Am gasit acest articol care mi s-a parut interesant prin prisma informatiilor minime oferite. Este vechi de vreo 2 ani deci este posibil ca intre timp lucrurile sa se mai fi schimbat, dar chiar si asa cred ca pentru un incepator poate fi util.
Hardtail Mountain Bike Buying Guide
There are two main types of mountain bikes: hardtail mountain bicycles and full-suspension mountain bicycles. Full-suspension mountain bicycles feature both front fork and rear suspension integrated into the bike's frame. Hardtail mountain bikes, as the name suggests, have no rear suspension integrated into the frame, although most do come with a suspension fork. Until a few years ago, deciding between the two different types of mountain bikes was pretty straightforward: Hardtails would win every time. Nowadays, though, with the advances in rear suspension technology, the decision is a much tougher one. Despite the present buzz around full-suspension, the hardtail mountain bike is far from dead. The decision between hardtail and full-suspension really depends on the type of riding you intend to do--Will you use your mountain bike for cross country racing, all mountain cruising or smooth trail riding? As a rough rule of thumb, the more technical the terrain you intend to ride, the more likely you'll need a hardtail mountain bike.
Hardtail mountain bikes are ideal for riding off-road trails, single tracks and for racing. They tend to be lightweight, more durable and cheaper than full-suspension bikes--lighter because there are less parts to the frame, and more durable because there are no pivots or rear suspension to maintain. That means they require less maintenance and are therefore cheaper to own, as well as cheaper to purchase in the first place. For these reasons, hardtail mountain bicycles remain the choice of many cross-country racers. Hardtails are still very capable trail bikes whether you are new to mountain biking or an experienced rider. In fact, if you've only ever ridden a hardtail mountain bike, you will probably agree that they suffice for most riding situations.
It isn't just full-suspension mountain bikes making great advancements over the last few years. Hardtails are remarkably versatile, and as frame builders learn more about how bikes ride and tubing makers offer more specially designed tubes, ride quality continues to improve. Many mountain bike manufacturers offer hardtail bikes specifically designed for women. Of course, these bikes are designed to accommodate women of average height and weight, so they may not be suitable for all women. Some manufacturers also offer smaller frame sizes that are non-gender specific, so women and smaller men should have a selection of styles and sizes to choose from.
Features to watch for on hardtail mountain bikes in any price bracket include s-bend seatstays for a more comfortable ride, replaceable rear derailleur hangers which won't trash your bike if the rear derailleur gets crunched, and shaped tubes that provide stiffness for the drivetrain but compliance for the rider. All frame materials, whether aluminum, carbon fiber, steel or titanium, offer excellent performance and solid ride quality. On the parts side, suspension has dramatically improved over the last few years. Even budget bikes get great suspension forks with tuning options. Drivetrains are all at least 21-speed, although 27-speed is better, and brakes are better than ever. Look for good, aggressively treaded tires and value parts such as disc brakes or an all-Shimano drivetrain (including crankset) on Deore or higher lines.
How to Shop
Shopping for a hardtail mountain bicycle can be overwhelming for the first time buyer or newcomer to the sport. The range of bike frames, parts and accessories can seem endless. The first thing to do is to firmly establish how you intend to use your hardtail mountain bike, then opt for the bike and accessories that you need to enjoy the trails you intend to use. If you are on a limited budget, make sure you don't spend money purchasing a lot of appealing but ultimately unnecessary extras. Whatever your budget, remember to factor in the cost of accessories that no hardtail mountain biker can do without, such as a high quality bicycle helmet, gloves, shorts and a trail repair kit.
Getting the best deal on a hardtail mountain bike purchase is not just about knowing how to shop but also when to shop. The prices of mountain bikes can vary throughout the year. The most popular time to buy a new bike is in the spring or summer, so if you can wait until fall or winter when sales dip you are more likely to get a good deal. If you are a novice mountain bicyclist or on a budget, no need to reach for the latest model--you'll save you money if you go for last year's model instead, providing it still matches your needs.
The range and possible combination of components on any mountain bike is astounding. The first factor to consider is the frame: Steel and aluminum are the most affordable and common materials used to construct the frame, while carbon and titanium are the most expensive. Titanium frames are scratch resistant and impermeable to rust and corrosion, and since they are usually polished instead of painted, there is no paint job to maintain.
The second thing to look for on a hardtail mountain bike is the suspension. Rock Shox, Manitou, Marzocchi, and Fox consistently make the best forks. A second-tier of makers consists of RST, SR-Suntour, and other off-brands. (Cannondale specs its own brand called Headshok.) If faced with two otherwise equal bikes, go with the one with a first-tier fork. Air-sprung forks are lighter and all of them can be tuned using the air pressure, but coil-spring forks usually feel nicer and are more durable. Travel is noted in millimeters, and means the amount that the wheel moves up and down. An 80mm travel suspension fork moves up and down 80mm, or 3 inches of travel.
When it comes to brakes, it's a choice between linear-pull rim brakes or disc brakes. Rim brakes are the traditional type, which rub on the rim to stop the bike. Linear-pull rim brakes are not as powerful as disc brakes and gradually wear down the rim. They are much less expensive than disc brakes, though, and can be far easier to work on and find parts for. Disc brakes work more like car brakes and are generally more powerful, although certain brands of cable-actuated discs have their problems. The best disc systems are fully hydraulic, but are expensive. If you can afford hydraulic disc brakes, these are your best choice because they perform better in wet and muddy conditions and won’t wear down the rims. In terms of manufacturers to look for, you can't go wrong with Shimano, Avid, SRAM, Hayes, and Magura brakes--Most of the others are good too, but these brands are the gold standard. If you opt for rim brakes, consider a rim with a machined sidewall. This braking surface can dramatically improve braking performance and rim life.
Most hardtail mountain bikes come with a 21, 24 or 27-speed drivetrain. Shimano and SRAM are the two principal drivetrain makers. Shimano goes, from top to bottom: XTR, XT, LX, Deore, Alivio, and Acera; all but the latter two are 27-speeds. SRAM runs 9.0SL, 9.0, 7.0, and 5.0; 7.0 and 5.0 are 24-speed drivetrains.
Tires are another important consideration for a hardtail mountain bike. Wire-bead, not foldable, tires are considerably heavier than their foldable Kevlar counterparts. Because rotating weight is the most important on a bike, getting lighter threads can really lighten a bike and improve performance. Tubeless tires are found on more expensive bikes, which perform better than standard tires and resist pinch flats so you can cycle on a lower tire pressure, which provides better traction and a more comfortable ride. The downside is that flats in a tubeless tire are harder to fix than a standard tire.
When it comes to pedals, many hardtail mountain bikes do not come with any pedals at all. Those that do are usually basic. The first upgrade for many mountain bike riders is to switch to clipless pedals. These make riding and technical skills like bunny-hopping much easier. As with any mountain bike, it is important to test ride as many bicycles in your price range as possible. You want to find a bike that is comfortable for your height and weight and also one that fits your riding style. Features such as seats are a personal preference; the important thing is to find a seat that feels comfortable to you. Once you've selected the right bike for you, compare prices online with those from specialist bike shops. And don't forget, before you hit the trails, you'll also need a quality bicycle helmet, gloves, shorts, a water bottle and a trail repair kit. Then you'll be ready to safely enjoy the ride.