To face the mountain’s natural terrain with confidence, you’re going to need a rugged bike designed for the task. Bikes made for all mountain riding are usually full suspension for maximum control and comfort. The rear suspension has more travel than the front. The suspension travel determines how much give the bike has as it goes through the terrain. With big jumps and drops, a rear suspension travel between 130 and 170mm is needed. All-mountain bikes need to have thicker tires to prevent punctures. A wider wheel will also make getting through the mountain a lot easier.
The right type of bike for cross country mountain biking can vary based on your skill level and the type of trails you’ll be riding. Novice riders usually start with hard-tail bikes that have a single suspension system. The single suspension makes the bike easier to maneuver and allows you to make sharp moves with better precision. They also allow you to move faster without exerting too much energy with pedaling. Even seasoned bikers will find a hard-tail bikes proficient for easier trails. However, full-suspension bikes offer better control and stability. They are especially beneficial if you’re on a trail that requires more effort on the descent. A suspension travel between 80 and 120mm will make riding through gravel and debris more comfortable while textured tires add more traction. A lightweight frame will also make moving through the trail much easier.
Speed and control are what makes a downhill ride successful, so these bikes are easier to distinguish from their unique design. They have a slack design that makes the bike more aerodynamic and they tend to be longer and lower to the ground. A 65-degree head angle adds more control and stability. Downhill bikes also have high suspension travel of up to 220mm. Metal springs and rear shocks ensure that you stay comfortable and retain control of the bike even on the biggest drop. They are also much heftier than the standard mountain bike, as they are put through a lot of wear and tear which makes the bike difficult to ride uphill.
Due to the nature of dirt jumping, bikes tend to be simple in design. However, some bikes offer more features that can be useful based on your skill level. Experienced riders often use simple bikes that allow them to perform aerial tricks without the hindrance of added weight and numerous features. With speed and air being the main goal, bikes are light-weight and have a sloping design that helps with building speed. A high front suspension is common among these bikes to absorb the shock of a landing after an epic jump. Rear suspension is also a good idea, though most bikes offer only a small suspension travel. Most bikes also use a single gear and disc break system for simplicity.
Free-ride bikes are made to be used in a variety of different applications. Because the discipline focuses mainly on tricks and style, bikes are pretty simple. They are similar in design to dirt jumping bikes. They generally have full suspension systems with at least 170mm of suspension travel to absorb the shock of a drop. While they are also mainly made for riding downhill, they do perform better ascending a trail than downhill bikes. To make maneuvering simpler, these bikes have very light frames. This allows you to go through intricate features of the trail or riding area. They are an agile type of mountain bike that gives you more control and stability, regardless of what trick you are doing.