3 tips to choose the perfect mountain bike for you
The bike sector has evolved and has specialized so much in recent years that, unless one is a true expert, you may feel lost when choosing a new mount; we give you the option to find perfect mountain bike following only 3 simple steps.
Given the great offer that exists today in the market, it is increasingly difficult to choose the right bike. To the different models of bicycles, increasingly specialized and specific for each use or terrain, the existence of three different wheel diameters is now added: 26″, 27.5″ and 29″.
Throughout this article we will discuss the different options that any user can find in the market and we will give you a few tips to guide when choosing a bicycle that perfectly suits your needs… And all this in 3 simple steps.
1. Where do you usually ride?
To correctly choose your bike you have to take into account different factors such as the terrain you usually ride, your style or preferences and even your height.
If you ride on flat terrain, a 29″ bike, rigid or with little suspension travel, such as a Rally or Marathon will always be more advisable.
If you do high mountain, more variables come into play. If you move through forest tracks and give priority to a good behavior and increase lightness, the Rally and Marathon categories are ideal, in 29″.
If you prefer the balance, to make marathon routes of long technical ups and downs, it will be in the category Trail or All Mountain where you have to look. In both cases you will find 27.5 “and 29” wheel options, which you will have to choose according to your height or your preferences. A small wheel always improves handling and response on twisty trails, and will be more appropriate if you like to “play” with the bike. The big wheels, although their handling has improved a lot with the improvement of the geometries, are more “bulky” and offering a slightly lower handling.
In the event that you prefer to have fun on the descent, the speed of climb matters less; the ability to lower and the safety in complicated stretches. If this is your choice you will have to look for an Enduro bike, up to 160 mm long and with a 27.5″ wheel. There are some versions of 29″.
2. How tall are you?
If your bicycle size is included in the usual fork (S, M and L), for your height you will have no problem adapting to any wheel size, and within a logical order you will be comfortable with any of the three measures: 26, 27.5 or 29 inch. If instead you need a size that is at the end of the rule (XS or XL) you should necessarily consider the 26 “or 27.5″ wheels if you are XS or less than 1.70 m or necessarily 29” if you measure more than 1.90 m.
3. Choose your bike
Scores from 1 to 10, in each case 1 is the worst performance and 10 the best.
Very fast bikes, most of them rigid, or double, with suspension travel up to 100 mm. Aggressive geometry, with an inclined and advanced driving position. 29¨ wheels, in some cases 27.5¨.
Comfort position: 2
Upload speed: 10
Lowering speed: 5
These are bikes designed for long-term racing. As such they have to be fast and sufficiently comfortable not to punish the body after the passing of the hours. Always with double suspension, with paths between 100 and 120 mm.
Comfort position: 3
Upload speed: 8
Lowering speed: 5
Multi-purpose, almost always double suspensions of up to 150 mm of travel. They combine climbing features with acceptable downhill capacity. Lockable or adjustable suspensions. Driving position is average, looking for the compromise between comfort and effectiveness. 27.5″ or 29″ wheel.
Comfort position: 7
Upload speed: 7
Lowering speed: 7
They are double suspensions around 160 mm of travel (some up to 170 mm). They are looking for an acceptable climbing capacity, but the speed in the descents prevails. The driving position is upright, delayed. Always with telescopic seatpost. The dominant wheel is the 27.5, but there are some cases of 29″ wheel.
Comfort position: 5
Upload speed: 5
Lowering speed: 9