Choosing the Right Mountain Bike

In a previous post, we discussed the five mountain biking disciplines you might encounter during your time on the trails. Redding has a lot to offer outdoor enthusiasts, and mountain bikers can enjoy a plethora of every type of biking terrain. However, the terrain you choose will dramatically affect the type of bike you purchase. If you haven’t settled on a preferred style, we recommend renting different types of bikes until you figure it out. When you’re ready to purchase, use this guide to determine which type of bike will work best for you.


Cross-Country Bikes—Traditionally, novice riders will start with hardtail bikes that have a single suspension system. This makes the bike easier to maneuver and allows for quick moves and better precision. They also allow you to move faster without exerting much energy through pedaling. However, a full-suspension bike will offer maximum control and stability. This is especially beneficial if you’re on a trail that requires more effort on the descent. Cross-country riders should also invest in a lightweight frame, which will make moving through the trail much easier.


All-Mountain Bikes—A mountain’s natural terrain necessitates a bike tough and rugged enough to tackle the task. All-mountain riding is usually done on bikes with full suspension for maximum control and comfort. The tires should also be extremely robust; all-mountain bikes have very thick wheels to prevent punctures. You may also want to consider guide chains and a tilted head for faster, more precise control.


Downhill Bikes—Downhill bikes have a slack to make the bike more aerodynamic, allowing riders to fully experience the speed and control necessary for great downhill riding. These bikes are longer and lower to the ground, and their 65-degree head angles add more control and stability. Downhill bikes will also have metal springs and rear shocks, as well as additional weight and heft.


Dirt Jumping Bikes—Dirt jumping bikes are incredibly simple in design. This allows the bike to be lighter and more aerodynamic, allowing riders to perform aerial tricks without the hindrance of added weight and features. Additionally, these bikes have a sloping design to help build speed while approaching a jump. Dirt jumping bikes will also have a high front suspension to absorb the shock of landing, and rear suspension is also a good idea.


Freeride Bikes—These bikes are the most versatile; they are made to be used in a variety of applications. They are similar in design to dirt jumping bikes and generally have full suspension systems to absorb the shock of a drop. Freeride bikes have very light frames, which allows the rider to maneuver through intricate features of a trail or riding area.