Last updated: 17/10/2022

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You don’t just want to ride your bike on flat roads, but also in the mountains and on rough terrain in general? Then you should think about getting a mountain bike that is perfectly suited for that. Are mountain bikes now also available in an electric version? How much does it cost to buy one and where can you buy it?

Answers to the most frequently asked questions can be found here in the big mountain bike test 2022. We present the best mountain bikes and want to help you with your purchase decision. In addition, you will find helpful tips and tricks in our guide on which mountain bike is best for you and how to care for it properly. No matter which of the different mountain bike types you choose, we will tell you about the advantages and disadvantages of each model.

Contents




Summary

  • A mountain bike is a bicycle designed for riding on mountainous terrain or in the mountains and allows you to ride on uneven terrain with large obstacles and barriers. Like the road bike, it is more of a piece of sports equipment than a means of transport.
  • A basic distinction is made between a hardtail, which has suspension on the front wheel, and a full-suspension, which also has suspension on the rear wheel.
  • When buying a mountain bike, you have to pay attention to the size of the frame and the wheels. The frame size can be calculated quite easily with the help of the stride length.

The Best Mountain Bikes: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a mountain bike

How big should a mountain bike be?

You should determine two different sizes for your mountain bike. On the one hand, you need to know the frame size of your mountain bike and on the other hand, especially if you assemble your bike yourself, you need to know the wheel size. To calculate the frame size yourself, you first need to measure your stride length.

To do this, stand barefoot and straight against a wall and take an object that you push horizontally all the way up into your crotch. Then measure the distance from the top of the object down to the floor. It would be best if you have someone to help you, or you can have the measurement done by a specialist dealer. Once you have your inseam, multiply the result in cm by 0.226. This gives the frame size in inches. One inch is 2.54 cm. The following table can help you to orientate yourself and also gives you a recommendation for the wheel size.

Your height in cm Recommended frame size in cm Recommended wheel size in inches
150-155 cm 33-36 cm 26
155-160 cm 35-38 cm 26 / 27,5
160-165 cm 38-40 cm 26 / 27,5
165-170 cm 40-43 cm 26 / 27,5
179-175 cm 42-45 cm 26 / 27,5 / 29
175-180 cm 44-47 cm 26 / 27,5 / 29
180-185 cm 46-49 cm 26 / 27,5 / 29
185-190 cm 49-52 cm 26 / 27,5 / 29
190-195 cm 51-56 cm 29
195-200 cm from 56 cm 29

If you get a result that is between two frame sizes, the following applies: for sporty riding, choose the smaller bike; for touring, choose the larger bike.

How heavy is a mountain bike?

In the brief overview at the beginning, you will have noticed that all mountain bikes have different weights. The first thing you have to decide is what kind of mountain bike you want. A downhill mountain bike is significantly heavier than a cross-country or trial bike.

Once you have decided which mountain bike suits you, the weight can of course vary further due to several factors. One of the most important factors is the material of the frame: An aluminium frame is very popular, especially with beginners, as both the price and the weight of aluminium frames are very low.

Carbon is usually more expensive, but has the advantage that it is mostly lighter. In addition, the material already has very good self-damping properties, so that carbon frames – despite their very high stiffness values – often offer comfortable handling. However, the weaknesses of carbon, apart from its price, are the vulnerability of the material to external damage, i.e. stress against the surface, which usually only withstands minor scratches and impacts.

Thus, after a fall, the wheel falling over or other violent impacts against the direction of the load on the fibres of the composite material, as a rule no one can reliably say in a simple way whether critical damage has occurred.

If you are still a beginner, an aluminium frame will suffice anyway. Choose your MTB according to its intended use. Only now should you think about wheel size, equipment and frame size. It’s best to test ride a few models to find out the differences directly

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How much does a mountain bike cost?

The first question you will probably ask yourself (if you haven’t already) is the price. First, you should consider whether you want to buy a full-suspension mountain bike or a hardtail. Prices differ greatly depending on whether you want a full suspension or a hardtail.

It should be noted, however, that there are components that can significantly reduce or increase the price. In addition, 26-inch wheels are generally cheaper than 29-inch wheels, especially if they are hardtails.

