There is a wide variety of bicycle frames available online for each different cycling discipline, from MTB to gravel, to touring. Some frame styles have barely changed over the decades, while others incorporate modern design technology that has only emerged recently.
It’s important to buy the correct frame for the riding style you intend to partake in, otherwise, you could end up damaging your frame or injuring yourself. Here we examine the differences between each type of bike frame and the riding style that they’re intended for.
While most bicycles are built around a specific geometry that serves a certain purpose – there are always many more factors in play. Factors such as materials, design, fork travel, and many more make the bicycle whole. While each of us has our preferences in terms of how the bike should feel, there’s a lot that can be adjusted from frame to little details around it.
Best Hardtail Mountain Bike Frames
Hardtail MTB frames are considerably less complex than full-suspension frames. Although newer models have advanced geometry, hardtail MTB frames typically look like early mountain bikes. They consist of a traditional bike frame with two triangles split by the seat tube and a suspension fork on the front.
Depending on the style of riding the bike is intended for, hardtail MTBs have varying head and seat tube angles. This is largely to do with the amount of travel in the fork, which is usually more if the bike is intended for downhill riding.
Best Full-suspension Bike Frames
Full suspension mountain bike frames are the most complex of bike frame designs, with the most moving parts and mechanical components. They consist of two separate frame triangles on the front and rear, connected by pivots and links so that each one can move individually.
Connected to the front triangle and a pivot point on the rear triangle is a coil or air-sprung shock absorber. Rather than directly under the seat like on a motorbike, this suspension design pivots from the center of the bike so the rider doesn’t flip over forward on steep descents. When combined with a front suspension fork, this provides the best possible suspension that you can get on a bicycle.