Shopping for a new Mountain Bike can be a daunting task. With some many options, marketing slogans, and brands it can make your head spin. The biggest thing we recommend is to take an overall look on what a majority of your riding is. We like to break down the categories into three segments, and explore the bikes in those categories to find the best overall package. Below are a few of the most common categories, what they offer, and hopefully can help guide you to the right direction for your bike purchase.
XC/Cross Country – The cross-country category generally gets overlooked the most. With so many reviews pointing riders to bikes with more travel, it is easy to overlook some of the best bikes on the market. Generally Cross Country mountain bikes will be anything from a hardtail up to a full suspension bike with 120mm rear travel range. While hardtails are an excellent option for newer riders getting into the sport, a 120mm full suspension bike can offer some distinct advantages over its competitors. You often find reports of these bikes riding “bigger” than their numbers suggest and they can be an absolute blast on everything you throw at them.
Trail / All-Mountain – Easily the biggest overall category for mountain bike sales is that of All Mountain bikes. While this terms definition has floated throughout the years, we feel it has settled on bikes in the 130-150 rear travel range. These bikes are the Swiss army knives of the mountain bike market and leave very little room for complaints. They balance good pedaling efficiency with superior descending capabilities to cross country bikes. If you have plans to do everything from your local trail rides to some bike park laps, an All Mountain bike will provide everything you need.
Enduro/Downhill – Enduro bikes get a lot of press, and for good reasons. Modern day Enduro bikes are as capable as later years downhill bikes, but they sport pedaling characteristics that can comfortably get you up the hill. Enduro bikes will sport the most aggressive geometry, biggest travel numbers, and most heavy duty parts kits. These bikes love to go downhill fast and have superior stability than any other category. The Enduro mountain bike category keeps getting pushed bigger and bigger that most riders have ditched their dual crown downhill bikes in favor of an Enduro mountain bike. If you are a gravity oriented rider and love sending big hits, and Enduro bike will be right up your alley.
Northwest Bicycle has an elite selection of Mountain Bikes that match the above categories. We offer bikes from Rocky Mountain, Specialized, Pivot Cycles, Transition, and Giant Bicycles. If you need some guidance in any part of your buying process, please reach out to a member of our team to help narrow your search.