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First of all, you have to understand the classification of mountain bikes.
The current classification of mountain bikes, from the trend of the past 10 years, the mainstream classification mainly includes XC, Trail, AM, DH, FR, which are 5 major categories.
And from these 5 categories, there are several subdivisions.
cross-country racing vehicle, a very competitive vehicle, the world’s major mountain bike races are also XC-based. From the riding environment maybe 80% uphill and flat, downhill for XC is only a transition. It is not the main direction of this class. From the equipment side, the fork travel is about 80-100mm, the frame is mainly hardtail frame, domestic do more mixed, what grade have. (This type of bike is also the most choice of entry-level riders) At present, the suspension frame XC is relatively small, competitive models are also concentrated in some European and American brands. The most important feature of this type of bike is the intensity of the ride, which requires high physical strength.
Trail forest road bike
This is also the most generalized mountain bike through the bike, probably more amateur riders ride, not particularly considered competitive. This is probably one of the most actual bikers. The riding environment is actually similar to XC. Uphill and flat roads may account for 70%, the proportion of downhill and the difficulty may reach about 30%. Equipment, Trail bike fork travel should generally be 100-120, the frame for the hardtail frame or travel 4-4.5 inches of suspension frame. The biggest feature of this bike is that the riding intensity and technical requirements are relatively low, and riders can enjoy more riding fun from it.
AM = AllMountain
All-terrain bike, performance requires riders to have a certain amount of physical strength as well as technology. Since it is all-terrain, it is thought that its riding environment may be uphill, flat, and downhill each accounting for 1/3. the physical requirements of uphill, downhill handling ability, and skills through obstacles need to be mastered. In terms of equipment, the front fork is generally adjustable from 120-150, and the frame is basically a suspension frame with a stroke of 5-6 inches. (Nowadays, it is basically fixed at 5.5-6 inches.)
The hardtail frame is available, but rarely. AM riders can be said to be mountain bikers who really know how to enjoy themselves, they will challenge all kinds of unknown and difficult terrain. Of course, they can also enjoy the most beautiful scenery of nature. EN = Enduro, EN is an enhanced version of AM, which can be said to be a high-intensity AM. the rate of downhill will be more than uphill and flat. The ratio of uphill + flat road may be about 40, while the downhill maybe 60%. In terms of equipment, the fork is 120-160mm adjustable, and the frame is mainly a 6-6.6 inch suspension frame. This level of riders can already perform some high-speed downhill as well as a small height drop.
DH = Downhill speedway (Downhill race)
From the literal meaning can be seen, this is a pure downhill bike type. Probably only about 10% flat + 90% downhill, and almost no uphill. The roads are usually natural downhill mountain roads + artificially groomed. This is a pure pursuit of speed performance, for the rider’s handling skills, have the highest requirements, the slightest error will make your results fall. DH equipment specifications are currently relatively uniform: front fork travel is generally 200mm, frame travel in 8 inches or more, the middle axle specifications 83mm; rear axle specifications 150 * 12mm. this is for strength, the second user to buy parts relatively more convenient. Convenient.
Freeride Not about speed, pure pursuit of technology performance, riding environment contains 70-80% of the downhill and a small amount of flat and uphill. There are many such roads in North Shore and Whistler in Vancouver, Canada, which require a high level of skill and control, especially the rider’s balance, which is more obvious on those one-way roads. In terms of equipment, the front fork is mainly 160 or 180 travel.
Frame travel is generally between 6.5-9 inches (yes, you read that right, 9 inches). riders seek to perform with technology and guts as well as the challenge of some exciting routes. It should also be mentioned here that the famous Red Bull Fell Mountain Race is actually an FR rather than a DH, as it is scored by judges rather than by time.
FR is a method of riding that originated in Canada more than 10 years ago and is free to ride wherever you want, however you want. Technicality is the main focus, speed is the second.
After years of evolution, it is now subdivided into a number of more specific categories: DJ = DirtJump
This method of performance is very popular among young people. The requirements for the site are simple, just need a piece of open space, some dirt piled into a conical or trapezoidal dirtbag. Take off along the slope, fly into the air, and land on the other side of the slope. In the air, you can make all kinds of fancy moves at will. The feeling is very dazzling, very exciting, and very happy. This kind of bike does not require much equipment, a relatively strong frame; a relatively strong fork with 80-100mm travel; a simple transmission mechanism; a rear brake, or even no brake can be.
4 riders start together and compete in the artificially built field with various obstacles, the first to reach the finish line wins.
