Mountain Bikes

 

Which Mountain Bike should I buy?

 


Mountain bikes have a very wide range of uses, depending on the type of terrain that you are riding in. This includes Cross Country (XC), Trail, Enduro, Freeride, Dirt Jump, Slopestyle and Downhill mountain bikes. Mountain bikes are the most popular type of bicycle sold in Australia and for good reason too. Whilst designed for off road riding can also be versatile enough to be used on road. They are designed with durability in mind, as they have to withstand much greater wear and tear whilst off road. 

The most common are hardtail mountain bikes, this means that they only have suspension at the front of the bike, and the rear wheel is fixed solidly to the frame.  As the trail gets rockier, however you then need a dual suspension mountain bike, which is suspension at the front and the back. This allows the bike to soak up the bumps and to maintain traction. The more difficult the terrain the more travel in the suspension you will need whilst descending . This allows for more variations in the trail, and bigger jumps. 

More suspension travel is not necessarily better. In fact you want as little travel as possible for your riding style. Cross country bikes typically run 100mm to 120mm of travel, Trail and Enduro bikes typically run 140mm to 160mm of travel and  Long travel bikes such as downhill and freeride normally run between 180mm and 200mm of travel. The trade off with more travel is usually the weight which makes it harder to pedal the bike up hill. 

Within all these disciplines, there are different wheel sizes, 26 inch, 27.5 inch (650b), 27.5 Plus and 29 inch (29er). The larger the wheel the easier it is to roll over obstacles, but the wheel also becomes heavier and less agile. Typically people will choose according to their height, riding style and of course – cost. 

Sizes are measured in inches, or sizes such as Small, Medium and Large. They are not as precise as road bikes, because you are often out of the saddle as you manoeuvre through corners and around obstacles so there is typically more adjustability within the size options.

 

Comparison

CATEGORIES
MODEL
ADVANTAGES
DISADVANTAGES
IDEAL FOR
Hardtail 27.5 inch mountain bike

Hardtail 27.5 inch

  • Perfect entry to intermediate level bike
  • Very good value
  • Lightweight Hydroformed 6061 Aluminium frame
  • New 27.5 inch wheel size
  • Very versatile. Can be used for weekend rides on the trail or even as dependable commuter bike
  • Slightly slower on roads when compared to 29 inch wheel size
  • Rider getting into Mountain Biking and looking for a good value bike with decent components
  • A commuter rider looking for a bike to ride to work, but also take off road on cross country trails
  • Rider who prefers a more agile bike (when compared to the 29er)
Hardtail 27.5 inch Plus Mountain Bike

Hardtail 27.5 inch Plus

  • Improved grip
  • Better cornering
  • Simple fun bike for trail riding
  • As comfortable and confidence inspiring as a dual suspension
  • Can fit 29 inch wheels for road riding
  • Heavier wheels
  • Slow acceleration
  • Correct tyre pressure is crucial for optimal performance
  • Beginner to intermediate rider who wants to venture into more adventurous tracks but doesn’t want to spend Dual Suspension money
  • A rider who is looking for an extremely versatile bike, capable of handling most on and off trail conditions
Hardtail 29 inch mountain bike

Hardtail 29 inch

  • Lower rolling resistance as well as a better "angle of attack" allowing the rider to roll over obstacles more easily than on a smaller wheels size
  • Lightweight Hydroformed 6061 Aluminium frame
  • Performance orientated
  • More comfort and speed from 29 inch wheels
  • Bigger wheels accelarate slower
  • Less nimble on tight singletracks
  • Slightly higher starting price when compared to 27.5 inch
  • Taller riders
  • Riders likely to do more on-road or even fire trail riding
  • A commuter rider looking for a bike to ride to work, but also take off road on cross country trails
Racing Carbon 29 inch mountain bike

Hardtail Carbon 29 inch

  • Super lightweight racing carbon frame
  • Added comfort from 29 inch wheels and carbon frame
  • Thru axle front and rear for extra stiffness and responsiveness
  • Internal routed gear and brake cables
  • Oversize downtube and bottom bracket for less flex and greater power transfer
  • Bigger wheels accelarate slower
  • Carbon frame not as durable as aluminium frame
  • Racing geometry is slightly more aggressive than the aluminium version
  • Rider looking for a lightweight and preformance oriented racing bike
  • Added comfort from the carbon frame
XC Dual Suspension mountain bike

