How Long Will A Mountain Bike Last (Complete 2023 Guide)

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Right when you start pursuing mountain biking as a hobby, it is essential to contemplate how long will a mountain bike last.

This will help you give your mountain bike the due care and attention.

On average, a mountain bike would last over 20 years.

But is that the case with all mountain bikes? Which are the parts that show signs of wear and tear sooner? Can you delay the signs of aging in a mountain bike?

Let us find out.

Budget Bikes Vs. Expensive Bikes

How Long Will A Mountain Bike Last Expensive Or Cheap
Expensive & Cheap MTB

In normal circumstances, the lifespan of budget bikes is lesser than that of expensive bikes.

Chance are that budget bikes come with more inferior quality materials compared to the pricey models of a mountain bike.

Whether it is a budget bike or expensive mtb, in order to last longer, you must take proper care and do timely maintenance to increase its lifespan.

A budget bike that is well taken care of can sometimes last longer than an expensive one that is not given much care and has taken a lot of beating.

Ultimately, care is the most crucial aspect that determines how long your mountain bike will stay functional.

However, any mountain bike would become less efficient after excessive use, and upgrades would not be sufficient to keep up their spirit.

7 Things To Care For In A Mountain Bike

How long will a mountain bike last?

To a large extent, you can improve the lifespan of your mountain bike if you take care of the following seven components.

1. Mountain Bike Chain

Mountain Bike Chains
Mountain Bike Chains

There is always a lot of stress on the mountain bike chains, and they are prone to break.

Proper lubrication is essential to prevent corrosion and dryness and keep them alive for a more extended period.

Typically, if you frequently ride your MTB, the chain would last only for a few months.

It is essential to perfect your pedal stroke, to improve the lifespan of your mountain bike’s chain.

2. Mountain Bike Tires

Image of Cycle Rims
Mountain Bike Tires

Tires are constantly in contact with the ground and are affected by braking, terrain roughness, and the like.

Typically, it is your mountain bike’s rear wheel which shows the first signs of wear.

The durability of tires comes down with every puncture and heavy beating that it takes.

When your tires show signs of wear, replace them with new tires for better performance.

3. Mountain Bike Drivetrain

Trail Bike Wheels
MTB Drivetrain

The drivetrain is not always as strong as it may seem to be.

If your drivetrains are constantly exposed to rain and mud, they may wear out soon.

It is essential to clean your drivetrain well and lubricate it often to increase its life.

With excessive use, the teeth of the cassette and chain ring may also start underperforming.

If stones and rocks constantly hit the derailleurs, the derailleurs may also break.

4. Mountain Bike Break Pads

Mountain Bike Break Pads
Mountain Bike Break Pads

Any kind of brake pad would eventually wear out, and you may start noticing a dip in their performance.

Occasionally checking your brake pads for wear would be a good idea.

Never sustain the brake pads on which only lesser than 1.5mm of braking material is remaining.

When the braking material wears to the extent where the backing plate is exposed, the brake rotors will be poorly affected.

5. Mountain Bike Grips

Image of Mountain Bike Grips
Mountain Bike Grips

Grips can thin out due to the constant contact with your hands.

If you find your handles less grippy, you can quickly go for a grip change or upgrade.

6. Mountain Bike Frame

Mountain Bike Frames
Mountain Bike Frame

The frame is the spine of your mountain bike.

Your mountain bike frame always needs to be sturdy for your bike to perform well.

While it is possible to repair a broken frame, you may have to calculate the cost of changing it.

Factor this cost along with the other parts that you may want to upgrade and compare it with the cost of buying a new bike.

If your bike is old, it is quite possible that investing in a new MTB would be worthier.

7. Mountain Bike Suspension

Difference Between Enduro and Downhill MTB Suspension
MTB Suspension

If you are an ardent rider or have been using your mountain bike for quite some years, it is possible that your suspension has started wearing out.

While these factors are not in your control, cleaning your suspension off the dirt and debris with a mechanic’s help can help improve its performance and longevity.

3 Things You Shouldn’t Overdo For Longevity of Mountain Bike

Following are three things you should never do your mountain bike to ensure its longevity.

1. Cleaning Your Mountain Bike

Post-Ride MTB Checklist
Cleaning Your Mountain Bike

It is essential to keep your mountain bike neat and clean.

But not after every ride.

Using pressurized water regularly on your bike may keep the bling intact but, at the same time, affects its durability.

It is perfectly alright to give a good scrub to your bike after riding on muddy terrains.

However, you don’t have to do it after riding on smooth trails and when your mountain bike has not accumulated much dirt and debris.

2. Chain Lubing Your Bike

Lubing the Mountain Bike
Lubing The Chains

Chain lubing is essential to keep up your mountain bike’s performance, but it is recommended not to overdo it.

Listen to the drivetrain for an indication that it requires some lube.

Dry, squeaky sounds could mean that it’s time to apply the lubricant.

3. Fewer Crashes, More Durability

Cornering An MTB
Mountain Bike Crashes

While crashes are inevitable, it is essential to make sure that you don’t overdo them.

Perfect your techniques and skills to reduce the chances of a crash.

With every crash, your bike’s lifespan declines.

In the event of a crash, once you have made sure that there is nothing wrong with your body, check for any damage on your mountain bike.

Before you start riding again, ensure that the derailleur is not bent.