Another important point regarding the price is whether you assemble your mountain bike yourself or whether you buy it as a complete version.

Here, just orientate yourself on the point of view of your knowledge and technical skills. You may save money if you skilfully assemble your bike yourself, but this is only recommended if you already have a lot of experience and know your way around or have someone who can help you competently.

Otherwise, you should rather go for well-known brands or the dealer you trust. Big brands in particular now offer very good value for money. However, you should always keep one thing in mind: If you buy too cheaply, you usually pay twice!

Pay attention to the compatibility of the parts! Complete wheel suppliers sometimes combine parts inappropriately and are then liable. Nevertheless, it is worth paying attention to the manufacturer’s specifications for individual components, such as tyres and rims.

Freeride Biking

If you plan to ride bigger drops or kickers with your bike, you should never rely on the wrong bike. Really reliable bikes for extreme mountain biking start at 2500+ Pounds and are only sold cheaply by direct sellers like YT Industries or Canyon. For smaller challenges you can of course fall back on other bikes, which are also presented here. (Photo: 12019 / pixabay.com)

What are the costs of wear and tear on a mountain bike?

The cost of wear and tear on a mountain bike depends, of course, on the area of use, the frequency of use and the respective care. The more often a mountain bike is used on demanding, intensive trails, the higher the follow-up costs will be.

Understandably, the material of a mountain bike suffers more on hard terrain than on casual tours on gravel or asphalt. Too little regular care can then quickly lead to the need to buy spare parts or make repairs. The first wear usually starts with the chain and the brake pads. A guideline for this is to change the chain after about 1500 to 2000 kilometres, but this may be necessary sooner on difficult tours.

Are there special mountain bikes for women?

Many women ride mountain bikes that are actually designed for men. But there are also some models that were built just for women. Due to the different body proportions and sizes alone, a special mountain bike for women makes sense.

Mountain bikes for women are available in smaller sizes, for example, or contain parts specially adapted to the female anatomy. In this way, these bikes address the exact needs of women and enable comfortable riding.

Women’s mountain bikes are characterised by smaller frame sizes, narrower handlebars and special women’s saddles.

The suspension elements can also be adapted to lighter female riders. A lower entrance often makes it easier to get on and off the mountain bike.

What alternatives are there to the traditional mountain bike?

In the last few years, a trend has developed in the USA, which was mainly created so that mountain bikes can also be used in the snow. The so-called fatbikes have tyres that are about twice as wide as conventional mountain bikes.

Fatbikes are especially useful where other bikes can’t go. In snow, sand or deep mud, fatbikes offer the possibility of mastering previously unrideable routes. In these conditions, fatbikes offer comfort and fun. However, if you want to use a fatbike more for normal touring, you should bear in mind that the extra weight and rolling resistance are definitely noticeable. For riders who want to tackle unusual trails, fatbikes could be great alternatives.

Are mountain bikes also available in an electric version?

Mountain bikes with electric motors have been on the market for a few years. Although these are not yet very widespread, they are becoming more and more popular. E-mountain bikes combine the advantages of traditional mountain bikes with the convenience of motor assistance.

Mountain bikes with an electric motor ensure that more tours can be ridden in less time and offer more fun uphill for those who don’t like it so strenuous thanks to the support. In addition, it offers the possibility to ride together with family and friends at different levels of ability.

However, anyone interested in an e-mountain bike should seek comprehensive advice from a dealer. For example, regarding the advantages and disadvantages of a mid-motor or rear-wheel drive, different batteries and service.

Especially because of the motor operation, the bike can be subjected to more stress, which is why a conscientious service is necessary from time to time.

Did you know that the first mountain bikes were invented in 1896? The Buffalo Soldiers modified normal bikes for off-road use in America so that they could ride from Montana to Yellowstone.

Decision: What types of mountain bikes are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between six different mountain bikes:

  • Cross-country / Marathon
  • All-Mountain
  • Enduro
  • Downhill
  • Freeride
  • Trial

However, before we discuss the differences between the various types of mountain bikes, we have to distinguish between two different categories: a full-suspension mountain bike, i.e. a full suspension, and a mountain bike with no suspension at all or only at the front wheel and an unsuspended frame, i.e. a hardtail.

