How to choose a mountain bike: Are you considering the purchase of a first mountain bike? Here are some shopping tips to help you choose the right mountain bike for your needs:

How to choose a mountain bike: Buying Guide
How to choose a mountain bike: Buying Guide

How to choose a mountain bike: What is a mountain bike?

Specifically designed for use as an off-road trail, mountain biking comes in a variety of ranges suited to both the different riding locations and the various cycling styles and preferences. A mountain bike has straight handlebars, smooth gears, so you can climb steeper sections as well as tires that maximize traction. Because of the changing terrain, suspensions serve to cushion impacts and maximize the traction of the bike.

How to choose a mountain bike: Why choose a mountain bike?

We prefer a mountain bike because we want to practice the sport. If there was a time when all bicycles were mountain bikes, things have changed. Indeed, the ranges are now very segmented, and although it is possible to use a mountain bike for the same purposes as a hybrid bike, we do not recommend it, because it will be heavier, less efficient and more expensive Than an equivalent hybrid.

How to choose a mountain bike: The categories of mountain bikes

How to choose a mountain bike: Cross country

Suspension travel ± 100 mm

Most popular variety in Quebec, cycling cross-country is the lightest mountain bikes. Its weight and small travel make it an excellent climber and a perfect bike for rolling trails where speed becomes an important factor. Some bikes use only a suspension fork for light weight and bikes with a rear suspension for better comfort and traction.

Cyclist Type: The cyclist who seeks the lightest bike and rolling over, a runner, a cyclist who is learning.

How to choose a mountain bike: All trail

Suspension travel ± 120 mm

The bikes all trail is very popular because of their versatility. Often advocating a dual suspension configuration and 120mm travel, all trail bikes will satisfy the cyclist looking for a better bike downhill than a pure cross country while still maintaining excellent climbing skills.

Cyclist Type: Like rolling around and follow your cross-country friends as much as those more aggressive during descents.

How to choose a mountain bike: All-mountain / Enduro

Suspension travel ± 140-160 mm

With their large clearance and more open fork angle, the bike all-mountain / enduro are suitable for use advocating aggressive descents and jumps. These bikes are more robust and faster in descents.

Cyclist Type: Want to have the opportunity to climb, but fast descents are your real happiness. Cyclists with a history of origin.

How to choose a mountain bike: Descent

Suspension travel ± 200 mm
A bike dedicated to downhill commonly called “downhill” or “DH.” The downhill bikes offer a very wide fork angle and maximum travel to cushion the high impacts associated with the practice of this high-speed sport. The bike is heavy because all components have to be very robust. The result is a bicycle that can not climb, which is why we use the ski lift.

Cyclist Type: A downhill enthusiast.

How to choose a mountain bike: Sport

Suspension travel ± 80-100 mm

As this is the first range of mountain bikes, sports mountain bikes are intended for a more recreational use.Their components are perfect for beginners, but the seasoned cyclist or those who plan to drive seriously should turn to across country.

Cyclist Type: You ride in occasionally mountain you want to introduce you to the sport, you often travel on paved roads.

How to choose a mountain bike: Fatbike

The fat bike is a mountain bike with very wide tires. Its tires offer excellent traction gain, which makes the fat bike very efficient on soft soils. You will find them on winter snowshoeing trails as well as in mountain bike trails in the fall.

Cyclist Type: A mountain bike enthusiast who wants to extend its autumn season, a cyclist who wants to keep his form in the winter or just have fun in the snow.

How to choose a mountain bike: Different types of configurations


A bicycle without any suspension. There are fewer and fewer mountain bikes with rigid forks.

Single suspension

A single suspension bicycle does not have a shock absorber at the rear, only a suspension fork at the front. The term “hardtail” is often used to designate them.

Double suspension

A dual suspension bike has a suspension fork and a shock absorber at the rear.

How to choose a mountain bike: ESTABLISH YOUR BUDGET

For a beginner or an occasional cyclist who does not seek performance, a basic mountain bike of $ 1000 or less will be able to meet his needs. A bike with single suspension entry will be enough for those who plan travel on bike paths and get to the occasion on the trails.

If you are a nature sports enthusiast and are buying a mountain bike to improve and maintain your fitness, you will appreciate the performance of an intermediate bike. Depending on the type of terrain you plan to ride and the number of hours or kilometers, you could invest between $ 1,000 and $ 3,000.

For a competitive, freeride or downhill bike, prices start at around $ 2,500 … and that can go up to more than $ 10,000 in the very high end!

When buying a mountain bike, the greater the amount of your investment will be, the more the components of the bike will be durable, light and of better quality. Ultimately, you could save money, because a better bike will have a longer lifespan if properly maintained.

How to choose a mountain bike: WHAT TYPE OF BIKE TO CHOOSE?

Cross-country: For most people, buying an off-road mountain biking is a wise choice. The single or double suspension cross-country bike is versatile and designed to have fun on most trails. It is also the most popular type of mountain bike. (Travel +/- 100 mm)

Some cross-country bike models are lighter and more efficient. They are perfect for competition or training and represent the best buy for those who want to pedal at full speed on trails.

Freeride: Freeride bike is agile and designed to make descents, jumps, and stunts. It is sturdy and heavy, but lighter than a DH bike so you can climb to the top of the mountain after a descent. (Travel +/- 150 mm)

Downhill: The downhill bike (downhill or DH) is the heaviest and most robust because it is made specifically for this discipline. Because of its weight, you will have no fun climbing the mountains with this type of bike. However, to go down thoroughly, it is sure fun! (Travel of 180 mm or more)


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