No matter what type of mountain bike you are searching for, there are several different frames available depending on the type of usage they will receive. Cross-country bikes have little front or rear suspension and are very light, as they use materials that are light in weight for the frame and also the various other components. This makes them not as strong as their other mountain bike counterparts if they are used for something other than their intended purpose. Pneumatic shocks are usually the suspension of choice on these frames.
All terrain mountain bikes are a mix of freeride and cross-country bikes and usually weigh from 29 to 35 pounds. They have a better suspension travel, and usually brakes that can be adjusted. They are made to climb and descend steep hills.
Downhill bikes usually have 7 or more inches of suspension travel. These frames are light, yet strong, as they are made from expensive alloys. They are designed to be ridden down racecourses and downhill trails. They feature the greatest sag so they can get good traction over trails that are bumpy. Since downhill riding involves high rates of speed, most of these bikes have one front chain ring, large bash guard, as well as a chain guard, but now many riders are forgoing the bash guards to lighten the weight of the frames.
Freeride mountain bike frames are made from materials that are more durable and heavier than cross-country bikes. They are much like downhill bikes, but they are more about strength and less about weight. Their frame angles are usually steeper than those seen on downhill bikes.
Dirt jumping mountain bikes are in between a freeride bike and a BMX bike, and are usually made of extremely strong materials. They have fast rolling tires, which are either slick or mostly slick. Dirt jumpers usually feature oversized handlebars and low seat posts. They usually have extended rear brake cables and no front brake, allowing the rider to spin handle bars without getting the brake cables tangled.
Single speed mountain bikes have only one set gear ratio. The ratio is chosen depending on where the bike is being ridden, the skill and strength of the bike rider, and the bike size. These types of frames are fully rigid, and made from steel. They are usually ridden by people who are very fit on milder or moderate cross-country terrain.
Dual slalom is much like mountain cross, but there are only two competitors. There are generally lanes for each rider, although some have a single lane throughout much of the course. They have technical courses and have smaller jumps than mountain cross courses have. The bikes used for mountain cross are also used in dual slalom.
Whatever type of bike you are looking for, knowing where you will be riding ahead of time can save you a great amount of money and frustration. When you can choose the best mountain bike frames for your purpose, you will get the most use out of them, as well as the most fun.
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