From lightweight carbon racing whippets to massive bruisers capable of taking on the toughest terrain, there is a huge variety of MTB frames available on the market. MTB frames are divided into two main categories: hardtails and suspensions.
Mountain Bike Frame
Here are two Categories of Mountain bike Frame
A hardtail MTB possesses a fully rigid frame rather than rear suspension. As they are usually lighter and cheaper than full-suspension bikes and they are commonly used as the foundation for entry- or mid-level bikes, or for lightweight race bikes. Hardtails, however, isn’t for everyone.
Suspension MTB frames feature shock absorbers that allow the rear end to move independently and absorb trail bumps. The rear travel of suspension MTB frames varies (how much the rear end can move). ‘Big-hit’ gravity frames may have up to 200mm of travel, while lightweight race frames may have 100mm. A variety of women-specific Good Mountain Bikes frames are available, including hardtail frames with a greater standover, shorter top tubes, and narrower handlebars.
What is the Best MTB Frame For You?
Full suss or hardtail? It’s a question of whether. In the past, the choice was simple – if you wanted lighter weight and more efficient power transfer for races or speed, you holstered a hardtail; if you wanted big-hitting capability without minding the weight, you holstered a full suspension.
Today, however, things are a little different, as technological advances have diminished hardtails’ performance advantages. Full suspension frames use materials (carbon fiber) that erode the hardtail’s weight advantage, as well as technologies (platform-damped shocks, suspension design) that maximize power transfer. During long hours in the saddle, the inherent advantages of suspension. better traction while climbing, and better descending stability – may result in better overall efficiency, comfort, and speed.
How Do you Choose the Right MTB Hardtail Frame?
The hardtail frame comes in many different varieties, some designed as all-rounders and others to cater to specific disciplines. It is important to note that geometry will differ based on the type of riding the bike is intended for, and frame materials will differ depending on rider preferences or the demands of a particular sport. A lightweight aluminum frame is usually found on budget and mid-range hardtail MTBs. Many bike makers offer steel and titanium frames that appeal to a wide range of rangers, while top-end bikes often use lightweight carbon fiber.
You’ll find a hardtail frame to suit every riding style and every budget. From super light XC race bikes to rough dirt and street bikes to long-travel trail bikes.
The Most Common Types of Hardtail
In addition to race and trail frames, dirt/street/4X frames are also common.
Cross-country (XC) racers:
Long-distance marathoners, trail center runners, and people who cover a lot of off-road miles generally are the target audience for these frames. In classic XC geometry, the head and seat angles are relatively steep (73 degrees for the seat and 71 degrees for the head), which places the rider in an optimal position to pedal while seated. The long top tubes will allow riders and racers to ride in a stretched position, allowing them to get enough air.
Many hardtail frame designs are moving away from the ‘classic’ XC designs above (steep angles, 80-100mm travel) to slacker angles and longer travel. Many riders find these modern trail hardtails of 120-140mm front travel to be the perfect combination of lightweight pedaling efficiency and rough-and-tumble fun. In steep, technical downhill trails, riders can get their bodyweight well back on the bike due to slacker seat and head angles (head angles of 69 degrees or less). Generally, top tubes are shorter, allowing for a more upright riding position, which is not optimal for all-day pedaling but gives the rider greater control on difficult terrain.
What is the Best Suspension for your MTB?
There is a wide variety of MTB suspension frames on the market, just as there is for hardtails. In the last few years, the best full suspension mountain bike technology has allowed full-bounce frames to become lighter, more efficient, more reliable, and better value for money than ever before. However, to navigate the maze of full-suss frames, we’ve put together this short guide to help you make sense of the various travel lengths, intended uses, and suspension designs out there.
Types of Common Items
In addition to the geometry being equally as important as suspension travel when it comes to determining how a frame will ride and what kind of riding it will suit, suspension travel can provide a useful way to categorize full-suss frames. The following are some of the most commonly used:
80-100mm Rear Travel:
Frames with less than 100mm rear travel are usually fast and lightweight mile-munchers designed for climbing and long-distance efficiency rather than challenging technical terrain. These bikes are designed for competitive cross-country racers and marathon riders who focus on cross-country speed rather than downhill fun and are designed for 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. Most top-of-the-range models aimed at serious racers feature lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber frames.
These trail frames are generally a bit beefier than short-travel race frames but built for fun, not competition. The frame angles of these bikes are typically slacker to increase downhill confidence. Trail bikes with older designs/budgets often feature 26″ or 29″ wheels, but newer models tend to use the 27.5″ standard. Aluminum or carbon fiber frames are lightweight and stiff.
Suspension travel of more than 140mm is designed for downhill punishment, featuring slack frame angles and 26″ or 27.5″ wheels. Due to the fact that these bikes are still able to be pedaled uphill, they are popular with the latest generation of Enduro riders.
160mm of Travel:
A full suspension frame with more than 160mm of travel is designed to meet the specific requirements of downhill (DH) and freeride (FR) racing, with super-slack angles, a low-slung bottom brake, a long wheelbase, and 26″ wheels.
Design of Suspensions
The number of suspension systems available today is almost as great as the number of manufacturers, with new and improved designs appearing every year as engineers pursue the holy grail. suspension design can be categorized into two main categories based on the principle of suspension dynamics – a single pivot suspension and a four-bar suspension.
The suspension has a single pivot in the front triangle. Swingarms attach the rear wheel to one end, pivot on the pivot, and have shock units between them that absorb and rebound shocks. Further developing the single pivot concept are suspension designs that use additional rockers or linkages to affect shock compression rate.
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Four-bar designs are available in a variety of iterations with varying pivot positions. A new generation of suspension innovations has largely overcome the main problems associated with previous generations of suspension design. an overactive suspension absorbing rider energy during pedal strokes (‘pedal bob‘) and a suspension that stiffens under braking (‘brake jack’). As manufacturers have developed platform-damped shocks that effectively ignore pedal feedback to counteract pedal bob and classic suspension designs have received a new lease of life.