Front suspensions on the semi-rigid
Or a double damping system at the front and at the rear for the all-suspended.
The geometry of the frame according to the practice and the position sought. (Shape and size of the frame).
Fork and suspension travels. Size and capacity (Diameter and travel).
The size of the wheels (26”, 27,5” and 29”). Vast subject that are the wheels…
The 27,5” and the 29” became in a short time the 2 new wheel sizes. We have to add to that the variations on the width of the tires and the width of the rims to obtain the 27.5+ and very recently the 29+.
The 26” has become obsolete for the manufacturers (except for the Junior and entry level mountain bikes, same for the fat bike 26”3.0-4.0).
For each rider, beginner or advanced, these 2 wheel sizes have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the range, your level, your physical condition and the practice.
Test them before you make your own opinion! The + version (tire section between 2.5 and 2.8): They are more and more used on mountain bikes for their comfort and their exceptional grip at the expense of performance. Be careful, they are often coupled with larger frames in Boost format. They go very well with the sport MTB Semi-Rigid or All-Suspended.
The tendency of the high end brands is to propose bikes that accept the 2 wheel formats (See 4 formats according to rim width) 27.5 – 27.5+ – 29 – 29+…
But imperatively with wider frames and forks in Bboost format.
Materials used = Stiffness, comfort, performance, weight.
The kinematics of the frame for the All-Suspended. (Types of damping sought or practical)
The quality of the peripherals which will define the frequency of use, the comfort of use, the solidity in time (apart from the shocks) and especially the budget…
Cyclo, the cross country or endurance.
It is the most known kind of mountain bike, but also the most sold bike in France.
It also remains the most affordable of all with its simple design. It has only one suspension system at the front, the fork. The fork generally has a travel of 80 to 120 millimeters. (Excluding specific mountain bikes Enduro / Stiff, Dirt, 4x.)
The price range is wide because despite a simple design, it can be manufactured in almost any existing material.
Aluminum is very common, but it can be easily made of steel, titanium (rarer) and especially carbon, which is the most dynamic and lightest material on the market but also the most expensive.
A semi-rigid is used from leisure to competition. It is the position and the level of equipment that differentiate the competition or leisure practice. For the beginners, it is the bike which allows to acquire good bases of piloting on the ground.
A fun alternative: enduro / rigid
This is a good alternative to the Full Suspension Bike. They are coming back in force for their versatility. Very playful bike to ride, the performance will not be its priority even if some top of the range version get out of the game.
Often equipped with a minimum of 120 mm fork, it can go up to 150 mm. They can be a good companion for those who are looking for a bike that goes everywhere with less maintenance than a suspension bike. They will be a little heavier than an XC but also stronger.
Better geometry for jumps and crossings or even light downhill.
It is also often chosen for its budget which remains much more affordable than a suspension of the same family…
From about $1000 in aluminum.
Depends on the use/pratice
The position of the biker is plunging and lengthened. Weight is minimized and stiffness is one of the key points sought for the top of the line versions.
Often chosen by the competitors in Cross-Country in their most high-end version for their weight, their stiffness, their performance and their ease of maintenance. But the semi-rigid can be tiring on long distances or very broken grounds. The piloting will have to be finer and less engaged to avoid falls and breakage on the most technical grounds.
The possibility to modify the setting while riding:
Present on the fork and on the telescopic seatpost on the most sporty models, the adjustments are directly controllable on the fork by a lever on 2 or 3 positions or remotely controllable, via a cable (or hydraulic control) connected to a lever positioned on the handlebar.
These levers allow you to vary the operation of the fork according to the terrain and the comfort required during the ride.
Ex: 3 positions Open/Medium/Firm for FOX forks.
Open (open cartridge = rough terrain, downhill)
Medium (semi open cartridge=80% of the use of the bike with still a lot of comfort)
Firm (closed cartridge = maximum performance)
And a high or low position control for the telescopic seat post.
At the level of the cost, with a modest budget (approximately $600/$800 for the initiation) you will be able as well to initiate you and begin with the practice of the VTT as to reach an important level of competition with a more top-of-the-range, light and powerful bicycle (starting from $1500 in aluminum and $1800 in carbon fiber).