Category: Mountain Bikes

Hardtail Mountain Bikes and Full-Suspension Bikes: Which Fits You Better?

For biking enthusiasts, there is an ongoing debate on the use of hardtail mountain bikes versus the use of full-suspension bikes. There is a growing number of bikers and experts who prefer riding full suspension bikes; so does this mean hardtail bikes have no use?

Differentiating Hardtail Bikes from Full-Suspension Bikes

Hardtail mountain bikes are equipped with solid frames and front suspension forks. Suspension bikes also have the same front forks, but the frames consist of two pieces (front triangle and rear triangle) joined by pivots. The suspension bike design allows the sections of the frame to move independently, with the rate of movement controlled by a shock absorber, making the ride smoother and less stressful. The design is recommended for those who are beginners and those up for harder trails.

Which One is Better?

The best answer to this question is neither. The better or the best bike depends on the rider, and it boils down to the rider’s style, preference, terrain, and other factors as well. To help you determine what are these other factors, consider the following:

  • Your Comfort

Let’s put comfort first on the list; if you are not comfortable with your bike, your riding experience and even your performance would be greatly affected. If you are into a comfortable, enjoyable and fun ride, then choosing full-suspension bikes would be the best choice for you. Why? Because full-suspension bikes can be easily controlled compared to hardtail bikes, and the full-suspension bike features also help you get through rough terrains. However, if comfort is not a priority on your list and if you want to experience biking the rough, hard way, then hardtail bikes would be a perfect option for you.

  • The Price

The advancements in full-suspension bikes come with a price, and that price translates literally to added finances. Full-suspension bikes can be more costly than hardtail bikes. This is due to the simple reason that hardtail bike designs have existed for more than 100 years, and full-suspension bikes are new bike design innovations. Simply put, if you work within a budget, then hardtail bikes would be a more suitable choice.

  • Climbing Ability

On the one hand, when it comes to climbing, hardtail bikes offer rear-wheel pedaling efficiently; they would give you more acceleration and allow you to sustain speed for a longer period of time. When the terrain surface becomes technical, the rear suspension would allow the wheel to articulate over the obstacles. This feature helps maintain traction and eliminates the possibility of spinning out. A full-suspension bike, on the other hand, allows the rider to stay seated even if the terrain is angled up a hill.

  • Descending Ability

Full-suspension bikes have a clear take on this. On bumpy, downhill trails, suspension bikes would not put much physical stress on you. But let us not forget hardtrail bikes. The problem with a suspension design is that it can tire your legs faster, but if you are conditioned for such endurance, then it would not be much of a problem. Hardtail models such as the Eureka hardtail mountain bikes would offer an advantage when you are going downhill on a hardtrail, as it can train you to become a better rider.

  • The Weight

Both designs can actually accomodate the biker’s “weight needs.” Some hardtail bikes are now built with a lightweight frame which at times is lighter than that of full-suspension bikes. There are full-suspension bikes that are lightweight as well. The weight would then depend on the riderr’s comfort and preference; if the weight is reasonable, then the design is not much of a trouble.

  • Maintenance

If you’re in for something that is low maintenance, then there is no debate: a hardtrail bike is all you need. Hardtrail bikes need less maintenance compared to full-suspension bikes which need regular maintenance on the rear shocks (new seals), frames, and chains.

Consider Your Health as Well

It’s not only the terrain, the maintenance, and the price that you should only consider when choosing the right bike for you. Your health, above all, should be the number-one priority. If you have an existing back problem, then taking a hardtail bike is not a good idea. This is due to the simple reason that hardtail bikes do not offer enough support for an already injured back. When you encounter hard terrains, the slightest bump and the mildest impact can affect and even worsen a back problem. Bikers who suffer from an already existing back problem or those who are recovering from a serious back injury usually trade in their hardtail bikes for full-suspension bikes.

The Thing is

If you would like to venture the world of mountain biking, the first and essential step is to assess yourself: your health, your capabilities, endurance, and even your weaknesses. Know these first, and then find the right equipment or bike that can fit these needs. If you are a beginner and on a limited budget, consider having a hardtrail bike first. Hardtrail bikes can give you just the right riding experience you need; of course as a beginner, technical routes and tough rides would not be the things with which to toil. As you become more advanced and feel the need to challenge yourself with rough trails, you can switch your hardtail bike to a full-suspension bike. Remember that rough trails can put you into significant physical stress, so you might as well prepare yourself by acquiring the right equipment.

This article is contributed by Amarendra, an avid enthusiast for outdoor activities and lifestyle. He writes numerous articles on outdoor activities such as mountain biking and biking equipment like Eureka hardtail mountain bikes.

Easy Tips To Follow For Buying A Bike Helmet

Cycling is a fun sport that has numerous health benefits. While enjoying the outdoors on your bicycle, it is important to wear a helmet. Wearing a bike helmet helps to keep you safe in case of a crash. Studies have shown that a large percentage of bicycle related deaths occur due to head injuries. Wearing a helmet can help to prevent 50% to 85% of head injuries that occur during riding. It is important for both children and adults to wear helmets every time they ride their bikes.

