Trail bike – what it is, features and differences

The bicycle is not just a two-wheeled vehicle. In the circle of its admirers, there are many specific concepts that give a broad view of the world of two-wheeled transport. One of them is the “trail bike.” What kind of bike is it and why is it gaining more and more fans? In fact, it is a subtype of mountain bike, which has its own features and distinctive features.

Features of trail bikes

trail bike

First of all, it is worth noting that trail bikes are divided into two categories:

  1. two-pods;
  2. hardtails.

In cycling classification, “trail” is a specific way of riding that combines overcoming obstacles on rough terrain, conquering medium peaks, road on rocks and free riding on a level road. Simply put, the trail bike is designed for courage and easy riding both on the rolled asphalt and on not so smooth roads. It combines the features of a sports bicycle off-road and bike, designed for comfortable rides over long distances.

Accordingly, the trail bike has some design features: it is stronger than a cross-country bike, but not as heavy as, for example, a freeride bike. The philosophy of the trail bike can be defined by a succinct expression: empowering. And now let’s analyze the design features.


Slightly bent, with a small rise. The handlebar position can be adjusted by sliding it backwards or forwards to ensure a comfortable grip. The handlebar is noticeably wider on trail bikes for better control of the bike.

The slightly curved shape of the handlebar allows you to hold your hands higher, which is important for long-distance rides. High riding height is less of a burden on the shoulder grip and the center of gravity is tilted backwards to prevent you from tipping over your head on descents.

The handlebar overhang is slightly larger than in cross-country bikes (about 1 cm). To control the trail bike, you need to clearly shift the center of gravity on the rear wheel for fast descents and riding on rough terrain.

Read also Marin bicycles – features and recommendations on the choice


trail bike saddle

This element of a trail bike should be adjusted quickly and practically. If you are the lucky owner of such a model, then before you dashing down a small hill, do not be lazy and lower the saddle a little. Remember the simple law: the lower the center of gravity on a steep slope, the greater will be the gratitude from your spine.

The shape of the trail bike seat should be ergonomic, so you can hold it with your hips when going downhill and not accidentally injure your crotch while riding.


Of course, in any vehicle, they must work flawlessly and be under control at all times. Trail bike in this case – no exception. Judge for yourself, the specificity of riding consists of a leisurely ride on a level road, and in overcoming rugged terrain, and in the rapid descents, and jumps, if the circumstances so require. That’s why the 8″ disc brakes are a great choice for trail bikes, with a brake system that fits the needs of even the most demanding riders.

Front fork

One of the features of trail bikes is the long stroke of the front fork shock absorbers. The ideal is 130-140 mm, but no less than 100 mm. Most riders who are rapidly descending from the asphalt, for some reason, underestimate the meaning of a large stroke and its importance for a comfortable and safe ride.


This point should be decided purely on an individual basis. If the “native” handlebar of trail bike has a slightly curved shape, then it is impossible to put the horns parallel. In addition, a strong palm strike during a sharp “bend” of the fork will definitely loosen the mount of the horns, which can result in serious damage, losing control.

Rear suspension

Owners should pay attention to the amount of travel. The front and rear suspension should be balanced with each other. If you have an interlock, it should show its power on the uphills, but also soften the downhills.

Read also Atom bikes – types and popular models


As for the choice of tires, it is not necessary to make rash actions. Tires should provide good rolling and traction. If the advantage is on the side of the rider, the best option would be a rigid rubber with a narrow profile, which saves the rider’s strength. If you are waiting for a wet forest trail, preference should be given to soft tires with grousers and an aggressive tread pattern. The disadvantage: they quickly wear out on hard surfaces.

Differences of trail bikes from conventional bikes

As already mentioned, a trail bike is a type of mountain model. But as you know, there are different mountains: steep and gentle, with a rocky surface and smooth. Therefore, the design of bicycles differ depending on the style of skiing. Some cyclists prefer a languid ride on a level road, others crave adrenaline, while others like to ride long distances.

As life shows, when we buy a bicycle, we expect that with it we can ride through the city, and the mountains, and on forest trails. And if necessary, you can also go to the dacha the next weekend. Actually, for the latter category of cyclists and designed trail bike, whose design can withstand the load during rapid descents and riding on rough terrain. It is a bike with which to go through fire and water and through copper pipes.

A distinctive feature is the dropper, a height-adjustable seatpost. It allows you to comfortably ride uphill as well as dashing downhill.

Trail Bikes

Giant Trance Advancd 27.5 0

The best is a relative concept. Someone does not see the difference between enduro and hardtail, and someone very subtly notices any nuances, so prefers to choose the best model of the best. Let’s talk about which bikes are more suitable for trail riding:

  • Top model Giant Trance Advancd 27.5 0 (cost – 500 thousand rubles). This kind of bike is not only suitable for riding, but also for fairy victories in competitions. The front triangle of the frame is made of carbon, the rear – of aluminum alloy.
  • Patriot Evo Team (cost – 250 thousand rubles). The bike is assembled on a batting frame made of aluminum alloy and equipped with 2 adjustable suspensions. The model is used not only in trail, but also in freeride.
  • Patriot Evo (price – 140 thousand rubles). Bike assembled on the same batting frame of aluminum and is equipped with 160mm shock absorbers and 11-speed transmission.
Read also Japanese bicycles – history of development, top brands

Of course, this is not a complete list. In fact, for the trail suitable two-saddle models with an ergonomic saddle, a solid frame and a wide handlebar, which provides better handling.


Trail bike can seem like a “hodgepodge”, which gathered the qualities of specific mountain bikes designed for specific riding. Trail bikes are suitable for long rides on level roads as well as for riding on forest trails and mountain slopes. Nevertheless, there are distinctive features in this category of bicycles. And so do their owners.

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