When you are looking at buying a carbon MTB there are a lot of variables that will come into consideration before you make your final decision. So let’s go through some of the possible factors you will need to think about.
This is generally one of the main things that will stop you in you tracks so to speak. It can be quite hard to make a decision sometimes, especially if you have a low budget and need a specialized carbon MTB.
When you have decided to buy be sure to plan a budget first. A carbon MTB can cost anywhere from $5000 to $20,000.
Some basic advice we can give you is look for value, look for a carbon MTB that fits your budget but also represents good quality.
In the less expensive range you will find certain things lacking like disc brakes and front suspension. Further done the track you may want to upgrade with different accessories so check this sort of thing can be done before you buy the right carbon MTB.
When considering a carbon MTB we can tell you one of the most important aspects to research is the MTB frame. Any quality carbon MT manufacturer should offer a full lifetime warranty on the frame.
One thing we can recommend doing is go to your local bookshop or get on the internet and look for a review on your particular carbon MTB frame. The major factor in choosing what carbon MTB frame to buy will be your riding style, are you a flatland recreational rider or an extreme downhiller? You get the picture.
The next important factor is what material your MTB frame should be made of.
Steel frames have a reputation for their heaviness and lack of quality, the way around this is by using another easily available steel alloy called ‘Crom-oly’. Steel, molybdenum and chromium are mixed together to make Crom-oly frames making a much stronger alternative to just plain steel.
A big favourite with most riders is Carbon. Carbon is known for being strong and featherweight compared to other materials. A big downside using carbon for a MTB frame is they damage quite easily, carbon is prone to getting stone chips.
Another popular material for MTB frames is aluminum. They are known not to work well with suspension though.
Titanium bike frames are very popular but the expense has really held most back for purchasing one. Not only are they are light, but they are comparable in strength to the Crom-oly frames.
Next on our list is forks, a vital part of any MTB. They help form part of the front suspension and also connect the brakes to the front wheel.
There are so many different fork products out there we recommend looking for reviews and really doing your homework before choosing a fork set up.
We recommend suspension on any carbon MTB, they help with control and give relief to your arms and wrists over rough, rocky terrain, especially over long intense rides. If your ideal MTB ride is jumping over large rocks and racing through the woods then having suspension installed on your carbon MTB is an essential accessory. Generally suspension will need a moderate amount of maintenance over its lifetime so buy quality.
Hydraulic brakes take number one spot here, even though they cost a packet they are very efficient in any weather condition.
Cable rim brakes are the cheaper, more common option you will find on most MTB. Once again do your homework here and check to see if your new MTB can upgrade to a hydraulic brake set up.
A seat that isn’t suited well to the rider can really ruin the whole carbon MTB riding experience. We recommend you at least test the seat on your carbon MTB before getting stuck with it.
Some manufacturers put a lot of technology into making a good seat so try to stick to leading brands and talk to others in the MTB scene for advice.
Wheels and Tires
Wheel and tire combinations are an important part of the carbon MTB set up. Firstly you need to figure out the primary use of the carbon MTB. If you are just using the MTB to get to work each day then a road tire and wheel is recommended, if you are a weekend warrior on the dirt tracks then select a tire with good grip and a strong wheel. Stick to the big names in the industry when buying wheels and tires for your carbon MTB.
You have 2 main choices when looking at gears for your carbon MTB: trigger shifters and grip shifters. Trigger shifters can be found just under the handle grip and have a reputation for being easier to use and more reliable than grip shifters.
Grip shifters change gears simply by twisting the grip of the handle bars. One major downside to these is you can accidentally change gears on your MTB without even know.
Drailleurs are next other main mechanism involved in the gear change. Once again stick to the bigger names in the industry and look for quality as these can be quite costly to replace and maintain.
Any carbon MTB should come with a ‘Lifetime warranty‘.
Be careful though, sometimes carbon MTB have riders weight limits to adhere to and usually not all external components are included in the warranty.