There are different types of helmets available in the market. It is important to find the best helmet for your needs so that you can have a comfortable and safe riding experience. When you have a comfortable helmet, you are more likely to want to wear it, don’t you agree?

Choosing type, weight and size

Bicycle helmets come in various types and they all differ in size and weight. It is important to test the helmet in order to determine the right size. One way to determine the right size is by considering the function. There are helmets that are made for different occasions such as road helmets, mountain helmets, and even those made for sporting events like triathlons. Those who take part in more dangerous biking activities, like the BMX riders, require more specialized full-face helmets. The difference in the helmet will be in weight as well as the materials used, and other factors like air flow.

All these factors will determine the cost of the helmet. Different manufacturers have their special designs and it is up to each individual to choose the type that is most suitable for their needs. Bicycle helmet designs are created with certain design concerns in mind. The basic road helmets are mainly geared towards maximum coverage. Factors like weight and airflow are taken into account during the pricing. Manufacturers try to ensure that the helmets are as comfortable as possible.

Some specially engineered and advanced bike helmets are made to accommodate cycling sunglasses. Aerodynamics and other advancements are used to manufacture top of the range helmets. It is important to choose a helmet that is versatile and can be used in all seasons.

Carry out research

It is important to carry out research on the helmets available before you purchase one. The choice you make will ultimately be determined by your budget. Find out who the reputable manufacturers are and consider buying their products. This will help to ensure that you get the best quality helmet in the market that fits both your budget and your head. The helmet you choose should be able to protect the head effectively. Do not go for style over safety. The helmet should be at head level and should be a firm fit without being too tight. The best colors to select should be bright ones that allow motorists and other riders to see you.

It is important to make sure that the helmet you buy is certified by the relevant standardization agency. You should only buy helmets that are tested and certified by the CPSC or Consumer Product Safety Commission. This will help to ensure that all safety standards have been adhered to. Most leading helmet brands comply with the certification. When buying a full-face helmet, you should make sure that you check all the additional safety certification. This is a helmet that is designed for high-risk activities and it requires higher safety certification.

You should always choose a helmet that offers you the best visibility. If a helmet blocks your vision in any way, you should not wear it. You should also decide the amount of ventilation you need. Where you live or the weather in your region can affect the type of helmet that is most appropriate. If you are cycling in warm weather, you need a helmet that has more ventilation than those cycling in cool climate.  The ventilation will help to prevent perspiration from getting into your eyes, which can be dangerous as it hampers your vision. It is, however, important to ensure that you do not go for too much ventilation as this can mean less coverage for the head. Road helmets come with a lightweight strap that helps to ensure that the helmet fits snugly on the head.

Adam Stew is crazy for bicycle and mountains cycling. He writes blogs which deals with the information related to different bicycles events, bikes advocacy, Cycling accident claim and bicycle businesses.

Riding High at Ray’s Bike Park

In 2004 a man by the name of Ray Petro broke extreme sports ground by opening his own bike park inside an old parachute warehouse located in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ray’s MTB is an indoor bike park that took residence in an 8500 square metre warehouse previously used to store parachutes. This happened in 2004 as Ray sought to create a BMX and mountain bike park for avid bikers to ply their trade in the comfort of a dry environment during the winter months from October to April.

Beginnings

After opening the bike park with plenty of space to work with but modest apparatuses, a surprising amount of interest was shown by bike enthusiasts and media all over the world. The novelty of the park drew plenty of visitors, both locally and internationally and the interest that the park attracted was predominantly due to the fact that it was the first of its kind to provide a venue for different bike types and styles to ride together under the same roof.

In the off-season when the bikes returned outdoors, Ray set to work expanding the park and installed plenty more equipment. One of the most significant changes was a foam pit that allows for the safe practicing of tricks and jumps.  Included in these additions were less direct modifications, such as comfortable lounging areas with wireless access, a fireplace and gaming consoles.

Progress

A couple of years after the park’s inception, a cross-country loop was added, that turns riders out of the park course and into the roof section. The course takes roughly two minutes to complete. In time more space was opened for a quarter-pipe, a larger foam pit and GT Jump Camp, which allows for even more opportunity to fine tune stunts and jumps.

On the final day of 2010, Ray introduced a second park – in Milwaukee. This didn’t detract from the efforts put into improving the Ohio branch and even to this day Ray’s Bike Park is still undergoing alterations during the off-season, set to be unveiled to the public on October 6th 2012.

Influence

London seemed to take inspiration from this idea back in 2010 when they created a 40-acre set for the Red Bull X Fighters motocross championships. The course used both the inside and the outside of the station, forming a temporary bike park like no other in the UK. The event drew around 30 000 spectators contained in a bespoke arena. Unfortunately this has not been a recurring event, but as the power station still remains permanently unoccupied, many enthusiasts will hope to see it return in the very near future.

Dave Peterson enjoys extreme spectator sports and although he’s experienced plenty of warehouses equipped with heavy vehicles and mezzanine floors, he’d much rather see one converted into a receational facility.