When you ride your bike with bent derailleurs, it could be detrimental to the proper functioning of your wheels and frame.

This can cause more harm to your bike.

If your MTB is carbon, check whether there is any possibility of fracture in the bike.

If your MTB has hydraulic brakes, it is essential to check the lines are intact and would not end up leaking.

This assessment must be done logically to save yourself from the total replacement of the bike and further crashes.

5 Things You Should Overdo For Longevity of Mountain Bike

Apart from the checks that you do prior to each ride, it would be ideal to do a comprehensive weekly, monthly, and yearly check to keep your mountain bike young for longer.

The weekly check would involve checking whether the suspension has the right amount of pressure and whether the cable and bolts have the required tension.

The monthly check would be more about giving a good cleaning along with a detailed checkup.

You can get into the nitty-gritty at this time and ensure that all parts are off the mud and grime.

You can also check whether your brake pads are intact and if your tires need replacement.

The annual check would involve an even deeper cleaning and changing the oil of your bike’s suspension.

Following are four things you can overdo for a long life of your bike.

1. Timely Oil-Change

You don’t have to wait for 2-3 years to change the oil in your suspension.

Instead, an annual service is recommended to fork and shock so that they work almost like new, if not new.

2. Regular Review of Instruction Manual

Many people just throw away the instruction manual after receiving their bike or bike parts.

Instead, go through every bit of it to understand your mountain bike or its parts better and get the most of it.

3. Get A Torque Wrench

You have got all the tools in your toolbox but not a torque wrench?

Buy one now, and use it to fix small components.

4. Do a Pre-Ride Check Prior To Every Ride.

Doing a pre-ride check will allow you to look for any loose parts, damages that you overlooked, etc.

In addition, a pre-ride check would be helpful in preventing crashes that could lead to injury and further damage to your bike.

5. Ensure Proper Storage To Mountain Bike.

Apart from maintenance that aims at preventing your mountain bike from further damage, proper storing of the bike is also important to get the most out of it.

Always make sure that your bike is stored in dry areas without moisture in order to prevent rusting of components.

Furthermore, when you store your bike, make sure that the tires are inflated in order to avoid any malformation.

6 Common FAQs

1. When do I have to replace MTB components?

Look out for wear and tear.

when you think that something needs a replacement in order to prevent further damage and for your mountain bike to function well, that is the perfect time to replace the components of your bike.

In some cases, you may be able to replace specific components together, while sometimes, you only will have to replace individual components for a better-performing mountain bike.

2. Should I buy a new mountain bike?

You should consider buying a new mountain bike when it passes the following nine checkpoints:

  • When you have done enough replacements to its components, and replacing them would be no longer feasible for you.
  • When you have realized that the mountain bike that you currently own is not in line with the discipline that you want to pursue.
  • When any upgrade that you make to your mountain bike would not get you the desired performance.
  • When all the upgrades that you want to do will cost you nearly or more than a new bike’s price.
  • When you have outgrown the bike and the bike does not fit you that well.
  • When it is extremely difficult to get the bike parts or when the parts that are available are substandard.
  • When the frame breaks due to a crash, it would typically be wiser to invest in a new mountain bike than to repair your frame.
  • When you have used it for over 20 years and can very well answer the question of how long will a mountain bike last with all authenticity!
  • If you own a very old model and are looking forward to experiencing the finesse of new technology.

3. Are carbon mountain bikes durable?

Carbon bikes are made from a combination of carbon and fiber structures.

It is pretty tricky to answer the question of how long will a mountain bike last when it comes to carbon bikes.

The carbon-fiber structure is highly durable and can take a lot of impact and weight.

However, if the carbon structure breaks, it isn’t easy to repair it.

In short, carbon mountain bikes are durable as long as it does not break.

4. Is a hard-tail mountain bike more durable than a suspension bike?

Generally, hard-tail mountain bikes are more durable than suspension bikes.

A hard-tail bike is built to take more impact and does not consist of delicate linkages or hinge points.

Instead, tubes are all welded together, and due to the absence of shock, you can forget about damages caused by bottoming-out scenarios.

It is also easier to repair hard-tail mountain bikes when compared to full-suspension bikes, and hence you may be able to get your bike going for a more extended period.

5. How long do MTB frames last?

The frame is one of the most critical components of a mountain bike, which is also quite expensive.

However, it could last from 6 to over 30 years, depending on how it’s maintained and the material used to make the frame.

While carbon and titanium frames are considered to last the longest, it would be difficult or impossible to get them back in shape once they break.

6. Do MTB pedals wear out?

Due to the constant contact on the pedals, it could be one of the components that wear out sooner on an MTB.

Depending on the quality and use, it could last less than a year or over 20 years.

Serviceable pads would always be the way to go, as the non-serviceable ones may end up giving you a hard time.

Final Verdict

I hope this article has given you a fair idea about how long will a mountain bike last.

Follow the simple tips given in the article to enhance the lifespan of your mountain bike.

P.S. If you found this guide to be helpful, do check out our resources on how to buy, upgrade and test a mountain bike.

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Team Biking KnowHow

Rohan runs Biking KnowHow along with his team. Rohan has been a mountain biker since 2005. His mission is to simplify mountain biking for everyone. All Biking KnowHow content piece is thoroughly fact-checked. Our content is backed up with leading research and inputs from expert cyclists.