Mountain bike – mountain bike, or MTB – is considered one of the most popular and versatile types of bicycles.
It can be used for everyday driving around the city, short bike rides in the park, outside the city or in the forest, and even when traveling.
Choosing a bicycle is always a long and complex process, in which many parameters and technical nuances should be taken into account.
The price range of such bicycles is quite wide, and their availability in Russian stores and marketplaces allows you to choose a model for your specific needs.
Before choosing a bike, decide on your goals. Consider how often, on what surface and in what style you will ride it. The technical characteristics and, accordingly, the price will depend on this.
There is no point in saving money on sports equipment. Too budget models can quickly break down and require additional investment in repairs and maintenance. It’s also not worth choosing an expensive bike if you’re just starting to ride: most likely, you won’t feel a significant difference and will overpay.
Frame. An important criterion when choosing a bicycle is the frame material. Mountain models are made of steel, aluminum alloy and carbon fiber. Steel frames are cheap but relatively heavy. Aluminum ones are lighter and more versatile.
Carbon fiber frames are worth paying attention to if you have been riding for a long time and use a bicycle as a sports equipment. Prices for bicycles with a carbon frame start from RUB 100,000.
It is also worth deciding on the geometry of the frame. The rigid rigid frame is more reminiscent of city and road models ; it will be convenient to move on flat surfaces at a high pace. Hardtail frames have sharper angles and often feature suspension front forks, allowing for fast and comfortable riding over rough terrain.
Please note that any frame has a size; it must be selected based on your height, leg length and other parameters. Before purchasing, it is best to use a special calculator that will help determine the required frame size.
Depreciation. Unlike city and road bikes, mountain models are equipped with front and sometimes rear fork shock absorbers. The last variety is called “double suspension” and is intended primarily for extreme sports disciplines.
Groupset. Like road bikes, this is a general name for all the parts that are involved in changing gears: chainrings, front and rear derailleurs, handles. On mountain models, groupsets with three chainrings and large rear chainrings are common for easier pedaling up steep hills.
The most common groupsets and parts for them are produced by Shimano; the Japanese manufacturer has a wide range of derailleurs, the designations of which differ from road ones.
Brakes. Disc brakes are more common on mountain bikes, although rim brakes are also available. The latter are sufficient if you use the bike for leisurely trips around the city, park or dirt roads.
Disc brakes are more efficient; they can be mechanical, when the pads are compressed by cable tension, or hydraulic, just like on motorcycles. Hydraulics brake better, but they are expensive. You will also have to monitor the brake fluid level and change it regularly. Such brakes are also more durable and do not require constant maintenance, but it will not be possible to fix the breakdown on the road – this can only be done in a workshop.
Wheels. In mountain models they come in different diameters: 26, 27.5 and 29 inches. The first ones are becoming less and less common on modern models. Wheels with a diameter of 27.5 inches are more versatile and suitable for maneuverable driving. 29 inches will allow you to move smoothly and quickly on smooth roads.
It is better to buy a bicycle in a specialized store; when purchasing on marketplaces with delivery, keep in mind that you may need the help of a mechanic – this is an additional expense.
- Decide on your goals. Try to analyze which roads you will have to drive on and how often. This depends on the type of bike and the level of components.
- Select frame material. There are steel, aluminum and carbon. The first ones are the heaviest, but also the most budget-friendly. Aluminum alloy models are lighter, carbon fiber models are the lightest and stiffest, but at the same time the most expensive.
- Decide on depreciation. Typically, mountain bikes have suspension front forks. There are models with rear shock absorbers – they are called dual suspension. Such bicycles are designed for extreme riding and should be considered as sports equipment.