HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR MTB
Have you sold your second-hand MTB? We provide you with points for consideration before choosing your new bike.
To discover the joys of mountain biking
The mountain bike is ideal to discover the joys of the sport, especially in the forest if you want to resume your practice, or spend time in nature. The first outings may seem harsh, but with a little practice, you can quickly make weekly outings in the forest nearest to you. Mountain biking is indeed a very accessible sport where progression can be very fast if one is regular.
However, if you are looking for a bike for a very occasional practice with no intention to exercise, we advise you to turn to a hybrid bike that will be more comfortable and convenient to use. Furthermore, if you want to start cycling in a sporty way but you are not attracted by the all-terrain MTB practice, then a road bike is made for you.
Suitable for off-road driving
An MTB will never be as fast as a road bike on bitumen and the position will be less pleasant than a city bike. However, the MTB is made for an all-terrain sports practice. It enables you to drive on singles, between pebbles, and downhill in total safety. To go on an adventure, a MTB for leisure has some specificities:
- A fork with a displacement of at least 80 mm which makes it possible to absorb all the asperities of the ground. Moreover, it provides the stability and grip required for MTB practice.
- Larger pinions and smaller cranksets allow you to climb the steepest slopes.
- A straight hanger and a short stem (usually less than 90 mm) to keep a manoeuvrable bike that will face the forests' challenges.
- Large tyres with a fairly low pressure (2-3 bars).
How to choose your first MTB?
Mountain biking has developed well since its creation in the 1990s. We now find a multitude of offers for different budgets. To choose your MTB bike, you first have to determine the frequency of your outings. Your budget must be in line with your practice. An entry level bike will not be able to endure regular outings under special weather conditions. So do not hesitate to invest a little more when buying your MTB if you plan to practice regularly, so as to avoid future mechanical worries.
Some tips for choosing your mountain bike:
The type of suspensions: semi-rigid frame or full-suspension?
- The semi-rigid frame has only one suspension at the front: it is an essential element to the MTB practice. The suspended fork makes it easy to absorb shocks and vibrations and to keep the wheel on the ground. The more displacement it has, the more it will absorb shocks. The semi-rigid frame is easier to clean and more accessible in terms of price since it is less complex to manufacture. We advise you to go for this type of bike if it's your first mountain bike.
- The full-suspension frame has a front and a rear suspension and provides more comfort and shock absorption. Its price is usually a little more expensive than a semi-rigid bike (starting at 1,000 €). It is aimed especially at cyclists who already have an MTB practice or who have some reliefs in their regions. For a sporting practice, adopt a shock absorber block to avoid the pumping effects.
The type of brakes: mechanical or hydraulic?
- Mechanical brakes are the brake pads used on most bikes. They are lightweight, reliable with a simple mechanism and easy to maintain, though less efficient when it comes to driving in humid weather.
- Mechanical disc brakes ensure powerful braking in all weather conditions.
- Hydraulic disc brakes ensure optimal braking for sporty practice by providing excellent bike control. The disadvantages: they require more maintenance, are heavier and more expensive than the rim brakes.
The type of transmission: which handles? How many gears?
- The rotating handles are ergonomic and easy to use, the knobs allow faster and more precise gear shifting. First and foremost, you must choose a handle, also called grip, that is comfortable, cushions the shocks, is adapted to your hand size, and brings you a good piloting sensation. You can choose between foam, rubber or synthetic material.
- A great number of gears offers a great versatility and allows a pedaling frequency adapted to the terrain. The reference in mountain biking is the double crankset, lighter and simpler in the choice of gears. Today, the mono crankset is becoming increasingly common for even more ease in gear shifting.
Don't forget to save a small part of your budget to buy the equipment needed to practice mountain biking: helmet, shoes, gloves, hydration, maintenance and repair.
We advise you to choose your MTB shoes: it is important to take into account the shape, structure and level of protection of the foot for maximum comfort and efficiency in pedaling. For the summer, there are lower and more ventilated shoes.