A hardtail is well suited for beginners who spend time on routes with few bumps and obstacles. A clear advantage of the hardtail is definitely the favourable price and the low effort for maintenance and care. A full suspension bike (short: Fully) is perfect for riding on rougher trails when many obstacles have to be overcome. In contrast to the hardtail, however, it requires a little more time for maintenance and suspension adjustment.

However, the Fully is convincing because it is easier on the body and safer to steer. Now that the difference between a fully and a hardtail is a little clearer, here is a brief overview of the various types of mountain bike.

What is a cross-country mountain bike and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

If you have decided to buy a cross-country model, you should definitely consider opting for a fully. The suspension travel on the suspension fork and the rear wheel suspension, the so-called damper, is between 80 and 120 mm and is relatively small compared to all other types of mountain bikes. This means that this type of mountain bike still allows direct power transmission to the drivetrain and is therefore better suited for rougher trails than a pure cross-country/marathon hardtail.

Advantages
  • Low weight
  • Stiff
  • Low maintenance
Disadvantages
  • Stability
  • Resilience

Cross-country/ marathon mountain bikes aim for a low weight of less than 13 kg. Depending on your motivation and skills, you can also reduce the weight to around 8 kg.

What are the characteristics of an Enduro and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

If you prefer a bike with a lot of suspension reserves for downhill riding, but which is still acceptable to pedal uphill, then an Enduro mountain bike is a good choice. It is fully suspended and has a suspension travel of 150 to 180 mm. In addition to the greater suspension travel, the Enduro often offers you the possibility to adjust the suspension even more precisely and, thanks to its wide and more heavily profiled tyres, allows you to ride even better overall on rough terrain.

Advantages
  • Plenty of reserves for downhill riding
  • Partially even more adjustable suspension
  • Flexible
  • Comfort
Disadvantages
  • High weight
  • High maintenance

The usually very wide and often offset handlebars and short stem as well as the frame geometry allow you to keep your riding position more upright than on a cross-country/marathon or all-mountain mountain bike. This provides additional comfort. However, it also has a negative effect on the weight of the bike, which is usually between 13 and 16 kg.

What is a downhill mountain bike and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

You need a downhill mountain bike for so-called downhill races. An important point is that your mountain bike allows you to go downhill quickly and overcome obstacles. For this reason, the mountain bike is fully suspended and has a wide suspension travel of 180 to 250 mm. This makes it possible to overcome even large obstacles. Of all mountain bikes, the downhill is probably the most stable and resilient. To achieve the required stability and load capacity, the Downhill often weighs up to 18 kg.

Advantages
  • Perfect for racing
  • Stability
  • 4-piston system
  • Reinforced tyres
Disadvantages
  • High weight
  • Heavy uphill
  • Comfort

In addition to great suspension, you will usually find hydraulic disc brakes on a downhill bike. The 4-piston disc brake system usually has a disc diameter of about 200 mm and allows you to react quickly to obstacles and barriers. To protect you from punctures, the tyres are heavily reinforced with a special coating and are therefore best suited for off-trail terrain.

Did you know that the highest mountain bike race in the world is held in Nepal? The Yak Attack race takes you over challenging tracks through the Himalayan high mountains and is a full 400 kilometres long with 11 stages.

What are the special features of a freeride and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

You will quickly notice that the freeride mountain bike is very similar to the downhill mountain bike. It is used in the same way in terrain with big hurdles and barriers. Also like the downhill, it is exposed to heavy loads on such terrain. The strong full-suspension frame and the long suspension travel of 165 to 200 mm guarantee stability and enable you to make high and long jumps.

Advantages
  • Substitute for downhill races
  • Resilience
  • Stability
Disadvantages
  • High weight
  • High maintenance

Since freeride bikes are not only suitable for downhill but also for uphill riding, they are a touch lighter than downhill mountain bikes and in some cases also serve as a substitute for downhill racing.

What is an all-mountain and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Now to our all-rounder, the all-mountain. The all-mountain is a full mountain bike that can be used in almost any terrain. You can use it perfectly for easy flatland routes or also for more difficult terrain and are always well advised with the All-Mountain. The many application possibilities are therefore a great advantage for you.

