Mountain bikes have only been on the scene for about 35 years. The first mountain bike was a converted cruiser bike created by Joe Breeze in the late '70's. He, along with Gary Fisher and his Klunker escapades in Salivas Valley California, were the pioneers of this entire category. During the 1980's mountain bikes became a huge hit, and ushered in a time where adults began to dominate what had been a kid's business. Today they are as mainstream in cycling as road bikes, and by the turn of the century there were spinoffs to please every kind of rider.
Broadly speaking, a mountain bike would be any type of bicycle that has a rugged frame with larger tubes, fatter tires, and possible suspension systems in the forks, rear end, and even the seat. On most mountain bikes every nuance of every component has been carefully selected to hold up under tough, off road, conditions. Tires are specially designed to handle gravel, mud, jumps, and sometimes even snow.
There are many sub species of mountain bikes, so if you plan to go off road, the first decision is where and how you plan to ride. Choices include:
- Hard tail - front fork suspension only
- Rigid - no suspension
- Soft tail - some rear suspension, but not much, and front fork suspension
- Full suspension - just like it sounds.
- Trail Bike - designed for trails and whatever obstacles present themselves
- Cross Country - lighter bikes designed for longer rides and fewer obstacles
- Down hill - how fast can you get to the bottom, preferably without needing stitches
Each of these bikes might come with various types of wheels, tires, brakes, and drive trains designed to best equip you for the type of riding you will be doing. You may want to think about how far, how fast, over what type of trail, and how comfortable do you want to travel.
We have selected the largest and best known bicycle company in the USA as our mountain bike supplier. Trek Bicycle Company is at the forefront of product design and quality. While we are able to supply you with any mountain bike in the Trek line, we have chosen to stock the following bikes on a day-in-day-out basis. Most other bikes would be available within one day from a local warehouse.