Written by 4:49 pm MTB, MTB Basics • 4 Comments

6 Types Of Mountain Bikes You Need To Know About

If you are a mountain biking enthusiast, obviously, you have an idea of the main types of mountain bikes we have in the market today. Each comes with its share of features and each has been designed to handle different types of applications and areas.

For example, what works in mountain areas will not work in flat or steep descents. So usually before you invest in any of the type, you need to have a clear idea of what you will be doing with the bike and also the kind of area you will using the bike in.

Here are the most common types of mountain bikes available today.

Cross Country Mountain Bikes

Popularly known as XC bikes, these are some of the most common types of mountain bikes today. Since they are specifically designed for those long rides lasting even up to days in the backcountry, they are incredibly lightweight, making them the best choice for speed. This category of bikes can also be further subdivided into two; XC races bikes and XC trail bikes. To give you a clear picture of what each is all about, let’s quickly look at each one f them.

  • XR race bike

In this category, we are talking about lightweight, speed and efficiency. They have been designed to accelerate to top speed within a very short period of times, making them the best for racing. These bikes come equipped with around 80-120 mm rear and front shocks. This can effectively handle those occasional potholes and uneven road surfaces. These bikes also usually come with a sort of weight forward riding positions and can do moderately well in rough terrain. However, they are not great when it comes to handling high impact jumping. However, they do really well when you are negotiating corners and those tight corners

  • XC trail bikes

They are in the same category with XC race bikes, but they are completely different. They are heavier than XC race bikes. However, they are not that too heavy and have been designed to seamlessly handle pretty much everything from dirt road to even single track trails.

Why buy cross country bikes

You clearly need to invest your money on these bikes if you know you will be riding for hours or even days in the backcountry. Plus, with these bikes, you should be able to take your heart rate as high as possible.

Downhill Bikes

As the name suggests, these bikes are specifically meant for downhill rides. They are all about speed and impeccable control. Compared to most bikes we have in the market, they have been designed in a different way making them some of the most distinguishable types of mountain bikes in the market today.

They often feature a slack design and that gives them that aerodynamic look. They are also a bit longer and lower to the ground. Plus, also coming with around 65-degree head angle, that alone gives you the much-needed control and stability.

As for suspension, these bikes feature around 220mm of suspension. The metal springs alongside well designed rear shocks ensure you are kept comfortable all through. It does not even stop there; these features also ensure you retain full control of the bike even when you are riding through one of the biggest drops. These bikes are also incredibly tough; they are built to stand any abuse use. However, they are not meant to handle those steep ascents because they cannot ride up a mountain without some serious problems.

Unlike other bikes, downhill bikes are some of the most extreme types of bikes you could lay your hands on today. Compared to those most mountain bikes we see around, to handle them without any problem, you actually need to have some serious skills and most importantly control. This is because, many ay times, you will be forced to face a number of challenges along the way including extremely rough tracks and you will have to make some of the most mind-blowing jumps.

Why Buy Downhill mountain bikes

If you are just out there looking for something that can go downhill fast and also one that can deal with some of the hardest terrains and jumps, a downhill mountain bike is all you need.


All Mountain/ Enduro Mountain Bikes

If you just don’t have enough cash to invest in different types of bikes and you are looking for one that can handle a number of applications, an all-mountain bike is what you should be going for next. These types of mountain bikes are action-packed and are able to handle a number of different terrains and those extremely sweat breaking obstacles without any problem.

When it comes to design; all-mountain bikes share a number of striking similarities with XC trail bikes, but with much strong and tough frames. They also travel a little bit more when it comes to suspension. Additionally, most of these bikes often feature full suspension and we are talking about 140mm to 160mm travel in them. With these incredible features; as a rider, you would be able to go through the hardest and technical obstacles ever. They are also the best when it comes to descending those extremely steep paths and trail, as well.

As for handling and control, pretty much like downhill mountain bikes, they also need some top-notch skills and control. You also need to be fearless if you need to handle such bikes without any problem. This is important; things can get really unpredictable and also incredibly adventurous than any other trail. So you will need to remain focus all through and willing to make some of the most life-threatening jumps.

