Why you Should Start Mountain Biking

It is fun, and there is nothing like riding on a dirt trail in a park on a nice day. You get fresh air, exercise, socialize with other people, wild animal viewing, and get to hop over rocks and trees.

Mountain biking is a popular activity that is enjoyed by a wide age range of people. Heavy duty mountain bikes can be quite costly, so it may be best to go to talk to a mountain biking organization about bike rental. You may only decide you need a light duty mountain bike which would also be good for regular riding. Not all mountain biking trails are killers and for experts just – they had to start somewhere too! Mountain biking trails are rated somewhat like ski trails, and the easiest is green, an intermediate is blue and difficult trails are pink. Go slowly, mountain biking can be hard on the joints, and you’ll need to learn how to handle the bike to minimize the chance of injury.

There are many different types of bicycles available on the market today, the comfort bicycle, which is used by many recreational bike riders, a trail bike or light duty mountain bike, cruiser bikes, recumbent bikes, and heavy-duty mountain bikes. No matter which type of bike or biking interests you biking is a great way to increased stamina, improved cardiovascular strength and all around better fitness.

Recumbent bikes have become very popular for the middle-aged and older riders. On a recumbent bike, you have a very comfortable seat that you can lean back in, quite like sitting in your favorite reclining chair. Your butt is very comfortably cushioned. Your feet are out in front of you, quite like when you’re driving your car. Recumbent bikes are the fastest type of bicycle. One reason is that with your legs extended forward and pedaling in front of you, you can move much more weight with much less effort than on a conventional bike where your legs are underneath of you. Beginning recumbent riders will tell you it takes a while to develop what are called “recumbent muscles” but once you do you’ll never go back to an ordinary bicycle.

Whichever type of bicycle you choose, do it! Biking is a great way to achieve an aerobic workout and burn calories at the same time. The best part is that anyone can ride a bike and it’s a great family recreation to be enjoyed together.

How to choose a mountain bike depends on what you are going to do with it, if all you want your new mountain bike for is going for a nice leisurely ride on the canal path or a ride in the woods with the dog, well you wont need a full suspension downhill machine with 4 inch travel on the forks and a fully articulated rear end with damping and rebound control.

Where to Start From

If you do want to go for an easy ride in the park you don’t need to spend too much if you think you will do any off-road riding, then big tread tires may be all you need, but if you think you might try some rough stuff, then you will need suspension. Gears will probably be Shimano, brakes must be V-brakes but could be made by a few different manufacturers, all the rest of the MTB components will depend on how much you can spend. If you go to your local bike shop or big sports store and see what they’ve got to offer, then buy it or have a look on the Internet and maybe you’ll find the same thing at a better price.

The Next Step Up

So maybe you want to be a bit more adventurous, more off-road, more forest tracks and dry boulder river beds, then you’ll need something a little lighter, with suspension forks. All this will cost you more money but will be worth it for the extra enjoyment and adventure. With a better mountain bike it will have sportier handling, and because it is lighter, it will be easier to struggle up the hills before you come flying down the other side. The components will again be Shimano, and the quality will depend on how much money you can spend. V-brakes and Rapid-fire gear shifters, along with Shimano chainset, bottom bracket, and headset. Handlebars, stem and seat pin should be alloy, and along with a comfortable saddle you’ll be set to take to the hills.

More Money, More Bike.

The next rung up on the mountain bike ladder would be good enough to race on. There are many to choose from, get on the net and surf the bike manufacturers sites and all the shop sites along with the magazines for juicy photos of the bikes. The top manufacturers in this price range, I would say are: – Trek, Giant, Specialized and Cannondale, these companies make the nicest frames with the best mountain bike parts available at the price, gears will be either Shimano or SRAM, brakes could be V-brakes or cable disc brakes, both are very good and light, most of the other MTB parts, of course, will be Shimano and as usually get the best you can afford. There are many combinations of hubs and rims to make up your wheels; hubs from Shimano and rims from Mavic are the usual mix. Then you have to choose which suspension forks to put on your bike, you may not get a choice, depending on which bike you buy, the main ones are Suntour, Marzocchi, Manitou, Fox, RockShox, and RST, buy any of these, and you won’t go far wrong.

Top Bikes…. Top Money

If you want what the professionals ride you will have to pay a lot of money a professional MTB. As with road bike at the top of the range, you can specify what you want to build up your dream bike. Top bikes frames to spend your money on could be Klien, Scott, Rocky Mountain, Gary Fisher, Santa Cruz, and K2; these are some of the most sought-after bike frames in the world and would be the envy of your friends. Probably the best forks to put on your frame would be RockShox SID’s these are light and do all the things you need with control of all functions. There are many other to also to consider, look at how much travel they have and the rebound and damping systems. Gears again will be either SRAM or Shimano Rapid fire, XT or XTR, and more money could be spent on carbon or very light alloy cranks, the brakes should be hydraulic discs from Hayes, Pace or Magura or stick to the trusted V-bakes. Wheels from Shimano or Mavic or some fancy carbon wheels, but remember they will have to take a lot of punishment, so maybe better to go for reliability over lightweight expense. Carbon handlebars, stem and seat pin and a lightweight race saddle and Time or Shimano SPD clipless pedals, then your choice of tires will depend on what terrain and ground conditions you are going to ride on.


Downhill bikes are very different, more like a cross-country motorbike, but without the engine, low center of gravity and a lot of travel on the suspension on the forks and the rear end, disc brakes, wide rims, and fat tires, gears are only at the back as usually a single chain set is used. Unless your going to do a lot of downhill racing then there isn’t much point in buying one as you have to get up the hill first before you can come down and as lightweight is not an issue with downhill bikes, they are very heavy to get uphill without the use of a tow rope or a ski lift.

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