Top Tips for choosing a Mountain Bike in 2017


Fewer activities offer the same amounts of sheer thrill and freedom as mountain biking. Being able to go anywhere you want, all under your own steam. It’s the perfect blend of human & machine, a perfect hybridisation of the organic and the mechanical.

It’s also one of the most ever changing sports, as mountain bikes have gone from an enthusiast niche, to the most ridden style of bike! Technology is always changing and has shaped what we now define as a mountain bike. Suspension, disk brakes, 20+ gears – all advances that were virtually unthinkable 20 years ago!

So, if you’re new to mountain biking, or you’re a ‘Born-Again’ biker and getting back into it, here are our Top Tips for choosing a mountain bike in 2017…

Tip 1 – The right FRAME of mind…


Starting with a frame, it’s good to establish what style of riding you think you’ll be doing the most. The 3 main types are full-suspension, hardtail and rigid.

Full Suspension (Soft tail)

This is best for if you’re doing downhill riding or plan to tackle some really bumpy stuff. This also can make for a highly comfortable ride; however it does come with additional costs, in terms of money, maintenance and weight…


This setup is exactly as it suggests, the rear of the bike is without suspension, relying on the suspension at the front of the bike to soak up the majority of the rough stuff. This is the most popular setup of modern bikes, as combines ‘The best of both worlds’ enjoying the benefits of both full suspension and rigid bikes.


This ‘old-school’ traditional set up removes the suspension element altogether. You also get the most pedal efficiency as all the pedal force translates to motion, rather than into the suspension. It is however, virtually impossible to do downhill riding on a rigid bike, and will make lots of cross country riding quite uncomfortable! This setup however in modern years has made somewhat of a comeback, with many people valuing the purist approach to the ‘roots’ of mountain biking.


Tip 2 – Get to GRIPS with your tyres…

It’s surprising how different tyres can completely transform the feel, speed and ability of just about any bike. Wider tyres with deeper tread are great when you’re on rough or muddy terrain, but will be noticeably slower if you’re on-road, or a fast dry trail – whilst thinner, slicker tyres will be the opposite! You can change them depending on where you’re riding, however you may want to consider a hybrid tyre that has a slicker middle, but chunky outer grip to keep you on the bike in the corners!

Tip 3 – STOP overlooking your brakes…

The quicker you can stop, the faster you can go, seems odd, but definitely true! As brakes are single-handedly the most important safety feature of any bike, it’s important that they’re the best you can get and most importantly maintained to the very highest degree!

Modern bikes with hydraulic disc based systems have the bonus of being virtually maintenance free, highly effective and don’t suffer from fade (brake inefficiency) from water and mud like rim based systems. However, they are inherently more expensive and complex than rim brakes. If you’re not likely to tackle a great deal of wet and muddy terrain, a cabled rim brake can be surprisingly effective if set up correctly.


Tip 4 – Getting into GEAR…

Gears are at the essence of what a mountain bike does, and can push the limits of where bicycles once couldn’t go! 27 is the most amount of gears you’ll see on mountain bikes, however, many new mountain bikes are moving towards dropping the front derailleur altogether, so you’ll start to see bikes with fewer gears, but with a bigger range of speeds between the gears, with 12 speed cassettes (the cogs on the back wheel) likely to soon become standard.

Tip 5 – Accessorise, Accessorise, Accessorise….

There’s plenty of other components and accessories that you can add to your bike to make it perfect for you. One saddle may not be right for someone else, certain bar grips may not be to everyone’s liking. Thankfully many of these little touches can be added or changed, easily and inexpensively.

Tip 6 – Set a realistic budget

If you’re buying a new bike, it’s good to have a starting budget of around £400 for a quality bike from a quality brand. It can be an expensive activity to get into, but if you’re on a tighter budget, thankfully there’s plenty of good quality used bikes out there in the free ads that can be had for around the £100 mark. It is also essential to also have the correct safety gear, and you shouldn’t skimp out on getting the very best helmet & reflective clothing you can get!

Tip 7 – Take out Travel Insurance – Accidents happen!

Because of the speeds involved and the range you can climb on a modern mountain bike, there are risks involved. Accidents abroad can lead to expensive medical bills, so it’s always a good idea to have appropriate insurance. That’s where Adventures Insurance can help. Personal Accident is also included with Adventures, paying a benefit of up to £5,000*.

Check out the Key Features and Get a quote today…

*cover is reduced to £2,500 if you are aged 16 or under.

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Policy details


This is a summary of benefits only.

Click here for full policy terms & conditions including excesses.

Please note:

Part A may be taken in isolation.

Part B can only be taken with Part A.

Part C can only be taken with Part A & B.

