How to Determine its MTB Frame Material, Gears, and Breaks

The frame material, gears, and breaks of a mountain bike are three of the most important factors that one must consider with a high priority when choosing a mountain bike. The look of the mountain bike does count, but that will only reflect when you prioritize the factors above. These three key factors will narrow down your options.

Frame Materials

tyoes of frame material chart v strength v weight

The frame material of a mountain bike influences the weight, longevity, strength, ride quality and the price of the bike.

The most common material used for mountain bikes is an aluminum alloy. A number of the more expensive models are made with lighter frames of aluminum make, which is the result of the manufacturers spending more effort and dollars for the selection of the materials, manufacturing process and tubing design.

Other framing materials include carbon fiber, titanium, and steel. Steel is an inexpensive yet tough material that provides a smooth ride, but it is relatively heavy for a bike. Titanium material is durable and light, but the material is very expensive, but it is a choice used among high-end mountain bikes. Carbon fiber has become a common and popular material used for fat bikes and cross-country bikes. It is also used on all-mountain and high-end trail bikes because of its low weight and strength. However, this material is also very expensive since it needs a labor-intensive process of manufacturing.


The bike’s number of gears it has at the chainrings that is multiplied of the cassette’s sprockets. Mountain bikes come with almost everything from the single speed gears to 30 or more. When you include into the calculations the various combinations of cogs, chainrings and numbers of teeth it comes, your options can get really complex.

To keep things simple, the most significant factors that you must consider are the terrain that you will be riding and the current fitness level you are in. If you are going to ride through lots of very steep hills and you also see climbing a bit of a challenge, you want to go for more gears. If you are a strong biker or you can only ride on flat terrain, there is no need to get more low gears to power up your mountain bike so you can settle with only some gears. At least this will help keep your mountain bike light.

Don’t forget that the bike gearing can be modified easily after you have bought the bike, so there is no need to make this your primary concern when you choose a mountain bike.


All the entry-level mountain bikes used to have the rim brakes, wherein it features pads that holds a grip onto the wheel rims. The one that replaced the rim brakes are the disc brakes, wherein it features brake pads that grip on the brake rotor that is mounted onto the wheel hub. The disc brakes have two versions, which are hydraulic and cable-activated.

Image sources: Wiggle, Pixabay