How To Choose Best Mountain Bike
Purchasing a proper fitting and size of the bike is essential to keep in mind before you go on trying your brand-new bike. A pair of jeans is on 70% sale, but it is not a deal for you if the jeans don’t fit you. Unlike jeans, you can’t alter carbon or aluminum, so it is highly essential to purchase a mountain bike’s ideal size.
Now you must be thinking about how to select the perfect size of mountain bike for you? This article will provide you the essential details and information on choosing an ideal size. It is necessary for new riders or riders from different cycling backgrounds to know that mountain bike sizing is completely different from road bikes or other types of bikes.
Mountain Bike Size Chart
One of the essential things to start with while choosing the correct size of the bike is through surfing the size charts offered by different brands. Make sure you specifically go through a particular brand because of the difference in design geometry and philosophy. On every mountain bike web page, there are size charts available by the specific brand. The right starting point is the size of the mountain bike frame, and there are also other factors like intended use, skill level, and a geometry that influence the size of the bike.
How Are Mountain Bikes Sized?
Some brands manufacture mountain bikes by using classic large, medium, and small sizing. For most of the brands, the bike frame’s size causes the difference in sizes; various things like suspensions, geometry number, and wheel size are similar in every mountain bike. However, some brands might change certain things like suspension travel within the run’s length and the wheel size in the same model.
One of the most traditional methods used for bike fitting is seat tube length. All the different and exciting shapes and varieties that the mountain bikes are manufactured make it quite challenging to decide what size one should purchase. Most of these bikes focus on providing less standover height, because of which the standing flat-foot on the bike becomes highly impossible. This is why brands have started manufacturing by using large, medium, and small sizing and provide their size charts based on different heights and measurements.
Sizing Down or Sizing Up Your Mountain Bike
Geometrical mountain bikes are the same as other bikes. Overall geometry and shape of every mountain bike are manufactured by keeping in mind various essential and different measurements. These figures are very crucial while discussing the style, feel, and fit of a particular bike. These measurements are also proportional to the diverse terrain and style the mountain bike is supposed to perform. The two sizes that can affect the fit of your bike are Stack and Reach. These terms come from trail time world, triathlon, and the road.
Important Measurements to Consider
Listed below are some of the critical measurements that will help you in purchasing a perfect mountain bike size for yourself:
1. Mountain Bike Reach:
Bike reach is one of the most critical measurements for this bike. It is a horizontal distance between the center of the tube head and the bottom bracket. This is undoubtedly one of the essential measures required for perfect bike fit or size as it directly contributes to its length and cockpit. At the same time, an individual stands on the pedal and the motion range that is to be used to build a healthy and comfortable riding position. If your bike’s reach is too long, then you will be stretched out and leaned over, too short a cockpit, and the bodyweight will shift quickly and leave an individual in an overly upright position.
2. Mountain Bike Stack:
A bike stack is one of the essential geometry measurements. The stack is a vertical distance in between the center of the tube head and bottom bracket. This measurement is a gauge for fixed handlebar height and seated pedal position. This measurement can be changed to a certain degree, with handlebar rise and headset spacers for increasing stack height. So, make sure to consider Reach Stack measurements for selecting a primary fit.
3. Mountain Bike Head Tube Angle:
The head angle is an angle in between the ground and the fork front of every mountain bike. However, other factors affect the front wheel’s behavior, but the head angle is one of the manufacturer’s key metrics to determine the characteristics of the front wheel. The slack head angle consists of lower numbers such as 65° and steep slopes with a higher 70°. In general, a slacker angle will be more suitable and comfortable at high speed and downhill terrains. Conversely, your mountain bike will lazily steer from one site to another on uphill terrains, and you will have to adjust your body position to maintain steep hills. However, mountain bikes with vertical tube angles are quite suitable and uncomfortable for harsh landscapes.
4. Mountain Bike Chainstay Length:
This measurement preference is very personal to every rider. It helps in determining the distance between the rider’s rate axle and center mass. Mountain bikes that have short chainstay length have their rear-wheel relatively closer. Short chainstay helps bikers be highly dynamic regarding their body weight, making it somewhat easier for wheelies and manuals with some ease when the front tire is above the ground level. It comes to the cost of wheelbase length. Wheelbase lengths provide stability and speed at rough terrains. If you are looking for a mountain bike that rides nimbly, then focus on short chainstay measurements.
5. Mountain Bike Bottom Bracket Height:
It is a measurement between the center of the cranks and the ground. Some brands refer to it as “Bracket Bottom Drop,” which is also a vertical distance between the bottom bracket and the wheel axles. It effectively measures the similar characteristics of the bike, which determines how low is the center mass. The drawback of the situation is that our planet is round, and trails are not smooth; the lower the bottom bracket, the more likely the biker will clip roots, logs, and rocks while hopping over.
6. Wheelbase Mountain Bikes:
Numerous factors affect the mountain bike’s wheelbase length, including Chainstay Length, Reach, and Tube Head Angle, which we have discussed above. The culmination of the above factors is called Total Wheelbase. The substance of the total wheelbase that raises the distance between the rear and front axle causes increased instability. Whereas decreasing the distance between the rear and front axles causes the bike to be more maneuverable. Make sure to notice where the increase in wheelbase is made from (if from Chainstay Length or Reach) and then consider the above measurement to see the additional effects on the size.
Fitting of Women’s Mountain Bikes
Women have proportionately long legs and narrow shoulders to their torsos in comparison to men. There are specific mountain bikes that are designed to meet its needs of women. Mountain bikes for women have narrow and shorter handlebars with compact frame dimensions. Some women find men’s bikes fit quite comfortably, but women’s mountain bikes may provide them with a more precise fit and relaxing experience.
Mountain bikes are available in different standard sizes that generally correspond to height. Many brands and manufacturers provide size charts that provide each bike size’s pertinent information for diverse height ranges. Having a basic understanding and knowledge of bike geometry can prove quite helpful while comparing one mountain bike to another or when confused between a specific size or fit issue. Make sure to check the measurements of Reach, Stack, Head Tube Angle, Chainstay Length, Bottom Bracket Height, and Bike Wheelbase.