You’ve heard of a few bike rides nearby and now dream of off-road adventure. So what kind of bike do you need? If you are just starting out, it’s best to start small and move on, both in terms of bike investment and the level of land you want to ride.

Start with a budget. It makes no sense to buy a top model MTB (MounTain bike), you just need to know that you either do not have the time or you are not as interested in off-road cycling as you thought. Talk to a sales clerk at a local bike shop and try out some models to feel comfortable. Larger stores sell cheap bikes, but keep in mind that you get paid and do not offer after-sales service at a local bike shop. Also, check your community newspaper for used bikes.

Regardless of the price, all mountain bikes have the following basic features. The difference between a $ 200 bike and a $ 3,000 bike is in the components, materials and additives that we will show:

the frame

A main frame is hollow aluminum or steel parts welded together. Fully round metal is equally strong on all sides, however, more premium bicycles will be taller than they are wide. This is because most of the stress on the bike is up and down, not sideways. As prices rise, the frame can be made from a combination of aluminum and carbon fiber, a lighter and stronger material that allows the manufacturer to make a frame in any shape.


Most bikes use cantilever or “v” brakes. The levers on the handle pull the cable. The cable is connected to a set of clamps with brake pads. The clamps are pulled to the rim of the bicycle wheel and stop the bicycle. For better performance, the cables should be well aligned and the rims should be straight and free of dirt and water, which is often impossible on muddy ground. The pads often need to be replaced and your rims will wear out. However, they are a popular and reliable system.

One step further is to break the disk, which works just like the ones in your car. These devices were introduced in the late 1990s and use a hydraulic system to squeeze the brake pads onto the disc on the inside of the wheel. Performance does not suffer from dirt and water, they are much more reliable and last longer than V brakes. However, in addition to increasing cost and complexity, they are also heavier.

Gears and gears

The gears are used to move the rider at a constant speed regardless of the ground or slope. A single-speed bike is said to have a 1: 1 ratio (every time you pedal one turn, the rear wheel also spins one turn.) Usually you want to move faster than that, so the gears are used. Speed ​​up the rear tire when pedaling. The comfortable gear ratio on the surface highway is about 6.5: 1. However, when moving uphill, fast rear wheel movement is impossible, so you have to pay in a 1: 1 ratio. Change gears before needing, as you will need chains to move slowly to move.

A gearbox is a gear change device that is controlled by shifts connected to the steering wheel. It moves a spring cable that forces the chain into another gear (rear wheel teeth and between your pedals).


The suspension gives the cyclist comfort and absorbs bumps and potholes similar to a car. A range of suspension (hardtail), to full suspension (front and rear). While suspension systems add weight to the bike, consider more comfort and fun. Many low-cost, entry-level mountain bikes are now available with full suspension, although hard parts are definitely cheaper. Higher quality suspension systems offer greater absorption and durability with less weight.

These features will help you decide what to look for in a mountain bike. Look for special deals in the spring and fall to save more money. When you have the right bike, you are on the way to enjoying the trails.

Source by Chris Molnar