XC Dual Suspension

  • Perfect for bumpy off road trails
  • Simple rear suspension system adds little weight to the frame
  • Lockable front and rear suspension
  • Improved control and comfort
  • Heavier than a hardtail bike
  • Slower on uphills and flat roads than a hardtail bike
  • Beginner and intermediate riders, riding on bumpy trails, with lots of rocks, roots and technical sections 
  • Riders upgrading from a hardtail to a dual suspension
Trail and Enduro mountain bikes

Trail/ Enduro

  • Longer suspension travel bikes for more aggressive trails and riders
  • Full carbon frame or half carbon/half alloy frame
  • Advanced rear suspension system designed to eliminate pedal-bob and brake jolt
  • Internal routed brake and rear cables for clean looks
  • Fox front suspension with TALAS system allows to change the fork size mid ride
  • Dropper seatpost helps on steeper descents 
  • Higher starting price point
  • Carbon frame not as durable as alloy frames
  • Climbing performance
  • Geometry too slack to ride on roads
  • More experienced riders that want to hit bigger jumps, faster descents and bumpier trails
  • Enduro riders looking for a great pedalling bike
  • Fast and technical trail riding
  • Performance orientated enduro bike
Downhill mountain bikes

Downhill

  • Full downhill frame with alloy front triangle and carbon rear
  • Front alloy triangle adds control on difficult trails
  • Carbon rear triangle reduces weight and improves suspension performance
  • Stable pedalling bike = little pedal bob
  • Very specific and only to be used on downhill trails
  • Heavy and difficult to pedal uphill
  • Experienced riders looking for a downhill specific bike to hit big jumps, drops and berms
  • Downhill racers looking for a good value Downhill bike
Dirt Jump bikes

Dirt Jump / Slopestyle

  • Compact frame ideal for jumping and tricks
  • Alloy frame keeps the bike light
  • Extra reinforcement adds durability to the frame
  • Single speed and horizontal dropouts eliminate dropped chains
  • Very specific bike
  • Mainly to be used at skate parks and dirt jump parks
  • Intermediate to advanced riders looking for a dirt jump bike to do big jumps on and learn tricks

 

Latest Mountain Bikes Reviews
Polygon Premier 3.0 - 27.5 inch Mountain Bike

Polygon Premier 3.0 - 27.5 inch Mountain Bike

By: on 18 May 2017
Bought this bike to take with us when we go camping. Fits easily on the back of the camper. I bought the size large which fits me well at 184cm. Very impressed with quality of the build and the parts you get on this bike. Much cheaper than other brands I looked at with similar spec.
(5)

Polygon Trid Dirt Jump Mountain Bike - Signature Edition

Polygon Trid Dirt Jump Mountain Bike - Signature Edition

By: on 17 May 2017
The Trid is a totally sick jump bike, that seems to cheap to be true. The frame is amazing, the shock set up and drive train components... fantastic. The bike rides as you would expect from a rig twice the price. Hydraulic brakes are very nice too. Paint job and graphics look sick and get a lot of looks at the jump park. I took the bike out for its first run on a Mountain X track last weekend and it performed exceptionally. If you are considering the Trid, do not hesitate to purchase, you will not be disappointed!!!!!
(5)

Polygon Trid ZZ Slopestyle / Dirt Jump Bike

Polygon Trid ZZ Slopestyle / Dirt Jump Bike

By: on 17 May 2017
I am stoked with this bike. Almost $1000 cheaper than any other similar slopestyle bikes on the market. Rides unreal. Super light. Suspension works really well. Would highly recommend. Stealth black paint job is really nice too.
(5)

Featured Blog Posts
If the trails you ride are unpredictable, then it’s nice to have a bike that gives you a little bit of margin for error. And let us tell you, tra...
view post
Of course, this pricing is achievable because the bike is sold direct to the consumer and is delivered requiring some assembly. At this price poi...
view post
If you are not sure how to change your old Handlebar Grips, that's no a problem. We've found this great video from Global Mountain Bike Network. ...
view post
You might be wondering if it's really worth it to buy a Dropper Seatpost. Seth from Seth's Bike Hacks has put a great video together on "Why use ...
view post
Check out this awesome new video released on Pink Bike , Kurt Sorge on his Polygon Colossus N9. Simply breathtaking scenery that looks like it's ...
view post
They say, if you like eating sausages, you should never visit a sausage factory. I’m a vegetarian, so maybe that doesn’t apply to me. But what ab...
view post
Mountain bikes are probably the most versatile bicycles and are often labeled as a “can do all” kind off bike. In this "How To" guide we will not...
view post
The Siksiu D8 is Polygon’s aluminium frame 27.5″ wheel dually with 120mm of suspension travel, purchased online from Bicycles Online and shipped ...
view post