I've been asked many times by friends, colleagues...on bicycle set-up..the most suitable one...etc
Many thought that cycling is about going into a bike shop, buy a bike and pedal on!
While it is can be as simple as that...it's good to have some knowledge before u spend the money..
I guess I might just lay down the basics for reference to those who are new into cycling.. experienced bikers comments are welcomed!
The Bicycle AnatomyBasically there are 3 type of mountain bike (MTB) :
1. Hard Tail (HT)
2. Full Suspension (Fulsus)
3. Downhill (DH)
Hard Tail (HT)
Hard Tail bike usually very light (9-12 kg), have only front suspension (80mm -120mm), used in cross country (XC) where lots of tarmac(road), flat and rolling terrains with minor jump (< 1 foot). Price varies according to components used and whether the frame (body) made of aluminium or carbon. Good beginner bike usually in the range of 2k - 4k. HT bikes are the most common bike sold in the bikeshop!
Full Suspension (Fulsus)
Full Suspension bike slightly heavier than HT (11-15kg), have front suspension (120 - 150mm) & rear shock, can be used in both XC and all mountain (AM) type of terrain with small jump (< 4 foot). Fulsus bike offer comfortable and more confident ride...if u can only have one bike...this the one! Price starts from 5k and above...
Downhill (DH) bikes are for hardcore riders...usually very heavy (15 - 25 kg), have long front suspension (150 - 250mm), rear shock combination of air & coil spring, used for descending purpose from top, usually towed/push from bottom as it too heavy to pedal up..but the descending speed is mindless! Price starts from 8k - 30k....Only for the Hardcores!!!
The Right Size
After selecting the type of bike...the most important step is to get the right size of bicycle...
not every bicycle size is suitable for everybody!
While there are a lot of factors involved in determining the right size for the pro riders...
for us the beginners and common cyclist...usually it goes into the seat tube length!
Size 17 (M) usually refers to 17" of the seat tube length...
I recommend using the tools in http://www.ebicycles.com/ website to easily determine the right bike size for us...e.g for 165cm male..with 76cm inseam (inner leg length), your right size is:
The Saddle Height
After getting the right bike size...please adjust your saddle height & position to have optimum set up for cycling...your leg should almost 90% straight to produce maximum pedalling power!!! e.g as belows:
Having a corect tyre pressure is the final set up before u set for pedalling...
Correct pressure will ensure comfortble ride and great control...
Refer to chart below for a quick set up: