Mountain biking is the sport of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain.
1. Mountain biking
Mountain biking is the sport of riding bicycles off road, often over rough terrain, using specially designed mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain.
Mountain biking can generally be broken down into multiple categories: cross country, trail riding, all mountain, downhill, freeride, dirt jumping, and trials. The vast majority of mountain biking falls into the recreational cross country and trail riding categories.
This individual sport requires endurance, core strength and balance, bike handling skills, and self reliance. Advanced riders pursue steep technical descents and, in the case of freeriding, downhilling, and dirt jumping, aerial maneuvers off both natural features and specially constructed jumps and ramps.
Mountain bikesdiffer from other bikes primarily in that they incorporate features aimed at increasing durability and improving performance in rough terrain. Most modern mountain bikes have some kind ofsuspension, 26, 27.5 or 29 inch diameter tires, usually between 1.7 to 2.5inches in width, and a wider, flat or upwardly risinghandlebarthat allows a more upright riding position, giving the rider more control. They have a smaller, reinforcedframe, usually made of wide tubing. Tires usually have a pronouncedtread, and are mounted on rims which are stronger than those used on most non mountain bicycles. Compared to other bikes, mountain bikes also tend to more frequently usehydraulic disc brakes. They also tend to have lower ratiogearsto facilitate climbing steep hills and traversing obstacles.Pedalsvary from simpleplatformpedals, where the rider simply places the shoes on top of the pedals, toclipless, where the rider uses a specially equipped shoe with a sole that engages mechanically into the pedal.
Glovesdiffer from road touring gloves, are made of heavier construction, and often have covered thumbs or all fingers covered for hand protection. They are sometimes made with padding for the knuckles.
Glasseswith little or no difference from those used in other cycling sports, help protect againstdebriswhile on the trail. Filtered lenses, whether yellow for cloudy days or shaded for sunny days, protect the eyes from strain. Downhill and freeride mountain bikers often use goggles similar to motorcross or snowboard goggles in unison with their fullface helmets.
Shoesgenerally have gripping soles similar to those of hiking boots for scrambling over un ridable obstacles, unlike the smooth bottomed shoes used in road cycling. Theshankof mountain bike shoes is generally more flexible than road cycling shoes. Shoes compatible with clipless pedal systems are also frequently used.
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