have exploded in popularity over the past twenty years. These bikes have wide tires, usually with knobby treads and a stout frame, and are designed to handle the rugged trails without disintegrating.Mountain bikes do not go as fast as road bikes, which is a trade-off for their durability along with a more comfortable riding position. You sit higher on these bikes, more upright with the straight handlebars, which is often a happier choice for people with back problems than being hunched over as you are on a road bike.In thinking about the type of cycling that you wish to do, if you have decided to ride “off road” a lot, like using your bike to navigate and tackle the woods or whip through rocky trails, a mountain bike is probably what you will need.Mountain bikes are designed for riding under more rough/rocky/muddy conditions, and typically have a more upright frame offer higher bottom bracket clearance to get over most obstacles.Generally mountain bikes come with suspension front and rear, either coil or air which can take a lot of abuse of the trail/path and still allow the rider to comfortably negiotate rough terrain and go over or through obstacles that he or she may encounter on the trail.
A mountain bike usually comes with knobby tires that offer more grip and traction over a variety of surfaces, including gravel, dirt, rock and sand. Tyre pressure on mountain bikes is less than on road bikes, due to their greater volume and the better traction offered by a softer tire. The rims and spokes(are shorter to take a greater stress) on mountain bike wheels are made to be stronger and more resistant, again to handle the rougher riding that true mountain biking entails.
Most entry mountain bike frames are steel, due to the strength and durability the material offers and the fairly low price of steel.The dis-advantages of steel is the weight and that it can rust.Next is aluminum, which is light and rust proof and pretty strong, but can break over time when riden hard/daily over pot-holes, kerbs and other terrain.Onto carbon fiber frames, the next level of material, it is similar to aluminum in being light, rust proof and very strong, but also prone to breakage, but when they this does happen it will be sudden or at the time of impact.Then there are mountain bike frames made from titanium, which is very light and very strong. Both aluminum and carbon fiber, can eventually fail over time, a titanium frame on a mountain bike will be a sensible choice for large riders because of its ability to carry larger loads without becoming fatigued. There is always a dis-advantage, the downside is that titanium is very expensive. Due to cost, these bikes with titanium frames usually fall beyond the range of all but the most serious or competitive cyclists
Most mountain bikes will come with suspension, everything from a cheapish £150 bicycle with traditional coil to bicycles over £800+ with air-sprung forks.Then you can also buy numerous versions of front and back suspension bicycles(full suspension), again depending on the riding conditions and useage. Yet it is worth considering you get what you pay for and cheap full suspension bicycles will have poor quality parts and will usually be very heavy, might be better to use the money and buy a front suspension or rigid version especially if using around the town/streets, you will get more bicycle for your money and a better ride.
Mountain bike handlebars are usually flat(although you can find various riser bars with different degrees of height), and go straight out from the stem. With a wider grip, usually about shoulder width, these handlebars allow riders to sit upright and offer a better position for vision and control of the bike on up and down terrain.
The way that a mountain bike is designed allows riders sit upright in a position that gives them best control of the bike, with well-placed center of gravity and the ability to shift weight forward or back to provide balance and adjust to varying terrain. Also something to consider and not really discussed are womens specific models, these are available and an ideal option if you are 175cm or less. Although due to poor choice/availability in the UK, many women buy mens bicycles especially over 175cm tall, yet would always recommend trying before you buy.
Mountain bikes have a large range of gears to allow them to handle a wide range of terrain. Low gears that go below that of most road bikes, riders are more easily able to tackle some steep hills. On the high end of the gear range, mountain bikes do not compete well as what you would find on a road bike. Rarely is there the need for open, blazing speed such as you would have on a road bike, and the bike’s over-sized, knobby tires are not really designed for going fast(well apart from down a steep hill).Typically a mountain bike will have either 2 or 3 chain rings in the front as part of the crank assembly, again smaller than what you’d find on a road bike, along with eight or nine gears in the cassette on the rear wheel, many times featuring one bodiaciously-sized gear called a granny gear to help with the particularly steep climbs.
Entry level mountain bikes usually come equipped with platform pedals. This is useful if you are the type of rider who frequently puts your feet down. Other more advanced riders may prefer to use toe clips or even clipless pedals that allow the rider to secure his or her cleated shoes to the pedals, but people have different levels of comfort when it comes to being fully attached to a mountain bike given the different types of terrain encountered and the frequent need to drop ones feet to the ground.
There are many accessories available the basics includ a cycle computer, pump, saddle bag, water bottle and cage.Other Mountain Bike StylesIt is worth considering looking at the 29er, this giving you 700cwheel(similar profile to a hybrid) with a 2inch tyre. This giving the rider a an all day riding bicycle, making it an ideal choice for singletrack, long distance and a daily commute.Warning: sometimes mountain bikes are the default choice of salespeople at the bike shop because they are easy to sell and usually less expensive than road bikes. Too many times though, new mountain bikes with lots of impressive features for climbing a steep mountain trail end up like those four-wheel drive SUVs that never actually go off the pavement. If you are going to buy a mountain bike, make sure you are doing so intentionally because you know that you will in fact be riding off-road. Otherwise, you will be paying for unnecessary features, and probably missing out on a bike that would be a better choice for you.