A type of rugged bicycle with flat handlebars, multiple gears and wide tires for riding narrow and dirt track, specially designed for riding on mountainous ground.
These kind of bikes are durable with wheels of diameter typically either 27.5-inch or 29-inch.
There are separate models designed for men and women, Women’s models are marked by women’s-specific seats, smaller grips and narrower handlebars and shorter crank-arms.
Most also have lighter suspension tuning for smaller riders.
Mountain biking is comparatively complex and trickier than others as it includes the navigation of hills and surfaces due to which the upper part of your body and core will kick into gear.
Mountain biking requires courage, stamina, self-confidence, core strength, balancing art and above all, biking skills.
Mountain bikers prefer to ride on off-road pathways like, fire roads, back-country roads and single-track. Mountain bike differs from other bikes by means of features they incorporate such as performance at rough-trails and durability.
WHEEL SIZES OF MOUNTAIN BIKE
In general, the wheel sizes for mountain bikes come in 3 sizes –
- 26” wheels are the major size wheels for most mountain bikes. In the previous time, it was the only size available. 26” are supposed to be faster and speedy on downhill trails.
- 29”wheels have become much more common in recent times. It may supposed to be slower to accelerate, but are faster up hills, shows more momentum overall. They are generally considered for the taller rider.
- 5”wheels are very newer. Supposedly these combine the best elements of 26 and 29 inch wheels.
SUB-TYPES OF MOUNTAIN BIKES
The meaning and importance of Mountain biking differs for different people.
Depending on the comfort and style, a mountain bike can be used for everything from unpaved roads to steep, goat-path singletrack.
Unlike road bikes which are all ridden on the road and don’t change much regardless of the profile, mountain bikes are tailor made for specific terrain and riding styles.
For mountain bikes, here are the sub-types:
- Hardtail Mountain Bikes : These bikes have Shocks in front fork, and with front suspension, it reduces upper limb fatigue and help you to keep your hands at handlebars that makes steering easier on harsh or rough trails.
A hardtail is a good choice if you have limited budget.
- They are typically the most affordable type, but there are also high-end versions designed specially for racing.
- Full Suspension Mountain Bikes : As compared to the Hardtail mountain bikes, a Full
Suspension Bike reduce fatigue and make riding more comfortable. It is better in
controlling high level of speed at rough trails or ground. If you are looking for a bike
which is dedicated to riding dirt trails at speed but is easy as it can be on joints and
muscles, then this may be the best one for you.
- Rigid Mountain Bikes : These are the mountain bikes with no suspension at all. The
new version of Rigid Mountain Bikes are incredibly light and easy to pedal.
The absence of suspension makes rigid bikes lighter, and with less moving parts they
are also cheaper then hardtails and dual-suspension bikes.
TYPES OF MOUNTAIN BIKING DISCIPLINES
Whether you are new to biking or sports person, knowing about the different types of mountain biking styles is beneficial. Choosing the right bike for your discipline will ensure that you make the best and most out of your ride.
To help you choose the right bike or decide on what kind of bike you should go for and with what kind of features and specifications, bringing a summary of the common forms of mountain bike riding.
Here are the five different types of biking disciplines :
- CROSS COUNTRY
It is the most basic and common type of mountain biking. It involves longer periods of riding time through trails. Though it does not include as many bumps as other forms of mountain biking, but it require more stamina and strength.Almost all cross country trails hold long duration of climbing & descending the mountain. Cross country trails differs greatly by asking the bikers to cycle their way through the mud filled narrow gravel paths & open spaces in the same run. These places don’t just test your character as a biker but also your ability to handle & control the bike. The right type of bike for this trail will vary depending upon the particular trail & the skill level you possess.
- ALL MOUNTAIN –
This is the most action-packed style of biking, that involves more varied terrain and challenging obstacles. ‘All Mountain Biking’ being very unpredictable and adventurous, requires high skills, balance-control and bravery.
The bikes designed for ‘All Mountain Riding’ are generally full suspension for utmost comfort and maximum comfort. These bikes usually have thick wheels to prevent punctures.
This is generally known for its speed. Downhill trails are usually straight down through the mountain terrain. Indeed, many riders don’t use a specific trail. But, they focus and control to successfully get down the mountain at the fastest speed possible.
As speed and control make ‘Downhill Biking’ successful, these bikes are uniquely designed and easier to categorize.
As the name suggests, ‘Dirt Jump’ is done at a dirt park, consisting of many other types of jumps. The dirt lines are often placed close together, allowing bikers to easily move from one level to another. This is about tricks and air, as the challenge is to achieve the right speed to perform different tricks before landing on the other side. It requires high strength and control.
Due to the basic nature of ‘Dirt Jump Biking’, this tend to be simple in design. These are light in weight and have a sloping designed which helps in increasing speed.
This is very much close to ‘Downhill’ and ‘Dirt Jump’ discipline. It focuses on the art of mountain biking and tricks. Though, there are no rules and guidelines to follow, riders can use their creativity and skills to take over. Freeride mountain biking is a very versatile discipline.
These bikes are designed quite simply .
IF YOU ARE A MOUNTAIN BIKER
Let’s explore how awesome are the Mountain Bikers and the characteristics, they hold –
DETERMINED AND DECISIVE –
Mountain biking is all about a mental game. One require high determination to get over those steep climbs, over big logs and rock gardens.
One must be adventurous in order to be a mountain biker.
You can be a good mountain biker if you are daring, willing to take risks, challenges or love to try out new ideas or experiences.
As known to all that skinnies, jumps and log bridges are not suitable for an unfocused mind. Biking is full of concentration and focus. One need to be aware of every sound, smell and all tiny things connecting with the biking surroundings.
HUMOROUS AND FULL OF LIFE –
Mountain bikers follow the rule – “Life is short, enjoy the little laughter moments while riding or travelling.” One can laugh at himself, stand back up and try again.
RISK – TAKER –
Mountain bikers step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves to learn new skills.
People with great passion can make the impossible happen!
And that strong love for biking which connects you with others and soothes your soul, is the true passion which drive you to be the mountain biker.
NATURE LOVER –
If you are a mountain biker, then you are a true nature lover!
Because mountain biking is incomplete without those breathtaking landscapes and hills.
In short, a mountain biker is dreamer, risk-bearer, nature admirer and full of life.
If you’re new to Mountain Biking, it’s handy to know what to look for when it comes to finding the right mountain bike, like, the right size, proper wheel size, bike -type (full suspension or hardtail), material quality, and most importantly, the budget.