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Encyclopedia > Mountain biking
Mountain biker riding in the Arizona desert.
Mountain biker riding in the Arizona desert.

Mountain biking usually refers to the sport of riding bicycles possessing particular design characteristics, mountain bikes, off-road, although sometimes the term simply refers to riding a mountain bike. The sport requires endurance, bike handling skills and self-reliance. It is an individual sport which can be performed almost anywhere. There are aspects of mountain biking that are more similar to trail running than regular bicycling. Because riders are often far from civilization, there is a strong ethic of self-reliance in the sport. Riders must learn to repair their broken bikes or flat tires to avoid being stranded miles from help. This reliance on survival skills accounts for the group dynamics of the sport. Club rides and other forms of group rides are common, especially on longer treks. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (825x1127, 250 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Mountain biking Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (825x1127, 250 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Mountain biking Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create or digitize it. ... For other uses, see Bicycle (disambiguation). ... A cross country mountain bike race A hardtail mountain bike A mountain bike or mountain bicycle (abbreviated MTB or ATB (All Terrain Bicycle)) is a bicycle designed for mountain biking, either on dirt trails or other unpaved environments. ... The Backbone Trail, Santa Monica Mountains, Southern California. ... Cycling is a recreation, a transport across land. ...


Mountain biking is roughly broken down into five categories: cross country, downhill, freeride, dirt jump and trials/street riding. However, most mountain bikes have a similar look: knobby tires, large round frame tubing, and some sort of suspension or shock absorbers. Mountain biking can be done anywhere from a back yard to a gravel road, but the majority of mountain bikers prefer to ride trails they call singletrack. These are narrow trails that wind through forests or fields. A Cross-Country Rider on Singletrack During a Race Cross-country (XC) cycling is the most common discipline of mountain biking. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Duguid Jumping at a professional Freeride contest in Seattle, Washington. ... Dirt jumping is one of the names given to the practice of riding bikes over shaped mounds of dirt or soil and getting airborne. ... Bicycle trial rider Bike trials is a form of mountain biking derived from motorcycle trials. ... Steel frame and carbon fiber fork of 2000 LeMond Zurich racing bicycle. ... A singletrack is generally a narrow off-road trail used by cyclists. ...

Contents

History of mountain biking

Bicycles have been ridden off-road since their invention. However, the modern sport of mountain biking primarily originated in the 1970s . There were several groups of riders in different areas of the U.S.A. who can make valid claims to playing a part in the birth of the sport. Riders in Crested Butte, Colorado and Cupertino, California tinkered with bikes and adapted them to the rigors of off-road riding. Other riders around the country were probably copying their friends with motorcycles and riding their bikes on trails and fire roads. However, a group in Marin County, California is recognized by the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame to have played a central role in the birth of the sport as we know it today. They began racing down Mount Tamalpais (Mt Tam) on old 1930s and '40s Schwinn bicycles retrofitted with better brakes and fat tires. This group included Joe Breeze, Otis Guy, Gary Fisher and Keith Bontrager, among others. It was Joe Breeze who built the first new, purpose-made mountain bike in 1977. Tom Ritchey built the first regularly available mountain bike frame, which was accessorized by Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly and sold by their company called MountainBikes (later changed to Fisher Mountain Bikes then bought by Trek, still under the name Gary Fisher). The first two mass produced mountain bikes were sold in 1982: the Specialized Stumpjumper and Univega Alpina Pro. Mount Crested Butte Resort Often called the last great Colorado ski town, Crested Butte is a small resort town located in Gunnison County in the U.S. state of Colorado. ... Location of Cupertino within Santa Clara County, California. ... Marin County (pronounced muh-RIN) is a county located in the North San Francisco Bay Area of the U.S. state of California, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. ... Mount Tamalpais (Mount Tam) is a peak in Marin County, California, USA. It is a popular hiking destination for residents of the San Francisco Bay Area, home to the Edgewood Botanic Garden, and often considered symbolic of Marin County. ... The Schwinn Bicycle Company was founded in Chicago in 1895 by Ignaz Schwinn, and grew to become the dominant manufacturer of American bicycles through most of the 20th century. ... Joe Breeze was an early pioneer in the development of modern mountain bicycles. ... Gary Christopher Fisher (born 1950) is the best inventors of the mountain bike. ... Keith Bontrager (born December 18, 1954) was a succesful motorcycle racer turned pioneer in the development of modern mountain bike. ... Tom Ritchey is a master bicycle frame builder, designer, welder and founder of Ritchey Design. ... Charlie Kelley was an early pioneer in the development of modern mountain bicycles. ... The Trek Bicycle Corporation is a major American bicycle and component manufacturer. ... Team Gerolsteiner riders (right) with Specialized bikes and gear Specialized Bicycle Components is a major manufacturer of bicycles and bicycle equipment, based in Morgan Hill, California. ...

