What’re MTBs?

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Mountain bikes are designed for natural trails with thick tires and front wheel suspension. There are eight categories based on terrain, including cross country, downhill, and freeride. All-mountain bikes are heavier with advanced suspension. They have 26-inch wheels, but 29-inch wheels are becoming popular. Prices range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Mountain bikes, also known as all-terrain bikes or MTBs, are bikes designed specifically for riding natural trails, which can include anything from dirt roads to rocky trails. The main difference between mountain bikes and standard road bikes is in the tires. As a rule, mountain bikes have thick tires and front wheel suspension and offer advanced shock absorption. Some have rear suspension, also known as a “soft tail,” which allows the rider to move the wheel on pivots.

There are basically eight categories of mountain bikes, based on the terrain they are ridden on. Cross country bikes are the basic model from which most others originated. They are light in weight, have little to no suspension, and are best for hilly or flat terrain. Trial mountain bikes are similar, except that they are primarily used in dirt trail competitions, rather than everyday riding. Downhill and dirt jump bikes are suited to specific terrains. They are usually very sturdy bikes with excellent suspension, smooth rolling and extremely durable.

The newest models to hit the market include all-mountain, freeride and single speed bikes. These bikes are designed for a specific purpose and require superior skill and fitness. All-mountain bikes, for example, tend to be heavier than other models and are used by riders who want to combine uphill and downhill riding with advanced suspension technology.

Most mountain bikes have 26-inch (66 cm) wheels, although 29-inch (73.66 cm) wheels are now becoming popular. Some cyclists, especially experienced ones, outfit their bikes by adding suspension forks, changing chainstays, and removing seatstays, which are often unnecessary, since cyclists spend most of their time standing on the pedals. Bikes range from a few hundred dollars for a basic model to a few thousand for a professional version for use in competitions. Mass-produced bikes are widely available and are usually sufficient for the casual weekend rider.

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