The frame of a bike is the core component and thus one of the most important aspects of any cycle. You can buy many different bike frames, as well as the front fork which must compliment the frame in its own way. Frames and forks can be suitable for different situations, with equally diverse price and performance levels on offer.
Mountain bike frames need to feature geometry which is sympathetic to the track or trail you intend to tackle. The tubing needs to be light, but strength is an especially important feature because of the bumps and jumps you may encounter when riding off-road. Firms like Kinesis and Scott create MTB frames for men and women and you can go from sturdy alloy frames right up to carbon frames. MTB frames also need forks with integrated shocks and you might want a full suspension bike, in which case a shock is also going to feature at the rear.
Road bikes frames need lateral stiffness and an emphasis on lightness, whether you are going to be cycling competitively or just using your bike as a means of transport to and from work. Like frames for mountain bikes you can find a number of different materials in play for the frames of road bikes. Basic alloy frames sit alongside more costly carbon frames and even titanium bike frames for those who want a premium riding experience. Rigid forks are another feature of road bikes, ranging from steel to carbon and titanium at the top end.