A mountain bike is the choice for those who want to cycle in the forest and off-road, or who like a slightly tougher bike. When buying a mountain bike, some things you need to consider are:
- Where you intend to use it
- Wheel size
- Number of gears:
- Type of brake system
- Front forks with shock absorption
A larger size of wheel that makes the bike roll more easily Once the bike has picked up speed, it will travel more easily over uneven surfaces. The large wheels are extra practical on asphalt.
A slightly smaller wheel suitable for those who like to cycle in tougher terrain with larger obstacles and technically demanding surfaces. The frame is shorter, and in conjunction with the slightly smaller wheels, this makes it easier to handle the bike. Smaller wheels also accelerate faster. This wheel size is also suitable for those who are a little shorter.
A bike with these smaller wheels is, for example, suitable for those who are a bit shorter. However, many people prefer a smaller bike because it is more manoeuvrable or it simply feels better.
A mountain bike with a Boost-frame means that there is room for the wider Boost hub and thicker tyres, and the chain stay is shorter. The benefits of a Boost frame include:
- A wider hub allows you to have more angle on the spokes and therefore a stronger and more torsion resistant wheel.
- Thicker tyres provide better grip. If you use narrower tyres, you get more space between the chain stay and tyres, which can be good if you riding on clay for example.
- A shorter chain stay gives you a more playful frame with a shorter wheel base.
- Please note that only wheels with a Boost-hub are suitable for a mountain bike with a Boost-frame, as they are wider than usual.
If you cycle actively, it is good to choose a bike with disc brakes instead of the traditional V brake. Disc brakes:
- It will brake better and more softly
- It requires less maintenance
- It does not wear the rim
- It works well even if it is wet
- It allows the wider tyres you have on a mountain bike
There are both mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes. The mechanical brakes are more sensitive to dirt and moisture and often need to be adjusted, but cost a little less. The hydraulic brakes are easy to maintain and can withstand moisture and dirt better. They also give a better brake feel, but are a little more expensive.
When choosing the number of gears, it is good to consider the surface you are planning to ride on. If you ride a lot of hilly routes, more gears may be preferable, while fewer gears are usually sufficient if you ride more often on the flat. A bike can have one, two or three chain rings at the front, as well as a cassette at the back with 6 to 11 more chain rings. Fewer chain rings at the front means less weight, less maintenance and make the gears easier to manage. No matter what you choose, the ratio of the highest and lowest gears is about the same – it is the midrange that has the least choice of gear ratios.
When choosing the number of gears, you should start by considering:
- what kind of terrain you will ride in – hilly or flat
- if having a lightweight bike is important to you
- how often you will want to have to adjust the gears
- how many gear changers on the handlebars you want to have to keep track of
Shock absorbing forks
If you ride a lot off-road, shock-absorbing forks make your ride more comfortable, safer and more fun. Lockable forks are handy if you also ride on flat ground from time to time. Adjustable forks are good if you usually ride in different types of terrain and have varying needs when it comes to suspension.