Monday, October 02, 2006

What Makes Specialized Mountain Bikes So Special?

Honestly, even if you're new to biking - how do you think you can go wrong with a name like "Specialized"? Mountain bikes under this label have been patronized by discriminating cycling enthusiasts - and not just because the name is catchy, but because this brand has a performance history that's no less than good and solid.

Specialized mountain bikes of the Rockhopper line, for example, have remained at the top of consumer rankings for a long time, contending with equally popular classics like the Trek 4500 and the Gary Fisher Marin. These "hardtail" bikes are lightweight and perfect for use by cyclists with different body types, which makes it a favorite for most kinds of rugged trails.

The average weight of a Specialized bike is 30 pounds. The aluminum frame helps greatly in reducing weight and increasing speed. And because aluminum is tried and tested for its durability, it is also the material of choice by Specialized manufacturers. You can test the worth of a bike of this name by putting it through a trail bike test; see how well it performs and how easily it is to transport during normally arduous uphill climbs.

Mike Sinyard, creator of Specialized Bicycle Components, founded his company in 1974, with the intent to "give everyone the best ride of their life." Since then the professional mountain bikes turned out by the company have made the top picks, and in the past years the company's success in developng its mountain bike lines was driven by the presence of its independent suspension FSR frame.

Specialized is also known for producing quality "budget" bikes - and by this, we mean trail bicycles that are slightly cheaper than industry standard, for their caliber. They're still more expensive than you could expect a regular bike to be - for example, a "cheap" competition-grade Specialized model could still cost a little over $1000. Before you balk at this price, you must remember that Specialized bikes are known to compete with big-name brands like Marin, Trek and Giant, some of which definitely sell their "budget" models at much higher costs! But you could look forward to top of the line service and performance from Specialized mountain bikes. You could save a little more if you buy previous years' models, which almost invariably drop in prices as new and shinier models enter the market. If you're able to take advantage of special offers, you can grab a special deal on a firsthand full suspension, cross-country trail bike.

by Trevor Mulholland

Posted by Jeremy Sabourin @ 9:27 AM :: (1) comments

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Technical Down Hill Mountain Biking

The key to down hilling is relaxing your upper body. The steeper and rockier the hill is, the more tightly the rider tends to put a death grip on the handle bars. Most riders tend to slow down as they approach obstacles such as rocks, and then apply both brakes.

If you don't apply your brakes, the rock will stop your wheel. This isn't good, as the rock can throw you off balance and completely kill any type of momentum you have.

Relaxed riders won't slow down as much. The combination of extra momentum, no front braking at crucial moments will allow the wheel to bump over the rock and continue onward with little effort.

If you are going slowly, it's essential to release your brakes as much as possible when you approach an obstacle. This may entail going a bit faster, although the result is much less painful. On steep hills, going really slow will always make things much more difficult.

One exception to this is a very tight turn. If a hop is out of the question, you'll need to slow down to allow the smallest radius of turning circle. This kind of thing takes practice, although track standing is a great way to improve on your balance.

Although down hilling is one of the most extreme methods of mountain biking, it can also be one of the most dangerous. If you're new to mountain biking you shouldn't start out with down hilling, as it takes a lot of practice.

With a bit of practice and knowing the right techniques, technical down hilling is something you'll find fun. It can provide quite a rush and a lot of excitement for those who seek adventure.

Author: Jenny Gill is an international author with vast experience in a diverse range of subjects, for more information visit

Posted by Jeremy Sabourin @ 8:31 AM :: (0) comments

Introduction To Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a great way to explore the outdoors, stay in shape, or just have fun. Racing down the side of a mountain is a lot of fun indeed, although it can also be quite dangerous. Even though it's dangerous, if you ride with caution, it can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Styles of mountain biking Mountain biking can best be characterized into three different styles - downhill, free riding, and cross country. Even though the different styles are similar in some ways, they still require different skills. The style that you pick will determine the type of bike you get.

Locations for mountain biking The sport can best be thought of as biking on an unpaved surface. Many areas throughout North America have specific locations designed for mountain biking. Before you decide to go down a trail, you should always check with your local park to get the routes, regulations, and any rules that they may have.

You can also find groups that have mountain bike rides and competitions. You can look on the internet or even in a local paper and see exactly what's available in your area. You may be able to find groups for the more advanced riders as well as beginners.

Becoming a great biker Endurance and stamina are a must for a great mountain biker. It will also take ambition and practice to succeed as well as conquer the course. Like all other sports, it takes time and practice. Those just beginning will have to get past the bumps and bruises from falling off the bike.

Selecting your mountain bike The bike you select is more of a personal choice, and a big determining factor on the type of riding you will be doing. Bikes come in all styles, shapes, and prices, which will make selecting one for you very difficult indeed.

