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Mountain Bikes

Ajo Bikes

Buying Your Mountain Bike – Key Features

Suspension

You have the choice between rigid, hardtail, and full suspension on your bike. Full suspension bikes will generally have the smoothest ride possible, but they can waste some energy when hill climbing. Rigid suspension means that the frame is completely locked, so the ride will be bumpy unless you have extra-wide tires. Hardtail suspensions offer some middle ground, with a suspension fork on the front of the bike, but no suspension in the back.

Wheel Size

26″ was formerly the standard wheel size for mountain bikes, but larger options are becoming more common. 27.5” and 29” tires can provide easier rolling and better efficiency on longer rides. You may also choose wheels that can accommodate wider tires, which offer even smoother, more controlled rides.

Gearing

You might think that more gears are always better for mountain bikes, but this depends on the type of terrain you ride on, as well as your strength as a rider. You should also remember that lower gear counts will keep the bike lighter, so consider your full range of options.

Brakes

You won’t likely see rim brakes on mountain bikes beyond entry level models. Disc brakes are considered more efficient and stable, and they are designed to last much longer. These may be hydraulic or cable-activated. Hydraulic disc brakes take less finger effort to operate and less maintenance, but they are also more expensive.

Fit

You’ll find some overlap in standard mountain bike sizes, which correspond with height. Ideally, you should opt for a frame that needs to be adjusted up to your size, rather than down. It is easier to adjust to a too-small frame than one that is too large. You should also be sure to test ride any mountain bike before buying, since you will want to make sure you are completely comfortable when riding it.

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