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The Benefits of A Mountain Bike
Mountain biking is the better of both worlds – low impact on the body, high effect on your health. If you should be thinking about an action which provides all the advantages of a high-impact sport, however with low effect on your body, then mountain biking could be for you personally.
For cardio, endurance, muscle development, pure fun and variety, mountain biking makes it possible to pedal the right path to serious fitness. Anyone who can ride a bike can ride a mountain bike, but be sensible on your first trip out.
Because it’s weight bearing, mountain biking puts the little impact on the joints, unlike running. It really is a type of circuit training with a fast and slow gush that really works your heart rate. For lower-body strength, cycling’s hard to beat: it builds great thighs, calves, and glutes.
Getting out onto trails is more challenging than road riding, so mountain biking lets you work your core and upper body as you negotiate tricky turns and tough terrain. Because every ride significantly differs, mountain biking offers the variety which our bodies and minds have to increase fitness and push away boredom.
Top 25 Best Mountain Bikes Reviewed
Five Reasons to Use a Mountain Bike
1. INTENSE WORKOUT
With mountain biking and you’ll discover that for each and every leg-burning, lung-crushing hill you climb, you’re rewarded because of the oh-so-sweet decadent descent you’ve been craving. Both as an aerobic and anaerobic workout, mountain biking burns between 10 to 16 calories one minute, or 600 to 1000 calories one hour and helps increase metabolic rate. So apart from toning and increasing muscle strength, it helps shed that unwanted weight.
2. IT’S RELAXING
Biking reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Active biking boosts endorphin (a hormone stated in the brain that reduces pain) levels and stimulates the production of norepinephrine (a stress hormone) recognized to improve mood. Moreover, it reduces build up of adrenalin and cortisol (a steroid hormone) reducing stress and anxiety. One biker friend confided that whenever he had a blazing row together with his wife, he’d go ride the trails to take the edge off his frayed nerves.
3. YOU’LL GET CLOSER TO NATURE
Studies have shown that people who are able to distance themselves from the noise and havoc of day to day life to find reprieve in the tranquility of nature are happier, less stressed and more energetic. One has a look at mountain bike pioneer Brett Tippie is evidence enough to support this.
4. GIVES YOU ADRENALINE RUSH
Mountain biking is by nature a fairly adventurous sport, the mere reference to which evokes a certain spirit of exploration and risk-taking. And being adventurous inevitably enables you to a much more interesting person. When asking a mountain biker about their weekend, instead of small talk you’ll often hear glorified tales of darting across rickety bridges, scaling treacherous peaks, dodging branches or perhaps the odd rabid animal and awkwardly going back to civilization covered in mud, stained with blood and wearing a shit-eating grin.
5. YOU’LL DISCOVER NEW PARTS OF THE WORLD
Traveling by mountain bike opens the entranceway to a world of possibilities; you’ll gain use of places often too remote for the tourist hordes and build relationships locals in a far more meaningful way than from the seat of a trip bus. And also the best part about mountain biking is that no matter where you find yourself on the planet, odds are you’re never too far away from a thin line of dirt snaking its way through a forest, field or desert. But heck, you don’t even need to go very far… A mountain bike can help you discover hidden gems in your very own city, opening your eyes from what you never thought existed in your concrete jungle.
6. TEACH YOU HOW TO MEDITATE
Leave your gadgets at the home on your next ride, and you’ll end up fully surviving in as soon as. It’s not like you’re given much of an option either, what with all the current roots and rocks and tight corners along the way. It’s exactly about being present in the here and now. Rolling along with it. Going using the flow. Anything else, most of the crap life throws your way, is magically blurred out. And that’s the good thing about the ride.
7. ENJOY THE OUTDOORS
Like to feel alive? Studies also show that a 20-minute dose of fresh air promotes a feeling of vitality and rejuvenation add up to that provided by a cup of joe, minus the jitters. Just imagine what a 2-hour bike ride will do for the well-being and overall feeling of kicking ass at life. You’ll also speak to your inner-child, bringing you returning to the occasions when life wasn’t about crunching numbers or furiously typing away in a cubicle, but of making the essential of simple delights.
8. MEET NEW FRIENDS
Mountain bikers are usually a fairly happy-go-lucky breed. Perhaps it’s all that exercising. Or perhaps the fresh air. Or the nature-loving. Regardless, happy people naturally tend to flock towards other happy people. So join a fat-tire club and you’re bound to fulfill good-natured, like-minded folks with a propensity for laughter and a penchant once and for all brews.
