Monthly Archives: July 2017

Different Types of Mountain Bikes

Now that you have decided to get yourself a mountain bike, the next thing you should know is that there are so many different types of bikes to suit different types of needs. There is no one fits all here. There are at least 5 different types of bikes, and each bike is designed to tackle different types or terrains and obstacles with its own advantages and disadvantages. Before buying this kind of bike, it best to know where you will be riding and what types of obstacles will you encounter on your rides. This will ultimately help you to decide on the best mountain bicycle for your usage.

The different types of such bicycles are;

1. XC bikes or Cross country bikes. These bikes are designed for off road excursions with minimal to moderate obstacles. These bikes weigh around 20 – 30 pounds and are made of the most lightweight materials so that they can go as fast as possible in all directions possible. They use air shock suspension systems and are more rigid than other mountain bikes. There are also two types of XC bike according to suspension, the hard tail and the full suspension.

a. The Hard tail: The hard tail do not have rear suspension and you need to add suspension forks for a more comfortable ride, they weigh less than a full suspension mountain bike, they have improved seat-stay and chain-stay, they are more durable than full suspension bikes and requires less maintenance.

b. The Full Suspension bikes: Full suspension mountain bikes have front fork and rear suspension integrated to the bike frame and resemble a motorcycle. They are more comfortable to ride, but are heavier than the hard tails.

2. Trail Bikes: have softer suspension systems and requires more pedaling effort from the rider. There are 3 different types of mountain bikes:

a. Downhill mountain bicycles: this mountain bike is designed for going downhill and terrorizing race courses with steep drops. These bikes weigh about 40 pounds, but are made as light as possible to be suitable for racing. Because it is built for racing downhill, it would not be a good idea to use it for climbing. The barking system use hydraulic brakes to stop at high speeds.

b. Freeride Mountain bicycles: Looks similar to a downhill mountain bicycles, weighs nearly the same but is easier to pedal. This bike is cross of the downhill mountain bike and the cross country bike, but does not perform well.

c. Dirt Jump Mountain bicycles: as it name suggests it is used for dirt jumping, racing and street riding. It looks like an oversized BMX bike with front suspension. It is made of very strong material to protect the rider during the jumps with softer suspension system than the Cross Country Mountain bicycles.

Mountain Bike For The Bike With A Difference

A mountain bike is particularly designed for riding on uneven and bumpy areas. Most mountain bikes have fat knobby tires, which ensure extra traction and appropriate shock absorption. A full front and rear suspension is becoming more common in the recent models of bikes meant to run on mountainous surfaces.

Modern bikers are less fond of handlebars and extensions though some bicycles under this particular variety are provided with end bars on the handlebars. Wheels of mountain bikes range from 26 to 29 inches. The larger wheels have better rolling capabilities and helps in rotational weight thereby making slower acceleration aptly possible.

The Best Varieties Of Mountain Bicycles

Enduro Mountain Bikes

The weight of Enduros vary between 30 to 35 pounds. These bikes feature greater suspension travel, say about 150mm of front and rear travel. They have been perfectly designed so as to ride the rough terrains with ease and satisfaction on the part of the rider.

Downhill Mountain Bikes

These bikes provide 8 or more inches of suspension traveling. The bodies of these bikes weigh less, which make them more apt for racing. Downhill mountain bicycles have tough construction and as they have provisions like large, high gears, they are aptly suited for riding down out-and-out downhill trails and racecourses. Most downhill riding requires high-speed movement for which these bikes are provided with one chain ring, a large bush guard and a chain guide. In fact, Downhill Mountain biking is the most popular form of competition biking.

Dirt Jumping Bike

Dirt jumping bikes come in two types, Urban and Street Mountain bikes. These bikes are variable combinations of trial bikes like, BMX bike and freeride bike. This specific bike variety is extremely strong and possesses 0 to 4 inches of front suspension. They are mostly without any rear suspension along with fast-rolling, slick and semi-slick tires.

