Bike Types Part 4 Mountain Bike

The Olympia Webguy is on vacation the next couple of weeks so we won’t have regular product, specials, and used bike updates until mid September, so be sure to call us at 204.888.4586 if you have any specific questions about our stock or service, or better yet come down to the shop 10-9 weekdays and 10-6 on Saturday.

In the mean time a few periodic posts discussing bike types available through our shop have been queued up to display in the next two weeks.

“What type of bike is right for me?” is one of the most asked questions we get in the shop, so we hope that these posts will be helpful.

Bike Type 4  Mountain Bike



This might be the most varied category of bikes that we carry.  Forget might, it is the bike model with the greatest range in functional style.  Mountain bikes in general offer moderately to really aggressive geometry that offers maximum control in difficult situations.  They’re durable and spec’d with components that get you through rough terrain, like large, nobbie tires, disc brakes, wide gear ranges, and wide bars.

They’re also available in hard tail, dual suspension, and even rigid set ups.  What’s more, there are different kinds of dual suspension bikes to deal with a variety of technical terrain.

Most of the mountain bike riding in and around Manitoba is loosely called “cross country”, which is ‘easily’ covered on a hard tail.  Because a hard tail is lighter, more efficient, and cheaper than an equivalently spec’d dual suspension bike, and at least a little more versatile than a rigid bike, we mostly sell hard tail mountain bikes (i.e. those with front suspension but a rigid back end) though we do sell rigid and fully suspended bikes as well.

Riding Use

These bike can obviously cover paved terrain without any issues, but they really excel when the pavement ends and the dirt and rocks begin.  Whether you’re looking for a little fun at the cabin, through local monkey trails, or on a Manitoba Cup race course these are the bikes for you.

Brands / Models we carry

We stock mountain bikes from Cannondale, Marin, Giant, Surly, Salsa, Niner, and Focus.

Cost of models we carry

You can pay as little as $400 or as much as $11,000.  Hard tails get really, really good around $1500-$2000, though a perfectly good ride can be had more much less.  Dual Suspension bikes aren’t worth looking at for less than about $1500.  We’d repeat that if it’d help.  If you don’t have more in the budget don’t bother with dual suspension; there’s just too much that goes into a rear suspension system to produce one of value for less than that.

Rigid mountain bikes aren’t necessarily less costly than ones with front suspension.  In fact they tend to start closer to the $1000 mark, not because they’re inherently more expensive (the opposite seems intuitively true) but because they tend to come spec’d with higher end components.  It seems the manufacturers have decided that rigid riders are aficionados who want more expensive stuff.

For that and other reasons we sell far more front suspension mountain bikes than anything else, and front suspended mountain bikes tend to be the best deals in the shop.


These bike have pretty standard sizing, coming in XS, S, M, L, etc. in some brands, and measured inches (15″, 18″, 21″ etc.) in other brands.


You can adjust things like stem length and rise and saddle hight to adjust sizing, and you can find a handful of fenders that work with mountain bikes.  Bar width is a big thing for mountain bike fit as well and is something that can be changed easily.

Beyond bike geometry customizability mountain bikes are the ones that get the most parts swaps.  Everyone has their favourite set up and preferred component makers so we’re often swapping out brakes from one brand or spec level to another, we’re setting up drivetrains as 2x or 1x systems, where changing tires for the right conditions, and on and on.


Beyond the differences in suspension the biggest variation in mountain bikes in recent years is wheel diameter.  Too much has been written and discussed on the matter to mention here (maybe we’ll save that for another post) but there are now 3 mountain bike wheel diameter standards: 26 inch (the oldest standard) 29er’s (these caught on a few years back and are still going strong) and the newest 27.5 inch iteration.

There’s much more to it than this, but at its most basic a smaller diameter wheel is more nimble while a large diameter wheel has better (less) rolling resistance.  Hop on the message boards to read the debate rage beyond that.