In a world of comfort and convenience, there’s something deeply satisfying and rewarding about relying on your very own wits as well as 2 mitts to correct the inevitable trailside breakdown. To be able to diagnose and repair mechanical mishaps is as much a part of mountain biking as bench cutting a trail or picking the best post-ride ale. And in case knowing a thing or two about bike repairs means lending a helping hand to those less mechanically-inclined, consider it a healthy deposit into the karma account.
10. BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE
The feeling of earning it as much as the most notable, balancing your way across a narrow ladder bridge or carving the right path down a technical descent is a pretty incredible one. And luckily, most mountain bike trails offer heaps of obstacles, challenges, and private Everests, regardless of your skill or level of fitness. All that’s necessary is a little of practice, some determination to manage your fears and push your limits… which happens to be a pretty good analogy for just about anything in life worth accomplishing.
Mountain biking is a fun and exciting way to enjoy the many health benefits of regular fitness and cardiovascular exercise including:
1. Improved Heart Health
Regular exercise is known to improve cardiovascular fitness. The British Medical Association studied 10,000 people and showed that riding a bicycle for at least 20 miles a week lessened the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 50%. Mountain biking uses large muscle groups that require a lot of oxygen. This makes the heart work steadily, increasing your heart’s fitness by 3-7%.
2. Less Stress on the Joints
Mountain biking is a low impact sport, meaning it puts less stress on your joints than other aerobic activities such as running. Cycling is also considered a non-load bearing sport, which means that the act of sitting takes pressure off of your joints and reduces the risk of injuring them.
3. Decreased Risk of Diseases
Regular moderate exercise is known to strengthen your immune system and keep you healthy. Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that people who cycle for 30 minutes, 5 days a week take half as many sick days off work compared to their sedentary counterparts! Another study published in the European Journal of Epidemiology reported that women who exercised regularly, including cycling to work, reduced their incidence of breast cancer.
4. Reduced Stress and Improved Mood
The vigorous demands of mountain biking stimulate your body to release natural endorphins, which are the body’s way of feeling good and getting more energy. Exercise also boosts serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in the brain which helps to prevent depression and anxiety. The focus and attention needed to ride a challenging single-track can become a form of moving meditation; ultimately helping to relax and weather life’s stressors by acting as a distraction from negative thoughts that may contribute to anxiety and depression. Gaining new skills and improving your mountain biking abilities also helps to build confidence and self-esteem.
5. Increased Brain Power
Researchers at Illinois University found that a 5% improvement in cardio fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15% on mental tests. This is in part due to building brain cells in the hippocampus – the region of the brain responsible for memory. “It boosts blood flow and oxygen to the brain, which fires and regenerates receptors, explaining how exercise helps ward off Alzheimer’s,” Professor Arthur Kramer said.
Creative professionals and executives often use their sharpened brain function during exercise time to come up with ideas and solve problems.
6. Improved balance and coordination
Unlike plodding on a treadmill or stair stepper, mountain biking is a dynamic activity that requires the rider to constantly adjust to varying terrain, pitch, and elevation. Staying steady and secure on a mountain bike not only keeps you from crashing but strengthens neural pathways and reinforces muscle memory. Balance and coordination require the combined resources of the brain, senses, muscles and nervous system. Keeping these system’s active as we get older staves off disability from aging and reduces the risk of injury from falls.
7. Whole Body Workout
It’s no doubt you’ll recognize the defined calf muscles of an avid cyclist, but you may not realize that mountain biking uses the muscles of your whole body. Of course, cycling builds strong legs, thighs, and calves and helps you get that nice tight butt. The balance required to stay upright strengthens your abdominal and core muscles. Climbing and maneuvering turn also strengthens your upper body. And as an added bonus, mountain biking doesn’t require an expensive gym membership or a personal trainer to get a good workout.
8. Sleep Better
You may immediately feel tired and worn out after a ride, but it will ultimately lead to improved regenerative sleep when you need it at night. The exercise of riding decreases cortisol, a hormone that keeps us awake. Being an outdoor activity, mountain biking exposes you to daylight which helps to maintain the body’s natural circadian sleep/wake cycle, not to mention raising your body’s production of vitamin D. Make sure you avoid vigorous rides too late in the day, which can have the opposite effect of releasing stimulating endorphins that can keep you awake.
