Choosing a new bike can be a daunting task, especially if you haven’t owned a bike before, or haven’t bought one in 30 years. Our job is to help you wade through the most important facets of a mountain bike. What kind of bike you need depends on what kind of terrain you ride. Is it fire access and logging roads? Is it Single track? Is it steep and aggressive? With the major differences in regional terrain, many different bike types were developed.
Fat Bikes - Exclusively reserved for your inner child, this bike is ready to roll over anything in your path. Fat bikes share a lot of the same ideas as a trail bike, but a 3.8”-5.0” tire for ultimate traction, float and cushion and the ability to ride in any season.
Cross Country (XC) - these bikes are suited to tails too, but are often interested in longer distance or timed events, and less impactful features. Typically feature a 29” rim and a narrower tire.
Plus Bikes - The best of both worlds. Larger diameter, usually 27.5” or 29”, and a width of 2.8-3.0 inches- to roll over features faster, and wider tires to provide stability and comfort. Currently tire width is a huge factor when shopping for bikes. Wide tires provide traction, but can sacrifice some maneuverability. Narrower tires do not provide the same traction in loose conditions, but provide faster acceleration and increased maneuverability.
Fat - A fat bike features a tire that is wider, for stability and float, as well as a low pressure for maximum comfort. Low pressure also allows the tire to spread out for more traction in loose conditions.
Plus - A plus bike features a 2.8”-3.0” tire, and usually a 27.5” diameter for the ultimate in comfort, traction and ability to roll over any logs, roots and rocks with ease. Also featuring low pressure for maximum traction.
Diameter - Fat bikes and Mountain bikes feature a wide range of wheel diameters. 26 and 27.5 are common on Fat bikes, while 26, 27.5, and 29 are all common on mountain bikes. In general, larger diameters help you roll over obstacles like logs, roots and rocks easier. Smaller diameters are usually a bit easier to control, and maneuver on trails.
Suspension - Generally, mountain bikes have some sort of front suspension fork, or even dual-suspension options. This will help in any rough terrain to take some of the shock out of your ride, and allow you to get over and around certain features. Fat bikes, on the other hand are seen both with and without suspension forks often, due to the supreme suspension offered by a low pressure tire.
Most of the time, Mountain and Fat bikes provide a more upright riding position than a road or gravel bike. If you’re more upright, you can better prepare for what the trail has in store. Featuring wide, flat handlebars for maximum leverage and control through any sort of obstacles and features you may encounter; which leaves you feeling stable and confident in dicey situations