Advantages
  • Sporty
  • Reliable
  • Flexible
  • Comfort
Disadvantages
  • Stability
  • Load capacity

The suspension travel is between 120 and 160 mm and can often be reduced or completely blocked depending on your needs. This can help you ride better uphill. Just as with cross-country, the tyres are wider and more heavily treaded to protect the tyre from obstacles. Another clear advantage is the comfortable riding position and the light weight of only about 10 kg. This makes the All-Mountain very sporty and reliable.

What features does a Trial have and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Trial mountain bike is one of those bikes where you will surely ask yourself where the seat is. The Trial is often used on difficult courses. You will have seen videos of mountain bikes with high jumps and adventurous tricks. Here, a trial was used. Although the bike does not score points for comfort due to the lack of suspension, this is a clear advantage here.

Advantages
  • Flexible
  • Light weight
  • Very good for tricks
Disadvantages
  • Comfort
  • Stability
  • Load capacity

Most of the time you will find a frame size of 20 or 26 inches, which should give you more freedom of movement. In addition, the small frame size allows you to overcome difficult barriers and courses.

Application Information Mountain bike type
Unpaved road Unpaved roads are typically forest roads or gravel roads. These are usually wide and relatively flat Cross-country, All-Mountain, Freeride
Downhill trail As the name suggests, downhill trails are the “slopes” for downhill enthusiasts. Difficult and very uneven ground characterise these trails Downhill, Trail
Flowtrail Flowtrails are mostly very narrow, but the ground is largely unchanged. The trail is mostly well prepared Enduro, All-Mountain, Downhill, Freeride, Trial
Unpaved trails This category includes trails or similar. Depending on the condition of the trail, you have to weigh up your options Enduro, Trial, Downhill

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate mountain bikes

In the following you will find important factors that you can use to compare and evaluate mountain bikes. These buying criteria should show you what you need to look out for when buying in order to find the perfect mountain bike for you. Here is a list of the most important points:

  • Suspension
  • Suspension travel
  • Brakes
  • Weight
  • Rear derailleur and number of gears
  • Type of material
  • Tyres
  • Component quality

Suspension

The suspension is probably one of the most important things about a mountain bike, as it is one of the prerequisites for calling a bike a mountain bike. The suspension absorbs unevenness on the road and reduces the load on the rider. In addition, it is an important factor for stability, as the suspension ensures that the tyre does not lift off the ground at every small obstacle.

The suspension usually consists of a suspension fork and shocks, whereby you have to distinguish between a hardtail and a full suspension mountain bike. Hardtails only have a suspension fork on the front wheel. The spring of the suspension fork is usually an air spring or a steel fork. An air spring has the advantage that it is lighter than the steel spring and can be adjusted more easily.

However, the steel spring has less friction, does not need to be sealed elaborately and thus responds more easily to unevenness. A full suspension has front and rear suspension. The suspension element on the rear wheel is called a damper.

Here you should decide what you use your mountain bike for: If you use it for everyday riding and longer tours, you should adjust the rear end to a soft setting. A hard rear setting is only needed for races and short sprints. In addition, softer damping is easier on the postural muscles.

Mountainbike

The most important criteria when buying a mountain bike are: Suspension, travel, brakes, weight, rear derailleur and number of gears, type of material.

Suspension travel

In general, suspension travel is the distance the front wheel travels between the loaded and unloaded position. If you choose a very large suspension travel, you will be able to compensate for large bumps. One disadvantage, however, is that a large suspension travel makes the mountain bike unstable in curves.

If you are a beginner, a hardtail is recommended. All-round hardtails usually have a suspension travel of 100 mm. However, if you have decided to ride more difficult terrain, a full suspension with 120 mm for 26 and 27.5 inch and 100 mm for 29 is recommended.

There are now many suspension fork systems that offer you the option of manually adjusting the suspension travel. This allows you to adjust the suspension individually depending on the situation and terrain.

Brakes

You will often find disc brakes on mountain bikes. You can basically distinguish between two types: hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes. A hydraulic brake system is recommended because it is of higher quality and allows the rider to better control the braking power. In addition, hydraulic disc brakes are smoother and require less maintenance than mechanical ones.

