When David Gianulias is not running a successful winery or building business in California, he likes to spend some of his free time mountain biking. He knows that one of the first things a new mountain biker must do is select the appropriate bicycle. With so many styles of mountain bike to choose from, he offers the following explanations of each type and their uses.
- Choosing a mountain bike may seem overwhelming with many different features, accessories, and price points. The less expensive options run in the few hundred dollar range, while the more expensive choices are as much as five thousand dollars. This makes choosing the correct bike even more crucial. It is a waste of money to purchase a highly expensive mountain bike if it will not be used to its fullest potential. On the same note, a cheaper bike will not serve well for persons who plan to cover the hardest terrain.
- Cross-country bikes are some of the most commonly sold. These mountain bikes are lightweight and easy to pedal. They are the best choice for those who will traverse flat or low hill terrain. Their suspension is set to handle only small obstacles. A cross-country bike may be modified to become a trail mountain bike. This is accomplished by softening the overall suspension so that the bike may travel over moderate obstacles. Mostly flat ground is still the terrain recommended for this bike style.
- An all-mountain bike was built specifically for climbing higher hills. These bikes are heavier than cross-country bikes and have a naturally softer suspension. They are the best choice for riders who plan to traverse rocky or more rough ground and many hills.
- If a rider is set on a fast paced excursion, a downhill bike is the most appropriate choice. Downhill mountain bikes are designed especially for speed. Their suspension is set at the highest of any of the mountain bike family, which means that they can handle the abuse of flying over rocks and rough ground when speeding downhill. However, a downhill mountain bike will struggle when the rider needs to go uphill.
- Mountain bikers who yearn for acrobatics and jumps will want to purchase a dirt jump style mountain bike. These bikes are smaller than their brethren and built to withstand the rough and tumble nature of bike jumping in rough terrain.
- Freeride mountain bikes, David Gianulias favorite choice, offer a compromise between features of many other styles. These mountain bikes can handle large jumps, moderate to rough terrain, and speed. With wider wheels and a well thought out suspension, riders are afforded ease when traveling up or downhill, at many different speeds.