9. Social Benefits
The newer field of happiness psychology has shown that healthy relationships and social interactions are key to being happy and finding meaning in life. Mountain biking is often a social activity shared by clubs and groups who get out to ride together. It provides a perfect opportunity to build personal bonds and make new friends with people who enjoy the same activities that you do.
10. Enjoy Nature
What better way to experience the great outdoors than to eat some dust and get intimate with the bumpy trails? Mountain biking is more than any other activity that allows you to quickly get off the beaten path and enjoy the solitude and majesty of nature. Japanese researchers have shown that being out in nature (what they refer to as “forest bathing”) improves relaxation and reduces stress. A busy urban environment has exactly the opposite effects of stimulating the fear and anxiety centers in the brain. Spend more time on your bike and you may also become more likely to be more green and friendly to the environment.
Top Five Exercises with Mountain Bike
1. Turkish GetUp
This is certainly those types of exercises that you have a look at and thinks “what does this want to do with mountain biking”? Well, when you break down each one of the 7 individual movements that comprise your whole TGU you notice that there’s plenty of core strength, hip mobility, and shoulder stability needed. All of these things are needed to build a strong, injury resistant mountain biker.
There are two more “bonuses” that come with the TGU. First, each in the event that 7 movements can be done as an individual exercise, letting you work around current injuries or even to target weak areas. Second, doing 3 to 5 reps of this TGU equals 42-70 individual movements (7 movements per rep both up and down) and takes a comparatively long time to perform. To obtain truly strong you’ll have to learn to take control of your breathing while staying strong, an art which can help you a lot from the trail.
2. Single Leg Deadlift
The single leg version of the better known two legged exercise, this movement is approximate as “mountain biker specific” as you’re able to get. The capability squats down on a single leg by driving your hips back and down while maintaining your spine straight and chest puffed out is the most important low body movement from the trail. Getting strong with this exercise is likely to make riding switch foot feel more stable and greatly increase your standing pedaling strength.
For most riders getting started with body weight may be enough and you’ll have to work with your hip mobility before you’re in a position to really do this exercise well enough. Just remember that the manner in which you do the exercise is much more important than just how much weight you lift so stick with little to no weight until your mobility and core strength are made up. However, as soon as you’ve first got it down then you definitely wish to add load, starting with holding a dumbbell and working up to pulling a bar from the ground.
3. Chin Up
Mountain bikers are notably weak within their upper backs that will help lead to the forward shoulder posture so common during the trail head. While plenty of riders may do a few chin ups, don’t pat yourself on the back just yet – you need to be able to perform reps with 20-50+ pounds held betwixt your legs. Getting that strong about this exercise will help balance the top of body muscles, build grip strength and then make rough trails feel significantly less taxing.
I would recommend primarily using a chin up grip, which is when you yourself have both hands 8-12 inches apart together with your palms facing you. This grip is stronger and easier to drive the shoulders down away from your ears while pulling up, leading to more strength and better results. Doing this will truly ensure you get your shoulder blades engaged, which is critical for you to get the most out of this valuable exercise.
4. Push Up
The push up is perhaps all at the same time the most typical while the least respected of most upper body exercises. While I use more prevalent pressing exercises like bench press and DB bench press, the fact that you might be lying down makes them less specific for mountain biking. You must use your core to generate the working platform for your upper body on your own bike as well as the push up allows us to work on the core-pressing muscles connection.
While it is the first thing that many people start off with, it is rarely perfected and pushed to extreme levels. A push up only counts in my own facility when your hands are put just away from your shoulders, the body remains perfectly straight as well as your chest touches the bottom. When you can knock out perfect body weight reps without any problems you could begin exploring the other push up variations including placing your feet on a stability ball and using a weight vest.
The deadlift works on the “hip hinge” movement pattern that separates balanced, efficient movement from the bike from unbalanced, injury causing movement. This primal movement pattern is the basis for your position, your pedaling power as well as your capability to corner, manual, bunny hop and jump properly. Without command of this movement pattern and a large amount of strength with it you certainly will struggle to consistently progress as a rider.
Definitely not just being a lowered body exercise, the deadlift works on grip strength, shoulder stability, core strength together with the capacity to drive from the hips and not from the low back. These are all essential qualities of an excellent, injury proof rider and no other workout is as efficient in delivering results since this one. After you have developed your technique in the regular deadlift then adding when you look at the kettle bell swing (basically a dynamic deadlift) may help along with your results on the trail.