By Jenoline Sneha
Want some adrenaline rush? Why not try Mountain Biking! Before you give it a try though, here are tips on the kind of Bikes you should consider.
Each brand often has its own name for the different categories of Mountain Bikes (MTBs) that they have in their range. Each category of mountain bikes has its own speciality and, therefore, always has points on which they score weaker or stronger. The different manufacturers also often have different classification for their bikes. Also, the transition from one category to another is not very abrupt but flows more into each other.
Roughly speaking, the classification is as follows:
XC (Cross Country) / Marathon Mountain Bikes:
This category of Mountain Bike, usually hardtail, are built to cover an average course as quickly as possible and to compete with others. They are often lightly built, and have a somewhat smaller suspension. The frame geometry is designed to cycle as fast as possible on flat paths, to cycle hard up and to descend reasonably well. You will also notice that when you sit on an XC bike, the sitting position is quite bent, and the pressure on the hands is fairly high. Of course, this ensures the least air resistance, which improves the speed, but can sometimes lead to tingling hands at slower cycling. Rocky terrain is also not ideal for these bikes. These mountain bikes are usually ideal for the Dutch mountain bike trail.
AM (All Mountain) / Enduro Mountain Bikes:
All Mountain MTBs are also called Enduro, Trail or Sport Trail Mountain Biking. This category of full-suspension mountain bike is more versatile than the MTB in Best Budget price. The suspension travel starts from approximately 120 mm to a maximum of 160 mm and is, therefore, better able to absorb unevenness.
The sitting posture is less focused on aerodynamics, but more on a good posture in order to keep the MTB well under control in all circumstances. The bicycles are more robust and somewhat heavier. They are also easier for riders when descending a rocky path or riding over thick tree roots. These mountain bikes are real all-rounder bikes that you can use in the Netherlands but also abroad.
Freeride Mountain Bikes:
Freeride MTBs are mainly made for downhill runs, and big jumps. The frame geometry is slightly reclined, making climbing a bit harder and going down a little easier. The bike is also a bit heavier in design than the All Mountain bike. Also, these MTBs usually weigh somewhat higher and their tires are slightly wider for more grip than other categories.
However, the bike is a bit harder to ride while climbing, and is not really pleasant on long journeys. The suspension usually varies between 160 mm and 200 mm. The saddle position is also a lot lower than that of a Cross Country or All Mountain MTB. This makes it possible to use your knees as a shock absorber without the saddle getting in the way.
Downhill Mountain Bikes
The name of the category actually says exactly what you can actually do with these bikes. Downhill! DH Bikes often have a travel distance of between 200mm and 300mm. They are heavy-duty and therefore weigh a lot. The frame geometry of these bikes is extremely reclined. When you are on a steep descent, the angle of the bike is nicely horizontal and therefore easy to control. Also, because of this frame geometry, you will be less likely to somersault when the front wheel encounters a pit or boulder, the centre of gravity is more to the rear than with a normal MTB and it will fall less quickly. This bike is unsuitable for the Dutch mountain bike trail, but is ideal for extreme descents in the mountains or in Bike parks.
Fat Bikes originated in the 80s in America, Alaska to be precise. In order to cycle in the snow, a bicycle was developed whose rims were doubled. The rims were welded together and the middle rim was ground away. Due to the extremely wide tires that fitted around these double rims, it was possible to have enough grip and not to sink into the snow. It was later discovered that these bicycles with extremely wide tires could also be used excellently in the desert sand and dune landscape.
Electric mountain bikes:
The electric mountain bikes are now increasingly seen on the Dutch mountain bike trail. Many find it unfair to cycle around on a bicycle with a pedal assistant. It is, of course, very comfortable to cycle when you are climbing the Schoorl ridge and you do not have to get out of the saddle while you easily pass the most seasoned mountain bikers. The pedal assistant only works up to a maximum speed of 25 km / h. It is ideal if you have a cycling partner that is a lot faster. You can enjoy cycling together with an electric mountain bike.
These bikes make climbing hundreds to thousands of metres easy, and the descent enjoyable! The purchase price of these bikes is a lot higher than normal mountain bikes and you must also assume that the battery will not last forever. The weight of these bicycles is also a lot higher. This can influence manoeuvrability.
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