Are you dreaming of zooming through the trees on two wheels beginner mountain bikes? It is really an addictive experience for many. In fact, mountain biking is a very popular sport and it can provide you real excitement.
However, you must select an appropriately sized bike as per your height, the length of your leg, and your body type. If a bike does not fit you well, it will not be efficient and comfortable to ride. If you are able to find a good bike shop, they can set up a bike as per your special needs.
Most shops also offer discounts, service plans, and repair.
Technically, you can use the same bike for all types of riding such as dirt, park, street, flatland, mountains, etc. However, some key factors make some bikes better for certain disciples of riding.
Here is an evaluation of different types beginner mountain bikes:
As a beginning mountain biker, your primary question will be whether to purchase a mountain bike or a BMX bike.
Both bikes offer different riding experiences and both of them have their pros and cons. BMX bikes are certainly the most robust bikes.
They offer you infinite freedom.
In a simple meaning, BMX is bicycle motocross.
They are off-road sports bicycles used for stunt riding and racing.
Many owners consider them as virtually indestructible. The compact frame of BMX bikes makes them suitable for kids. However, if you are a taller adult, you need to stand up while riding to reach higher speeds.
- BMX bikes are designed for thrashing around and fun rides
- Easy transportable
- Suited to urban environments
- Less servicing and repairs
- Inexpensive, a high-quality BMX bike is available at half the price of a same quality mountain bike
- Easy to ride and designed for comfort
- Not suitable for longer commutes
- No suspension
- One speed, so riding up hills can be difficult
- Not designed for saddle riding
A hybrid bike is a mix of mountain bike and road bike. Therefore, hybrid bikes are suitable for general purpose riding over different types of terrain. So, these bikes are commonly used for commuting. Just like mountain bikes, hybrid bikes also have a flat handlebar.
Therefore, the process of shifting and braking components is similar to mountain biking. Thus, you will get a more upright riding position.
Hybrid bikes have larger volume tires, which provide more comfort than narrower road rubber. The design and features of a hybrid bike are closer to mountain bikes.
The usual wheel size of a hybrid bike is 26-inches. The brake of a hybrid bike can vary from model to model. They also offer versatile gearing and triple chainsets.
Mountain bikes are used for riding on single tracks, logging roads, fire roads, mountain trails and other unpaved environments.
Some of such terrains are loose sand, ruts, washouts, rocks, steep grades, roots, loose gravel, etc. Mountain bikes are constructed to overcome these types of obstacles and terrains.
The construction of a mountain bike differs from a typical cycle in many ways. They also come with a suspension on the fork and frame, more powerful brakes, more durable heavy duty wheels, larger knobby tires, and lower gear ratios for steep grades with poor traction.
Mountain bikes are developed for different types of biking such as cross-country (XC) biking, downhill, freeride all-day endurance biking, single-speed, dirt jumping, mountain cross, and a variety of track and slalom competitions.
A mountain bike is the most versatile riding option, which comes with 21-24 different gears. Therefore, these are highly suitable for all terrains.
Tire sizes of mountain bikes are different, so they are ideal for riders of all heights. You can see lots of mountain bikes for sale, but before purchasing one, you should determine how often you are going to ride this bike.
- Gears make for different gradients or easier riding
- Much more versatile
- Can be used for all sorts of different settings
- Suspension makes them more comfortable for riding
- Good handling on different surfaces
- More expensive than BMX bikes
- Requires more maintenance and repairs
- Heavier and more challenging
You will get maximum efficiency, lightweight frames, and speed from road bikes. The tires of road bikes are narrow, high pressure, and smooth to reduce rolling resistance.
Usually, they come with derailleur gears. But, fixed-gear and single speed varieties are also available. Road bikes are made by using a variety of materials. The frames are made from aluminum, steel and possibly carbon fiber.
- Good Control
- Narrow seats
- No shocks
- Bland look
- Hard to balance
Comfort Bikes and Cruiser Bikes:
Comfort bikes have lots of similarities to hybrid bikes. They combine traits from road bikes and mountain bikes to provide a versatile upright bike.
The frame of a comfort bike is similar to mountain bike. Usually, they come with a suspension fork or seat post.
A comfort bike is designed with an upright riding position. They have heavy-duty road tires on 26-inche wheels for lower vibration and traction. These bikes have wider, more comfortable saddles to protect the rider.
