The sport of mountain bike riding is possibly the toughest of all cycling disciples and it is really important that you get expert advice when buying a mountain bike. The best advice will be found at specialist cycle shops that employ experienced and passionate people who ride themselves. Among such staff, you are sure to find a mountain bike enthusiast who will help you with your purchase.
When choosing the right mountain bike, there are several measurements that are important to get right to enjoy the sport to its full potential. This is where the bike shop staff will be able to help. They will understand these important points and help you set the bike up correctly.
The stand over height is the distance between the top bar and your body when the bike is stationary and you are standing on the ground. It is important to have a few inches clearance here so you can safely come to a halt. This measurement is an easy one for you to judge for yourself.
The leg and foot position is an important factor with riding any bike but with a mountain bike there is a variation to the normal position. With mountain biking, you need to be able to rise from the saddle at times, while at others you are seated, depending on the terrain. The seat needs to set slightly lower than normal – take this into account when selecting the size of your mountain bike.
The riding compartment is the space between the handlebars and the seat, and the relationship between the two is an important adjustment. First, determine the correct leg extension and then check that the handlebars are about 2 inches lower than the height of the seat. The handlebars should never be higher than the saddles for safe mountain bike riding.
Mountain bikes have dual suspension, meaning that there is suspension on both front and rear wheels. To allow the suspension to work correctly, you must ride with your weight evenly distributed between the two units. To adjust the bike so that your weight is evenly distributed, lengthen or shorten the handlebar stem. This adjustment must be no more than 2 inches in either direction.
When these basic adjustments have been made to your selected mountain bike, it is time to test ride it. Have the staff member observe you as you ride to check your body position; they may need to make some extra adjustments for you. If the bike doesn’t feel right, ask for advice; don’t buy a bike that isn’t comfortable but do take into account that the riding position is slightly different to conventional cycling.
An experienced mountain bike rider who works at a bike shop will be able to give you lots of tips and suggestions for enjoying this exciting sport to the fullest. Take their advice and listen to their tips so that you will enjoy your new sport.