Advice from the Experts – your First Mountain bike
Winter is almost over, and there is no better time to consider a new mountain bike! Whether you are already a cyclist who favors skinny tires, or you fancy trying your hand at mountain biking for the first time – here are some tips to help you make a qualified decision on the purchase of the right mountain bike for you.
What Kind of Rider are You?
Your local BMC Dealer is the best place to start when you are looking for advice with regard to what mountain bike to buy, especially if you take a long-term view on warranty and after-sales service. Person-to-person contact will ensure that you don’t get lost in the bike-purchasing woods. But before you walk into a shop, spend some time considering what kind of rider you are. Do you like sports that make your adrenalin spike? Or prefer ones that are more endurance-oriented?Would you like to learn ropes and be able to join your friends or the local club for some challenging, fun rides in the hills? Perhaps looking at your personality and the type of sports you are usually drawn to, is a good place to start. Do you like sports that make your adrenalin spike? Or prefer ones that are more endurance-oriented? These are all indicators to help you to decide which type of mountain bike could suit you best.
Choose Wisely - Hardtail or Full-suspension?
Nowadays, people look mostly to hardtails (with a suspension fork at the front), and full-suspension (with both front and rear suspension) bikes when shopping for mountain bikes. Ultimately, you should choose a mountain bike that will suit the type of terrain you would like to ride. If you prefer to ride on forest roads and less technical terrain, then a hardtail mountain bike is probably perfect for your needs.Ultimately, you should choose a mountain bike that will suit the type of terrain you would like to ride If you think you’d like to have fun on single tracks and maybe even progress as a mountain biker, then a hardtail might be ok for starting out but you might want to replace it with a full-suspension bike eventually, as you dare to take on more challenging terrain and require a bike that can confidently take you there. BMC makes both hardtail mountain bikes and full-suspension bikes. Take a look at what is on offer, from the hardtail cross-country race machine the Teamelite, to the beginner-friendly full-suspension Sportelite, to the downhill-capable Trailfox below.
BMC's Sportelite APS and Sportelite SE Mountainbikes
Our Sportelite range is a good example of an entry-level mountain bike that exists as both a full-suspension and a hardtail. A closer look below and you will notice that the Sportelite APS on the right is a full suspension mountain bike, while the one on the left, the Sportelite SE is devoid of suspension in the rear-end there for it is a 'hardtail' - so-called because the rear-end of the bike is rigid.
Materials: the Stuff Mountain bikes are Made Of
As with the classification of mountain bikes by whether or not they have full suspension, different materials can also be used to manufacture a bike frame. The type of material used in the construction of a bike frame has a great influence over the price of the bike and how it is intended to be ridden. At BMC we exclusively use aluminum and carbon for our mountain bikes. Take the Speedfox family for example with its three models ranging from full-carbon to a carbon aluminium mix.
Wheel Sizes – not just as Simple as Round
Wheel size (26-inch, 27.5, 29er) is a very big topic in off-road bicycles today. Whether riders prefer the traditional 26-inch, the awesome rolling power of the 29er or something in the middle, there is no shortage of vocal shop employees about the ‘best’ wheel size. And we think this is a great thing! What’s important to understand about wheel size for riders new to the sport is that we cater our wheel the strength of the 27.5 wheel size – it’s tall enough to roll over obstacles smoothly and small enough to be light and nimblesize to the experience of the rider. This means that we look at how a rider is likely to use their bike, and we do our best to choose the wheel size that will satisfy their needs. We believe 27.5-inch wheels are the best wheel for that first mountain bike because they deliver very nice rolling characteristics without being intimidating. Riders new to the sport want to look to their wheels as a source of confidence, and that’s the strength of the 27.5 wheel size – it’s tall enough to roll over obstacles smoothly and small enough to be light and nimble, ideal for the first mountain bike.
The Perfect Fit for You
Just like trying on clothes, you should try your bike in real-life for fit. Bikes vary in terms of sizing as much as people come in different shapes and sizes so what works for one person might not work for another – even though they are the same height. Physical limitations can also play a part too. To make sure the bike you are purchasing is the right size for you, a trip to your local BMC dealer is the best first step. Equally important is the reach, or distance from the saddle to the bars; a test ride will help you to determine if the position on the bike of your choice is going to be comfortable or not, and experienced shop staff are trained to help you achieve this correctly. BMC have a tonne of test events throughout the year at various locations around the world. To see if we are coming to an event near you check our test event calendar.