What to Know About Mountain Bike Frames
The first time you come barreling down the slopes of some rugged and rocky mountain on an old bike you will fully understand the need for a proper mountain bike frames. The most important thing you will receive from a strong and resilient bike frame is the capacity to absorb most of the shock.
A top-notch mountain bike frames will not just absorb shocks but distribute them throughout a strong frame and keep these shocks from hitting your body through the contact points where the bike meets your body (seat, handlebars and pedals).
The design and construction of mountain bikes has come a long way over the last centuries and especially the past few decades. The options you will find on the market today are nothing like the dedicated mountain bikes available just a few centuries ago.
The advanced materials and geometries of the bike frame design have undergone some incredible changes. Choosing the best options for your will mean considering functional and personal needs in your regular biking.
If it is the thrill and excitement of a high-speed downhill ride that you enjoy, you will need something different from the bike that works best on level trails with few obstacles.
If you are looking for a bike to help you avoid the rockiest trails, you will need something different from the bikes designed for rough and rugged terrain. You will want to think about the kind of activities you enjoy most before you go shopping for your mountain bike.
Many of the mountain bikes you see in operations today will never see the trough mountain terrains they are designed to traverse. Most of the bikes typically seen about town are mountain bikes or some kind of hybrid of the mountain bike. This is because mountain bikes are meant to be comfortable.
The advantages mountain bikes offer are many, like easy gearing, shock absorption and responsive handling. These are essential to the rough terrains and mountain passes, but are equally welcome when navigating an uncertain urban environment as well.
You will also find a nice selection of mountain bikes on those road tours that last all day and are especially popular right now. But, you will find that those out in front of the road tour will not be using the mountain bike. Even though the mountain bike is especially comfortable, there are some good reasons to choose a dedicated road bike for use on paved surfaces.
You can get the perfect mountain bike frame for your needs and specifications from a dealer at a physical location or online if you know what your size and requirements are.
But, it is the numerous subtleties in road bike geometries and frame types that makes the need for riding your bike before you purchase a very important reality.
For example, the typical bike uses a triangular shaped frame, but this design has been all but phased out of the modern mountain bike design. If you are not sure about your exact needs.
It is strongly recommended that you talk with a mountain bike professional who can help you make a selection based on your specific needs and strengths as a mountain bike enthusiast.
Mountain Bikes Frames Designs
The frame of your mountain bike is by far the most important factor to consider when determining if your bike will make the cut for the most demanding mountain trails and rocky terrains.
Just like most goods on the market, quality will come at a higher price and the materials you will want in a top-quality mountain bike will be somewhat more costly than average.
This is because the modern mountain bike is made with special materials that enhance its performance, comfort and durability on mountain trails.
For example, special materials and alloys can be found with the same strength as steel with less weight. As a general rule, lighter mountain bikes are typically made of these special materials and therefore a bit more costly.
It requires no stretch of the imagination to understand how shaving off every gram of extra weight can add to the capacity of a mountain bike rider to go farther with improved performance. Because the frame is by far the weightiest component of the bike, this is where the cut backs have to be made.
3 Mountain Bike Frames Materials to Consider
Cro-moly – the best choice for those just starting out is Cro-Moly, scientifically referred to as chromium/molybdenum/steel alloy. This is an especially heavy material, but still has the great ability to flex and react to your riding environment.
This means that many of the hardest shocks will be absorbed into these highly durable materials and you will enjoy a smoother ride. Your Cro-Moly bike will be your pride and joy and will take you safely and comfortably from a novice level to being a true blooded mountain bike ranger.
Yes, there is the added weight, so if you are planning a competition or to really sharpen your skills to a fine point, you may want to consider a lighter option for your practice. But, for the sheer fun of it, nothing beats the Cro-Moly.
Aluminum – a much lighter option than the steel alloy, Cro-Moly, the aluminum frame is also much more popular as it is great for talking the uphill climb. But, there are some setbacks.
Aluminum is not nearly as strong as steel, not even the renowned aluminum 7075 or 6061 or any of the other exotic alloys they are coming up with these days come close. Furthermore, the aluminum frame will make for a stiffer ride which will make your downward descent a real pain on your wrists, ankles, knees and buttocks.
Carbon fiber – light-weight and moderately durable, carbon fiber is probably the best material yet conceived for the construction of bicycles of all types.
Typically, this will only be used on the front fork, as the entire frame would be a costly investment. But, you can expect a ride of the highest performance.
Titanium – titanium is strong as cro-moly steel and light as aluminum. If you are the most discerning mountain biker looking to cruise the hills and trails in class and sophistications, coupled with high-performance, accept no substitutes.
As you may imagine, the price of this very valuable material is beyond the capacity of all but the well-resourced. Starting prices are upwards from $4000.
Mountain bike frames sizing
The size of your bike frame will also be an important factor to consider as your comfort and performance, and safety depend on it. A mountain bike should be a slightly smaller ride than your average road bike, three inches to be exact.
To get the measurement right, straddle the bike with your feet on the ground on either side, seat between your legs. Carefully lift the handlebars till the seat touches your crotch. If you have lifted the bike 10 centimeters from the ground (4in.) you the proportions are the right size for your body.
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