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Attack the Singletrack!, Issue #012 -- How to Buy a Mountain Bike
March 30, 2011

Catch the Buzz on Playing in the Dirt

Attack the Singletrack! Issue #012 -- How to Buy a Mountain Bike: Tips on Choosing the Best Bike for You

Attack the Singletrack brings you mountain bike tips to help you become a better rider and enjoy mountain biking more.

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In this Issue...

1) Tip of the Month -- Race Face, a reputable Canadian manufacturer of mountain bike parts and accessories is going out of business; therefore, they are slashing their prices to get rid of their inventory.

Click on the following links to get in on these sweet deals while supplies last...

More than 50% off Mountain Bike Gear

Over 50% off Race Face mountain bike gear

2) How to Buy a Mountain Bike -- Are you in the market for a new mountain bike, but having difficulties deciding where to start? It can be overwhelming with all the different types of mountain bikes on the market today.

Click here or scroll down for some helpful tips on how to choose the best type of mountain bike for your riding needs.

3) What's New on Mountain Bike Buzz -- Click on the links below to learn about new information that has been recently added to the site or important seasonal information...

The Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race: What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
Description of Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. View and share tips, photos, and information about mountain bike racing.

Spring is Here! Is your Mountain Bike Ready for the Trail?
Spring is here! If you are like me, you are ready to hit the trail, but is your bike ready? Check out this previous Attack the Singletrack! newsletter for some great simple tips to make sure your mountain bike is ready to hit the trails.

Ready to Buy a Mountain Bike? Check out these tips to help you narrow your focus to find the right bike for you.

Before buying a mountain bike, think about what type of riding you are planning to do. Are you into mostly smooth hardpack with little obstacles or bumpy technical singletrack with lots of rocks and logs? Do you want to do drops and jumps with your mountain bike? Are you planning to race or use the bike for recreational riding?

Once you figure out what type of riding you will be doing, you can narrow your focus to what type of mountain bike you want.

1. Hardtail vs. Full Suspension

Hardtail Mountain Bikes: Hardtails have suspension in the front fork, but not in the rear of the bike. They are good for racing and climbing because they are lighter and more efficient than full suspension mountain bikes. Hardtail mountain bikes perform well on smooth hardpack, but on more bumpy and technical terrain, they do not perform as well or are as comfortable as a full suspension. In general, hardtail mountain bikes are less expensive than full suspension mountain bikes.

For more information about hardtail mountain bikes, please visit my Hardtail Mountain Bike page.

Full Suspension Mountain Bikes: Full suspension mountain bikes have suspension in the front fork and in the frame of the bike. They perform better and are more comfortable on technical terrain because they absorb bumps better than hardtail mountain bikes. Full suspension mountain bikes come in a variety of options that range in price, weight, amount of suspension, and components.

2. How much suspension do you need?:

Full suspension mountain bikes come in several different categories:

Cross Country Race: Lightest in weight. Usually around 100 mm of suspension. Best for racing.

Cross Country Trail/Marathon: A little heavier than cross country race mountain bikes, usually having 120-140 mm of suspension. Better for more epic rides because more comfortable. Increasingly more lightweight options in this category available for more cost, which make them a good bike for longer races.

All Mountain/Enduro: Burlier and heavier than cross country mountain bikes, often having around 140-160 mm of suspension. Harder to climb with them, but great for more gnarly downhill riding.

Freeride Mountain Bikes: Burlier and heavier than all mountain, usually equipped with 160-180 mm of suspension. Great for technical stunts, jumps, and drops. Not good for climbing.

Downhill Mountain Bikes: The burliest and heaviest type of mountain bike, often having 180-220 mm of suspension. Made for taking up a lift or shuttle and riding downhill fast and furious. Can handle drops of several feet. Not made for climbing.

For more information, please visit my page on Full Suspension Mountain Bikes.

3. 26 Inch vs 29 Inch Wheels:

Traditionally, mountain bikes have had wheels that are 26 inches in diameter. More recently, 29er mountain bikes have entered the market. 29ers have wheels that are 29 inches in diameter. There are many advantages of this larger wheel size, but it may not be the right choice for everyone.

Learn more about whether or not a 29er is a good fit for you on my page on 29er Mountain Bikes.

Feed the need! Where to find great deals on mountain bike gear...

Get up to 75% off complete bikes and gear here.

One Deal at a Time- Bookmark this link and check back often! This company marks down an item to a ridiculously low price and sells it until it is gone. Then they do it all over again. They have sweet deals!

Thanks for checking out Mountain Bike Buzz and subscribing to my newsletter. I enjoy passing along information to you and wish you a riding season filled with singletrack bliss :).

As always, enjoy the ride!

Mary Blomquist
Mountain Bike Buzz

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