range but just stay on course to get the bike you want.

The good things about local dealers is that they will send you reminders for maintenance, send you information on new deals and discounts and will always know how to service your bike when something goes wrong. Let’s face it, bikes are like everything else we purchase. After a little while of use, things will start to break down. Having an experienced local bike shop take care of the repairs will be very important. You are also more likely to find discount mountain bikes at a local bike shop compared to a major retailer.

Test, Test, Test and Test Again

It is human nature to find the perfect item and want to buy it right away without testing. Maybe it’s the perfect color or it’s not too big or the price is just right. Regardless of these factors, you should always test ride all bikes in your price range.

As you are testing these discount mountain bikes, you will easily notice that some bikes “feel” better than others. Whether it be the amount of strength it takes to pedal or the amount of force it takes to stop, bikes will differ from model to model. The more bikes you test drive, the more you will start to narrow down on which bike is right for you.

Do Your Research

After you have narrowed your decision to a few bikes, now it is time to do some consumer research. The Internet is full of customer reviews, especially at Amazon.com. Find the bikes you are interested in purchasing and see what other buyers have to say.

The good thing about Amazon.com is that both positive and negative buyers will post reviews. When you visit another site and every review is negative, you really don’t learn anything. So do your research and chances are, you will find the same bike you are interested in at a lower price.

But what about all that talk about buying from a local dealer? Well, you have actually visited the dealer and you took the opportunity to test drive their bikes. So you already know which bike you would like to purchase so you are not risking anything by ordering online. But what I would recommend is that you let the local bike shop take care of the warranty and maintenance work in the future.

How to Find Good Mountain Bikes

Selecting Good Mountain Bikes begins with selecting the right type of mountain bike (MTB) for you. Yes, it all comes back down to the type of riding you do.

My current bike is thirteen years old and still going strong. The questions I am about to share with you, are the ones I used when researching good mountain bikes for myself. Recently I used the same questions to find a good MTB for my nine year old son’s birthday. I began researching kids mountain bikes and applied the same questions to help select the right bike for him. I am pleased to say, the bike is a perfect fit for him and has renewed his love of bike riding.

So how do you go about choosing the right bike? Simply by asking a series of questions designed help you select the best bike for you.

  1. What is your riding experience?
  2. What is the age and height is the bike rider?
  3. Is the bike going to be used for commuting or cross-country riding?
  4. Is the bike going to be used for mountain cruising?
  5. Is the bike going to be used for rocky trails?
  6. Is the bike going to be used for rugged downhill tracks?
  7. Is the bike going to be used for jumping and aerial tricks?

The type of riding you intend to undertake will greatly influence the style and bike configuration. Although most mountain bikes look similar, there is a vast difference in frame types, steering geometry, suspension, gearing as well as the wheels, brakes and tyres.

As a rule of thumb, a beginner rider will best be served by a recreational cross country bike. If you intend to do a lot of riding on pavement and off-road, choose a model with good front suspension, no rear suspension (hardtail) as they have the best efficiency and comfort. If you intend to do more off-road riding, a full suspension frame is best.

If you intend to use it exclusively off-road and mostly over rough terrain look for a higher end full suspension model as these will have a greater range of suspension travel and a heavier more robust frame and brakes. This will help with the comfort and stability of your ride.

Downhill MTB’s must be very heavy duty in design and have lower, looser steering geometry. These design changes make the bike more responsive at fast speeds down steep slopes; these bikes are designed for the more experienced rider.

Depending on the type of riding you wish to undertake the following is a list of good MTB brands which I have found to be good quality and good value for money. They are Giant, Diamondback, Kona, Trek, Norco, Schwinn, Mongoose and GT brand bikes.

The last thing you need to decide is, do you want good, or do you want cheap. The words “good” and “cheap” are not synonymous, nor are good bikes generally found in discount department stores.

While researching Kids mountain bikes, I discover a renewed passion for the sport as both my sons now have mountain bikes. We purchased a 21 speed – 24 inch “GT Stomper” for my nine year old son while my eleven year old son rides a five year old, 7 speed – 20 inch Schwinn.

My eleven year old does well to keep up with us on our larger and faster bikes. His bike is much more agile over jumps and tight tracks. He now wants to upgrade to a larger 26″ bike. Due to his age and height, frame selection is critical as he is going through rapid growth spurts. He is currently just that little too short for a medium frame size. We are waiting until his next birthday before choosing a good mountain bike with a larger frame size that he will not outgrow too quickly.

I must commend my son as he has learnt that there is a difference between a cheap bike, a good bike and a reasonable bike. We said we would look at a GT aggressor, a reasonable bike, good for its price range; however, he has his eyes on the Mongoose Tyax Comp or if he can stretch his savings a GT Avalanche 1.

Specialized Mountain Bikes

The sport of mountain biking has grown in leaps and bounds over the last few years, and has seen a major growth spurt in sales for companies that produce specialized mountain bikes.

The days of big, heavy framed lumps of metal with knobbly tires are long gone making way for sleek, light, yet incredibly strong framed, futuristic looking bikes, with dual suspension and a variety of tire types you would usually find on a formula one racing car.

These off road machines tend to come in 4 different categories, and are usually built and set up differently to handle different terrain and riding conditions.

Cross Country (XC)

Cross country bikes are lightweight fast, most of them are now built with aluminium or carbon fibre frames, are geared to go over all types of terrain and can handle some pretty severe punishment.

Downhill

Downhill bikes are specifically built to ride only down hill, they are still constructed with light weight frames come with dual suspension to handle a lot more extreme terrain, they will usually come with larger tyres than your average XC bike, with larger disc brakes which are more powerful and allows the rider greater control.

All Mountain (Trail riding)

All mountain bikes are for general riding, mountain or trail conditions. Although they are designed to be able to climb hills efficiently, they are usually a little heavier and stout than your average cross country bike. All mountain bikes are an excellent balance between efficiency, comfort and control.

Free Ride

Free ride mountain bikes are built tough to handle a lot more punishment than the other styles of bike. A free ride biker will take these bikes through hard hitting trails, drops, jumps and other crazy stunts.

These bikes are built heavy and tough, not so easy to pedal to the top of the hill, but with dual suspension and tires designed for maximum grip, to will handle anything you can throw at it on the way down.

Specialized Mountain Bikes

These 4 styles of mountain bike are just that, built and set up for a specialized style of riding.

Apart from the all mountain bike, using your bike for anything other than its intended style of riding will be difficult to do, and possibly cause damage, if not ridden under the conditions and terrain it is designed for.

Buying Tips

If you’re thinking of buying a mountain bike, I suggest doing a little homework first, check out a few different bikes in your local bike shop or read a few MTB Reviews.

Think about the type of riding you will do most often. If you have to travel long distances to a mountain or have access to off road trails you will have to think about transport to these areas as well as whether you will be able to get enough use from these types of bikes to make it worth the out lay.