Trail bikes are among the most versatile of all modern mountain bikes. Whether you’re planning to ride long-distance trails for a full day, looking to speed down a rough trail or climb steep mountain sides, a good trail bike has you covered.
Why Choose a Trail Bike
Trail bikes combine the best features of every style of mountain bike: full front and rear suspension, a dropper seat post and disc brakes to keep you comfortable and safe when rolling over obstacles or down steep hills. They are also designed with lightweight and durable frames to ensure you can ride your trail bike for years to come.
Choosing the Perfect Trail Bike
Because trail bikes are designed for different off-road environments, there’s also a degree of variation among bikes within this category. This can make choosing the right trail bike more difficult, but once you know what you’re looking for it’s easy to pick the perfect bike for your riding style.
One of the first major decisions you’ll need to make is what diameter wheels you want on your trail bike – 27.5-inch or 29-inch. 27.5-inch wheels are more manoeuvrable than 29-inch wheels, which is ideal if you frequently find yourself riding down technical trails with a lot of turns and obstacles. In addition, the smaller size of 27.5-inch wheels allows them to accelerate more quickly when you start pedalling or descending. On the other hand, 29-inch wheels are perfect for riding over rocks, branches, and other obstacles, making them popular among cross-country riders. If you tend to ride long distances, 29-inch wheels are more efficient because they keep up their momentum more efficiently once they get moving.
Trail bike frames are constructed from either aluminium or carbon, both of which have advantages and disadvantages. Carbon frames are lighter and better at dampening vibration without reducing efficiency, but they can be quite expensive compared to aluminium frames. In addition, aluminium frames are more durable than carbon frames, which can be irreversibly damaged in a crash.
All trail bikes come with front suspension systems and rear dampers, but the designs of these full suspension systems can vary. Firstly, check the travel of the front suspension fork. Longer travel distances offer more vibration dampening, but this can also suck up more power from the bike when you’re pedalling uphill or on flat ground. Secondly, make sure that the rear damper can be locked out to conserve efficiency when you don’t need quite as much vibration dampening.
Riding up steep terrain requires a large range of gears. Many modern trail bikes feature a 1x or ‘one-by’ system, where the bike uses a single front chainring paired with a wide-range rear cassette. This reduces weight and adds simplicity, although means that the steps between gears are wider than on bikes fitted with a front derailleur. On the other hand, you may prefer the more traditional ‘2x’ system with a front derailleur.
The best way to find your perfect trail bike is to browse our huge selection at bikester.co.uk. We make it easy to filter trail bikes based on fit, wheel diameter, frame construction, and more, so you can easily see which bikes match your riding style. Plus, we offer free shipping on all trail bikes and a 100-day return policy.