Expert and novice bikers alike will often find themselves facing a seemingly complicated decision when purchasing their next mountain bike. That’s because under the umbrella term of ‘mountain bikes’ there is an almost endless number of choices to make, between such things as suspension type, wheel size and even frame material.
Unlike road bikes, which are all ridden on the road and are of similar profiles & structure - mountain bikes can vary massively, from hardtail mountain bikes designed for covering miles of ground with gusto - right across to full suspension downhill mountain bikes designed for heading down, steep, technical tracks.
Hardtail Mountain Bikes have a suspension fork at the front of the bike to soak up rough ground, whilst full suspension bikes have shock absorbing suspension at both the front & rear of the bike to soak up even the roughest and toughest ground.
Hardtail mountain bikes are more suited to those riders who want to cover a lot of ground, as no energy is lost through the movement of the rear suspension, hardtail bikes make better progress than full suspension bikes. Those customers looking for a trail ready bike, and enjoy blasting down trails & tracks will almost always favour a full suspension bike, which essentially smooths out the tracks and trails being ridden down - providing a more comfortable, and more controlled ride.
Customers looking for their first mountain bike, usually choose a hardtail bike which has some downhill capability - and an excellent all-around capability. As these customers learn their riding preferences, and what they enjoy most - many then choose a more trail rated hardtail bike, or upgrade to a full suspension bike.
Once you have made the distinction between full suspension & hardtail mountain bikes, there are also a few different variations of each type, which need to be understood by the more advanced rider. These variations include all mountain/enduro mountain bikes, cross country/trail bikes as well as downhill bikes.
Enduro riding is a specialist form of mountain biking, where competitors are timed on downhill sections of trails, but the uphill ride is not timed. Because of the emphasis on the downhill sections, all mountain and enduro bikes are almost always a full suspension setup. Cross country & trail bikes can be either hardtail or full suspension, are lightweight and are ready for both uphill & downhill sections - giving you the edge. Lastly, downhill mountain bikes are full suspension bikes that have been designed and tunes especially for those looking to hit downhill trails as quickly, and as technically as possible.
One of the biggest considerations when buying a mountain bike is of course budget and at Westbrook Cycles, we are proud to offer mountain bikes at a range of price points - without sacrificing the quality and design of the mountain bikes that we stock. Our adult mountain bikes in hardtail form, start around the £300 mark - from brands such as GT, Bergamont and Scott. At this price point, the customer can expect an easy to ride mountain bike - which gets them out & exploring comfortably. Further up the price range are more hardtail bikes, which use better materials, gearing and suspension forks for a more technical ride. At the top end of the hardtail bike market, is an ultra-light range of hardtail mountain bikes which have been designed for speed and control over any terrain.
Starting budgets for our full suspension bikes all site at over the £1000 mark, and although there are cheaper full suspension bikes available - we believe our range of full suspension bikes provide the perfect balance between budget, performance and quality. All of our full suspension bikes are perfectly suited to a wide range of rough & downhill terrain. At the top of the range is a range of specialist full suspension mountain bikes, tuned to perfection and using the most advanced materials to provide an unrivalled, all mountain and downhill riding experience.
With almost three hundred mountain bikes in stock, at Westbrook Cycles - we have the perfect mountain bike for every rider & every trail. You can browse the full range here, and your selection can be narrowed down by use of filters which includes suspension type, brand, wheel size, and model range.
If you have any questions at all about choosing your next mountain bike - please do just get in touch and we will be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have. All of our staff have been trained in matching the right bike to our customer's requirements, so you can buy in confidence knowing that you are buying the right mountain bike for your needs.