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Cross Country Hardtail Bikes

Cross Country Hardtail Bikes

Lightweight and responsive, cross country hardtail bikes offer a bare bones and pure riding experience. The direct connection with the trail requires a lot of rider input but excellent potential to cover the terrain as quickly as possible.

Frame geometry generally offers an athletic position which is relatively stretched and allows for excellent biomechanical efficiency. Frame angles are normally relatively steep to allow for sharp and responsive handling.

Cross country hardtails offer exceptional value for money when compared to comparitive full suspension bikes as there isn't a lot of cost tied up in suspension components. This means you will always find very high levels of componentry on a hardtail when compared to an equally priced full suspension bike.

Hardtails are ideal for riders starting out in the sport, riders who ride on smooth trails and racers.

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Cross Country Full Suspension bikes

Cross Country Full Suspension bikes

Cross Country Full Suspenion bikes are exceedingly verstaile. Light and efficient enough to race, technically capable enough for very challenging trails.

Rear suspension is typically 100mm. The addition of rear suspension massively widens the bike's technical capacity and comfort over a cross country hardtail. The rear suspension linkages and shock do add some additional weight but this is normally offset by the improved ride qualities over rough terrain.

Frame geometry generally offers an athletic position which is relatively stretched and allows for excellent biomechanical efficiency. Frame angles are normally relatively steep to allow for sharp and responsive handling.

Cross country full suspension bikes are ideal for riders who ride a wide variety of trails, riders who want to cover the ground quickly and racers.

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Trail Bikes

Trail Bikes

Trail bikes are designed to maximise rider control in technical situations whilst still being sufficiently efficient for all day rides.

Rear suspension is typically 120mm and is designed to maximise shock absorption and traction. Many trail bike's shocks feature sophisticated damping controls or lockouts that minimise power loss through the suspension when pedalling.

Trail bike frames and componentry are designed to be more robust than cross country models due to the addtional demands of technical riding they will endure.

Frame geometry generally offers a shorter and higher position than a cross country bike, this helps the rider distribute their weight more easily giving better control. Frame angles are slacker than a cross country bike which offers more stability on steeper pitches.

Trail bikes are ideal for riders who want to have fun and challenge themselves technically whilst still being able to ride all day.

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All Mountain Bikes

All Mountain Bikes

All Mountain bikes are designed for pure techical riding.

Suspension travel is typically 150mm and designed for maximum stability and control over rough terrain.

Frame geometry is normally very short and high which allows the rider to distribute their weight as easily as possible giving maximum control. Frame angles are very slack offering excellent stability on steeper pitches.

All components of All Mountain bikes are selected to withstand the extra stesses of extreme technical riding, this inevitably adds some addtional weight.

All Mountain bikes are ideal for riders who want challenge themselves technically and ride on extreme trails. Speed on open trails and climbs will not be of importance.

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Frame Material

Frame Material

Almost all current MTB frames are made from either aluminium or carbon fibre. As mainstream frame materials, steel and titanium are very rare because steel is relatively heavy and titanium is extremely expensive and offers no real advantages over carbon fibre. Aluminium allows for a very light frame without too much expense. Carbon fibre allows for even lower weight and an improved ride quality due to it's natural damping qualities and the greater control designers have over it's direction of compliance and stiffness.

To a large extent, your budget will determine the frame material options available to you. Carbon fibre hardtails start at around £1300, Carbon fibre full suspension bikes start at around £3000. The huge price difference is because carbon fibre full suspension bikes carry the addtional costs of rear suspension parts and are much more intricate and harder to manufacture.

In general, carbon fibre frames offer a better ride quality due to their natural damping qualities and the greater control designers have over it's direction of compliance and stiffness. The improved ride quality of carbon fibre is most advantageous on hardtail frames. The improved stiffness is most advatangeous on full suspension frames as it allows the suspension to do the shock absorbing whilst everything else tracks correctly. Carbon fibre can also offer large weight savings. However, as high quality aluminium frames are cheaper to produce you will normally be find higher specification parts on them which will save weight too.

Not all carbon fibre frames are the same! The cost of producing a carbon fibre frame is both in the grade of material used and the manufacturing technique. Most manufacturers offer a few different grades of material and construction, this affects the weight, stiffness, ride quality and cost of each model. The best way to understand this is to visit us and test ride some models.

It is possible to get very cheap carbon fibre frames which are made with substandard materials using second hand moulds. We are proud to only offer high quality carbon fibre frames from cutting edge manufactuers.

Other things to consider

Other things to consider

Whilst the frame of the bike is its heart and has the greatest affect on overall performance the components and wheels are important too. Higher specification parts help reduce weight and normally offer better function.

There are infinite combinations of components on mountain bikes as most manufacturers specify each individual component rather than fitting whole groupsets. The key components to consider are forks, brakes, wheels and derailleurs.

It is important to have the best components that you can for your budget but this must be balanced with the quality of the frame they are fitted to.