You should use the internet to help you shop for a bike, even do some price comparisons online as well before you make a purchase. Before you buy a bike, always ask to try it out first. A great mountain biker will become one with his or her own bike. When buying, make sure you check for comfort, how it fits, even how it is geared.

Staying safe when riding Mountain bike riding on unpaved roads can be very dangerous, as mentioned earlier. Anytime you are riding, you should wear a helmet, along with knee and elbow pads. If you are following a group or riding in the woods you should strongly consider a pair of goggles as well. Safety should be your top priority and never taken lightly anytime you are mountain biking.

Author: Jenny Gill is an international author with vast experience in a diverse range of subjects, for more information visit

Posted by Jeremy Sabourin @ 8:27 AM :: (0) comments

Mountain Bike Designs

The designs for mountain bikes can be classified in four categories based on suspension:

1. Hardtail - A frame with no rear suspension, often containing a front suspension fork.

2. Fully rigid - This is a sub type of hardtail, with a rigid fork.

3. Dual or full suspension - These bikes offer a front suspension fork and a rear suspension that are integrated into the frame.

4. Soft tail - Offers a frame with a small amount of rear suspension, normally less than a full suspension frame.

The different designs of bikes in mountain biking will offer you what you need for your unique style of riding. You'll want a different bike for different terrain, such as cross country or downhill. As the terrain changes, you'll want to make sure you have the right bike for the job.

Mountain biking is different than any other sport, offering you plenty of excitement and thrills. If you are new to mountain biking, you'll find the different designs to be very enticing yet very challenging at the same time. Each design serves a purpose with mountain biking, even some that excels on the trails.

There are also several other designs which reflect on the many challenging disciplines in the sport of mountain biking. No matter what type of mountain biking you like to do, there are bikes for that specific discipline.

If you are new to mountain biking, you'll want to check out the many designs and types of biking before you purchase a bike. Mountain biking can be a lot of fun and excitement, although it can also be very dangerous if you don't have the right bike for the terrain. Before you decide to buy a bike and hit the trails, make sure you have the right design of mountain bike for the riding you are planning on doing.

Author: Jenny Gill is an international author with vast experience in a diverse range of subjects, for more information visit

Posted by Jeremy Sabourin @ 8:27 AM :: (0) comments

Buying A Mountain Bike

It can be a bit frustrating as well as time consuming when you buy a mountain bike. Below, you'll find some tips and things to be aware of before you lay down the cash and buy a mountain bike.

Determining your price there is really no limit as to how much money you can spend on a new mountain bike. To help you keep your spending under control, you should figure out what your price range is and how much you're willing to pay for a new bike. When you buy, you shouldn't buy from mass merchant stores such as Wal-Mart. You should instead support your local bike shop and get a much better bike and much better service.

Finding your style All mountain bikes are designed with several different riding styles and terrain types in mind. You'll need to figure out what type of riding you will be doing the most. Smooth riding, cross country racing, mountain cruising, or lift accessed downhill is something you need to figure out. Make sure that the bike you select fits your personal style and not that of the sale's staff.

Full suspension or hard tail If you can afford it, a full suspension mountain bike is always worth the purchase. A hard tail, without rear suspension, is much lighter weight and pedal more efficiently, although full suspensions offer more comfort and overall better control. You'll want to make that decision based on your price range, riding style, and the type of terrain you'll be riding on the most.

Finding your favorites Comparing mountain bikes component to component is nearly impossible, as there are far too many combinations available. The best way to go about doing this is finding a few components that are the most important to you and making sure the rest or the minimums fall within your price range. You can start with the fork then look at the wheels and rear derailleur.

Sales and seasons During the year, the prices of mountain bikes can fluctuate quite a bit. Spring through summer is the main buying season. If you can wait until the right price pops up, normally in the fall and winter, you can save a couple hundred dollars. Many bike shops will also offer discounts or other accessories if you buy from them.

Finding a good dealer Finding a good bike dealer is more important than finding the best price. You should always find a dealer that cares more about selling you a great bike than selling you a high priced one. A great dealer will have a clean repair shop and give you the impression that you can really trust them.

Test ride You should test ride as many bikes as you can within your price range and riding style. You'll find that some bikes will feel right, while others won't. The more bikes you can test drive, you better you'll understand what works and what doesn't.

Doing the research Product reviews and bike reviews are some of the best ways to find out about a mountain bikes reliability and overall performance. You should always look at what other owners and reviews think about a bike before you make that final purchase.

Author: Jenny Gill is an international author with vast experience in a diverse range of subjects, for more information visit

Posted by Jeremy Sabourin @ 8:23 AM :: (0) comments

Previous Posts

  • What Makes Specialized Mountain Bikes So Special?
  • Technical Down Hill Mountain Biking
  • Introduction To Mountain Biking
  • Mountain Bike Designs
  • Buying A Mountain Bike
  • Mountain Bike



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