Riders during a Cross Country race
Riders during a Cross Country race

In 1988, the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame was founded to chronicle the history of mountain biking, and to recognize the individuals and groups that have contributed significantly to this sport. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1269x1281, 273 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Mountain biking Wisconsin Off Road Series ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1269x1281, 273 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Mountain biking Wisconsin Off Road Series ... The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Crested Butte Colorado. ...


Equipment

Main article: Mountain bike

Mountain bikes differ from road racing bicycles in several ways. They have a smaller and stronger frame, knobby, wider and higher profile tires which are mounted on a rim which is stronger than a standard bicycle rim, a larger range of gears to facilitate climbing up steep hills and over obstacles, a wider flat or upwardly-rising handlebar that allows a more upright riding position, and often some form of suspension system for either the front wheel or both wheels. The inherent comfort and flexibility of the modern mountain bike has led to an estimated 80% market share in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and others.[citation needed] Mountain bikes often come with disc brakes similar to those used in automobiles, rather than rim brakes used on road bikes A cross country mountain bike race A hardtail mountain bike A mountain bike or mountain bicycle (abbreviated MTB or ATB (All Terrain Bicycle)) is a bicycle designed for mountain biking, either on dirt trails or other unpaved environments. ... An aluminum racing bicycle made by Raleigh and built using Shimano components. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Drop handlebars on a racing bicycle allow the rider a variety of positions for aerodynamics and comfort. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Vehicle brake. ... Linear-pull brake on rear wheel of a mountain bike Bicycle brake systems are used to slow down, or brake a bicycle. ...


Types of mountain biking

For the most part, mountain biking can be split into four different categories:

A cross-country mountain biker climbs on an unpaved track
A cross-country mountain biker climbs on an unpaved track
  • Cross-Country (XC) is the most common form of mountain biking, and the standard for most riders. It generally means riding point-to-point or in a loop including climbs and descents on a variety of terrain. However there is a distinct difference between common XC and XC racing. Racing is much more physically demanding than leisure riding and racers train for years to be able to compete at a national level. A typical XC bike weighs 22-28lbs, and has 0-4 inches of suspension travel front and rear.
  • Downhill is, in the most general sense, riding mountain bikes downhill. While cross country riding inevitably has a downhill component, Downhill (or DH for short) usually refers to racing-oriented downhill riding. Downhill-specific bikes are universally equipped with front and rear suspension, large brakes, and use heavier frame tubing than other mountain bikes. Downhill bikes are not meant to be pedaled up hill, therefore downhill riders and racers frequently employ trucks or ski lifts to be shuttled to the top of the hill. Downhill courses are one of the most physically demanding and dangerous venues for mountain biking. They include large jumps (up to and including 40 feet), drops of 10+ feet, and are generally rough and steep top to bottom. To negotiate these obstacles at race speed, racers must possess a unique combination of total body strength, aerobic and anaerobic fitness, and mental control. Minimum body protection in a true downhill setting is knee pads and a full face helmet with goggles, although riders and racers commonly sport full body suits to protect themselves. Downhill bikes typically weigh 40-50 lbs. Downhill frames get anywhere from 7 to 10 inches of travel and are usually mounted with an 8 inch travel dual-crown fork.
  • Freeride / Big Hit. Freeride, as the name suggests is a 'do anything' discipline that encompasses everything from downhill racing (see below) without the clock to jumping, riding 'North Shore' style (elevated trails made of interconnecting bridges and logs), and generally riding trails and/or stunts that require more skill and "aggression" than XC. Freeride bikes are generally heavier and more amply suspended than their XC counterparts, but usually retain much of their climbing ability. It is up to the rider to build his or her bike to lean more toward a preferred level of aggressiveness. "Slopestyle" type riding is an increasingly popular genre that combines big-air, stunt-ridden freeride with BMX style tricks. Slopestyle courses are usually constructed at already established mountain bike parks and include jumps, large drops, quarter-pipes, and other wooden obstacles. There are always multiple lines through a course and riders compete for judges' points by choosing lines that highlight their particular skills. A "typical" freeride bike is hard to define, but 30-40 lbs with 6 inches of suspension front and rear is a good generalization.
  • Trials riding consists of hopping and jumping bikes over obstacles. It can be performed either off-road or in an urban environment. It requires an excellent sense of balance. As with Dirt Jumping and BMX-style riding, emphasis is placed on style, originality and technique. Trials bikes look almost nothing like mountain bikes. They use either 20", 24" or 26" wheels and have very small, low frames, some types without a saddle.

Image File history File links Mountain-biker-climbs. ... Image File history File links Mountain-biker-climbs. ... A Cross-Country Rider on Singletrack During a Race Cross-country (XC) cycling is the most common discipline of mountain biking. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Duguid Jumping at a professional Freeride contest in Seattle, Washington. ... Bicycle trial rider Bike trials is a form of mountain biking derived from motorcycle trials. ...

