Just as there are different mountains, there are also different mountain bikes, whether you want to cruise up or charge down them, what you want and what your ride requires can vary. Je James has a great selection of bikes across all of the brands such as Specialized, Cannondale, Giant, Trek and focus to name a few. Our aim is to make sure you find the ideal steed and it fits to perfection. It is safe to say all bikes are unisex, you can ride what you want. However, with many brands designing female specific bikes there is now more choice, so you can really find that perfect fit. Along with smaller sizing you will notice female specific features such as narrower handlebars, shorter top tubes for a more comfortable reach and shorter crank arms which reduces any overstretching of the leg when peddaling. It isn’t simply a colour change, the little things make a big difference, especially when tackling uneven terrain.
So you want an off-road romance, but what kind? Rocky, racy, or steady? One bike wouldn’t be recommended for all kinds of riding, if you’re climbing uphill the last thing you want is a full suspension bike adding extra weight. The same goes for dashing downhill, you wouldn’t want a lighter rigid frame, with no suspension that will bounce you all over the place. There are bikes with no suspension, which are called rigid bikes, bikes with front suspension that are called hardtails, and bikes with front and rear suspension, which are called full suspension bikes. As well as three different wheel sizes, 26 inch, 27.5 inch and 29 inch, there is also a choice of frame materials such as alloy, steel, aluminium and carbon. Of course prices and weight will vary. Steel and Aluminium can handle themselves over time, taking the knocks in their stride means you will have a bike that can go the distance with nothing to stop you in your tracks. Carbon is the most temperamental due to the fact that any cracks or frame damage mean the ride is done. What you lean towards will depend on what kind of riding you're planning to do and how often. Whether you’re commuting along canals and towpaths, spending a day in the saddle riding fast rolling cross-country terrain or climbing up hills to dash to the bottom of the trail, this is where you will notice the difference with your bike choice and what it offers. Choose wisely, and then go see what you and your bike are made of.