A mechanical disc brake can score points in terms of repair, as this is easier. In addition to disc brakes, you can also use rim brakes. These are cheaper, but the pads of rim brakes do not last as long as those of disc brakes. With rim brakes you can also opt for hydraulic brakes. These have a better braking effect, but are more expensive to repair.

Among rim brakes, so-called V-brakes are very well known. The term “V-brake” is a brand name of the manufacturer Shimano and has become a synonym for the design of the brakes. Among other things, they are among the cheapest solutions among braking systems, but they do not have as good a braking effect as, for example, hydraulic disc brakes. For this reason, beginners should opt for disc brakes, as they are always on the safe side.

Weight

As already mentioned, hardtails are usually lighter than full suspensions. This is because full suspensions are subjected to greater loads and must therefore be more stable. The material plays an important role here. Aluminium wheels are lighter, but carbon wheels are stiffer and more stable. Nowadays you can get a good hardtail mountain bike with 10 to 13 kg.

This is a good average and you should orientate yourself on these values for hardtails. You can also get hardtails with 7 kg, but you have to reckon with a high price. With a full suspension you have to expect more weight. An enduro or downhill mountain bike can weigh up to 18 kg and is therefore one of the heaviest bikes. Here you have to ask yourself:

  • Do I ride more on flat surfaces or on uneven terrain?
  • Do I ride more downhill than uphill?
  • How practical and flexible do I want my mountain bike to be?

Rear derailleur and number of gears

Here is a brief explanation of what a rear derailleur is and what it does. On a bicycle with derailleur gears, the shifting device on the rear wheel is called a rear derailleur. The shifting device on the front wheel of the bike is called a front derailleur or front derailleur.

The rear derailleur itself is used to shift the bicycle chain between the sprockets in order to change between the different gears. Sprocket sets are now available with up to 11 sprockets, with 7 to 10 sprockets being the standard. You should also orientate yourself on these numbers. Especially rear derailleurs with 7-speed sprockets are very popular and recommended for beginners.

The sprockets on the front wheel are called chainrings and together they form the crankset. The standard cranksets are usually 3-speed chainrings. If you are still a beginner, you should also use these and not follow new trends. Although gear shifting with only one chainring is now being advertised, you should only consider this if you already know your way around. The number of gears depends on the crankset and rear derailleur.

The higher the number of chainrings or sprockets on the rear derailleur, the higher the number of gears on the mountain bike. As a beginner, you should again stick to the standard of 21 gears. You can experiment with the number of chainrings and sprockets, but as a beginner you should leave them alone.

Type of material

You can choose between different types of material for your mountain bike. The best-known types of material for mountain bikes are:

  • Carbon
  • Aluminium
  • Steel
  • Titanium

If you plan to ride your mountain bike in downhill races or on terrain with large obstacles, you should choose carbon. Due to its high load capacity and stability, it is perfect for use on large bumps.

However, if you buy a carbon frame, you have to dig deep into your pocket and not shy away from higher weight. One problem with the stiff material is that it is very difficult to assess its breakage behaviour. For this reason, an aluminium frame is recommended for beginners. The softer material is not as strong and stiff as Caron, but its light weight and price make it suitable for beginners.

Steel was the first material used for mountain bike frames back then and is now experiencing a resurgence. It is becoming more and more popular due to its advantages in terms of wear and durability of the material. Steel can also score with a low price. A major disadvantage of steel is its weight and its risk of rusting.

For this reason, the material needs a special surface treatment. If you don’t want your bike to rust, you should go for titanium. Due to the solid oxide layer on the surface, titanium does not rust and thus gets its characteristic colour. If you have a titanium frame, you can compare the strength of the frame with a steel frame.

But titanium has an additional advantage: the frame is almost half the weight of a steel frame. The biggest problem with titanium, however, is and remains the price: due to its complex processing, the price is driven up so much that it usually doesn’t pay off to buy a titanium mountain bike. This is also the reason for the rarity of the frames.

