You decided to start cycling and now you are researching the different types of bikes so you can decide which one is for you. Well, you may be interested to know what is a mountain bike good (the best choice) for. Is the big price tag justified?
In this article, I will tell you what is really a mountain bike good for so you can decide if you really need a mountain bike or maybe you shouldn’t make the investment.
1. Trail Riding
Mountain bikes are designed to be tough, reliable, and stable, for this reason, they are great for trail riding. When you want to shred mountain trails you need a bike that won’t break and will offer you the necessary traction and stability to safely have fun.
You will be amazed at what kind of terrain a mountain bike can handle, you can ride it over rocks, and tree roots and you can tackle even the scariest of descents if you have the necessary skill level.
To be honest with you if you want to be safe while riding on trails, a mountain bike is the only way to go. And yes I know, this is not a small investment but believe me it’s worth every penny.
2. Off-road Downhill Riding
If you want to fill your adrenaline meeter by riding on technical downhill trails you need a bike with the following characteristics:
- a tough bike equipped with good quality components and won’t break on you,
- very performance brakes that will give you the needed stopping power,
- great suspension that is able to absorb big bumps without throwing your bike and will help maintain traction
- wide knobby tires that will give the traction and stability needed
- a bike geometry that allows you to ride with speed on descents without having the feeling that the bike will put you in danger
Yes, you guessed it! I am describing a good-quality mountain bike. Downhill riding is so popular and fun that MTB manufacturers have designed special downhill bikes for it, they are equipped with as much suspension as possible and a transmission system that is designed only to be used for downhill riding (no uphill capabilities at all).
3. Riding on Bumpy Roads
If you live in an area with old and beat-up roads then a mountain bike would be the perfect bike to ride without putting too much stress on your joints and this is because your MTB is equipped with suspension and wide tires that are designed to run at lower pressures (practically if will absorb some of the bumps better than road bike tires).
Many people that work in an office 8 to 9 hours a day may experience some lower back pain, if this is your case then a full suspension MTB will give your lower back some protection because it will absorb the bumps in the road and practically you will have a reduced risk to increase the problem (generated by your sedentary job) by riding your bike.
4. Exploring Your Surroundings
If you live in a small town that is surrounded by amazing landscapes, one of the best ways to explore them is with a mountain bike because you can ride it on almost any terrain and you will be able to cover much more ground than when hiking.
Before I got my first mountain bike I didn’t even know how blessed I was by living in my area and what incredible beauty surrounds me.
And as a plus riding a mountain bike is a ton of fun and this will help motivate you to explore every landscape near your home and not only. Talking from experience here. If you want to know why are mountain bikes so fun to ride, check out this article!
5. MTBs are Good for Jumps
Jumps are a fun way to spice up almost any bike ride but not all bikes are good for jumps, mountain bikes are one of the best bikes for jumps because they can really handle a beating and their suspension will give you smoother landings.
A mountain bike will handle bigger jumps than other types of bikes (except BMX bikes that are designed for jumps) and full-suspension MTBs will give you the smoothest landing possible on a bicycle but you need to learn to preload your jumps otherwise you will find them very hard to jump.
Practically when you are close to the beginning of the ramp you push all your body weight on the bike so you compress your back suspension to the max and you release as close to the top of the ramp as possible, this will give you the extra push to perform big jumps.
6. MTBs are Good for Cornering
Because they are made to be ridden on mountain trails special attention is given to an MTB’s cornering capabilities. The wide and flat handlebars are the main reason why you can perform tight turns without a problem on a mountain bike.
One more important thing you need to know about cornering is that you need very good traction so your wheels don’t lose contact with the ground and you end up hurting yourself. As you may know by now mountain bikes are designed to offer the best traction possible on a bicycle.
7. Getting In Physical Shape
Riding a mountain bike is a great way to get in physical shape because you can mix up your training by mixing up different types of riding styles that combine high-intensity with low-intensity exercise.
Cycling is great for strength and conditioning, but you can also use it as a form of cardiovascular training. Interval training is an excellent way to reduce your body fat levels. Intervals increase your fitness and prepare you for the various changes in terrain.
Beginner mountain bikers can do intervals to increase their strength and endurance. A good interval workout should also include sprints. And of course, don’t forget to do stretches after each workout!
8. Maintaining Health
Riding a mountain bike is a great way to maintain your overall health, your lung capacity will increase with time, and your cardiovascular system will be strengthened (less chance of high blood pressure and strokes).
Exploring the outdoors while riding a mountain bike will have a great effect on your mental well-being and will help you release the stress accumulated in a long day at work.
I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.