Tough choices encircle us always in life. In fact, life is but a mixed bag of tough choices. When we talk about biking, we always want to check what is biking in exact sense & which bike should be chosen. Many people prefer road bikes while some prefer hybrid bikes & the best ones prefer mountain bikes. Want to know why your next bike should be a mountain bike? Let’s check it out.
What Is A Mountain Bike?
Mountain Bikes or MTB more popularly include the type of rugged bicycle with flat handlebars, multiple gears & wide tires for riding narrow dirt tracks, which involve gravels, mud, uneven grounds, steep climbs & down trail from the top. These are specially designed for riding on mountainous surfaces.
Given the area which it is built to traverse, these kind of bikes are made to be durable with wheels of diameter typically either 27.5 inch or 29 inch. The best thing about mountain biking is the fact that as tough as it gets to handle mountain bikes, it is customized differently for the male & female users. On women specific models, the seats are women-specific with smaller grips & narrower handlebars. The crank arms are short & so is the top-tube given the fact that women have smaller arms.
Mountain biking is comparatively complex & trickier than others as it includes rides in the wild mountain trails where the surfaces change suddenly & abruptly. While once you’ll see steep or sharp climbs, the very next moment you’ll greet the fall or a flat surface full of bumps & uneven rocks & stones. The upper part of your body & the core will be very much into consideration here as the stamina & technique are the ones which get the bike going. There isn’t just one but many ‘asks’ before you go for mountain biking as it requires courage, stamina, self-confidence, core strength, balancing art & biking skills. Mountain bike differs from other bikes by means of features they incorporate such as performance at rough-trails and durability.
The tyres of the bike are thicker compared to road bikes & have many lugs so as to give the bike a good grip on the surface. Also, the thick tyres come so as to prevent the scene for puncture or damage to the tyres. These bikes which have suspension at the front or on both sides so as to absorb the shock coming off the uneven surface & no suspension at all to make the bike weigh lighter. The various types of mountain bike suspensions are as below:
- Hardtail mountain bikes which have hard or suspension-less rear wheels & have shock absorbers only in the front fork. Front suspension helps in lowering the upper limb fatigue & helps keep the hands on the handlebars to make steering easier on rough trails. They are reasonably priced & can also be a good ‘first bike’.
- Full suspension bikes come in a variety of prices but the lower priced ones are not something somebody should opt for. Due to the suspension mechanism on both sides, these are heavier. A good full suspension bike will always cost more than a good hardtail, but, since the shock absorptions is high & pressure on the body lesser, it will reduce fatigue & make riding more comfortable despite the heavy weight. Higher level of control on rough ground at speed is better with these bikes. A bike that is dedicated to riding dirt trails at speed, full suspension bikes are easy on joints & muscles then this is the one for you.
- Rigid bikes are mountain bikes that are, surprisingly without any suspension. Lack of suspension makes them light & easy to pedal.
With all of this, we must also brush up on the main types of mountain bikes which are as below:
- Cross Country Mountain Bikes
- Enduro or All Mountain Bikes
- Downhill Mountain Bikes
- Freeride Mountain Bikes
- Dirt Jump Bikes
Benefits Of Mountain Biking
We are giving you solid reasons now to drift in to mountain biking by getting a mountain bike with these reasons:
Nature & greenery changes our mood & general health. The environment has a huge influence on how you perceive the world & how you feel & behave depends on that. The noise of the city increases stress & hence you may seek relaxation by immersing yourself in a forest or natural landscape. Studies have shown that stress levels fall & blood pressure decreases in natural setup. It is tough to believe but when you bike in the city & bike through the forest, you can decide for yourself which one is better.
- THE JOINTS-VENTURE
If you have bad knees & still want to get going on the bike, mountain biking can fulfil your wish alongside giving you a great exercise with minimal impact on the joints. Running leads to hip & knee problems & is hence biking is an easier option for the body.
- ENJOYING LIFE WITH FOCUS
Mountain bikers are kings of focus & grit while being no less than great yogis. While mountain biking, where there are hops over logs, ride through the streams & around tight corners with trees on either side, concentration is needed. It helps to forget about all other problems & focus on ADVENTURE for a while.
- A HEALTHY HEART
Mountain biking will get the heart some much needed exercise. The steep climbs will challenge the cardiovascular strength & mak the heart stronger & fitter. As the heart becomes stronger recovery period for these climbs will decrease & the body will find it easier to traverse through longer & more challenging rides.
- MEETING & CONNECTING WITH NEW PEOPLE
In this era of Iife where we are losing more & more physical & in-person bonding due to the arrival of digital otexts (not criticizing), meeting people in person is an altogether enthralling experience. With social relationships, we tend to get closer to the ones we love. This is a contributing factor to mental & physical well-being. Mountain biking will bring you in touch of bike buddies & post-ride beers to relax, chill & talk about life.
Is It Better Than Road Biking?
Mountain biking is of course better than road biking. Give a read to the reasons below:
- Unlike road biking which is full of honking traffic on the parallel lanes to being in the middle of the crowd & that too in the concrete jungle, mountain biking gives you a ride in the lap of the nature with scenic beauty, fragrance of flowers & trees & mesmerizing views of flora & fauna.
- Cycling by the roads, getting your heart pounding & letting the CO2 circulate in your veins from the traffic is definitely not good. Instead biking on the trails, getting fresh oxygen from nature is a more cool experience.
- While road biking, if you get tired, you can pause & sit on benches or in the parks & so on but can’t accomplish anything serious. On the other hand, mountain biking gives you an endlessly vast stretch where you can not just meditate but think about your life under solace.
- There’s a reason why road bikes are referred to as racers. They fill in a spirit of competition among people to clock speeds & go ahead. On the other hand we have mountain biking where the bike isn’t much speedy & you get time to talk & cycle, laugh a little & share stuff as you ride.
- The variety is also a big question as in mountain biking you get a lot of options ranging from dirt track to cross-country, enduro to downhill. Road biking gives you only one option – road biking. Based on your skills as a rider & the fitness levels, you can choose accordingly.
Let’s be honest, whenever we think of biking apart from the usual cycling, we think of adventure rides. Adventure can be anywhere as long as the spirit is active but, to get the right spirit going & switching it on, you need to have the perfect setup for it. Other disciplines of biking don’t give much of an adventure unless you are talking about the stunt on BMX bikes or a race in the velodrome. These aren’t exactly adventurous. Also, not everybody can handle a road bike as it is tough to position oneself & ride with speed. People don’t always want speed. Other types of bikes also allow various advantages but lack in what is provided by a mountain bike. We would hence like you to go for a mountain bike if you think adventure always when you hear or see ‘biking’.