bike brand essentially relates to the frame,
because that is all that the manufacturer
actually makes. So consider material and
construction, weight and warranty, backup and
availability. Most frames are equally strong and
offer a breakage warranty, however how quickly
and how prepared they are to honour the warranty
This is everything except the frame. There is a
fixed pool of components that all manufacturers
make use of. So essentially they all use the
same components in varying combinations. The low
end components are only suitable for occasional
use. The mid to high end components typically
offer good value for money. The top of the range
is usually far more expensive with only a slight
improvement in durability and quality, the major
benefit usually coming in terms of weight
are the components?
This consists of crank, bottom bracket,
front derailleur, rear derailleur, cluster,
brake/gear levers, cables, calipers and chain.
Few complete bikes actually come with a full
group set. Manufacturers mix and match for what
ever reason but usually to save costs. You will
need to know what group set it is and where it
fits into the range, check the table below. Your
best bet is to compare and focus on the major
components (crank, front & rear derailleur)
but don't loose sight of the other components.
of Shimano and SRAM:
Lightest strongest most efficient
Light, strong, durable, efficient
Strong, durable reliable
One of the most important parts of a
mountain bike. The fork can make or break a bike
spec. You will need to understand what type of
fork it is and find out where it fits into the
brand range to understand how good or bad it is.
Know what features it has like air assisted,
rebound adjustment, lockout, stable platform
valve, travel adjustment etc.
These are made up of the rims, spokes, hubs and
tyres. Tubed or tubeless rims will be your
starting point for comparison and then strength,
stiffness and weight are key factors in choosing
wheels. A good set of wheels makes does make a
difference to the performance, feel and handling
of the bike.
This refers to the rear shock on a full
suspension bike. Manufacturers have a variety of
brands with different performance levels and
with different features. Similar to the front
shock there are things like lockout, air assisted
and sensitivity settings.
These include the bar, stem, headset, seat, seat
post and pedals. These can round a bike off or
leaving you with future upgrade options. On
lower end bikes try to get the best ones that
you can afford and on higher end bikes they
become a matter of individual preference.
and fit are critical and can end up choosing
your bike for you.