Monday, 09 May 2016 08:06

Choosing the right mountain bike - the basics

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The summer of sport is almost upon us, with plenty of cycling events to enjoy. There’s the 2016 Tour de France taking place throughout July, while the Rio 2016 Olympic Games the following month will see the best of the best compete for gold medals in BMX, mountain bike, cycling road and cycling track events.

If all of the anticipation has you excited to take up the sport yourself, Leisure Lakes Bikes has provided the following tips to ensure you choose the right mountain bike:


There are three different types of suspension systems that you can choose from when picking a mountain bike:

  1. Rigid suspension — These are mountain bikes which provide no suspension and are best suited if you are going to stick to smooth routes when cycling.

  2. Hard-tail suspension — These are mountain bikes which feature a suspension fork at the front of the bike. Such a system is perfect if you’re a recreational rider who wants to feel comfortable when sometimes venturing over rough terrain.

  3. Full suspension — These are mountain bikes which are designed with both front and rear shock absorbers. If you are going to be testing your cycling skills over miles and miles of tough terrain at a time, this will be the ideal choice for you as they offer an unrivalled level of control.

GTB 066

Wheel size

Just like when picking your bike’s suspension system, you have three main choices available to you when it comes to the size of your wheels:

  1. 26-inch wheels — Up until a few years ago, the majority of mountain bikes were sold with 26-inch wheels as standard. Today though, these wheels are usually only the go-to choice on downhill and freeride bikes.

  2. 27-inch/650b wheels — These have become the standard wheel size for mountain bikes (especially trail and endure bikes), achieving both the agility of 26-inch wheels and the rolling benefits of 29-inch/29er wheels.

  3. 29-inch/29er wheels — 29-inch/29er wheels roll faster than other wheels due to their larger dimensions. They also make rough terrain feel smoother, so are recommended if you’re going to be heading off-road regularly while cycling.

GTB 092b


V-brakes and disc brakes are the two most common choices of brakes on a mountain bike. If you’re a recreational rider who will be cycling mainly on roads and smooth cycle routes, then V-brakes should keep you safe. Disc brakes are more powerful though and also usually require less maintenance, so will be more suited if you’re heading off-road and along rough terrain.


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