Mountain bikes are not created for equal purposes. Though it may be true that sometime 25-30 years ago, mountain biking used to refer to a single off road sport, nowadays, it has branched out into a number of disciplines, each requiring their own bike specifications. Because of this, riders are faced with a lot of choices when buying a mountain bike. And if you are new to mountain biking, you may have hard time finding the right mountain bike for you. Let this article be your guide on how to choose a mountain bike.
As I stated earlier, mountain biking has been divided into a number of disciplines. There’s downhill, cross-country, all mountain, and a lot more. It is therefore important that before buying a mountain bike, you should be able to know your riding preference. Mountain bike manufacturers have specific designs to best fit each discipline. For example, cross-country mountain bikes are lighter aiming on efficiency on each pedal while on the other hand, downhill mountain bikes are usually equipped with full suspensions and have sturdier frames that lean back further than other mountain bikes. In short, your riding preference is the key factor on choosing a mountain bike.
Now let us discuss mountain bike sizing. Bicycle sizes in general are based on the measurement of their frames. It is essential that you choose the correct size since riding a mountain bike that’s too big or otherwise too small will only lessen riding comfort and worse, increase accident risks. To find out what your mountain bike size is, you will need to know your height and inseam measurements. Refer to the chart below to find your bike size (via about.com):
This bike size chart is important especially when you plan to buy mountain bikes online where you have no actual access to the mountain bike before buying it. But if you’re buying from a local shop, you can try and test what size you best fit in. When sitting on the bike, you should be able to touch the ground with your leg fully extended (tiptoed). This will not be a problem since mountain bikes have adjustable seat post for maximum comfort and pedaling efficiency.
Knowing your bike size and riding preference are two of the most important factors that you have to take into consideration when buying a mountain bike. Now that you have a good idea on them, go find that perfect mountain bike and start your off road adventure.