At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a massive range of new mountain bikes - encompassing both full suspension and hardtail mountain bikes. One of the biggest questions that we are asked is which type of mountain bike is the most comfortable to use and ride. There are a few different answers here depending on outlook, but it’s important to remember that all mountain bikes can be made more comfortable with just a few simple changes and things to remember.
Choose a Comfortable Mountain Bike
Comfort is subjective, and comfort in our mind also covers how well the mountain bike performs for what you use it for, using a long travel full suspension downhill bike - is never going to be comfortable if you spend a lot of time riding steep ascents.
All of the mountain bikes that we supply have a great specification, and ride very differently to budget mountain bikes. Advanced suspension setups, disc brakes, light frames and quality drivetrains all make mountain bikes more comfortable to ride overall.
Finding a comfortable mountain bike also depends on matching you to the right size of mountain bike that you need - if you buy one which is either too small or too big, you can be cramped or over stretched.
Comfortable Mountain Bike Clothing
One of the quickest and easiest ways to make your mountain bike more comfortable, is to invest in the right mountain bike clothing. You can be on a £10,000 mountain bike and have a completely miserable time if you are uncomfortable. Some of the biggest mistakes to make when heading out on a mountain bike is choosing normal shorts, and cotton t-shirts. The result is a cotton t-shirt which is completely soaked through with sweat which cannot wick away from the body, and the result of not wearing correct padded mountain bike shorts is saddle soreness on any kind of long ride - where the padding is essential in absorbing the bumps and impacts from off road cycling.
Choosing a Full Suspension MTB
There are a number of full suspension bike options to choose from, ranging from downhill specific bikes - right across to full suspension bikes designed for cross country use. A lot of riders buy a full suspension bike after finding a hardtail mountain bike uncomfortable.
Full Suspension bikes are ideal for those riding long distances, with the rear suspension on the bike soaking up a lot of the bumps and impacts of mountain biking (as well as helping the bike negotiate obstacles and drops)
Adjust the Suspension
It’s important to remember that when your brand new mountain bike arrives, the suspension has not been set up around your requirements and preferences. The suspension on your mountain bike needs to be adjusted not only to your weight, but also the type of riding that you are doing, with regards to the severity of trails and obstacles.
Each brand and model of suspension will require different adjustments, and your bike will be provided with a guide on how to set up the suspension around your exact requirements. Once the PSI/Sag has been adjusted - the rebound and compression of the suspension needs adjusting. All of these settings are easy to change, so you can find the most comfortable setup.
Gloves & Grips
A massively important part of mountain bike comfort, always lies in the contact points that you have with the bike - your rear end being one of the most important, and your hands being the next important. The easiest way to add comfort to a bike is to buy thicker mountain bike grips, and also thicker gloves - which absorb more of the everyday impacts that come with riding off road terrain.
Comfort, as you will have seen above, is much more than just how comfortable you find your bike to ride. A good pair of Mountain Bike Sunglasses will make each ride more comfortable and a lot safer - protecting your eyes not only from the sun, but also from debris and dust from the trails and tracks.
Reduce Tyre Pressures
If your tyre pressure is too high, the ride on your bike will feel bumpy and hard - running a lower tyre pressure provides a softer, smoother ride. Those running tubeless tyres - can run tyre pressures lower still.