So, you’re interested in mountain bikes. In this material we will consider all kinds of mountain bikes, including models for extreme riding. On examples with photos you will learn the main features, differences and technical characteristics of hardtails and double suspensions.
The main division of mountain bikes is by the presence or absence of rear shock absorbers. Those models that don’t have a rear shock are called hardbodies, and those that do have a rear shock are called double suspensions, which means that the bike has two shock absorbers. Hardtails and dual suspensions are also divided into subtypes for the purpose.
I. Hardteils – the most popular kind of bicycles because of the huge prevalence, a large range of products in stores, the optimal ratio of price / opportunity, versatility (suitable for off-road and for asphalt) and other points reflected in the article about the types of bikes.
Hardteils for cross country
This name is worn by both ordinary walking mountain bikes, and professional models designed to participate in cross-country racing.
Features of hardtails for cross country:
- lightweight aluminium alloy frame,
- front shock absorber (damping fork),
- sturdy wheels, 26″ or 29″ in diameter,
- rubber with a mud tread (“toothed”),
- rim or disc brakes (mechanical, hydraulic),
- speeds between 18 and 27,
- a reasonably narrow sports saddle,
- no wings.
2. Hardtails are extreme.
Special version of hardtails for stunts in such disciplines as street, dirt jumping and others.
Features of extreme hardteils:
- Reinforced frame with a heavily loaded top tube for convenient tricks,
- frame material – aluminium or steel (recently steel frames have been very popular as they are now comparable in weight to aluminium frames, but are considered stronger and more weldable in case of breakage),
- Small frame sizes – when choosing such a bike, you will not be able to follow the usual size chart;
- frames are often available in one or two sizes, a stronger front shock absorber or rigid fork, wheels 26″ or 24″ (24″ wheels are now more common – with them the bike is more compact and maneuverable).
Once you’ve learned certain tricks, it won’t be hard to jump and jump off kerbs, climb stairs, or any other part of the city landscape.
II. Dual suspensions are mountain bikes with two shock absorbers. They will give you unrivalled control over the road in all weather conditions, allowing you to pass steep turns at high speed, no matter what is under the wheels. Dual suspensions are subdivided into riding styles, from lightweight cross country models to very strong downhill models.
1. Dual suspensions for cross-country skiing
These are short two-passengers for cross country races and everyday trips. Short-stroke means a small (short) stroke of shock absorbers. Here at the head of the speed and ease of overcoming the ascents and descents, so the value of stroke of shock absorbers is small – 100 – 120mm (or 4″).
2. Two hangers for a trailer
Trailer – a kind of skating that combines various elements of light freeride and serious cross country: steep ascents and descents, small drops, rocks, single tracks, curtains, etc. A trail bike is stronger than a cross country bike, but lighter than a model for freeriding (trail tracks are prepared, unlike freeriding, where the rider himself paves the way). Suspension is 4″ – 5″.
3. Two hangers for freeride
Free ride translated from English – free skating. This type of bike is designed for quite aggressive riding and performing various tricks in the air. The stroke of shock absorbers is 150 – 180mm (6″ – 7″). There are lightweight versions of double hangers and heavy ones. In heavy versions, the air shock is replaced by a spring-oil one for better durability. These bikes are already ready for more extreme riding, slope jumping and other serious adventures.
4. Dual hangers for downhill bikes
Their element is the high-speed descent. The most powerful and heaviest double suspensions, ready for absolutely any descent. Stroke of shock absorbers 180 – 200mm (8″).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
Are there mountain bikes without shock absorbers?
Yes, they are called rigids. Usually they are inexpensive models for walking.
What are the advantages of disc brakes?
Disc brakes, especially hydraulic, are more powerful than rim brakes. They are more resistant to overheating and abrasion during long braking under heavy load – in racing, freeride, downhill. In addition, they work perfectly in all weather conditions. The advantages and disadvantages of disc brakes are described in detail in Wikipedia.
I’ve seen two suspensions worth $100-$200. What class can they belong to?
None of them 🙂 These are bikes for walking – no more. They are heavy and, most often, useless. It’s better to buy an entry-level hardtail for $200 thousand rubles.
Why are hardtails so different in price? What is the difference between a bike for $400 thousand and $1,000?
As the price of a mountain bike grows, so does its manufacturability and equipment level. First of all, on an expensive hardtail the frame itself is made with the use of complex technologies – butting (variable thickness of pipes of the frame) and hydroforming (pressing of liquid under high pressure). Their application results in weight reduction and increased durability. In addition, the best equipment is installed on an expensive bike. The higher the level of the equipment, the less its weight (due to processability), the more possibility (more speeds, settings, etc.) and the longer service life. You will definitely feel the difference when riding the first and second bicycles.