Tyres

As the final link to the ground, the tyre is of course one of the decisive factors for the quality of a mountain bike. The material of the tyre determines above all how much control and what feeling of safety the mountain bike offers in difficult conditions. If you also consider the quality of the tyres when choosing a mountain bike, you can significantly increase the performance of your bike.

This depends on a suitable combination of widths, treads and rubber compounds, which must be matched to the respective requirements. The basic rule with regard to width is that, if in doubt, it is better to go for wider tyres. The only disadvantage of these is that they are a little heavier, but they are easier to drive and increase traction and thus safety. At the same time, wider tyres offer better puncture protection and can be ridden with less pressure.

Widths of less than 2.2 inches are not recommended. The profile of a mountain bike can be summed up in one simple principle. The rear tyre should have a fine profile, while for steering and braking actions the front wheels should have an open, strongly pronounced profile.

A similar principle applies to the rubber compound of the tyres. To save power, the rear tyres should have a fast rubber compound, as most of the weight is on these. The front wheels should have a stickier, grippy compound for more traction and safety.

Component quality

When buying a new mountain bike, most people turn to a manufacturer who sells complete wheels. However, many want to assemble their bike themselves, which is why they have to pay attention to the compatibility of the components.

All others come into contact with this at the latest when components of the complete wheel have to be replaced. As already mentioned, some complete wheel suppliers occasionally combine components improperly, which is why it can be worthwhile to pay attention to the manufacturer’s instructions.

A high-quality combination of components is important for the longevity and safety of the bike. The best-known suppliers have developed various marks to describe the quality of the add-on parts, usually ranging from “good” to “outstanding”. For example, “good” describes a long-lasting use of the component for easy terrain, while “outstanding” indicates a premium version of a component for particularly difficult trails.

Most suppliers offer suitable components for every area in the mountain bike sector. After an analysis of the riding frequency and the preferred terrain, the individually optimal components can be put together. The designations of the respective quality levels can be requested from the individual manufacturers.

Facts worth knowing about mountain bikes

How do I adjust a mountain bike correctly?

With many new mountain bikes, the mistake often happens that the adjustment is not individually adapted. This often leads to knee and back pain caused by the wrong standard setting.

Mountainbike

After purchase, a mountain bike must first be individually adjusted. Otherwise knee and back pain can quickly occur.

Suspension fork and shock

Many suspension forks can be adjusted very easily today. The SAG – the distance the suspension fork yields when you stand on the mountain bike with your own body weight – is measured. Usually the SAG is 12 – 30 percent of the total suspension travel. Marathon and cross-country riders use less SAG, while freeriders use more travel.

Height and Depth

As mentioned before – an incorrectly adjusted mountain bike can very quickly lead to back and knee problems. Thus, the correct seating position is very important and should not be underestimated. The height of the recommended seating position can be calculated quite simply by multiplying the stride length in cm by 0.885. To check the result, sit on your new mountain bike. When your leg is fully extended, your heel should just touch the pedal.

Adjust your saddle with the help of a spirit level. Try to keep your pelvis upright during the ride to balance your weight on the saddle and thus relieve the trunk and arm muscles.

Pedals

When it comes to pedals, many beginners also fall into the trap of immediately buying professional pedals with a fixed binding. Beginners in particular find it difficult to get used to their new mountain bike. A firm binding on the pedals does not contribute positively to this. A good tip here would be to fall back on platform pedals with a large contact surface, which additionally give the beginner a feeling of stability through grippy pins.

Brakes

It is important to mount the brake lever of your mountain bike a few centimetres away from the handlebar. This gives you the advantage of greater leverage, which means that you don’t have to apply as much force to the brakes. Most mountain bikes for beginners have a hydraulic disc brake. Note that these should be about 180 mm on the front wheel and 160 mm on the rear wheel. Touring riders in particular should opt for a wider range.

How do I care for my mountain bike?

Especially after your first tour through the countryside, you will quickly notice that a mountain bike gets dirtier than your city bike. Here are the best tips on how to make it shine again. When you come back from your bike ride, you can simply rinse off the wet mud with a hose.

If the mud has already dried up and is between the cracks, soak the areas and brush them if necessary. Continue with the gearstick. Mud settles in the gearstick – especially at the pulley on the gearshift cage – and makes it difficult to change gears. First turn the crank backwards and gradually clean the dried mud off the individual pulleys.

