Mountain biking became popular in the 1970s in the United States. Since then they have been evolving to adapt to the different profiles of users for the unpaved land. For this reason, nowadays it is sometimes confusing to choose the right mountain bike.
There are two elements that generate doubts among those who look for their first mountain bike or do not have a deep knowledge of the market. The first is the type of suspension. Is a rigid or double suspension mountain bike better? The second is the size of the wheels. Is it always preferable to choose the biggest ones?
If you are one of those who are still unclear when it is convenient to choose a 26 “bike or when to bet on a double suspension, read on.
Tell me where you’re going and I’ll tell you what suspension you need
In the market, you can find bicycles with different degrees of cushioning. You have them with front suspension, with full suspension or without any mechanical suspension. These last ones are indicated for very specific uses of high competition. The former are called rigid or semi-rigid. The second is known as double-suspension bicycles.
Rigid and semi-rigid mountain bikes
A bicycle that either lack suspension or have a front damping system in the fork. Normally the route of this suspension is less than 120mm since they are designed to run at full speed through tracks and sections without asphalt without large slopes or steep obstacles.
They stand out for their lightness, dynamism, and agility. It is not an urban legend that in this type of bicycles the force is transmitted more directly to the bottom bracket, but it is simple physics; With nothing more than an iron bar between the saddle and him, the force does not dissipate as it does when there are damping in between. That’s why they are faster.
To this, we must add that they are cheaper than the others because their manufacture is simpler, since the painting is either a single mold, or it has soldiers the rest of the tubes. By dispensing with the rear or center suspension, they have fewer elements and parts, which also results in fewer breakdowns and less expense and maintenance work.
Of course, if we have the misfortune that our back or our joints complain often, it is more advisable to bet on another more comfortable model.
In short, rigid or semi-rigid mountain bikes are indicated for those who seek driving live reactions and roll fast sections of forest tracks. To make techniques, alternating large ascents and descents by very stony sections and rolling along long routes, are less advisable.
Double suspension Bicycles
The more cushioning, the greater the capacity to absorb irregularities of the terrain and the more comfortable it is rolled. That is why bicycles with double suspension are more comfortable.
They weigh more than the rigid ones and their price is also higher, but in return, they are much more comfortable. If you are a regular on the mountain, we do not need to tell you that, when you have been active for several hours, you are able to recognize and feel even the smallest vibration that occurs under the wheels.
With a double suspension, you may need an extra dose of effort, especially in the climbs, because you are carrying more pieces than in the case of a rigid bike, but your body will appreciate how comfortable they are.
The dilemma of wheels
The two main standards of forks in mountain bikes are those that allow mounting 26″ and 29″ wheels. The first measure was the most common until a few years ago when all mountain bikes mounted wheels of this measure.
But little by little it has been giving way to size 29 “, especially in the medium and high ranges. In recent times an intermediate solution has emerged, the 27.5 “wheels. Against this background, the 26 “bicycles have been relegated to very low ranges or bicycles with decent geometry.
Which one to choose from all of them? Smaller wheels will give you more acceleration because they are lighter, and will also give you more rigidity. In other words, you need less effort to make a full turn. This is especially noticeable when the terrain rises.
Larger wheels, such as those of 29”, will be more stable, something that is much appreciated on irregular terrain. To this, we must add that larger wheels will facilitate a greater use of inertia and offer you greater traction. That is, they allow you to travel more meters on each pedal stroke.
There are great professionals that can help you make the best purchase according to the type of bike you are looking for, the budget you have set and the bike size you need. You should read this information once again if you think you have a doubt. Because you are going to buy a costly just like a pressure cooker, oven or garbage disposal.
Do not hesitate to consult everything you consider appropriate, because buying a bicycle is an investment that you will enjoy for a long time.