How to choose the best mountain bike for an intermediate rider

Mountain biking is a fun fitness sport that’s rewarding in so many ways. The more you progress from one level to the next, the more you’re fuelled to advance your skills. As you reach the intermediate level, you may reflect on the days when you were a beginner mountain rider and realise exactly how much you’ve achieved since. 

Whether you’ve recently transitioned or have been an intermediate mountain rider for some time, you know that the journey has made you more confident on the trail. Especially now that you’re able to perform so many technical skills, which indicates that your mountain bike skill levels have significantly advanced. To advance even further, you have to continue training hard and use every available resource to maximise your chances. 

The starting point would be getting a mountain bike designed to help you improve your intermediate level techniques. There are many mountain bikes for sale, so it can be a little tricky to figure out which bike will work in your favour. Below, we’ll provide you with a simple guide on how to choose a mountain bike that will help you boost your intermediate skills.

Choose the right size 

This is not your first mountain bike, so you know how important it is to own a bike that’s a right fit for you. With all of the information and experience you have on the trails, you’ve now discovered what you need from a bike. You also know how to set up your bike to boost your performance. So, use that information when surfing to buy a mountain bike online, and look deep into the mountain bike specs.

Hardtail or suspension preference?  

When choosing between hardtail and suspension bikes, you have to weigh them against each other to learn which one will benefit you most. But also take into account your preference between the two. 

A hardtail is popular among mountain bike riders. This is because it is lighter, cheaper, and versatile compared to a suspension bike. It comes with rigid forks or front suspension, making it fun to use for smooth trails, and it’s also easier to maintain. 

However, if you’re into more aggressive terrain, you should lean more towards a full suspension bike. It’s more versatile than a hardtail and can handle any type of terrain. It can also give you more control of the speed on the trail. Intermediate suspension forks typically have a variety of damping adjustability. This is a good feature necessary for tuning the fork to help you respond to the requirement of the terrain. For example, you can turn the forks to reduce or increase suspension levels during ascends and descends to give you more control of your bike.

Triple or double chainsets? 

Many intermediate mountain riders used to choose triple bicycle chainsets to help them tackle challenging climbs. But nowadays, riders opt for a much cleaner chain line to ease their performances and navigation for the climb, descents and flat trail areas. So, double chainsets make this possible due to the range of gears available to use. 

Carbon or aluminium wheels? 

Choosing the right wheels is important in helping you reach what you’re looking to accomplish. So, compare carbon or aluminium to learn which option will work best for you. Carbon wheels are a bit pricey but are strong and hold stiffness needed for a ride on the trails. They respond faster to pedalling and acceleration. They also make the steering more controllable to help you manoeuvre around obstacles on the trail. 

On the other hand, aluminium wheels are affordable, strong and stiff but lightweight compared to carbon wheels. They are also reliable and durable. 

Final thoughts 

When looking to improve your intermediate mountain biking skills, you need just the right tools to help you get there. Starting with the right bike will help you boost your performance. So, use the above information as a guide to help you choose the right mountain bike for your offroad endeavours. 

Once you know what you’re looking for, visit Chris Willemse Cycles to browse for the best mountain bike brands and make a purchase that will make you enjoy your ride. When you visit the online bike store, you’ll also find that we have all cycling clothing, bike parts, and cycling supplements  to keep you healthy on the ride.