Equipment Mountain Biking

What’s the best type of mountain bike to ride?

Downhill mountain biker and hardtail mountain biker riding trails
Improvements in technology has resulted in a range of incredible mountain bike machines that are purpose built for particular riding styles. The many choices makes it hard to know the best type of mountain bike to ride!

A hard tail, regular mountain bike, that you probably learnt to ride on can certainly get you down the hill.  However there are a raft of other types of bike which will make getting down the hill, and up again, extremely enjoyable due to comfort, traction, cornering ability and it’s ability to help you cycle uphill again.

Here are our recommended best types of mountain bike to ride for a variety of New Zealand bike trails.
Recommended bike to use
Whakarewarewa, Woodhill Forest, Makara Peak and other all round mountain bike parks
Full suspension
Skyline Gondola
440 MTB Park, or other shuttle assisted bike parks
Downhill, Gravity or Full suspension
Grade 3+ Great Rides, eg. 42 traverse
Full suspension All purpose or XC
Grade 2 Great Rides, eg. Timber Trail
Full suspension or Hard tail.
Grade 1 trails, eg. Oriental Parade, Auckland Waterfront, Hawkes Bay iWay
Hard tail
Why are full suspension bikes the most common bike listed above?  They’re the most comfortable to ride, and that comfort also means the trails are safer and easier to ride resulting in a much better experience for you.  There are much better options than hanging on for dear life riding down a technical trail on a hard tail.   
Since full suspension bikes are more expensive and require more maintenance they’re not as common to find for hire.  However, Leap makes it really easy to find shops that rent them, just filter the search results
On the flipside, given their cost to buy they’re often bargain to hire, typically $80-$120 per day, and all maintenance is taken care of for you.

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