Mountain biking is very varied; there are as many types of bikes as there are grounds for pedaling. It is essential to keep this in mind before entering this world.
Anyone who goes to a bike shop will see that for mountain biking bikes there are a variety of models. In fact, for a neophyte, it is difficult to understand why there are bicycles of different characteristics and designs for something that, in principle, seems the same sport: mountain biking. This variety of BTT bike types is justified and can be explained simply by this phrase: there are as many mountain bike varieties as there are types of terrain to pedal or descend on.
To simplify a little and to get to the point, we could consider that there are four types of modalities. This does not mean that there are also four types of mountain bikes, since a kind of bike can be used for different patterns and, above all, because there are several ways to classify mountain bikes –the typologies would be one of them. Let’s go to our rating:
- XC or Cross Country: actually, it is the most widespread and popular modality. For the most “”pros”” this discipline is easily defined: it is about going full at all times, going up, going down and in-a plane, you must always go as fast as possible. For other users, the XC is synonymous with MTB, mountain biking, especially for uncomplicated terrain, for tracks, although some like to complicate it a little more. It is usually practiced with rigid bikes (only with fork suspension) and is the mode by which most amateurs start generally. There are also double suspension bikes for XC.
- All Mountain: it would be the discipline of double suspension bikes with routes of between 100 and 140mm. Here the premise is not so much to go very fast but to have a good time and to overcome, from time to time, complicated technical stretches and small jumps. It is a mixed modality between the pure pedaling and the technique of control of the bike, especially on descents. Although some enter the MTB directly because of this discipline, the usual is that they are biker’s experts who after several years practicing the XC prefer to experience other sensations.
- Enduro: here the type of terrain becomes even more complicated, and the rear routes of the bikes are extended to 160-180mm. In the enduro, pedaling is a simple way to reach a complicated path to enjoy the maximum of its descent. It is no longer a question of going fast at all times but above all of going soon on the slopes and presenting small challenges to overcome. Enduro bikes often weigh much more than XC bikes and bikers are equipped with protections and even integrated Helmets, as falls are usually frequent.
- Descent or DH: We are faced with reinforced long-distance bicycles (180-200mm) designed mainly to descend as quickly as possible. With these bikes, it costs a lot to pedal, and that is why we try to avoid doing so. They are ideal to go to the Bikes Parks (ski resorts in summer), where the cyclist and his machine climb the mountain in a chair lift to undertake the descent with complete freedom.
As we say, this is a primary classification, but it will serve to give us an idea of the main differences in MTB bikes in mountain biking. Anyway, we warned you that we have left out other disciplines like Freeride or BMX, not to mention the Bike Trial. As for bikes, many nuances can alter this simple list. Perhaps the most important and recent is the appearance of bikes designed with larger diameter wheels. These new wheels imply essential changes in the design of motorcycles, basically because this principle is applied: with giant wheel the bike needs less suspension travel, especially in the back, but, on this, we will deepen later.”