Advocacy

Mountain biker gets air in Mount Hood National Forest.
Mountain biker gets air in Mount Hood National Forest.

Mountain bikers have faced land access issues from the beginnings of the sport. Areas where the first mountain bikers have ridden have faced serious restrictions or elimination of riding. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1365x2048, 2726 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Mountain biking Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates Mount Hood National Forest User:Kingstonjr Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Mountain biker Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1365x2048, 2726 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages link to this file: Mountain biking Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates Mount Hood National Forest User:Kingstonjr Wikipedia:Featured picture candidates/Mountain biker Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from... Old-growth Douglas Fir in the Mount Hood National Forest The Mount Hood National Forest is located 20 miles (32 km) east of the city of Portland, Oregon, and the northern Willamette River valley. ...


Many trails were originally fireroads, animal paths, hiking trails, or multi-use paths that were simply used for these new trail users. Single-track mountain biking creates more conflict with hikers, particularly in forested areas. There is also some concern single-track biking leads to erosion. Because of these conflicts, the interpretation of the Wilderness Act was revised by the National Park Service to be able to exclude bicycles in certain areas. Plow cutting a firebreak in advance of a forest fire, South Carolina Rocky Point Trail acted as a firebreak for a forest fire in McDonald Lake region of Glacier National Park, Montana, USA in summer 2003 A firebreak or fireroad is a gap in vegetation or other combustible material that...


Opposition to the sport has led to the development of local, regional, and international mountain bike groups. The different groups that formed generally work to create new trails, maintain existing trails, and help existing trails that may have issues. Groups work with private and public entities from the individual landowner to city parks departments, on up through the state level at the DNR, and into the federal level. Different groups will work individually or together to achieve results.


Advocacy organizations work through a variety of means including education, trail work days, and trail patrols. Examples of the education an advocacy group can provide include: Educate local bicycle riders, property managers, and other user groups on the proper development of trails, and on the International Mountain Bicycling Association's rules of the Trail. Examples of trail work days can include: Flagging, cutting, and signing a new trail, or removing downed trees after a storm. A trail patrol is a bike rider who has had some training to help assist other (including non cyclists) trail users. The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide. ...


The International Mountain Bicycling Association, or IMBA, is a non-profit advocacy group whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide. IMBA serves as an umbrella organization for mountain biking advocacy worldwide, and represents more than 700 affiliated mountain biking groups. In 1988, five California mountain bike clubs linked to form IMBA. The founding clubs were: Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association, Bicycle Trails Council East Bay, Bicycle Trails Council Marin, Sacramento Rough Riders and Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers.


Environmental impacts of mountain biking

Studies reported in the IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) Trail Solutions manual claim that a mountain bike's impact is comparable to that of a hiker and substantially less than that of an equestrian.[1] The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide. ... A young rider at a horse show in Australia. ...


However, the studies that find mountain biking has little environmental impact have been criticized as underestimating the real impact of mountain biking on the environment. In 2003, Jason Lathrop wrote a critical literature review[citation needed] on the ecological impacts of mountain biking, raising some questions found nowhere else. He quotes the BLM: "An estimated 13.5 million mountain bicyclists visit public lands each year to enjoy the variety of trails. What was once a low use activity that was easy to manage has become more complex". He criticizes all of the studies for not using realistic representations of mountain biking.


See also

A rider during a Cross Country race The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) recognised the sport of mountain bike racing relatively late in 1990, when it sanctioned the world championships in Purgatory, Colorado. ... The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide. ... Norba, an ancient town of Latium (Adjectum), Italy. ... Entrance of UCI headquarter at Aigle (Switzerland) Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is a professional cycling union that oversees cycling events in the international community. ... Bicycle trial rider Bike trials is a form of mountain biking derived from motorcycle trials. ... This article or section should include material from Cycle path debate Segregated cycle facilities may consist of a separate road, track, path or lane that is designated for use by cyclists and from which motorised traffic is generally excluded. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Well-known mountain bikers Visionaries Keith Bontrager (December 18, 1954) Gary Fisher (1950) Charlie Cunningham Cross Country Racers Alison Dunlap (July 27, 1969) Juli Furtado (April 4, 1967) Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå James Duguid Ned Overend Paola Pezzo Oli Beckingsale Sue Haywood Downhill Racers Missy Giove Greg Herbold Warren Carne...

Notes and references

  1. ^ A Comparative Study of Impacts to Mountain Bike Trails in Five Common Ecological Regions of the Southwestern U.S. (PDF).
  • The Socorro Country Fat Tire Trail Book, The Socorro Fat Tire Committee in association with the Socorro County Chamber of Commerce, Socorro County Chamber of Commerce, Socorros, New Mexico, 1993, stapled paperback pamphlet, ISBN 0-88307-712-4, See Socorro County, New Mexico

Socorro County is a county located in the state of New Mexico, United States. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Mountain biking

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