Those of you who have heard of Schwinn bikes should know by now just how exquisite and reliable these bikes can be. Schwinn bikes are in a class of their own for a number of reasons but mostly for their engineering, sturdy frame, and reliable construction. This particular mountain bike comes with a suspension fork of the highest standard for riding on rough terrain, a fork that you can rely on at any speed. Front and rear alloy linear pull brakes ensure that you get a decent amount of stopping power, whereas its wide knobby mountain tires rest on light and durable alloy wheels for added stability. Overall, it is perhaps one of the best mountain bikes the market has to offer at this point in time.
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What To Look For In A Mountain Bike
We all know about the many health benefits of riding a bike, even more so if you’re riding a mountain bike. People enjoy riding mountain bikes for the same reason why they enjoy hiking or camping. There is something intimate, almost esoteric about being close to nature and mother Earth, a feeling some people search for their entire lives. Whatever your reason for owning a mountain bike, you should be well-prepared before you actually commit to a purchase. We say this because these type of bikes aren’t all built to meet universal standards but rather impress through their particularities. With that in mind, let us find out a bit more about what makes a good mountain bikes and what features to look for when buying one.
Types Of Mountain Bikes
Although most mountain bikes are built for roughly the same purpose, there are many differences between models one needs to consider. Anything from a bike’s frame, fork, suspension, or wheels can alter your overall riding experience, which is why it’s best to first figure out which type of bike would best suit your needs. In principle, most manufacturers build cross-country, trail, enduro, downhill, electric, single speed, or dirt jump bikes, each with their own set of unique characteristics.
- Cross-country Mountain Bikes – These type of bikes are designed to help you cover ground quickly and efficiently. This makes them perfect for racing and for people who share a more pace-oriented view on mountain biking. It needs to be said that these bikes have an 80 to 100 mm of travel at either end and that they are equipped with lockout switches to prevent sapping of any kind. Furthermore, these bikes tend to employ steeper head angles for quick reactions and for easy handling when riding at full speed. The only real problem with them is that the geometry of such a bike makes it harder to deal with steep descents.
- Trail Mountain Bikes – With trail mountain bikes, people get to enjoy a broader, all-around riding experience that allows riders to navigate across all types of terrain. In particular, trail bikes are great when descending because of how their frame and suspension are built. We say this because they use short stems and wide handlebars to increase control and turning accuracy when going at a reasonable pace. At the same time, the tires tend to have a more aggressive tread and frames with a 130 to 150 mm travel. Not just that but full-suspension trail bikes are seen as among the steadiest when it comes to riding on uneven terrain.
- Enduro Mountain Bikes – As you may know already, enduro races require riders to descent across damaged terrain as quickly as they possibly can. In this respect, enduro mountain bikes are designed to perform well when going down steep trails, yet to also be efficient enough to go back up the trail if needed. It is for this reason that most enduro bikes have a more standard travel and a much stronger suspension. Speaking of which, the suspension of most enduro mountain bikes is usually air-sprung and yet, more heavy-duty that regular bikes and with a wider range of damping. This is supposed to tune the bike’s downhill performance when descending, while coil shocks ensure that the rider experiences a reasonable standard of comfort at all times.
- Downhill Mountain Bikes – The name is a dead giveaway with downhill mountain bikes, which are best used for going downhill at a steep incline. Similar to enduro bikes in many ways, downhill mountain bikes are specifically designed for downhill riding, which means that they might not perform as well as enduro bikes when going back up again. To ensure their stability, these bikes have around 200 mm of travel at both ends, which is complemented by coil sprung suspension systems. This is intended to optimize the bike’s traction and support while still providing decent maneuverability. What’s more, these bikes usually employ peculiar forks with legs that extend above the head tube for better support across rough terrain.
- Electric Mountain Bikes – These bikes have experienced an increase in popularity in recent years and it’s easy to see why. Equipped with inbuilt electric motors, they can help boost a rider’s pedaling input to increase speed and cruising comfort. For the most part, you can adjust the exact level of support you require and the level of assistance you would be most comfortable with. Bear in mind, however, that these bikes are usually heavier than regular mountain bikes because of their battery and electric motor. Also worth mentioning is the price tag, which is usually a bit bigger than that of traditional bikes.
Another thing to consider with mountain bikes is the fact that their suspension differs from one model to another. While some people prefer full suspension mechanisms for a more all-around mountain biking experience, others enjoy a slightly more rigid bike for authenticity. For instance, trail-ready bikes have to deliver a reasonably comfortable experience while still being strong enough to withstand sudden change in inclination and terrain type. It is also worth mentioning that constant advances in suspension technology allow for bikes to boast full-bounce systems that offer more value for money.
The main advantage of full-suspension mountain bikes is the increase in pedaling efficiency. Due to the extra suspension it delivers, riders can go a lot faster as the back of the bike sucks up the bounces of the road without causing any imbalance for the rider. Given the extra cushioning, the bike will also increase comfort on long rides while minimizing lower back and knee stress for the rider at all times.
With the suspension issue out of the way, all you need to consider next is the amount of travel that best suits your riding style. With a standard 80 to 100 mm travel, you get a faster bike, one that will help you overcome steep climbs yet still be stable enough to handle rough terrain. These bikes are also rather fast by most standards, which explains why so many cross-country racers prefer them to begin with. With a 120 to 140 mm travel, on the other hand, you get a slightly bulkier build, which is to say that they aren’t very popular among professionals and passionate cyclists. It is for this reason that these bikes are usually built using stiff aluminum or carbon frames in order to make the experience more comfortable for the rider.