A cruiser bike is durable, heavy, and it offers an extremely stylish ride. Mostly, cruiser bikes are made from aluminum or steel.
They offer a very upright riding position with a long wheelbase and long handlebars. The tires of them are usually wide for flotation and stability on uneven terrains like gravel and sand. The frames of cruiser bikes are often embossed with aesthetic metal work.
Pros and Cons of Cruiser and Comfort Bikes
Cruiser bikes are more aesthetic bikes and capable than comfort bikes.
The use of extra gearing and suspension can make it more functional. However, both these bikes are designed for providing maximum comfort to the riders. So, both these bikes come with larger tires and upright position.
Cruiser bikes require less maintenance. They are very simple and highly durable. Comfort bikes need more care, but they outperform cruiser bikes on rough terrain, hills, and higher speeds.
Cycles are human-powered, single-track, pedal-driven vehicle.
It has two wheels, which are attached one behind the other to a frame. Cycles can be divided into many different categories by a number of riders, by means of propulsion, by gearing, by general construction, or by function.
The more common types of cycles are utility cycles, racing cycles, mountain cycles, BMX bikes, hybrid cycles, touring cycles, and cruiser cycles.
Less common cycles are tall bikes, low riders, tandems, recumbent, amphibious cycles, folding models, and fixed gear. Quadracycles, tricycles, and unicycles are not strictly bicycles, but they have four, three and one wheels respectively. However, they are referred to informally as bikes.
Cyclocross bikes are specifically designed for rigors of cyclo-cross races. Mountain bike enthusiasts and road racers engage in cyclo-cross races when the weather turns cold and wet.
Cyclocross bikes have stronger brakes and larger tire clearance. These types of racings take place in the dirt, snow, and mud.
This is really an exciting alternative to traditional road cycle racing.
The frames of cyclocross bikes are very strong and they resemble those of traditional road bikes.
They are made for speed and place the rider in an aggressive position.
They have higher tire clearance in frame and fork, so you can use them in unpredictable terrain.
Most cyclocross bikes make use of the disc brakes of mountain bikes, which allow more consistent braking power in wet conditions.
Downhill is the fast-paced category of mountain biking, which takes place on steep slopes. The downhill mountain bike is sturdy and has full suspension with extra travel. So these bikes are ideal for conquering rough terrains at high speeds. Usually, downhill mountain bikes are heavier than traditional mountain bikes.
Downhill bikes are constructed to withstand extreme punishment.
Avoiding obstacles during downhill bike racing is very difficult.
Therefore, downhill races take place at high speed. So, the frames of these bikes are extremely sturdy and are manufactured from high-strength materials such as carbon fiber, titanium, and steel.
There is very little climbing, so weight is not of utmost importance. Full-suspension frames, slacker geometry, etc are the other features of downhill mountain bikes.
Full Suspension Mountain Bike:
Full suspension or hardtail is the biggest question for all mountain bikers.
Compared to hardtail mountain bikes, full suspension bikes come with lots of advantages. They can tackle much more terrain and can provide you higher comfort. You have to pay a higher price for getting a higher end technology.
If you like to keep your butt on the seat while climbing, a full suspension bike is better for you. They are also perfect for downhill technical trails, which have lots of bumps along the way. Full-suspension bikes require more maintenance than hardtails.
The frames of full-suspension bikes are made from carbon fiber and aluminum. They can offer you an unparalleled riding experience and they offer you amazing comfort and control.
Giant mountain bikes have broad, knobbier tires for providing more grip and absorption of shocks. The wheels of giant bikes have a bigger diameter.
The starting range of the diameter of a giant mountain bike is 952mm.
Different types of giant bikes have different wheels. It is very difficult to ride giant bikes because of bigger wheels. Therefore, these types of bikes are mainly used for giant bike challenges.
The broader wheels help to climb easier and you can also make ascending more steady.
In fact, the wheels of giant bikes are specially designed for mountain biking. It is extremely difficult for beginners to ride a giant mountain bike.
If you want them to ride in unsafe conditions, you must have enough practice. The wheel configurations of a giant bike make it perfect for mountain biking.
It is not safe to use the normal bikes on such terrains. Giant mountain bikes are lightweight, laterally stiff, provide better climbing and acceleration, absorb vibrations, give a submissive ride, and most importantly, they are drop-dead gorgeous.