Once you have cleaned the rollers, you can also oil the bearing. It is best to clean the chain with a cloth. After it is clean, relubricate it and let the lubricant work for a short time. If necessary, you can wipe off the residue of the lubricant afterwards.

You can use a special wet lube that sticks to the chain longer due to its wax content.

The cables are a tricky point. First you should take some tension off the cables. You can do this by first shifting up to the largest blade and sprockets and then shifting down again without turning the crank. Now clean the cable with a cloth and some penetrating oil.

Important: Under no circumstances should you clean the bike with a steam jet or high-pressure cleaner. The pressure is too high for the mountain bike and can damage complex parts such as seals, suspension elements or bearings.

The general rule is: with average use and simple care, you should treat your mountain bike to a visit to the specialist workshop about once a year.

What tyre pressure should my mountain bike have?

If you have already adjusted your mountain bike and perhaps done a few laps, you should now take a closer look at the tyre pressure of your mountain bike. In contrast to the saddle height, the tyre pressure does not have to be changed at the beginning. Only when you want to optimise it and adjust it to your needs.

Low tyre pressure gives you more suspension and improves power transmission on the terrain. However, if the tyre pressure is too low, this reduces stability and has a major impact on handling. In addition, the sidewalls offer little support, which shortens the service life and can lead to damage to the rims. To find out your individual tyre pressure, grab your bike, a gauge and a pump and find a test run.

The test ride should not take longer than 3 minutes and should be easy so that you can concentrate on the riding experience. Here’s where it counts: study is better than try. Do your test laps with different tyre pressures and try to focus on the following factors in particular:

  • How do the curves feel? Is the bike stable enough?
  • How does the bike react to obstacles?
  • Do you find punctures on the rims?
  • Does the hardness of the wheel fit?

Depending on how you feel, increase or reduce the air pressure by 0.2-0.4 bar and ride the lap again.

Once you have found your individual tyre pressure, you can readjust it depending on the situation. If the weight changes, for example due to a heavy bag, you can simply reduce or increase the air pressure as required.

To make testing a little easier for you, here is a table for orientation:

Weight (rider+bike) Tyre pressure (bar)
Tyre width (inch) 2.10 / 2.25 / 2.40 / 2.50 / 2.60 inch
50 kg 1.50 / 1.351 / 1.20 / 1.10 / 1.00 bar
55 kg 1.55 / 1.40 / 1.25 / 1.15 / 1.05 Bar
60 kg 1.60 / 1.45 / 1.30 / 1.20 / 1.10 Bar
65 kg 1.65 / 1.50 / 1.35 / 1.25 / 1.15 Bar
70 kg 1.70 / 1.55 / 1.40 / 1.30 / 1.20 Bar
75 kg 1.75 / 1.60 / 1.45 / 1.35 / 1.25 Bar
80 kg 1.80 / 1.65 / 1.50 / 1.40 / 1.30 Bar
85 kg 1.85 / 1.70 / 1.55 / 1.45 / 1.35 Bar
90 kg 1.90 / 1.75 / 1.60 / 1.50 / 1.40 Bar
95 kg 1.95 / 1.80 / 1.65 / 1.55 / 1.45 Bar
100 kg 2.00 / 1.85 / 1.70 / 1.60 / 1.50 Bar
105 kg 2.05 / 1.90 / 1.75 / 1.70 / 1.55 Bar

How do I make my mountain bike safe from theft?

What good is the best and most expensive mountain bike if it gets stolen again? Maybe you know the scenario: you park your bike and the next morning you get a nasty surprise – it’s no longer there. When buying your lock, you should never save money and can invest up to 10 percent of the price of your bike.

The most important criterion is that you choose a lock that is very sturdy and cannot be destroyed without expensive tools. Furthermore, your lock should be big enough so that you can attach your bike to pillars, for example. It is best to choose one of these locks:

  • U-lock
  • Folding lock
  • Armoured cable
  • Bicycle chain

You should keep your hands off frame and spiral locks, as these can usually be broken open within a few seconds.

Image source: pixabay.com / ivoxis

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