If you want a firm and durable mountain bike, you have to get the frame right. The right frame will give you better control over your bike as well as long years of service. The wheels should also be comfortable and the right pick for the terrain you mostly ride on. They should offer you a quality ride and be strong enough to cover a great distance longer.
While we might all agree on the importance of the best wheels and frames for your mountain bike, getting them right isn’t easy. You have to know what to look for and why. Our aim today is to make this process as simple as it can get.
What you should know about Mountain Bike Wheels
Your biking style and where you ride on determines the type of tires to go for. They are differently designed to match what they are meant to do.
These tires have large knobs extending from all angles. They cover the tire to provide traction. They are not fast, noisy and perform well on mountain trails as well as soft sand and soil.
These tires feature small treads on the outer surface with smooth rubber down the middle. They are fast on hard packed soil or surfaces that have substantially flat rocks. They are less noisy than knobbies.
Used mostly on pavements. They are the fastest mountain bike tires and work best on hard-packed terrains. They are not best for loose surfaces and do not have a good grip off-road.
These tires get glued to a specific rim. They are comfortable and offer a good grip. The downside is that they are hard to repair and you always have to replace the entire tire in case of a flat.
The edge of these tires hooks over the rim’s edge with either a steel or Kevlar fiber bead. It needs a tube to inflate and hold air, and they clinch to the rim when you add air.
Always consider wheel size and width based on the kind of terrain you ride on and what you expect to get out of your mountain bike.
Mountain bikes are not new to 26-inch wheels. You will love that they are light, durable and easy to maneuver. When it comes to replacing them, you can get the spares with ease. Their downside is that they are less stable.
If you want wheels with better rolling ability than the 26-inch one but do not want to compromise on the lightness, this is the best bet. A big patch of these wheels makes contact with the ground giving them more grip. They are more stable than the 26-inch wheels with almost the same maneuverability.
You must have come across these wheels if you are not new to mountain bikes. They maintain the best speed and have a tremendous rolling ability on rough terrains. They offer a smooth ride and exceptional stability thanks to their enormous size. The downside is that they could be a tight fit for small frames.
These influences the wheel’s weight, durability and of course performance. Understanding each of these parts will make it easy for you when you consider upgrading your bike.
They are found on the outer part of the wheel. The rim’s common function is to hold the tire. The tire’s width is affected by the rim’s width which effects on the wheel’s grip and rider’s control.
It is also important to note that aluminum rims are cheap and commonly used whereas carbon fiber rims enhance rigidity while cutting down on the weight.
The hub offers the axis of rotation. You need to consider how good the bearings are and their drivetrain.
Spokes are the material that connects the rim and the hub. The rear wheel always features more spokes to enhance rigidity and strength. More spokes will give you a firm but heavy wheel.
Attaches the spoke to the wheel. They come in different designs for different performance, but their importance is to adjust spoke tension.
What you should know about Mountain Bike Frames
Various mountain bike frame materials have different characteristics making them slightly different. You should select your mountain bike frame based on your preference and what you need to get from your bike.
If you are looking at a sturdy frame to offer you long years of service, this makes an excellent choice. It is comfortable on tough trails and is easy to repair. The downside of steel is that it is heavy and is prone to rust. The weight makes it less preferred by racers.
Aluminum is light and less prone to rust than steel. It makes an excellent option for racing bikes and high-end road bikes. It does not offer the durability and smooth rides you will get from steel.
If you are looking at a frame that is more durable than aluminum yet lighter than steel, then this will be the best bet. You will love that you will never find a rust spot on this frame. They are durable and dampen bumps to offer smooth rides.
On the downside, titanium expensive and difficult to repair.
• Carbon fiber
This frame is known for its strength, rigidity, and lightweight. The downside is that it is the most expensive of all the frames and less durable.
Sizing and fitting
The fit of your mountain bike greatly affects your comfort and control. There are various methods of determining whether the bike frame is ideal for you. We have covered some ways below;
• Using the size chart
Find the top of the seat tube. This should be where the seat clamp and the seat post meet
Find the middle of the axle holds together the crank arms
The length of the seat tube is the distance between step 1 and 2
Use the chart below to select your ideal bike size
Seat tube sizes Height Bike size
13-14 inches Between 5-feet to 5-feet 4-inch Extra small
14-16 inches 5-feet 4-inch to 5-feet 7-inch Small
16-18 inches 5-feet 7-inch to 5-feet 10-inch Medium
18-20 inches 5-feet 10-inch to 6-feet 1-inch Large
20-22 inches 6-feet 1-inch and above Extra large
• Inseam length
Take off your shoes and stand straight against a wall
Stretch your legs about 6-inches apart then have someone take your measurement (in inches) from the floor to your crotch
Seat tube length is the figure above multiplied by .67, minus 4
• Stand over test
With your legs over the top tube, straddle the bike resting your feet flat on the floor
You should have an allowance of about 2-inches between your crotch and the top tube
Mountain bikes are evolving so fast advancing their frames and wheels for better performance. While there is a lot that you need to know about wheels and frames, this article cover the essential things to help you understand mountain bikes better.