Mountain bikes are what you call the bicycles used for off-road cycling activities. These are considered the rugged type of bike because they are the bikes that are built for the rough conditions of off-road cycling. Your typical mountain bike is created to withstand rough and rocky trails, steep trails, and other off-road trail situations. That is precisely why it they are called “mountain” bikes. Although they can still be used for easy riding on smooth roads, mountain bikes are typically not meant for paved or cemented roads.
What your typical mountain bike frame is made of
Because mountain bikes are designed to withstand stress, they are made of very durable materials. The frame is built from sturdy materials. The early mountain bike frame was made of steel. Steel bike frames are very durable but also heavy and made riding them another kind of challenge.
Later on, several other types of materials became the main component for a typical mountain bike frame. Although steel frames still exist, many mountain bike riders and enthusiasts prefer the new materials because they make mountain biking easier, more comfortable and safer.
The early steel frame mountain bikes weighed as much as eight pounds or even more. This heavy weight entailed more effort on the rider and posed more risk of injury in the event of a slip or accident. Later on, bike manufacturers started experimenting with different steel alloys for mountain bike frames.
These steel alloy frames were noticeably lighter than their steel counterparts, but were still as durable. Until now steel frames are still available for mountain bike enthusiasts, but they are considered the heaviest type of frame available. They counter this disadvantage though by being less costly and more flexible in terms of its customizability.
Other materials typically used for a mountain bike frame include titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber. These are understandably lighter than steel. Many mountain bike enthusiasts say that titanium is the best choice for mountain bike frames because of its incredible combination of lightness and durability.
- A titanium bike frame, however, is an expensive frame for a mountain bike. For serious riders who have no issues with price, titanium is considered the best choice. Bike frames made of carbon fiber are also lighter than aluminum or steel, but they are also expensive and not as flexible as aluminum and steel, unlike steel and aluminum, Carbon fiber frames are useless once broken.
Different kinds of mountain bike frames
The rigid type is considered the best choice for beginners because they are not too costly and are created for daily riding. The rigid type does not have any kind of suspension built into it. The rigid frame type of mountain bike is considered appropriate for paved road riding or smooth dirt trails.
The hard tail type is practically the same as a rigid type frame, except that it has additional front suspension forks added to it. These front suspension forks give additional suspension to the mountain bike. Mountain bikes which use a hard tail type of frame are also good for paved road riding as well as off-road riding. They are the common choice for racing.
Dual suspension frames or full suspension frames are the best choice for certain kinds of terrains because of the strong suspension support. Logically dual suspension frames are more expensive than the other frames and are the more suitable choice for downhill and off-road biking activities.
Choosing the best mountain bike frame for you would depend on what you need and how much you are willing to pay. If you have plans of mountain biking for a long time, then it would be wise to invest in quality mountain bike frames.