In this article, I will show you how long a mountain bike should last and when should be the right time to make an upgrade.
Just like everything that you have in your home, a mountain bike has its own lifespan and it will never last forever. These machines are made to undergo a lot of stress so it’s no question that every part of the mountain bike will wear out and break.
Although replacing the parts is a suitable option to keep it running smoothly. But eventually, these components will get outdated so you need to get to upgrade them.
The only problem with upgrading bike components is that they can be very expensive. And it’s also a better option to get a new bike to lessen the cost.
Average Lifespan of a Mountain Bike
With proper care and maintenance of your bike, it can last for over 20 years. They’re meant for going through rough terrain and some are made to take a heavy beating. Although eventually, the parts will get a few minor bruises while other parts will break.
Some components of the bike wear out and at some point, the bike just needs to rest from all the extreme riding. This wear and abuse that’s done on the bike can take its toll and it also signifies that it’s time to get a new one.
When Bike Components Start to Wear Out
- Tires – The tires found on the wheels are the things that will wear out as they’re the ones that are constantly taking a heavy beating. Every ride, they experience heavy breaking and it even goes through very rough terrain where the rear tire usually ends up being the first to go. This can slowly wear out the tread of the tire, and punctures can even decrease its durability.
- Chain – Whenever you’re pedaling, the chain is always undergoing a lot of stress and it will wear out and break. It usually lasts for only a couple of months if you’re constantly riding or if it isn’t properly lubricated. If the chain is too dry, then it can rust and corrode because they are exposed to the elements. Terrible pedal stroke can also easily stretch out the chain which slowly lowers its performance.
- Drivetrain – Although the drivetrain doesn’t look like it will break soon, it can wear out eventually. Like the chain, if it’s not properly lubricated or if it’s constantly being exposed to mud and rain. Then it will start wearing out. The teeth of the cassette and chain ring can slowly thin out and lose its functionality. The derailleur can also eventually break as there’s a huge chance of it breaking from being hit by rocks and other obstacles.
- Brake Pads – Brake pads will also wear out whenever the brakes are being used, especially when going downhill. Whether it’s a caliper, mechanical, or hydraulic brakes, they will still thin out at some point.
- Grips – Just like the tires, grips are made of rubber, and they’re also in constant contact with your hand which can slowly thin it out. They’re made to let you have a more comfortable ride which can improve your handling. Although you won’t notice it, the grips will get smaller the more you ride with it.
- Frame – The frame is one of the most durable parts of the bike, and it should be. It needs to be as sturdy as possible as it’s the one holding your bike together. If your frame breaks and snaps, it can be repaired, but it’s better to just get a new bike.
- Suspension – The seals of the suspension can start to break or wear out due to constant riding. The dirt and debris can also get inside the chambers and affect its overall performance. Proper service is the key to keep it from breaking but you eventually must change it.
When to Replace Bike Components
As said before, each part of a mountain bike will wear out at some point which can lower the performance of the bike. An excellent time to replace it is when it’s already starting to feel like it’s hindering your bike experience.
You need to make sure you’re riding a bike with components in top condition in order for you to be safe.
Components such as the tires, chain, and brake pads need to be at its top performance to prevent you from getting on an accident. Change them whenever they’re already worn out so you can still enjoy the feeling and have the confidence in riding it to its limits.
Lifespan of Budget Mountain Bikes
The lifespan of budget mountain bikes will definitely depend on how it’s being used. High-end mountain bikes usually last longer because of how durable it is. But without proper care and maintenance, there’s a high chance that it will not last that long.
Budget mountain bikes will usually last longer if it’s used with care and if you’re not riding it to its limits. These types of bikes usually can’t deal with that much of a beating and there’s a huge chance that some parts won’t last that long.
The Right Time to Buy a New Bike
An excellent way to figure out if you should buy a new bike is to check its condition and if its performance can deal with your riding style.
If you’ve noticed that your bike isn’t able to keep up with your riding and you’ve already used it for years already then it’s time for you to get a new one.
Bikes today are constantly changing with each year model being better than the previous year which raises the current standard.
Factors such as weight, geometry, and wheel size also matters. If these aspects of your bike are already outdated then you should definitely need an upgrade. This way, you can keep up with your friends and to go faster on the trails.
How to Choose the Best Mountain Bike
- Size – Frame size is essential for you to comfortably ride your bike. The size will correlate on your height, so check the manufacturer on their size chart in order for you to get the right one.
- Discipline – Whenever you’re looking for a new bike, always make sure you know what you will use it for. There are several disciplines in mountain biking where some are designed for climbing while some are made for going on fast and technical descents. Cross-country bikes that have short travel suspension are made for lengthy journeys and going fast on steep uphills. The opposite of this is downhill bikes. These are made for going fast on technical downhill trails and are made with long suspension to absorb heavy jumps and drops.
- Performance – Find a bike that’s able to perform on trails you want to bring it on while still being able to fit on your budget. You can buy secondhand parts as long as they’re still in excellent condition. But just make sure to thoroughly check them for any issues that it may have. It’s better to invest in better parts as they’re really well-made and can improve the performance of your bike.
When should I upgrade my bike parts?
If you want to buy new components then check if your current bike parts aren’t able to perform that well or are really out of date. If they’re already too worn out and some of them were released years ago, then it’s an excellent option to get a newer and better one.
Whenever you have the budget, replace your outdated parts with new ones so you can make your bike lighter and faster. This lets you have a better experience when shredding on the trails and enjoy the feeling of having an upgraded bike.
How Long Should I Keep My Bike?
The answer to this will heavily depend on how you’re using your bike. If you’re just using your bike just for casual riding, then you can keep it until it breaks down.
For mountain bikers who use their bikes to ride it into technical trails then they need to use the best bike that’s available in the market. They need to change it every few years to keep up with the newest technology that’s built in every new bike.
Though, some just need to keep their bike until they can afford to get a new one or just slowly upgrade their parts on by one.
How Can I Maintain my Mountain Bike?
- Every Ride – When you’re getting ready to ride your bike, lubricate the chain and check the tire pressure if it isn’t too soft or too hard. Clean your bike from dirt and moisture as much as possible to avoid rust.
- Weekly – Check the pressure of your suspension if they’re still in the right amount. Also, make sure the bolts and cables have the exact tension.
- Monthly – Do a general checkup and cleaning of the bike. See if the tires and brake pads need any replacement. Clean any areas of the bike that may be covered with oil, mud, or muck. This ensures that the seals or other parts of the bike won’t get damaged.
- Yearly – Do a deep clean on the bike and bring the suspension to a service center to replace the seals and the oil inside.
How Can I Keep my Bike in Good Condition?
- Maintenance – The bike needs proper maintenance and checkup to avoid any kind of damage that may happen to it. Oil and dirt that’s left in the bearing or seals can slowly get inside it and damage can damage the parts.
- Storage – Store the bike in areas where it’s dry and away from moisture so that the components won’t rust. The tires must also be inflated at all times so it’s highly unlikely for any malformation to happen.
The best thing for a mountain bike to last longer is to properly maintain it so it won’t slowly get damaged from any external factors. Rust and grime are one of the foremost reasons it starts to slowly break. So make sure to properly clean the bike after a ride.
It’s also an excellent idea to change any components that have worn out so you’ll still be able to ride it at its optimum performance.
Most riders upgrade their bike every few years as they want to keep up with the latest technology to help them go faster.
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends.
After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings.
Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.