Mountain bikes (MTB) are categorized into 3 types according to their suspension level i.e Rigid, Hardtail, and Full-suspension. Mountain bikes types can be further divided into more these categories: Gravity / Downhill, All-mountain / Enduro, Trail, Cross-country (XC) and Fat bikes.
What are the different types of mountain bikes? It’s getting harder and harder to go wrong with mountain bikes these days because there are so many good models available. Focus on what’s important and remember what the goal is. Gains and differences are rarely substantial, so focus on what’s important. Ride instead of worrying about the details.
Different mountain bike disciplines require different bike features to achieve optimal results. For example, lightweight bicycles are highly competitive in Cross-Country (XC) racing, as a result of which lightweight frames and components are very popular. A bike with a longer travel and dropper Seatpost is popular in other disciplines like Trail, All-mountain, and Enduro racing.
- 1 The Different Types Of Mountain Bikes
- 2 How to Choose a Mountain Bike
The Different Types Of Mountain Bikes
Although mountain bikes are grouped with road bikes, their types and purposes are vastly different. Mountain biking is different from road biking, which is usually ridden on straight roads and does not differ significantly from profile to profile depending on the terrain.
Rigid – Mountain Bikes
There is no suspension on the front fork or rear of these mountain bikes. It’s a hard place to ride off-pavement / hard-pack dirt if you’re a beginner. You’ll get beaten up and hate mountain biking before you have a chance to like it. It is a safe and convenient option for riding on the pavement to use these safe and versatile bikes.
Hardtail – Mountain Bikes
The front fork of this hardtail mountain bike has suspension shocks, but not the rear. Purchasing one of these bikes with better components at a lower price will allow you to purchase one on a budget with lighter components. The handling of hardtail bikes is also superior to that of entry-level full-suspension bikes.
Hardtail mountain bikes aren’t just for newbies looking to save some money. These bikes are lightweight and rigid, making them ideal for racing and cross country riding.
Full-suspension – Mountain Bikes
The suspension in full-suspension bikes helps improve the rider’s comfort, and it enables them to handle more technical terrain. A higher price tag and a heavier weight are usually associated with these bikes. Beginners usually wait to purchase their first full-suspension bike until they’re more experienced.
How to Choose a Mountain Bike
- You should choose a mountain bike that suits your needs.
- Specs and statistics for different models should be compared.
- Choose your size according to your body type.
- Choosing the right build kit for your budget and goals is key.
- Decide which model you’d like to ride by riding some demos.
- You should choose a mountain bike that aligns with your riding style and budget.
Other Types of Mountain Bikes
So, why is it that there are so many different styles of mountain bikes now? There are many different terms used by bike manufacturers to describe bikes, but there are 4 basic types: All-Mountain (Enduro), Cross Country (XC), Downhill (Park), and Trail. Let’s review one by one:
All Mountain (Enduro) – Mountain Bikes
It can be seen as the big brother to the trail bike. All-mountain bikes are at the heart of Enduro’s race format, which requires climbing but only counts downhill segments. When you want to earn your ride up, but you’re really in it for the downhill with technical terrain and airtime in mind, then an all-mountain or enduro bike is the perfect rig. In addition, an all-mountain bike can handle a few laps in a bike park or even on shuttle-accessible trails.
Some Key Features For All-Mountain Bikes
- Enduro mountain bikes usually have 27.5 or 29-inch wheels or even come with a mixed-size â€œmulletâ€, with 29â€ up front, followed by 27.5 at the rear.
- Trail bikes have suspension travel of between 5.5″/140mm and 6.7″/180mm, while all-mountain bikes have slightly more suspension travel.
- Geometrically, descending is more advantageous than climbing. With steep climbs, a head angle of 65Â° or 67Â° may require a certain degree of finesse.
- The key terms for modern all-mountain / enduro geometry are a long wheelbase and reach, a low bottom bracket, and a slack head angle.
- The main part of the ride is gravity-assisted, so all mountain bikes are likely to have knobby tires for cornering and traction.
Cross Country (XC) – Mountain Bikes
These bikes are made for riders who place pedaling performance at the top of their priority list. Known for their endurance and efficiency, these machines crush uphills and blow out lungs. Cross country bikes share the most similarities with road bikes in terms of geometry.
Efficiencies and lightweights can’t be achieved without tradeoffs, however, Cross Country bikes compromise downhill performance for efficiency and weight. These bikes are ideal for riders who are going to pedal for a long time and those who prefer climbing over descending.
Some Key Features of Cross Country Bikes
- There is a trend towards larger mountain bike wheels 29 inches, on modern cross-country bikes. The rim diameter is the same as for a 700c road bike.
- Mountain bikes with 4.7″/120mm of travel or less are the lightest on the market.
- In this category, hardtails (for front suspension only) can be preferred in some cases.
- Rider’s inefficient climbing positions are aided by longer chainstays and wheelbases, steep head angles (69Â° or steeper), and long stems.
- It is more likely that the tires on these bikes will be lightweight, efficient, and have a faster-rolling resistance than they will be traction- and control-enhancing.
Downhill (Park) – Mountain Bikes
The downhill bike is built for steep, gnarly terrain, speed, big drops, and jumps. These bicycles usually require some other mode of transportation to reach the top of the trail, such as hiking, shuttling, or a chairlift. They cannot go in any other direction than downward.
A downhill bike is for you if you’re not remotely interested in pedaling uphill if you’ve got the trail system and terrain to support high speeds and airtime, and if you’ve got the skills necessary to handle yourself in these situations.