You can ride a mountain bike anywhere. I ride my mine on the road and off-road. They are slower than a road bike on pavement but the wide tires and thick from make for a very stable ride. There are different types of bikes like trail, cross country and more general purpose bikes.
Summer’s just around the corner, and that means all kinds of outdoor fun! This season, why not commit to trying something new? Mountain and trail biking! A great form of exercise for all levels, mountain and trail biking, is a terrific way to get out and enjoy all that nature offers.
Things you’ll need:
A bike. Known as MTB or ATB (Mountain or All-Terrain) bikes, they range in price from $300 to well over $3,000. As a novice, start by renting a bike (much more affordable at around $50 a day) to see if you like the sport and the bike model.
A bike rack. Unless you live on the mountain, you’re going to have to drive to your biking destination. Bike racks come in all different styles, from roof-mounted racks, to hitch-mounted carriers like the one available for SUVs.
A helmet. While comfy clothes suited to the weather is always recommended (stay away from loose pants that can get caught in the bike’s gears), a helmet is a must. They can be rented or bought, but they are invaluable in the event of an accident, especially in areas where emergency medical help isn’t just a hop, skip, and jump away.
A rehydration system. This could be anything from water bottles strapped on the bike, to back-mounted rehydration systems. It’s not about how you rehydrate, and it’s that you do it often.
A cell phone. Just in case of an emergency, getting lost, or break down, bring a cell phone.
Trail maps. Many can be downloaded from the internet or bought at the local ski resort. As a novice, stick to clear, well-marked trails. Keep the map handy in case of an emergency, or in the event you get lost.
Most importantly, have fun. Take as many breaks as you’d like to stop and explore the idyllic setting or to catch your breath. Bike at your own pace and enjoy the well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Different Types of Mountain Bikes
With mountain biking being a trendy sport,
there are many bikes to choose from. Depending
on what type of riding you like, the style of bikes you can choose from will vary. Below, you’ll
find tips on the different types of bikes available.
1. Cross country
Almost all mountain bikes will fit into this category.
Cross country mountain bikes are lightweight, making
them easy to ride over most terrains, even up and
downhills. This is the most common mountain bike
and it can be used with ease for riding on the path
or even commuting.
These types of bikes are for serious bikers who crave the ultimate adventure. Downhill bikes have
front and rear suspension, durable parts, and disc
brakes. Rarely available off the shelf, most riders
like to custom build their own.
Trail mountain biking involves a great degree of skill and is classified as the precision riding of
the sport. Similar to downhill bikes, trial riders
will often build their bikes rather than purchase
one off a shelf. Generally very light and very strong, these bikes require a lot of discipline.
4. Jump and slalom
Slalom and jump bikes are solid and designed
for jumping, street racing, and slalom. They offer
a front suspension and use very strong components
dedicated to what they do. These bikes are very
popular with the sport of mountain biking.
Even if you are new to mountain biking, the sport can
be a lot of fun. There are several bikes to choose
from, all of which depend on your style. If you are
still looking for the best style for you, all you
have to do is try out several bikes and see which one
suits you the best.
Buying A Mountain Bike
It can be a bit frustrating as well as time consuming
when you buy a mountain bike. Below, you’ll find
some tips and things to be aware of before you lay
down the cash and buy a mountain bike.
Determining your price
There is really no limit as to how much money you can
spend on a new mountain bike. To help you keep your
spending under control, you should figure out what
your price range is and how much your willing to pay
for a new bike.
I recommend you support your local bike shop and get a much
better bike and much better service.
Finding your style
All mountain bikes are designed with several different
riding styles and terrain types in mind. You’ll need
to figure out what type of riding you will be doing
the most. Smooth riding, cross country racing,
mountain cruising, or lift accessed downhill is
something you need to figure out. Make sure that
the bike you select fits your personal style and not
that of the sale’s staff.
Full suspension or hardtail
If you can afford it, a full suspension mountain
bike is always worth the purchase. A hardtail,
without rear suspension, is much lighter weight
and pedal more efficiently, although full suspensions
offer more comfort and overall better control. You’ll
want to make that decision based on your price range,
riding style, and the type of terrain you’ll be
riding on the most.
Finding your favorites
Comparing mountain bikes component to component is
nearly impossible, as there are far too many combinations
available. The best way to go about doing this is
finding a few parts that are the most important
to you and making sure the rest or the minimums fall
within your price range. You can start with the fork
then look at the wheels and rear derailleur.
Sales and seasons
During the year, the prices of mountain bikes can
fluctuate quite a bit. Spring through summer is the
primary buying season. If you can wait until the right
price pops up, normally in the fall and winter, you can
save a couple hundred dollars. Many bike shops will
also offer discounts or other accessories if you buy
Finding a good dealer
Finding a good bike dealer is more important than finding
the best price. You should always find a dealer that
cares more about selling you a great bike than selling you
a high priced one. A great dealer will have a clean repair
shop and give you the impression that you can really
You should test ride as many bikes as you can within
your price range and riding style. You’ll find that
some bikes will feel right, while others won’t. The more
bikes you can test drive, you better you’ll understand
what works and what doesn’t.
Product reviews and bike reviews are some of the best
ways to find out about a mountain bikes reliability and
overall performance. You should always look at what
other owners and reviews think about a bike before you
make that final purchase.