Hardtail Mountain Bike:
Hardtail dreams are constructed on blood, tears, toil, sweat, gears, grease, downhill and uphill. Purchasing a bike with impact-absorption suspension for just one wheel or both wheels is the basic question for many mountain bikers.
You need a full-suspension bike for downhill racing. In fact, hardtail mountain bikes lack rear shock, pivots, and other complications.
Therefore, it needs very less maintenance.
Hardtail bikes are cheaper and you will get a better component for your bike with your money.
You need not spend extra money for getting a pivoting rear end and a rear shock. Hardtail mountain bikes are made from lighter materials.
A hybrid bicycle is a great all-rounder and they are normally lighter than mountain bikes. The hybrid bikes can be seen in anywhere in towns and cities.
They are the excellent commuter bicycles to ride through the morning traffic.
Different types of hybrid bicycles are available that range from classic Dutch-style to new sporty style bicycles for touring and fitness.
Hybrids are made for more adventurous riders. They come with suspension forks for navigating bridleways and dirt paths. Both men and women versions of hybrid bicycles are available.
They are ideal also for beginning bikers who want to go reasonably fast over different terrains and remain comfortable while doing so. However, you should do some homework before purchasing a hybrid bicycle.
Literally, hundreds of different children's bikes are available on the market. Though kids bikes are small, they come with the same quality, assembly, machining, lightness, and finishes as an adult bike.
Therefore, the cost of them will be as same as adult bikes.
Weight is a huge issue for a kids bike. The weight of a kids road bike is usually around half of the weight of a child.
Most kids bike manufacturers use the components of an adult bike for making kids bikes because they are available very easily and at a cheaper price.
The size and shape of the body of a child are entirely different than that of an adult.
So, when kids bikes are manufactured by using the adult bike components, they work against a child. Higher end kids bikes are designed perfectly.
The weight of such bikes is very light and it is easy to ride them.
If you are not able to afford a high-end kids road bike, you should focus on the weight of kids bike and top tube length before purchasing one.
Are you planning to purchase a girls bike? Then, you should consider the shorter arms and longer legs of ladies before purchasing one.
Therefore, you must know your child’s overall weight and body dimensions for getting a perfect bicycle for your daughter.
The comfort of the girls must be the primary consideration while purchasing a ladies bike. If the bike is not comfortable for her, she cannot enjoy biking. While selecting ladies bikes, you should ensure that the girls can be able to get on and off the bike safely.
Ladies mountain bikes are made with shorter distances between the seat of the bike and top of the frame. So, ladies bikes are created on the basis of longer leg/shorter torso generalization.
Sometimes, ladies bikes have thinner tubes and thus they have lighter frames. Dedicated ladies mountain bikes have different saddle from men's counterparts.
When you purchase a girls bike, the primary concern must be the size of the bike. In fact, the criteria for sizing differ slightly from that of an adult. When you purchase a bike for your girl children, it should last as long as possible.
Therefore, you should also provide plenty of room for growing. But at the same time, it should not impede the safety.
You should also consider the frame size of the bike. It should not be too big, which will not be comfortable for girls and it may lead to dangerous consequences.
The bicycle industry is very huge. You can see lots of brands and various types of bikes. This is helpful for picking the right bicycle as per your need, requirements and budget.
In fact, most of the bikes, whether mountain bikes or road bikes are designed for men. However, there are also various options for women’s bikes, kids bikes, etc.
However, the major market for bike industry depends on men's bikes. Different types of bikes are available for bike lovers.
Road bikes, touring bikes, cyclocross bikes, mountain bikes, time trial bikes, flat-bar road bikes, track/fixed gear bikes, hybrid bikes, cruiser bike, city bikes, BMX bikes, folding bikes, recumbent bikes, adult tricycles, tandem bikes, etc are some types of bicycles.
Myriad manufacturers introduce different types of men's bikes in all these categories. So, you can select the best one as per your requirements.
The racing bikes are designed for competitive road cycling.
The weight and stiffness of a racing bike determine the efficiency of these bikes. Therefore, these two are the most important characteristics of a racing bike.
In order to provide more aerodynamic posture to the riders, the drop handlebars of a racing bike are positioned lower than the saddle.
The back and front wheels of these bikes are close together. Therefore, quick handling is very easy. The rider can pedal at the optimum cadence because the derailleur gear ratios are spaced closely. You can also select the best racing bikes from a wide range of brands.
