Biking is an activity that is easy to get into when you want to lead a more active lifestyle. While many people stop at riding their bicycles on streets and other tame, paved trails, the true limits of biking go far beyond this. There are multitudes of bikes that designers have engineered to work well off the beaten path. Choose from among these types of bikes that are great for rugged terrain if you want to get adventurous with your cycling.
Mountain bikes are the broadest and widespread category for riding off the road. They have thicker tires with more aggressive traction than cruisers and road bikes, so you can move over uneven dirt, rocks, branches, and other debris without getting stuck or slipping. What’s also important to note is that mountain bikes have spring-based or hydraulic suspension built around their wheels so that they can handle the shock of sudden drops and dents in the ground. You’ll feel more comfortable due to this, and the bike becomes easier to maintain control over.
A more niche type of bike that is great for rugged terrain is a downhill bike. These bikes are a specific offshoot of mountain bikes that offer reliable control on trails that descend at sharp angles. They’re meant for fast speeds as you travel down a path, so their suspension is even greater than that of regular mountain bikes to ensure that the ride still stays relatively smooth. The wheels are also spaced further apart, with the front wheel sitting more ahead of the handlebars than normal. The tradeoff for this extra stability is that downhill bikes are heavier. If you’re interested in downhill racing or enjoy an adrenaline rush, this might be the bike for you.
Fat bikes boast tires that are larger than any other variety. You could think of them as the monster trucks of the bike world. You fill these giant tires with a lower overall air pressure than standard-sized tires. This allows them to maximize their surface contact with the ground, so you can cycle over loose terrain where other bikes would slip. Whether you want to ride over gravel, snow, soft soil, or sand, fat bikes have you covered. Since their tires are bouncy, fat bikes don’t have as much suspension and you can’t move as fast on them. You can minimize this weakness and achieve higher speeds while still going through rough trails if you invest in an electric bike with fat tires, though.