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When looking to buy a new mountain bike, there are many factors to consider. Hardtail or full suspension? 27.5" wheels or 29"? What bike is best? What mountain bike features to look for? And where do you even go to buy the right kind of bike? Don't worry, we have you covered in our Mountain Bike Buyer's Guide. In this video, Jeff covers everything you will need to know when it comes to buying a brand new bike or simply upgrading the one you have now!
The Trail and All-Mountain category might be the biggest, and most blurred between all of the categories. It also happens to be where most riders fall into and what most local terrain demands for bike choice. With anywhere from 110-150mm front and rear travel, these bikes cover the most range in any bike category. For the everyday rider, you can put in big rides on a bike like this as well as spend the weekend at a bike park. They might not be the fastest uphill but will be the most balanced bike out there. If your riding is 40-60% uphill and 40-60% downhill then a trail or all-mountain bike will be your top choice. Some top choices that fall into this category are the Revel Rascal, Yeti SB130 or SB140, or the super playful Evil The Following or its roudy step-brother, The Offering.
Enduro bikes are the burliest, biggest bikes that you can still pedal. These are for the rider looking to make it to the top under their own power but really focus and let loose on the downhill. With geometry angles that come close to downhill bikes, as well as the travel that is 150-180mm rear and 160-180mm front these are some big bikes for aggressive terrain. If bike parks, shuttle trails, anything chunky with big drops is your thing, and you’re riding around 20-40% uphill and 60-80% downhill, you should check out an Enduro bike. A few bikes that might tickle your fancy include the Revel Rail, Yeti SB150 or SB165, UNNO Dash, or Evil The Calling.
Cross Country bikes, or, XC bikes, are for the rider who likes to put in the miles and spend lots of time in the saddle. Many refer to these as spandex wearing racers but they last few years have shaped these bikes into a bit more aggressive bikes able to handle a little more terrain. If you have lots of fire roads, some smooth or intermediate singletrack and like to climb as much or more than you go downhill, than an XC bike would be an awesome choice. These bikes have anywhere from 0-100mm of travel in the rear and 100-120mm travel up front. If your ratio looks like 50-70% uphill and 50-30% downhill, stay in this category. Downcountry style bikes, like the Yeti SB100 would also fit in this cross country category as they are pretty much beefed up XC bikes with bigger tires and a 120-130mm fork. Other XC shred sleds that were particularly fond of include the UNNO Horn and Mondraker F-Podium.
Downhill bikes are bikes with typically 190-200mm travel front and rear. These bikes feature a dual crown fork and normally do not have a full range drivetrain and no dropper posts. These are for only riding downhill and are either taken to the top by a shuttle or chairlift at a bike park. While not as common now since Enduro bikes and even Trail bikes have come such a long way, there are still lots of die hard riders looking for DH bikes. If you want to ride 100% downhill and only downhill, then a downhill bike is for you! If we had to choose which DH bike to ride, you could find us on the Transition T11, Devinci Wilson, UNNO Ever, or the Mondraker Summum.
When you want to put in some miles but also don't want to be bored on the road with those guys in spandex, a gravel bike is the perfect rig. Gravel bikes have been growing in popularity over the past few years, and for good reason. The road has gotten more and more unsafe, and with the technology improving for what a road, cross bike or gravel bike can ride on, you can now ride one of these bikes on some serious fire roads and some mellow singletrack as well.
A gravel bike can be really anything you want it to be; it can be a road bike with disc brakes and clearance for larger tires, typically around a 700 x 38c - 700 x 45c or also popular is the 650b x 47-50c range. With a tire of this size you are able to ride fast enough on the road and have just enough volume for the dirt that you can do both efficiently. These bikes will often have drop bars like a road bike, but it's not uncommon to also see some flat bars on these bikes and a dropper post. If you are a mountain biker looking to ride more on the road with some more miles, or a roadie looking to ride off-road, a gravel bike is a fun and great tool to make those rides happen. Our favorite gravel slayers currently are the OPEN U.P., OPEN U.P. WI.DE., OPEN Superlight U.P.P.E.R., OPEN ONE+, and Evil Chamois Hagar.