There are two types of road bicycles, sportive bikes, and race bikes. Sportive bikes are also called endurance bikes. Road race bikes are designed primarily for racing. They put you in a very low and crouched position.
The handlebars of these bikes are lower than the saddle. If your position is very low, you can be more aerodynamic and can go faster. Besides being fast, the road race bikes will be agile with quick.
However, the flat back position may not be suitable for all. Sportive road bicycles have good speed and handling.
They can offer you more relaxed position than road racing bikes. Therefore, sportive bikes are more popular for cyclists. Besides, they are the ideal choice if you are going to buy your first road bicycle.
They offer slightly more upright riding position, which is the other peculiar feature of a sportive road bike. So, they can provide you greater levels of comfort. So, it is always better to purchase sportive road bicycles when you seek road bikes for sale.
Single Speed Bikes:
Single speed bikes are designed with a single gear ratio.
They do not have hub gearing, derailleur or other methods for varying the gear ratio. Various types of modern single speed bikes are available on the market.
But, most of them are designed for children. A single speed bike is not so expensive.
They are lighter and mechanically simpler than the multi-geared bikes. Due to the lack of derailleur and or other gearing systems,
these types of bikes require very low maintenance.
Therefore, these are perfect for city commuting in all weather. However, it is very difficult to pedal single speed bikes to uphill because of lower gearing options.
Specialized Road Bikes:
Specialized road bikes have a very lightweight frame, components, and wheels. They have a composite carbon front fork and narrow tires and wheels. They lack front or rear suspension.
A wide range of specialized road bikes is available for men and women with a wide range of sizes. These types of bikes are manufactured for fitness enthusiasts, competitive riders, and event riders.
They are designed for riding on roads or paved surfaces.
They are not recommended for unpaved or rough surfaces. These types of bikes allow you to go faster and farther than most other types of bikes.
Though they are not designed for carrying loads, you can use them for vehicle-supportive multi-day touring.
You will be surely amazed when you see the range of touring bikes. A touring bicycle is designed to handle bicycle touring. In order to make a bike more comfortable, sufficiently robust and capable of carrying heavy loads,
the manufacturers include some specific features such as long wheelbase, heavy duty wheels, frame materials that flexibility, and multiple mounting points for bottle cages, fenders, and luggage racks.
You should select a touring bike as per the style of your ride. First of all, you should decide the type of trip you are planning to make. Different types of bike trips are:
- Short term or long term
- On-road or off-road (paved Vs unpaved)
- Lightweight or heavyweight
- Fast or slow
- High budget or low budget
Road touring bikes are designed to provide you a stable and comfortable ride, mounting points for carrier racks and panniers, provisions for attaching fenders, and predictable handling when laden with baggage.
The sport touring bikes are very lightweight, narrower tires and lighter wheels. These are also known as road racing bikes.
Want to buy a woman specific mountain bike? Great, that is wonderful. When you visit a bike shop, you can see a vast majority of mountain bikes. But most of them are designed with the proportions of an average man.
Mountain bikes for women are built differently.
An average woman has shorter torsos, longer legs, and shorter arms than a man of the same height. The hands and feet of women are smaller, and shoulders are narrower and hips of them are wider.
The bike fits, handles and feels are affected by all these differences.
While designing a women’s specific bicycle, different manufacturers follow different approaches. Some modify the frame by changing to smaller handlebars, a wider saddle, shorter cranks, and a shorter stem.
But some others design a women's bicycle in a more comprehensive way by designing women’s specific designs differently such as a taller head tube, a more relaxed head tube angle, a shorter top tube, and a slightly steeper seat tube angle.
A woman has shorter torsos.
Therefore, when the top tube is shorter, it will create problems such as increased toe overlap and less stable handling.
However, these problems occur when the manufacturers do not make the other modifications.
If you have enough time, patience, and money to invest in the process, you should ask yourself about the need for a women’s specific mountain bike.
Lots of men’s specific mountain bikes are readily available. Then, why should you need the female version?A bike that is designed to fit you will surely fit your riding style and your physical features.
You can think about getting a good custom frame builder, if you have sufficient time and money,. So, you will get an exact bike as per your specific needs.
Women's mountain bikes do work perfectly for some women.
But, they may not be suitable for every woman.
Therefore, you should not assume that you must require a women-specific mountain bike. At the same time, it is not good to discount them outright. It is always better to try both women’s specific and men’s specific bikes.