Whether you’re riding with friends or taking part in an organized race, cycling is good for your body, your mind and the planet. The right bike can help you explore the trails and roads near you, as well as places far away. The best bike for you depends on where you plan to ride, the kind of exercise you’re looking for and your budget. But with so many new bikes on the market and a dizzying array of options, finding the right bicycle can be a challenge.
A bike is a huge investment, and it’s important to find one that you can ride comfortably for long distances. For most people, this means a lightweight bike with components that are easy to tune and maintain. You’ll also want to consider the frame material. Aluminum is cheaper, but it can flex and may not be as durable as carbon. Carbon is more expensive, but it’s lighter and stiffer and holds its shape better over time.
If you’re looking for a bike that can tackle any type of terrain, a hybrid or gravel bike is a great choice. Descended from cyclocross bikes, these versatile mountain bike-like rides feature a drop handlebar for aerodynamic efficiency and wide tires that give you traction on pavement, dirt and gravel.
The Specialized Fuse Expert 29 is a perfect example of a well-rounded hardtail mountain bike. It’s a capable climber that excels on technical terrain, and it has confidence-inspiring handling at speed and in the air. However, it’s not as efficient on steep, rough terrain as a full-suspension bike.
Full-suspension mountain bikes are more comfortable on bumpy and rocky trails than hardtail mountain bikes, and they’re ideal for riders who frequently attack steep and rough terrain. They typically have 130-150mm of front and rear suspension, and they offer a more comfortable seated pedaling position.
Buying a mountain bike is a big decision, and it’s important to take your time before making a purchase. Several factors go into choosing the right mountain bike for you, including frame material, suspension and drivetrain configuration. You’ll also want to pay close attention to a bike’s adjustability score. This metric measures how easily you can adjust your bike’s handlebar height, seat height and saddle angle to accommodate different users.
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