This is the hottest and most exciting of all mountain bikes. The contestants are allowed to have reasonable body blows, and rollover accidents are common in the race. It is definitely an exciting choice. The track is an artificially constructed site, and there will be various obstacles such as turning walls and dirt slopes.
The equipment is very close to the dirt bike. hardtail frame or suspension frame of 3.5 inches or so special 4X; 100mm fork; responsive gearing and transmission; of course, the chain guard is a must; the 4X race is also quite demanding on the riders’ skills. The 4X race is also very technically demanding. It requires both the handling ability of DH riders and very strong explosive power, as well as superb leaping skills.
Unfortunately, there are few such professional venues and competitions in China for riders to participate in.
ST = Street/Urban street bike
Most riders will perform in the city streets or streets, performance this almost no requirements for the venue, a small open space, an open road can let Street riders performance themselves. Simple guinea pig jump (Bunny Hop), rear-wheel ride (Wheelie), rear-wheel slide (Manual), front-wheel slide (Nose Manual), 360 turns (360), and other movements can let riders performance on an afternoon of time and enjoy.
The equipment is similar to DJ, a sturdy street bike frame, an 80-100mm fork, a good set of brakes (maybe only rear brakes, or even no brakes), and a single-speed transmission are enough.
Fancy Downhill: A newly popular freestyle performance in recent years, somewhat similar to flying bags. But it requires bulldozers to pile up a lot of huge dirtbags on the sloping hillside, as well as a variety of skill-based obstacles, and riders use the terrain to jump in the air to complete a variety of stunts. Because this kind of performance requires too much terrain support, so this kind of performance in the country, basically can only watch video or photos. The equipment is usually a 160mm fork and a 6.5-inch frame.
Figure out what you want to perform, the next step is to choose the right bike for you.
First of all, size selection.
When we buy clothes and shoes, we usually prefer big to small, but for buying a bike, our principle is the opposite, we prefer small to big.
In terms of size, mountain bikes can be described in two ways: one is the wheel diameter, and the other is the frame size.
Mountain bike wheels are generally divided into 26, 27.5, and 29 sizes, but there are also 24 and even smaller sizes of climbing or stroller. As an introductory rider, you should mainly choose from 26, 27.5, and 29 sizes.
The size of the wheel diameter is directly proportional to the passability and inversely proportional to the handling. The main manufacturer is currently pushing 27.5, mountain XC races generally choose 29 sizes more, which is a relatively high requirement for the bike’s handling.
26 size control is relatively flexible, so the choice of free-riding 26 more. The wheel diameter mainly depends on personal preference. As for the frame size, at present, mainly from 15 inches to 21 inches, of course, there are smaller or larger. In addition, each manufacturer’s frame size is also slightly different.
The following is a brief description of the size of the height roughly corresponds to the size.
- 15 inch – suitable for height: 150cm-165cm;
- 17 inch – suitable for height: 165cm-175cm;
- 19 inch – suitable for height. 175cm-185cm;
- 21 inches – suitable for height: 185cm-195cm;
As a beginner to buy a bike, my advice is that if your height 165, then go to buy 15 inches, if 175 go to buy 17 inches, as close as possible to the small one to choose.
And then the entry to choose the bike configuration.
As an introductory rider, we usually choose the entry-level mountain bike budget is between 2,000 and 3,000 USD. So how to choose a mountain bike at this price point?
The first question many friends ask when they first arrive at the forum is “I have a budget of 3,000, what bike to choose, and ask the gods for recommendations.”
Personally, I think it, the entry model, within 3000, the main consideration is durability, so try to choose Giant, Merida,
and another relatively well-known brand. You can find them in the big cities and small cities open more stores, easy to buy, but also easy to maintain and repair, while the quality is also guaranteed.
In the case of the same price, there is not much difference in the configuration of each family, and the difference in cost performance is not particularly obvious, so I think we can look at the appearance of the bike and paint to choose, of course, as an introductory bike, I think we should look at the after-sales service, after all, to buy a bike is to ride, ride a bike will have problems of all sizes.
(one more sentence, you beginners, do not feel that 3000 The bike is very powerful and invincible, in fact, as an old bird, I want to say, 3000 bikes is a good ride, the failure will still be a failure, there will be small problems will be very normal. The difference between a rookie and a veteran is the understanding of the bike’s structure, performance, and repair capabilities. So it is recommended that you try to start riding in local stores to buy vehicles.