  • Part A
  • Medical & Emergency Expenses**
  • Emergency dental treatment (for relief of pain only)
  • Burial Costs/Body Repatriation
  • Hospital inconvenience benefit
  • Search & Rescue costs
  • Personal Accident***
  • Personal Liability
  • Activity Equipment
  • Single items, pair or set limit
  • Delayed Activity Equipment (over 12 hours)
  • Activity Equipment Hire
  • Legal Expenses
  • Curtailment††
  • Limit
    (up to) - per person
  • £10 Million
  • £300
  • £3,500
  • £400
    (£20 per day)
  • £50,000
    (£10,000 in home area†)
  • £5,000
  • £2 Million
  • £1,000
  • £600
  • £200
  • £300
  • £25,000
  • £2,000
  • Excess*
    per person
  • £100
  • Nil
  • £500
  • Nil
  • Nil
    (£200 property damage)
  • £75
  • Nil
  • Nil
  • Nil
  • £100
  • Part B
    can only be taken with Part A
  • Possessions, Personal Effects, Money & Documents
  • Personal Possessions
  • Single item, pair or set limit
  • Valuables limit
  • Delayed Possessions (over 12 hours)
  • Loss of Personal Money
  • Loss of Travel Documents (incl. Passport)
  • Cancellation, Loss of Deposit or Curtailment
  • Unexpected Events
  • Travel Disruption (costs to reach destination)
  • Travel Delay
  • or
  • Abandonment (after 12 hours delay)
  • Limit
    (up to) - per person
  • £2,000
  • £300
  • £300
  • £200
  • £300
  • £1,000
  • £5,000
  • £1,000
  • £120
    (£30 per 12 hrs)
  • £5,000
  • Excess*
    per person
  • £75
  • Nil
  • £75
  • £75
  • £100
    (£25 loss of deposit)
  • Nil
  • Nil
  • £100
  • Part C
    can only be taken with Part A & Part B
  • Optional Independent Traveller
  • Extended Cancellation or Curtailment
  • Extended Travel Delay
  • Extended Travel Disruption (costs to reach destination)
  • Accommodation
  • Limit
    (up to) - per person
  • £5,000
  • £120
    (£30 each 12 hrs)
  • £1,000
  • £5,000
  • Excess*
    per person
  • £100
  • Nil
  • Nil
  • £100

Independent Traveller provides extended cover for cancellation/curtailment, delayed departure and travel disruption with the addition of accommodation expenses including if your trip is disrupted by an event such as a natural disaster e.g. volcanic eruption or if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against travel. Please read the Insurance Policy for full details.

* The Event Excess on Parts A, B & C is the first amount of each claim, per section, for each separate incident, payable for each insured person.
** Cover under Medical & Emergency Expenses, Part A, is not available in your home area†.
*** Cover under Personal Accident, Part A, is reduced to £2,500 if you are aged under 16.
**** Under a Single Trip policy, the sums insured for Activity Equipment/Single items, pair or set limit, Part B, may be increased to a maximum of £10,000 per person (up to £1,500 single items, pair or set limit). Details of the cover you have chosen is shown on your schedule.
***** Under a Single Trip policy, the sums insured for Cancellation/Curtailment (including pre-paid Activity Course Fees), Part B, and Abandonment cover (including pre-paid Activity Course Fees), Part B, may be increased to a maximum of £10,000 per person. Details of the cover you have chosen is shown on your schedule.
Home area – your normal place of residence in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).
†† Following an accident only whilst you are participating in an insured activity.
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We’ve put together some commonly asked questions to give you more information about
Adventures Travel Insurance and the cover we offer.

If you have a question that is not answered below please use the contact us page.


What activities do you cover?
Who is eligible for Adventures Travel Insurance?
Is there an age limit?
Who are the Insurers?
Are there any countries that are not covered?
How do I know what I'm covered for?
Do I need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)?
Can you resend my policy to me?
Can I get travel insurance if I have an existing medical condition?

Single Trip

What is the maximum duration?
Can I increase the cancellation policy limit on Single Trip cover?
What are the advantages of Annual Multi-trip travel insurance?

Annual Multi-trip

How many times can I travel and how long can each trip be?
Am I covered for trips in the UK?
If I am abroad can I extend the 'maximum duration any one trip' limit provided by my Annual Multi-trip policy if I decide to stay longer?

What is family cover?

Policy Options

Is there a limit for my activity equipment?

Can I increase the cancellation limit above £5,000?

Medical Assistance

Do you have a 24-hour Medical Emergency Assistance Service?

In the event of a medical emergency whilst abroad, do I have to pay my medical bills myself?

Making a Claim

How do I make a claim?

How quickly will you settle my claim?

Buying Online

How can I pay for my policy?

How will I receive my travel insurance policy documents?

