Mountain bike

What is a mountain bike? What should you know before renting or buying one?

Mountain biking is a popular and growing hobby around the world. It offers the opportunity to explore nature, challenge yourself physically, and enjoy outdoor activities even on more uneven terrain.

In this article, we will delve into the mountain bike more closely and provide tips for choosing the right mountain bike.

Also check out our comprehensive guide about electric bikes and fatbike.

In this article, we cover the following topics:

  • What is a mountain bike?
  • Mountain bike features
  • Fatbike vs mountain bike – What’s the difference?
  • Guide to choosing a mountain bike
  • Starting mountain biking
  • Mountain bike rental
  • Mountain bike and travel
  • Roll Outdoors

What is a mountain bike?

A mountain bike is specifically designed for riding in challenging terrains, although it can also be ridden on flat asphalt. A mountain bike differs from a regular bike precisely because of its features that make it a suitable option for challenging trails and difficult terrains.

A mountain bike has a sturdy frame, effective brakes, a wide range of gears, and good suspension, which helps to smooth out unevenness in the terrain. Thanks to these features, a mountain bike offers better control and performance in off-road conditions.

Mountain bike features

The number of gears on a mountain bike is significantly greater than on a regular bike, and the difference between the bikes can be noticed just from the seating position alone.

The frame of a mountain bike is often made of durable and lightweight material such as aluminum, carbon fiber, or steel. The geometry of the frame can vary between different models and intended uses.

The tires of a mountain bike are wider and coarser than those on regular bikes. Wide tires offer better grip and stability on uneven and muddy surfaces.

Mountain bikes have powerful disc brakes that provide reliable stopping in all conditions. With disc brakes, the braking power is excellent, and speed can be stopped even with a light press of the brake.

Mountain bike brakes

Mountain bikes most often have disc brakes nowadays.

Disc brakes work on the same principle as car brakes. When the brake lever is squeezed, the brake caliper squeezes the brake pads against the disc, which is attached to the wheel hub. Disc brakes can be either mechanical, where the braking force is transmitted via a cable, or hydraulic, where the braking force is transmitted through hydraulic fluid.

Read more about how mountain bike brakes work? >>

Mountain bike suspension

Mountain bikes have different suspension systems designed to increase riding comfort and efficiency and improve tire grip control in difficult off-road conditions:

Front-suspended: Front-suspended mountain bikes have suspension in the front fork but not in the back. These bikes are popular among beginners and racers because they are lighter than fully suspended bikes and offer better power transmission.

Fully suspended: Fully suspended mountain bikes have suspension in both the front and the back. This type of suspension system offers more riding comfort and control, especially on technical and rocky trails, but it may increase the weight and price of the bike.

The type of suspension affects the performance, use, and price of the bike. There are many details and differences between suspension systems, such as suspension travel, suspension system geometry, suspension adjustability, and suspension technology (e.g., air or oil suspension). The most important thing is to choose a suspension system that best suits your riding style and the terrain you ride in.

Saariselkä- Kiilopää mountain biking route

Guide to choosing a mountain bike

There are many different types of mountain bikes designed specifically for different terrains and riding conditions. We have put together a concise list to help you choose the right mountain bike.

The most common types of mountain bikes are:

  1. Cross-country (XC): XC mountain bikes are designed for competitive use and fast progression on trails and in demanding terrain conditions. They are lightweight and rigid, and often have front suspension. XC bikes often have narrower tires and limited suspension travel, which makes them very efficient for trail riding and climbs. They are popular in a form of mountain bike racing known as cross-country racing.

  2. Trail: Trail mountain bikes are versatile and well suited to various trails and terrain conditions. They offer a bit more suspension than XC bikes and have full suspension. Trail bikes are popular among hobbyists because they provide a good balance between ride comfort, manageability, and performance. hey handle both climbs and descents well, making them ideal for long rides and adventures.

  3. Enduro: Enduro mountain bikes are designed for demanding descents and technical downhill runs. They are usually fully suspended and have longer suspension travel than trail bikes. Enduro bikes are durable and provide good control in difficult terrain conditions. They are popular in a competitive format where timed downhill runs are made and transitions are made between different terrain tests.

  4. Fatbike: Fatbike mountain bikes stand out from other types of mountain bikes due to their very wide tires. Fatbikes are designed specifically for sandy beaches, snowy terrains, and other soft surfaces where regular bikes don’t fare well. They are popular in winter cycling and more exotic forms of mountain biking.

Fatbike vs mountain bike – What's the difference?

The fatbike, also known as a fatty, is a familiar vehicle to many. A fatbike is a wide-tired mountain bike designed for even more challenging terrain.

Read all about the fatbike here >>

If you need a bike for city use in addition to moving off-road, a traditional mountain bike is the right choice. It will take you places both off-road and on asphalt.

Starting mountain biking

Buying your own bike may not always be worthwhile if the hobby is just starting out or very occasional. For more sporadic use, travel, and before committing to a hobby, so you should consider renting a mountain bike.

A professional can recommend a high-quality mountain bike that suits your needs, both when renting and when buying your own bike. Along with your rental, you can also book a guided bike tour, which allows you to get to know the sport and the mountain biking routes in your area under professional guidance.

Mountain bike rental offers many advantages

The price of a mountain bike varies depending on the brand, model, and features, and the price of a high-quality bike can rise high. If you are just starting out with mountain biking, renting gives you the opportunity to try out different bikes and models before making a larger financial investment.

By renting, you also get to try out and enjoy a top-quality bike, the purchase price of which would be too high for a beginner’s hobby.

Of course, owning a bike always means owning a bike. maintenance, upkeep and possible repair costs. By renting a bike, you don’t have to worry about its regular maintenance, and you can focus on enjoying mountain biking.

Tips for maintaining an electric bike >>

Often the need for a mountain bike is temporary or quite occasional – like a vacation trip or participation in an event or competition. In such situations, renting is a convenient option, as you get the bike you need for only the necessary period without long-term commitment.

Northern lights, Lapland, Rovaniemi, Suomi, mountain bike, electric bike

Mountain bike and travel

Mountain biking is a great way to explore new places and landscapes. If you’re traveling somewhere where you would like to cycle but don’t want to transport your own bike, renting is a convenient option.

Top 10 mountain biking tips in Lapland >>

Many popular mountain biking areas offer high-quality rental bikes, so you can explore new routes and enjoy biking without the extra hassle of travel.

Roll Outdoors offers bike rental and guided bike tours in the metropolitan area, Rovaniemi and Saariselkä.

Where to buy a mountain bike?

Are you buying your own mountain bike? At Roll Outdoors, you can buy a used mountain bike that has been removed from rental use, either delivered through Matkahuolto or picked up from our rental shops. Used bikes are cheaper than new ones, and they are sold well maintained by us. You can always ask us more before making a purchase decision.

Check out our range of mountain bikes for sale  >>

If buying your own mountain bike is not yet relevant, you can still easily get into the charms of mountain biking with our top-quality rental bikes! 

From our wide range, you will find a mountain bike, electric bike, or fat bike to your liking, with which the journey is easy –  whether you’re a beginner, experienced veteran, or something in between.

If you need help choosing a bike, give us a call, send a message, or come and visit. We are happy to help you choose a bike!