Overall, if you are an outdoor enthusiast, you clearly understand that even though you can be guided by trails it is never easy to maneuver them through with ease and hassle-free. Thankfully, the introduction of all mountain bikes has changed the way we used to do things. These bikes take full advantage of some of their features and are able to give you some of the smoothest rides ever.

Why Buy All mountain/ Enduro mountain bikes

The answer is pretty simple; if you are one of those riders who love their descents and ascents to be as tough and technical as possible and maybe once in a while, you are willing to take yourself up in the air at some point, all-mountain bikes are all you got.


Freeride Mountain bikes

For some reason, these bikes are quite related to downhill mountain biking. They are all about mountain biking and most importantly skills and technique. However, the only difference between free ride and downhill mountain bikes is actually the purpose.

As for the design, unlike downhill mountain bikes, free rides bikes don’t take weight into great consideration. Plus, they come equipped with an incredibly compact frame and that alone allows the rider to maneuver through trails with so much ease. Freeride mountain bikes have also been designed to allow you to do a number of high jumps and also deal with any technical stunt. The frame is incredibly flexible. The frame tubes are a bit thick also. In this case, we are talking about 160mm to 180mm of travel in the suspension system.

Based on what we have talked about, we could say, freeride mountain biking is an incredibly versatile discipline. This is because depending largely on your riding style, you may at times be forced to do some high jumps in order to get through those intricate tracks. Either way, you will need to bring both big drops and also an array of obstacles. At the end really, we can confirm these bikes are basically a mix of XC and downhill bikes. They are not great when it comes to climbing uphill though.

Why buy free ride mountain bikes

If you are one of those riders who are up to something that is versatile, a free ride bike can do a number of things with ease and hassle free.


Dirt Jump Bikes

From the name alone; you get a nice picture of what these bikes are all about. With these bikes, instead of sticking on trails on the mountain, the sport is largely done in a dirt park. Pretty much like free ride mountain bikes, these are usually a crossbreed. It is a sort of combination of different disciplines.

When you look at them, they stand out as a blend of BMX and freeride bikes. They often come equipped with one suspension right in the front and at times are referred to as urban mountain bikes. These bikes come with very small frames alongside low seat posture for those stunt ridings. They also feature single speed gear and one brake as well. The handlebars are also quite distinguishable; they are larger than those we know.

Why buy dirt jump bikes

These bikes are not for the faint-hearted. They are for people who are fearless; people who are not afraid to pull off those blood boiling stunts up in the air.


Trail bikes

Like cross country bikes, these are some of the most common mountain bikes around. These bikes are not meant for any specific type of racing, but you can do quite a number of things with them. Whether you are looking for something to climb or to descend, you can’t go wrong with trail bikes.

When it comes to design, trail bikes feature a more relaxed angle. This alone gives you the much-needed confidence, especially when you are doing those sweat breaking descents. They also come equipped with a wider handlebar, as well as, shorter stem. The tires feature more aggressive threads.

Why buy trail bikes

If you are just looking for a machine you can do quite a number of outdoor activities with. In short, if you are not a specialized mountain biker, trail bikes are all you ever wanted


Fat bikes

As the name suggests, when it comes to these types of bikes, we are talking about super-sized tires with incredibly low pressure. These two features give you the much-needed traction in sand, loose surfaces and also in the snow. When it comes to design; these bikes usually feature an incredibly sturdy build. They also come with a number of racks that allow you to carry plenty of biking gear among other essential without any problem.

Why buy fat bikes

These bikes are basically meant for adventurous people. You can do quite a number of things with these bikes. They are also an amazing option for people looking for something different. Their looks are a complete standout.


Final Thoughts

So as you can see, there are a pretty good number of mountain bikes found in the market today. Each is designed differently and built to handle different areas of application. So should you need to buy one, first, you need to figure out what you really need. At this pointing time, a number of things will come into play; your riding style, the area you will be riding in and lastly how much you are willing to spend on one.

Updated on January 22, 2021 by Ben

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