If you’re looking for a new hobby and you’ve decided to start on mountain biking, I’m sure there are things you are curious about. One thing you should know though is that getting into mountain biking is a good choice – it’s a fun way to exercise and connect with nature. Furthermore, you will be able to ride trails, get much further out than with hiking, and experience the exhilarating feeling of speeding through the woods.
Another thing you should know is that there are many ways to enjoy mountain biking, and you don’t always have to be in the mountains. Trails vary from pleasant rides on wide, flowing logging roads to high-adrenaline challenges on technical singletrack. To add more about mountain biking, in this article, I will introduce to you the overview of different types of mountain bike terrain, styles of mountain biking, and the basic suspension types of mountain bikes.
- Types of Mountain Bike Terrain
Trails you can ride can be very different; they can range from two-track dirt roads to steep, technical singletrack. Here are the common types:
- Singletrack, the most common trail type; it has a width that varies from just a little wider than your shoulders on up to a track that’s just wide enough for two bikes two pass. Many singletrack trails are open to one-way travel and wind their way through the best terrain that the landscape offers.
- Flow Trail, a trail that is mostly smooth without many roots, rocks, and obstacles; it is not very steep and “flows” nicely so it can be ridden at speed. This is a perfect trail especially if you’re just a beginner in mountain biking.
- Doubletrack, the trails that are normally double to width (or more) compared to a typical singletrack trail with enough room for two bikes to ride side-by-side. Often doubletrack trails follow abandoned logging roads or fire roads, where the tires of vehicles created two single tracks. These trails are usually a gentler grade than singletrack and tend to have less-technical features.
- Mountain Biking Styles
It’s important to know what style you’re going for since many bike manufacturers categorize their bikes based on the following styles to help you decide what type of mountain bike is appropriate for you.
- Trail, arguably the most common mountain biking style because the category isn’t grounded in any specific type of racing. This style of biking poses a balance between climbing and descending which is why it is the most popular.
- Cross-country, a style of riding that typically implies riding fast, with an emphasis on climbing prowess. Usually, the trails are a mix of going up and down throughout the whole length of the trail. This sector of mountain biking is for those who enjoy pushing their body to new physical limits to go faster and farther.
- Enduro, commonly known as “all-mountain,” is a style for those who like to be competitive with their friends, especially when it comes to downhill sections of trail. This style is for those who mostly care about the downhill, but still enjoy the rewarding experience of the climb.
- Suspension Types of Mountain Bikes
What type of bike you ride is usually decided by where you plan on riding. The following suspension types are a key feature that determines what type of terrain the bike is capable of riding.
- Rigid, these are bikes that don’t feature any suspension. They are easy to maintain and usually less expensive, but to ensure for greater comfort, bikes with suspension are better. An example of a rigid mountain bike is fat bikes. The wide tires and low tire pressure provide all the squish needed to absorb bumps in the trail.
- Hardtail, bikes that have suspension in the front fork. This is to help absorb impact on the front wheel, but the rear of the bike has no suspension. This type is typically used by cross-country riders as they allow more direct transfer of power between the pedal stroke and the rear tire.
- Full suspension, the type that has the general idea of having the front fork and rear shock to absorb the impacts of the trail. This drastically reduces the impact on the rider, increases traction, and makes for a more forgiving and enjoyable ride.
Everything about this new hobby you’re getting into which is mountain biking may feel somewhat overwhelming and confusing, but there’s nothing to worry about! Because as long as you continue on this journey, you will learn more about mountain biking that you won’t find anywhere on the internet. It’s just like what they say, we learn more through experiences. So, go ahead and start conquering those trails!