Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How to Buy a Mountain Bike

You watch them crossing the road from trail to trail, disappearing into the landscape in a cloud of dust and laughter.  It looks like fun.  It is fun.  It has been years since you've been on a bike.  You want to follow them but you don't own a mountain bike and the task of purchasing one is daunting to say the least.  You could go buy one off the floor of the big box bike store down the road, but you have questions and they have few helpful answers.  They want to sell you any bike.  You don't want any bike.  You want a bike that rides like the one in your dreams: fast, light and responsive.  You want a DENIGRIS bike.  

Choosing a Frame

What kind of riding do you plan on doing with the bike:  racing, fire roads, single tracks, all mountain, technical down hill?

All around riding, beginner, technical downhills, long endurance rides, and some single tracks - then a full suspension frame is for you.

If you're thinking about racing - then you'll want to consider a hard tail frame (though for some people a full suspension will work just fine - long distance endurance rides and conditioning of the rider can make full suspension bike a better option than hard tail.)

If you are over 6 feet tall, then a 29er frame is recommended.  

Choosing a Fork

Hard Tail 100-120 mm max.  This depends on the terrain.  Smooth and flat with alot of climbing - 100 mm.  The more technical and more rocky and more downhill - 120 mm.

Full Suspension - 100-150 mm.  Recommend for cross country - 100-120 mm.  All mountain riding 120-150 mm.

Choosing a Groupset

Recreational - Shimano SLX is a reliable choice.  It isn't the lightest but it works as good as the Shimano STR.

For the rider who rides recreationally and occasionally races, the Shimano ST is the best value.  It is not as heavy as the SLX and works as well as the STR.

The Shimano STR is the lightest and the best technology.  If weight is a concern, as well as being a step ahead, then the STR is for you.

Choosing a Shock (on the full suspension)

Recreational riders we recommend a simple shock - one that locks on and off.

For bikes built for all mountain, we recommend one that can be adjusted for climbing, trail and downhill.

For racing, we recommend one with remote lockout.

Choosing Wheels

Wheels depend on the weight of the rider and the type of riding.

For example, the Stans Crest is a good set for racing or all mountain when the rider is not over 170 lbs.

If you are over 170 lbs or if you are planning to all mountain, then Stans Flow wheels are a good choice.

If you are over 170 lbs and you ride hard tail, the Arch is recommended.

Choosing Tires to go on those Wheels

Kenda Nevegals are ideal for all mountain and downhill.  Schwalbe Rocket Ron and Racing Ralph are cross country racing tires.  The Hans Dampf is a reliable trail tire.

Choosing a Handlebar

This is totally dependent on the feeling of the rider.  The widest is recommended because it can be cut and adjusted.

Choosing Pedals

If you are starting to ride, then a platform pedal is the best option.  If you're ready to utilize your whole leg and venture into the world of clip in pedals - then it is simply rider preference between Shimano and Crank Brothers.  You can choose also a clip in with a platform option such as Shimano XT Platform and Crank Brothers Candy (this is great for learning.)  You will need compatible cleats for your shoes.

Choosing Brakes

Disc brakes are more powerful and require less effort on the rider to brake than cantilever brakes.

The Formula C1 is a low cost, reliable disc brake.  The Formula R1 is a light weight racing brake. The Formula T1 are ideal for downhill racing - very powerful.

When you're ready to make the investment in a bike you love to ride send an email to Marco at

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