Mountain Bike Parts Explained

Mountain Bikes are amongst the most complicated and technologically advanced bikes available on the market. With so many different mountain bike disciplines, from downhill racing right across to cross country racing - there is a massive array of mountain bike designs encompassing hardtail mountain bikes and full suspension mountain bikes.

In this post, we run through the full range of full suspension mountain bike components and parts that you use, every time you head out on your bike.


Suspension is one of the most exciting and specific components and parts on a mountain bike. Depending upon whether your mountain bike is a downhill mountain bike designed to soak up big impacts, or a cross country mountain bike which needs to find the right balance between cross country progress and being able to soak up the lumps and bumps of downhill trails.

Increasingly, suspension manufacturers and bike manufacturers are getting better at providing suspension that allows for good cross country progress and the ability to soak up big hits and drops on technical descents.

A large part of this increase in suspension versatility is the increased adjustability of suspension components - and most suspension components can now be completely locked out for ascents and rides across flat, solid surfaces.

Disc Brakes

Almost all Mountain Bikes are now fitted with disc brakes as standard - although cable operated rim brakes can still be found on cheaper bikes. All of the bikes we supply have disc brakes, which the introduction of has revolutionised mountain bike braking performance.

The biggest advantage of disc brakes on a mountain bike is the braking surface is removed from the riding surface, which means that a brake disc is less affected by poor weather conditions. The brakes on a mountain bike can be relatively easily maintained, with brake pad changes being the most common change/piece of maintenance.


Single chainrings are becoming increasingly popular on mountain bikes, thanks to the reduced risk of chain drop and the ability to ride without a chain catcher.

Wheels & Tyres

Mountain Bike Wheels are most commonly made from alloy materials. These wheels need to be strong enough to deal with off road conditions, whilst also remaining light enough to not prevent progress and efficiency. For riders looking for the ultimate lightweight setup, carbon fibre wheels are available.

There are also a number of tyre choices available, with different tread patterns and depths to suit different riding conditions. Tubeless tyres are a great choice, minimising the risk of punctures and tears.


Modern Mountain Bike Frames typically have a slack head angle and are shorter at the back end of the bike - designed to provide maximum confidence whilst heading downhill, whilst also coping well with the rigours of ascents and cross country riding.

Frames are available in a number of different frame materials, ranging from steel and alloy - across to titanium and carbon fibre. The choice of frame will depend upon your requirements and budget, with carbon fibre providing the very best frame material - but at a higher price point.

Dropper Post

A button on the handlebars drops the saddle height instantly for downhill sections.


The vast majority of mountain bikers use flat pedals when mountain biking - allowing the rider to take their feet off the pedals on uneven terrain. These flat pedals will have metal studs/pins in which help the pedal grip into the tread pattern on the bottom of mountain bike shoes.


Mountain Bike Saddles/Seats are very similar to their road bike counterparts. They are often designed with a tougher material, and a narrower seat rear to allow easier access in and out of the saddle.

Mountain Bike Components Online

At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a massive range of Mountain Bike Parts and Components - allowing our customers to build and upgrade both hardtail and full suspension mountain bikes. These components and parts have been handpicked from the world’s leading bike brands - and all provide excellent performance and reliability.