Path Bikes Made Easy: The best way to Discover the Proper Experience for You

So, you’re trying to purchase a brand new mountain bike. That’s an thrilling place to be in, however it additionally has the potential to be irritating and complicated. And that’s very true in case you’re searching for a path bike.

The mountain bike business likes to give you new classes, buzzwords, and options yearly, and it will possibly all add as much as a cacophony of contradictory counsel. So we reached out to the parents at evo to parse by means of the maze of specs, numbers, and specialty bike lingo.

The best way to Select a Path Bike

Selecting your new bike doesn’t should be a chore. Our group right here at evo has put collectively a number of basic questions you’ll be able to reply to decide on a motorcycle that can depart you laughing each time you trip it.

What Does ‘Path Bike’ Even Imply?

Earlier than we are able to get began on the enjoyable half, it’s necessary to outline some phrases. The bike business has struggled for a very long time to categorise completely different types of bikes, and path bikes aren’t any exception.

A part of that comes from the truth that everybody’s trails are completely different — the rolling hills of Arkansas reward a special fashion of motorbike than the loamy steeps of the Pacific Northwest. And there’s no cause to get your bike shorts in a twist in case your definition of a “path bike” doesn’t match everybody else’s.

For our functions, a path bike is essentially the most versatile bike you will get to your specific area. It’s the one bike you’ll be able to fortunately trip on each path you take pleasure in.

It’s not an XC race whip or an enduro sled. As a substitute, it’s a contented medium that may deal with a bit of little bit of all the things. It might have 29- or 27.5-inch wheels, and wherever from 120 to 140 mm of rear journey.

So, the primary query to ask your self is: What are my trails like? Do a fast psychological catalog of your favourite rides, the paths that you end up on essentially the most. Are they largely clean, rolling singletrack? Or are they steep, rocky, and technical, with lengthy climbs adopted by gnarly descents?

The tougher and technical your common trip is, the extra journey you ought to be searching for out of your path bike.

What Wheel Measurement Ought to You Get?

mountain bike tire front fork

Proper now, there are two essential mountain bike wheel sizes: 29-inch and 27.5-inch. They carry out fairly equally, however their variations are each refined and necessary.

The smaller 27.5-inch wheels are a bit of simpler to show rapidly, may help a motorcycle really feel extra playful, and are good for shorter riders. However, 29-inch wheels roll over rocks and roots with much less effort and ship extra traction.

In case you’re unsure what measurement you’ll want, don’t beat your self up over it. Wheel measurement isn’t crucial attribute of a motorcycle. Simply discover a bike that matches our different necessities no matter wheel measurement.

How A lot Journey Ought to My Bike Have?

One of many funniest issues concerning the bike business is that we measure wheel measurement in inches however measure wheel journey in millimeters. Usually, the extra journey a motorcycle has, the extra comfy will probably be on steeper, extra technical trails.

On the flipside, bikes with much less journey are often extra environment friendly climbers and really feel extra snappy when pedaling.

mountain bike rear suspension

Nevertheless, journey doesn’t inform the complete story. Suspension designers can tweak the bike’s geometry to create long-travel bikes that pedal shockingly nicely and short-travel bikes that really feel remarkably plush.

When deciding how a lot journey you need, it’s a good suggestion to not get hung up on a particular quantity, however somewhat to discover a vary that can give you the results you want.

Usually, for riders on smoother trails and those that prioritize the climb over the descent, path bikes within the journey vary of 120-130 mm will probably be finest. For many who care essentially the most concerning the down and trip extra technical trails, 130-140mm frames are a great place to start out.

It’s necessary to keep in mind that whereas your rear journey could also be mounted, your fork’s journey isn’t. Some manufacturers spec forks which have 20 and even 30 mm extra journey than the body. This enables them to punch above their weight in gnarly terrain whereas nonetheless being environment friendly.

So consider your bike’s total journey as the typical of its entrance and rear journey numbers.


Lastly, when looking for a brand new path bike, the parts make an enormous distinction and are sometimes missed. It’s type of like your bike helmet. Positive, it issues the way it seems to be, however its efficiency is crucial aim.

The good factor about parts is that they’re simple to improve. The draw back is that you simply typically get a greater deal on bike elements by shopping for an entire bike somewhat than upgrading.

For instance, it’s cheaper to purchase a motorcycle with SRAM GX parts over the lower-tier NX than it’s to improve all of the NX elements individually to GX.

mountain bike component spec

On path bikes, there are two essential parts to concentrate to: drivetrain and brakes. Suspension parts are necessary as nicely, however that dialogue dives rapidly into nuance. Most mountain bikes, even entry-level fashions, now include a 1×12 pace drivetrain. That’s superior, so don’t accept much less — or, on this case, don’t accept extra gears.

Entrance derailleurs haven’t any place on trendy path bikes. Most entry-level bikes include SRAM’s SX Eagle or Shimano’s Deore. Each drivetrains are nice values for the way a lot they price, and as elements put on you’ll be able to improve them one after the other.

Relating to brakes, there are two issues to look out for: the variety of pistons and the resin compound. In case you dwell someplace with mellow, flowing trails, you don’t actually need to fret about your brakes. However in case you usually trip steep, lengthy descents, four-piston brakes will do a significantly better job of slowing you down than two-piston ones.

In the meantime, some newbie brakes include rotors that solely work with resin pads. If that’s the case, you’ll have to purchase new rotors to make use of the way more highly effective metallic pads. It’s not an costly improve, however it’s value factoring in.

What Does It All Imply?

A very powerful factor to do earlier than you begin looking for a brand new bike is to outline what you need from it. What sort of trails would you like it to excel on?

When you’ve figured that out, you should use these tips to slender down the choices and select a motorcycle that’s good for you. To assist kick issues off, now we have an inventory of a few of our favourite path bikes beneath.

Evil Providing GX Eagle: $5,219 (on Sale)

Evil Offering GX Eagle Complete Mountain Bike

Wheel measurement: 29 inches
Journey: 140 mm (entrance), 140 mm (rear)
Elements: SRAM GX Eagle

Devinci Django Carbon 29 GX 12s: $four,679 (on Sale)

Devinci Django Carbon 29 GX 12s Mountain Bike

Wheel measurement: 29 inches
Journey: 140 mm (entrance), 120 mm (rear)
Elements: SRAM GX Eagle

Santa Cruz Bicycles Hightower C S: $5,199

Santa Cruz Hightower C S mountain bike

Wheel measurement: 29 inches
Journey: 150 mm (entrance), 140 mm (rear)
Elements: SRAM GX Eagle

Santa Cruz Bicycles 5010 C S: $four,899

Santa Cruz 5010 C S mountain bike

Wheel measurement: 27.5 inches
Journey: 130 mm (entrance), 130 mm (rear)
Elements: SRAM GX Eagle

Marin Alpine Path 7: $2,399


Wheel measurement: 29 inches
Journey: 160 mm (entrance), 150 mm (rear)
Elements: Shimano SLX Eagle

Juliana Maverick C S Girls’s Mountain Bike: $5,199


Wheel measurement: 29 inches
Journey: 150 mm (entrance), 140 mm (rear)
Elements: SRAM GX Eagle

This text is sponsored by evo. Take a look at the mountain bikes supplied on the platform right here.

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