Whether you've just walked into one of our showrooms or clicked through our website, its clear that bikes have evolved. If this is the first new purchase you've made in recent years, or you're a new-ride-every-season type the sheer number of options can make choosing the right bike for you a daunting task. Here are a few things to think about before buying a bike:
Are you looking to catch as much air time as possible, or do you like your tires glued to the ground? Do you pick a tidy line around roots and rocks or do you monster-truck right over top? How much climbing will you be doing? Is there a pickup truck or a chairlift along for all of your rides or are you chasing Strava KOMs and crushing out miles of vertical? With so many categories of mountain bike, how do you know what kind of rider you are? Cross Country? Trail? All-Mountain? Enduro? Freeride? Downhill?
These bikes are for riders who are into long days in the saddle, lots of climbing, minimal air time, but want a ride that doesn't give up on rough technical terrain.
Trail bikes tend to fall in the 120-130mm travel range and are built for someone who's going to get rowdier than an XC bike allows but still don't want the weight penalty a longer travel bike comes with.
The 140-165mm of travel might not make this the bike to smash 30 days a year in the bike park, but it's not going to let you down day in and day out. Emphasis is made on pedal ability, strength to weight ratio, technical prowess.
See above but with downhill casing heavy duty tires, goggles, and a fanny pack.
This buzzword has largely died off, but its used to refer to a downhill bike that you could actually sit and pedal. Bikes like the 2018 Spartan and Nomad 4 are bringing back some freeride feels with 180mm travel forks, slack 65 degree head angles and build kits designed to smash trails for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
This is the most glamorous side of mountain bike racing and riding, and some of the most fun. If you're blessed enough to live in the Pacific Northwest you should definitely have one of these in the stable as you can actually use one year round. They aren't built to be pedaled up or across anything but once you're at the top they're hard to beat on the fun factor scale.
Where do you want to be riding? Even on the north shore alone there's great disparity between riding styles. Cypress is full of natural tech and steep chutes, Fromme (behind Grouse Mountain) is becoming more and more accessible for riders looking to climb up and crush down fast flowy trails. The Fraser Valley is almost all dirt trails vs the wood work and stone cladding of North Vancouver's trail network.
While there are some very capable trail-focused hardtail mountain bikes on the market such as Chromag or the Santa Cruz Chameleon, we see most riders jumping straight to a full suspension bike to get them up and down the hill.
Thankfully we aren't the first folks to tackle this issue, and all of the bike brands we carry have built a sizing chart to use as a general rule of thumb. You can check them out but we've put them all together into one grand reference chart. Click on the link below, and you'll get a pretty good idea of what size frame to ride based on your height.
We've come to a point now where women's bikes and gear are the norm. This means designed by female engineers with careful attention to the special ergonomics of a women's body, think slimmer hand grips, narrower bars, and properly sized cushioned saddles plus bike frames that are lighter and either smaller versions of unisex frames or specially built with shorter reach for overall size. A modern women's mountain bike, for example, will come with an appropriate suspension tune for a lighter rider, and correct length crank arms for the smaller bike size.