Nothing lasts forever, not even a mountain bike and, unfortunately no matter how well you look after yours, there will come a time when it will have its last ride.
Considering mountain bikes can cost up to thousands of dollars, it can be particularly heartbreaking when yours tuckers out. So, just how long should your bike last?
Over the years, you will of course have to replace a few things like the tires and chains for example, but a well looked after, good-quality mountain bike could last you up to 20 years!
There are lots of contributing factors, though, and no two bikes will be used and treated the same, so no two will last as long as each other.
The cost of your bike could affect the quality of the materials used which may result in a shorter lifespan.
Also, features like suspension also have a huge impact on how long your bike will last. The better the suspension, the more abuse your bike will be able to take before something breaks.
How long do cheap bikes last?
If you’re considering purchasing a cheap bike, you might want to think about where you’ll be riding it before you make your decision.
While the cheaper, more generic mountain bikes are totally fine for riding on bike paths or other flat surfaces, they may not be able to withstand mountain trails with jumps and rocky terrain.
So, they are not likely to last very long if you use them for this purpose. A cheap bike may only last you a few trails in this instance, because they are not designed to handle them.
Material and quality is very important when it comes to choosing your new mountain bike. Cheaper, low-grade materials are more likely to break. For example, if the frame isn’t sturdy enough, one tricky landing may result in a broken frame and possibly even some broken bones.
You also need to think about the brakes. When tackling a steep downhill trail in particular, you’ll need super effective brakes to keep you safe. Cheaper bikes will struggle to stop you, especially if you need to stop quickly with little warning.
Cheap brakes may also wear out as they heat up going downhill for an extended period of time. So, it’s important to factor in usage before settling on a cheaper, generic store-bought mountain bike.
How long do full suspension bikes last?
Full suspension bikes will typically last longer than front suspension ones and bikes with no suspension at all.
Suspension at the front and rear of your bike will make it far more durable. Over years of landing big jumps and riding over rough terrain, your bike will of course see some wear and tear. This is why having a full suspension system in place will really benefit not only you as the rider, but the longevity of the bike too.
Frequently riding over rocks and bumps and landing jumps will degrade your bike eventually. Full suspension bikes are able to absorb most of this impact, thereby improving your bikes longevity. These bikes also handle downhill trails the best, making you less likely to fly off and damage the bike.
How you treat your bike also comes into consideration. There are lots of things that could wear out that will contribute to the life of your bike. The chain, for example, is very affected by weather. If you leave your bike uncovered in the rain, it will be very susceptible to rusting and breaking.
The brakes also require maintenance. Riding through mud, rocks and water can get into the brake pads and stop them from functioning properly. Plus, brakes will obviously wear out over time from consistent use.
So, how long mountain bikes last really depends on the quality of the bike, features like suspension, and how you ride it.
If you go for a cheaper option, you won’t be able to use it on mountain trails or rough terrain without putting yourself at real risk of injury as these bikes typically are not sturdy enough or made from high enough quality material to withstand the abuse these bikes have to take. So, your bike will likely not last very long.
However, if you only plan to use it for road riding and commuting, it may last you many years. Alternatively, if you purchase a more expensive, full suspension model, your bike’s longevity will be improved significantly.
Full suspension bikes are much better equipped to absorb any impact that comes with trail riding and are typically made from better materials as they are often more expensive, making them better designed for mountain biking.
If you find the right mixture of quality and care, your mountain bike could last you years and years.