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 (XC)
- trail riding
- all mountain
- dirt jumping
The vast majority of mountain biking falls into the recreational XC, and Trail Riding categories.
The sport itself 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 biking can be performed almost anywhere from a back yard to a gravel road, but the majority of mountain bikers ride off-road trails, whether country back roads, fire roads, or singletrack (narrow trails that wind through forests, mountains, deserts, or fields).