MTB Buying Guide
Mountain bike technology has improved exponentially in recent years. It is no longer as simple as finding a bike with fat tires and some front suspension. There are multiple styles of bikes with different amounts of travel, different geometry and different styles of componentry. In this article we identify the bike styles via riding styles and terrain so you can get the perfect bike to suit your riding.
Enduro bikes are the fastest growing and most popular style of Mountain bike over the last five years. Enduro Bikes are built to go fast Downhill with 150-180mm of travel on low and slack geometry frames. While they can be ridden uphill, you won't be winning any climbing races. Enduro bikes are built tough, not light, to put up with the rigours of consistently going downhill fast.
“Enduro Bikes can be ridden uphill, you won't be winning any climbing races. Enduro bikes are built tough, not light, to put up with the rigours of consistently going downhill fast.”
If you are looking for a bike that will be forgiving when you choose the wrong line and is ready to bomb downhill without needing a shuttle back to the top, Enduro bikes are for you. While they can be more difficult to climb on, modern geometry makes them comfortable to winch your way up a climb. If you are interested in all-day epics with more forgiveness than an XC bike AM or trail bikes might be a better option.
All-Mountain(AM) bikes are lighter than enduro bikes but are ready for tougher terrain than trail bikes. Usually boasting 130-150mm of travel, there is enough travel to assist you downhill as you get tired. Weighing between 13-15 kilograms, they aren't the lightest bikes, but they are built stout to keep you riding with fewer mechanicals. The geometry has been refined to provide the perfect balance of climbing and downhill ability.
“All Mountain bikes aren't the lightest bikes, but they are built stout to keep you riding with fewer mechanicals. The geometry has been refined to provide the perfect balance of climbing and downhill ability.”
AM bikes are perfect for riders looking to ride aggressive trails while out on big rides. While they may not be the lightest bike, they will get you to your destination reliably and consistently. If you are looking for a bike more suited to riding rough downhills fast, enduro may be better for you. If you are looking for something lighter and faster while capable of riding Downhill, trail bikes may be for you. AM will provide you with the happy medium of climb ability and confidence if you don't know where you will be heading or what lies ahead on the trail.
With 120-140mm of travel and a lighter weight, more nimble frame, trail bikes are where the climbing becomes more enjoyable. Trail bikes need more rider input to ride down a hill and are less forgiving when mistakes are made. On the flip side, they require less effort to climb up a mountain and maintain speed over undulating terrain.
“Trail bikes need more rider input to ride down a hill and are less forgiving when mistakes are made. On the flip side, they require less effort to climb up a mountain and maintain speed over undulating terrain.”
Trail bikes are perfect for those riders looking to pedal far and wide with more room for error than an xc bike. Efficiency and enjoyment are the trademarks of a good trail bike. If you are looking for a lightweight climbing whippet, an XC bike will suit your needs. If you want something a little more suited to the downs, AM bikes will fulfil your needs. However, if you want to get out and ride with ease and have some fun, Trail bikes are the perfect match
XC bikes are light, efficient and fast. With 80-110mm of travel and weighing in at sub 13kg, XC bikes climb like a mountain goat. While hardtail mountain bikes were once the most popular on the XC race Circuit, major advances in suspension technology have led to a resurgence in dual suspension. The suspension provides traction and minimal forgiveness; you have to be a skilled rider to ride these fast down technical Downhill. XC bikes will reward you on the climbs and flat sections with unprecedented speed.
"XC bikes are perfect for riders looking to race XC, ride long mountainous traverses and want to attack the climbs."
XC bikes are perfect for riders looking to race XC, ride long mountainous traverses and want to attack the climbs. Unforgiving, they have very little margin for error and require riders to be attentive, or things may go wrong quickly. If you are looking for a more forgiving bike that can make up for your mistakes, it is best to look for a trail bike. If speed, efficiency and a lightweight race bike are what you desire, the CX bike is your perfect match.
All of the bike styles described above are available in E-Bike versions. However, thanks to the assistance provided by the motor, most riders go up in travel and heavier reliable components. In addition, a bike's climbing abilities are boosted thanks to the motor, so you can afford to compromise on climbing prowess and look at a better descending ability.
“However, thanks to the assistance provided by the motor, most riders go up in travel and heavier reliable components.”
Trail E-bikes are usually equipped to travel further with bigger batteries and lighter components. Enduro E-Bikes are big travel bruisers known as self-shuttling downhill rigs. If you want to ride further and explore more of the mountain, a trail (140-150mm) E-Bike would be perfect for you. If you're going to punch Downhill runs without the need of a mate with a truck, the big-hitting E-Enduro bikes are best. If you want to test out the electric waters, take a look at our Hardtail E-Bikes.
In conclusion, it is often best to choose the bike by your riding style and the terrain. While most people are capable of riding bikes a little under gunned on certain terrain, it is important to factor in your skill level when deciding on a bike. If you feel a little less confident than perhaps getting a bike with more forgiveness will get you out riding harder trails. If you have any more questions make sure you email, chat or call so that our expert customer service representatives are here to help you get on the perfect bike for your needs.