Whether you are a professional mountain biker who competes for money in a variety of tournaments and races across the country or a part time enthusiast who rides simply for the joy of getting out of your daily lifestyle and spending a few hours a week lost in the wilderness with your bicycle and your body, you will probably agree that a mountain bike is one of the best ways of getting in touch with yourself and getting a physical workout at the same time. There are more people riding mountain bikes and discovering this exciting and healthy sport today than at any other time in the history of the sport, and as a result, people interested in mountain bikes have more choices for a first, second, third, or extra bike than ever before.
However, no matter how many choices become available in the mountain bike market, there always seem to be a few constants that most people can agree on, no matter which particular brand or bicycle they swear by. For one thing, disk brakes will almost always offer more reliable stopping power in a variety of conditions than will rim brakes. For another, a lighter bike will almost always cost more money than a heavier bike, given a similar level of quality in the components and in the frame. This second point is a stickler that most people do not like to think of, as a mountain bike with a light frame can offer several considerable advantages to someone who rides it over a mountain bike with a heavier frame. This article will discuss some of the most common advantages you can get when you ride a lighter framed mountain bike to help you decide if such a purchase may be worth it for you.
Perhaps the primary advantage of having a light frame on your mountain bike is that you will have less weight to pull forward when you are spending as much of your energy on moving forward as possible. The heaviest part of any bicycle and rider will always be the rider, but that does not mean you should not try to lighten as much of the load of your bike as you possibly can. While you will almost always see more advantages from getting in better shape than you will from getting a lighter bike, if you have the money, it can be far easier to drop pounds on your bike than it can be to drop pounds on your body, and this becomes particularly true as you become more and more fit and grow closer to your ideal weight. Having a mountain bike with a light frame means you have fewer pounds to carry with you during a race or while out in the country, which means you can travel faster or farther before you run out of energy.
Another advantage of having a light frame on your mountain bike is that you will find uphill sections easier to manage. Almost any bike rider, whether on the mountain or on the road, will tell you that riding uphill is much less fun than riding downhill. The reasons for this are simple: gravity works against you when you travel uphill and works with you when you travel downhill. This is why having a lighter framed mountain bike can help you tremendously when you are traveling uphill. When you have less weight to carry up the hill, you can travel up hills faster, and you can travel farther up the hill before you become tired and have to slow down or stop. Of course, you can increase your ability to go up hills simply by practicing going up hills over and over again, but you can make that practice a little bit easier when your bike is a little bit lighter.
A third advantage of having a light frame on your mountain bike is that you may find yourself able to accelerate more quickly. Acceleration requires a change in momentum, and this requires you to overcome inertia. The heavier an object is at rest, the more inertia must be overcome to put it into motion. If you want to accelerate faster, get a lighter bike.