Do I need to take my policy documents with me?

Can I get my money back if I want to cancel?
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Read what some of our customers have said about us.

“I have just taken out insurance for my son, who is an invitational athlete with the British Disabled Ski Team (BDST). As you can imagine, the quote was not a simple one, with him having complex medical needs, and also requiring racing and training insurance for skiing in a monoski. However, Wendy was helpful, understanding and patient, and rang me back when she said she would. She even managed to sort out an ‘annual policy’ for him, which we did not think was possible initially, due to the medical screening.

We came to P J Hayman because you also insure another athlete, who is also part of BDST and competed this year in the Socchi Winter Paralympics. (Her mum recommended you to us.) I can definitely see why she recommended you, and we will also recommend you in the future, as the price was competitive, and your customer service was outstanding.

I do not know if your company operates any staff awards, but if you do, please can you put forward Wendy’s name for excellent customer service.”

R Murley (Hampshire)

“I had an accident during my recent trip and used my Adventures travel insurance for my hospital treatment. The service from the medical assistance company was excellent. I had no worries at all and the staff who I spoke to were very helpful. I will definitely use your company again for my next trips.”

R McDougal (Dumfries)

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Travel Tips


Visit the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website for the latest foreign travel advice.

P J Hayman & Company is working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to help British nationals stay safe abroad. The FCO website offers straightforward travel advice, top tips and up to date country information to help you plan your holiday.

You can find FCO travel advice for specific countries at the FCO travel advice by country page. This includes areas of the world that may be risky to visit, the likelihood of terrorist activities and any health issues that you should watch out for.

The information is updated regularly, so by selecting the countries you plan to travel to, you can make sure you’re properly informed.

Top tips for travelling abroad

  • Check the FCO travel abroad page for details of all aspects of travelling abroad.
  • Don’t travel without travel insurance – ensure it covers you for any medical conditions/disabilities as well as any activities you are likely to undertake.
  • Check with your GP if you need any vaccinations at least 6 weeks before you go – visit the Fit for TravelNHS website for more information.
  • Apply for your free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) – more information below.
  • Get a good guide book; make sure you know about local laws and customs.
  • Take enough money for emergencies.
  • Tell friends and family where you are going and leave them your contact details, where you are staying and your itinerary.
  • Check the HM Revenue & Customs travel website for information on duty-free allowances and banned goods etc.
  • If you are driving abroad, make sure you are aware of the local driving laws and requirements in the country you are visiting.
  • Always keep an eye on the weather especially if travelling during hurricane season.

Important numbers to remember

  • Make sure you take note of the emergency number of the country (ies) you are visiting. EU emergency services is 112.
  • Your bank, debit and credit card customer services number and emergency cancellation number for use abroad.
  • Adventures 24/7 Medical Emergency contact number – +44 (0) 208 763 4932 (have your policy number to hand).

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

The European Health Insurance Card, also known as EHIC, gives the holder rights to necessary healthcare whilst on holiday in the EEA (European Economic Area) countries and Switzerland.

Cards are registered to your individual person so each member of your family/group who are aged 16 and above will need to hold one.

If you have an accident or suddenly become ill you’ll receive the necessary state-provided medical healthcare either at a reduced cost or sometimes free.

The EHIC does not cover you for all medical costs, private treatment and repatriation home. You will still need appropriate travel insurance to ensure you are covered.

You can apply for an EHIC online or by calling 0300 330 1350.

Passports and Entry Requirements

You can find information on passport validity, visa information and entry requirements online at the FCO travel advice country page.

If you are unsure about anything, you can contact the relevant Foreign Embassy in the UK for more information on things such as criminal convictions, stamps from previous visits abroad which could affect travel to new countries and taking certain medicines into other countries.

See the list of Foreign Embassies in the UK for phone numbers and addresses.

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Making a claim


For full details of the claims procedure please see page 9 of the Insurance Policy.

For all sections other than End Supplier Failure (sections 1 – 9 and 11)

Please contact White Horse Administration Services Limited using one of the following methods:

Telephone: 01733 416 099


In writing to:
White Horse Administration Services Limited
PO Box 5633

When contacting us to request a claim form please state your insurance is provided by White Horse Insurance Ireland Limited and quote scheme reference WHIIL/ADVEN/08/2015.

For End Supplier Failure only (section 10)

Please contact International Passenger Protection Limited using one of the following methods:

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8776 3752

Fax: +44 (0) 20 8776 3751


In writing to:
International Passenger Protection Claims Office
IPP House
22 – 26 Station Road
West Wickham

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Our partner programme allows you to earn commission on sales introduced from your website.

To partner with Adventures travel insurance or if you have any questions, please get in touch by sending us an email to

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We look forward to working with you.

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