Some other significant bike forms include Cross-Country Mountain Bikes, Freeride Mountain Bikes, Trials Mountain Bikes, Single-Speed Mountain Bikes and North Shore Mountain Bikes.

Mountain Bikes – Monarchs Of The Mountains

Depending on suspension, mountain bikes can be largely classified into four different varieties:

1. Soft Tail Bikes – These are bikes with negligible rear suspension. These bikes are made active by the flex of the frames rather than the pivots.

2. Fully rigid bikes – Such bikes are provided with hardtail along with firm fork system.

3. Bikes having dual or full suspension – These machines on road come with front suspension fork and rear suspension along with rear shock and linkage. Such mechanisms enable the rear wheel move smoothly on pivots.

Hardtail Bikes – These bike varieties have frames without any rear suspension. More often, such bikes are provided with front suspension forks.

The contemporary bikes for mountains are provided with stronger and lighter frame types in addition to pioneering form and design. The built of these bicycles give way to forceful riding over rocks, logs, wooden bridges and fabricated ramps.

Some of the most notable and advanced companies who have come forward to introduce the up-grading models of bikes include Manitou, Rock Shox and Fox together with other notable makers. When you ride a bike, you are likely to make mistakes and the fault may not always be yours. Accidents and disasters can happen due to equipment malfunctioning or a wrong judgment as far as the rider is concerned. To put an end to such absurdities a number of companies have appeared on the scene with protective gears also known as armors.

Such equipments have been designed in a way so as to keep you absolutely safe from physical damages. The most significant upper body protectors for expert riders include full-face helmets, spine protector and backpack hydration system. Before unleashing the beasts on the craggy lanes, the makers of mountain bikes have indeed kept in mind the present trends and demands.

Why We Need to Develop Mountain Biking Trails

The potential for MTB in Thailand is endless. Bangkok itself and the surrounding provinces like Nonthaburi, Suphanburi and Ayutthaya are ultra flat, but travel just a couple of hours in any direction and the mountainous terrain is amazing. Unfortunately for most Bangkokians don’t even know what all mountain or downhill mountain biking is all about and although I don’t want to knock XC MTBers the locals spend most of their biking time riding on flat boring dirt roads traveling as slow as possible and stopping now and again to point at and pick fruit from trees.

As well as these flat dirt roaders there are others that think mountain biking means riding a mountain bike on tarmac roads dressed in their best Sunday spandex with racing slicks on their 24,000 baht Mavic Crossmax, when it would be fair to say that that’s road biking and you can use a sports cycle with rigid forks for that.

Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand is the established Mecca of downhill mountain biking. With a handful of downhill and all mountain trails, great trails but still none of which are of a world-class standard. The hype for most mountain bikers who travel to Chiang Mai to have a go at the trails there is simply to say that they had a go at the sport in a country warm enough to call it jungle single track.

With tourism at a 49 years low in the kingdom it would be great to see the MTB Tour companies who operate in Chiang Mai and its surrounding areas investing more time developing tracks and promoting the sport more with XC and downhill races and maybe some even some 4x and slope style competitions.

The 2007 Asean Downhill competition was held near Lam Tha Khong Dam on the outskirts of Khao Yai National Park in Nakhon Rachasima Province which gave mountain bikers in Central Thailand some hope that the sport had reached a new level and more trails would be built but after a visit to the site where the event was held just a few months after the trail had gone back to being an unused overgrown path and the locals had forgotten all about it.

There is some great potential for mountain biking trails in Central Thailand too but the locals and expats who live there don’t seem to get the time or feel the need to go out and build more trails just keep riding the same old trails at Khao I-to in Prachinburi and Tamp Pra Toon in Chonburi. Again, these are two great trails to get your teeth into but become boring for the people who ride them all the time and are quite difficult for those who are just getting into the sport with their awkward and steep uphill sections being very punishing in the hotter months.

What mountain bikers in Thailand would like to see is more purpose built trails developed in the area. Locations such as Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi and Khao Yai would be perfect locations for mountain bikers in the country to get together and develop some world-class trails with manageable uphill sections and great downhill sections to cater for all MTB disciplines.