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Jeremycw1's avatar

What different types of mountain bikes are there?

Asked by Jeremycw1 (1367 points ) May 5th, 2011

So I have a hardtail mountain bike, and I want to upgrade to something better. I do a lot of mountain biking and like to get some air, so I’m debating on switching to full suspension or sticking to hardtail. I’ve also heard about a 29-er? Can someone explain what the differences are? I’m kind of a noob at biking :) thanks!

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6 Answers

King_Pariah's avatar

If you are going to bike on a lot flat ground as well, I’d stick to the hardtail, you don’t lose so much speed and still have decent control when biking on rougher terrain. If you are predominately a mountain biker as in most of your time spent biking is in the mountains or on rough terrain, go with full suspension, you get better control and your ass doesn’t hurt so much at the end of the day.

goodstudy's avatar

Basically, there are five different types of Mountain Bikes: cross country, trail, downhill, freeride, and dirt jump. Each type is designed to tackle different kinds of terrain and obstacles and it has its own advantages and disadvantages. In choosing the right Mountain Bike, it is best to know first where you are going to ride and what kinds of obstacles you are going to face while riding. It all boils down to what you want and need.

jerv's avatar

I concur; there are different types for different riding styles, and without knowing what your style is, it’s hard to say what your needs are.

Myself, I am more of an urban cyclist. Much of my riding is on smooth pavement, but Seattle has bad enough roads in places that the potholes make a road bike a losing proposition. I also hit enough dirt, gravel, and grass, and hop enough curbs, so mountain bike it is.

Steady speeds of smooth pavement is the only time I actually use the seat, so how much shock gets transmitted to the seat is not a concern for me, Any time it gets too rough or I need power (hills, sprints, gravel pits….) I am up out of the saddle with my elbows loose enough to let the bike pivot and shake underneath me. I strongly prefer instant, crisp response and find suspension to deaden things. It’s like riding drunk or with Novocaine. Hard tail is the only option for me, and I prefer rigid forks as well.

However, that is in part based on my riding needs, partly on my riding style, and partly on my personal preferences.

Jeremycw1's avatar

After reading these comments, I think I’ll stick to hard tail. It’s also what my bike shop mechanic suggested. I have just been braking a lot of back axels lately… but I assume it’s my fault (for landing too hard on the back wheel alone instead of both wheels).

Thank you for your responses!

jerv's avatar

I spend much of my time up out of the saddle, and I let my legs handle most of the impact absorption. Remember, most of the weight of a bike is the rider; a 20–25 pound bike cannot hit the ground hard enough on it’s own to break stuff. Just work on flexing your knees the right amount at the right time and a rear-first landing won’t cause any problems.

RosauraCaswell's avatar

The hard tail mountain bike has suspension only in the front fork. Hardtail mountain bikes are often designed for either racing or recreational riding. The full suspension mountain bike has suspension both in the front and back. Hence this suspension bikes are used for different riding purpose based upon they designed. The 29er mountain bikes are becoming more popular. The typical mountain bike has wheels that are approximately 26 inches in diameter when the tire is included. The 29 inch mountain bike has larger wheels that are approximately 29 inches in diameter, including the tire. so they are named as fat tire mountain bikes. The reason for the larger wheels because they roll over obstacles. This type of mountain bikes may be full suspension, hardtail or rigid.

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