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Cross Training For Runners

Mountain Bike Buying Guide

4 Mins read

This article contains factors to consider when buying a mountain bike, so you’d better know the type of bike you’re looking for.

Before you buy a mountain bike, there are several things you need to pay attention to so that you can find a bike that is comfortable and according to what you expect. Read this article to the end to know how to choose a proper MTB for yourself.

  • Part 1: Various Types of MTB
  • Part 2: How Much Travel Do You Need
  • Part 3: Which Size of Wheel Should You Choose
  • Part 4: How to Find the Right Size
  • Part 5: MTB Frame Materials That You Can Find in Stores

Part 1: Various Types of MTB

Before buying an MTB, the first and most important step is to become familiar with various types of mountain bikes that are available and determine which one suits your riding style the most.

  1. Cross Country (XC)

Cross country (XC) exists for riders who place a high value on pedaling performance. XC bikes are lung-busting, uphill smashing machines bred for endurance and efficiency. Cross country bikes have the most identical geometry to road bikes. The emphasis on efficiency and weight savings does not come without trade-offs; cross-country bikes, for example, sacrifice downhill performance in favour of efficiency and weight savings. Moreover, cross country bikes are ideal for riders who want to pedal for long periods and emphasize ascending over descending. Meanwhile, they also require suitable mountain bike gear.

  1. Trail Bikes

Trail bikes are excellent at both climbing and descending. Additionally, trail bikes have greater suspension, gravity-oriented components (like thicker tires for better traction and bigger brake rotors for more stopping power), and a more relaxed geometry than cross-country bikes, making them more capable on a variety of terrain. If you enjoy mountain biking uphill as well as downhill and enjoy the occasional drop or jump, a trail bike is probably for you.

  1. All Mountain or Enduro Bikes

An all-mountain or enduro bike is ideal if you’re ready to earn your ride by pedaling up but are genuinely in it for the downhill, which should include tricky terrain.

  1. Downhill Bikes

People who ride downhill bikes like to go fast and down steep hills and make big drops and jumps. They aren’t meant to go in any other direction than down.  It’s best if you don’t even want to pedal uphill, have the trails and terrain to support high speeds and airtime, and have the skill level to handle yourself in these situations. A downhill bike is what you need to get started.

  1. Electric Mountain Bike

An electric mountain bike enables you to travel faster while using less energy than a conventional mountain bike. Also, an e-mountain bike has a longer range. It lets you cover more ground in the same amount of time as you would on a conventional bike. But with the help of better electric mountain bike accessories, you can also go a lot farther than you normally would.

Even though it runs on electricity, it doesn’t mean that this bike will just run on its own. There is still a sensor on the electric motor that needs cyclists to pedal in order to activate.

If you’re in a hurry, you don’t have to wait for the entire process to complete. Hence, your electric bike can be 90% charged and ready to go in 2.5 hours.

Part 2: How Much Travel Do You Need

  1. 60-110mm: Cross-country race bike

In this case, you’ll get a cross-country race bike with 60 to 110mm of travel. This type of bike is good at climbing and accelerating quickly on fast-flowing and smooth trails.

  1. 110-130mm: Cross-country/trail bike

Cross-country, downhill, and short-travel trail bikes with 110-130mm of travel can quickly cover a lot of ground. You can ride both man-made loops and less technical natural trails on these bikes, which have less travel.

  1. 130-160mm: Trail bike

A trail bike with between 130 and 160mm of travel will be able to handle more technical trails and will be just as good up and downhill.

  1. 160-180mm: Enduro bike

When riding enduro bikes in the 160-180mm range, you give up some pedaling efficiency in order to excel on steep, nasty off-piste trails and bike park tracks.

  1. 180-200mm: Downhill race bike

When it comes to downhill race bikes, forget about pedaling back up to the trailhead. With around 180-200mm of travel, these are built exclusively for downhill use, including the fastest and most difficult descents.

Part 3: Which Size of Wheel Should You Choose

Except for dirt-jump and slopestyle bikes, 26 have been phased out in favour of larger, faster-rolling hoops.

Any new adult bike will likely come with either 27.5in (also known as 650b) or 29in-diameter wheels.

Lastly, 29er wheels carry more momentum, rollover obstacles easier, and provide more excellent traction.

Part 4: How to Find the Right Size

A good-fitting bike is critical for having fun on the terrain. Begin with a size chart and work your way up, keeping in mind that brand-specific sizing may vary. Sizing decisions are influenced by things like how you ride, your body shape (long legs, short torso, etc.), and how well you know how to ride. Keep these things in mind as you choose an MTB.

Additional Resource – Here’s your guide to cross country running

Part 5: MTB Frame Materials That You Can Find in Stores

Steel is ordinary in low-end, mid-range, and amateur MTB. This material is the most affordable and the most durable. Also, steel is a hefty material; hence the weight will be heavy.

Aluminium is a frame that uses aluminium alloy metal material. Aluminium material is the most popular frame and is widely used in almost all MTB classes.

Carbon fiber frames are rigid, flexible, light, and heavy on certain parts of the frame to make unique frames that are also very comfortable to use.

Titanium is the highest quality material available for MTB. Although it is lightweight, the titanium frame is extremely sturdy and capable of lifting extremely big loads. Additionally, this frame will not rust. Typically, professional cyclists utilize this titanium frame.


It’s not easy to find Cool Mountainbikes if you’re unaware of the critical factors to consider before buying. With this mountain bike buying guide, you are supposed to have a general idea of the type of bike you are searching for.


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