A mountain bike is considered as being a bicycle that is designed specifically for mountain biking, either on dirt trails or on other unpaved environments. Mountain bikes are different from regular bikes in a number of ways. For one, they have wide and knobby tires for extra traction and shock absorption.
As well, most mountain bikes are fitted with bar ends on the handlebars, however, with the increase in the popularity of riser handlebars, fewer riders now tend to use bar end extensions.
There are basically four different classifications of mountain bikes, which are: fully rigid, which is when the frame has a rigid fork and fixed rear with no suspension; hardtail, which is a frame with no rear suspension, and these bikes are usually used with front suspension; soft tail, which is a frame with a small amount of rear suspension, but activated by the flex of the frame instead of by the pivots; dual or full suspension, which is a front suspension fork and rear suspension with a rear shock and linkage that makes the rear wheel move on pivots.
There are many key components on the typical mountain bike, with one of the most critical of all being the mountain bike disk brakes. Mountain bike disk brakes are featured on most new mountain bike models, and they offer much-improved stopping power over the previously used rim brakes.
Mountain bike disk brakes also work much better under adverse conditions, because they are located at the center of the wheel, unlike rim brakes, and therefore they remain drier and cleaner than other rims. Although there are many advantages to mountain bike disk brakes, there are some disadvantages as well, such as the fact that they weigh more and are often more expensive as well. Maintenance of these particular brakes also tends to be more difficult and costly, and this is particularly so with hydraulic disk brakes, which work by moving brake fluid through a hose or line to squeeze the pads together.
You always need to make sure that your brakes are in as proper working condition as possible, and so this means that you need to take your bike itself in to get a full inspection monthly, if not more. This will not only ensure that your brakes and the rest of the parts on your bike last as long as they possibly can, but more importantly that you can feel safe riding on a bike that you know is safe and secure and which will be able to properly handle those rugged and steep hills.