We are sure you have heard of it, though this is a refresh for those maybe thinking of taking up mountain biking.

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Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is the sport of riding bicycles off-road, most times 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 and dirt jumping. However, the majority of mountain biking falls into the categories of Trail and Cross-Country riding styles.

The sport requires endurance, core strength and balance, bike handling skills, and self-reliance. Advanced riders pursue both steep technical descents and high incline climbs. In the case of freeride, downhill, and dirt jumping, aerial maneuvers are performed off both natural features and specially constructed jumps and ramps.

The first examples of bicycles used in off-road use was by the Buffalo Soldiers in 1896! It has been around for a while.

It was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that road bicycle companies started to manufacture mountain bicycles using high-tech lightweight materials.

Mountain Biking For Exercise

There’s nothing that’s better than mountain biking for giving your whole body – and mind – a complete workout.
Great for your Heart Mountain biking is an excellent form of cardio work-out. Although it may not feel like it as you’re going up a climb, mountain biking gives your blood an increase in oxygen. Mountain biking improves your blood vessels by dilating them and keeping them clear.

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Blood Pressure Mountain biking wards off hypertension

Lungs Your lungs’ performance can improve by a whopping 25% compared to your average couch potato. Along with this, mountain biking builds your stamina.
Muscles There are few activities that give your body as thorough all body workout as mountain biking. Specifically, your muscles, and most all of them.

Joints Mountain biking does not beat up your joints.

Waistline It’s hard to quantify because different riders ride at different amplitudes but, as an average, mountain biking is supposed to burn anywhere up to 1,000 calories per hour of doing it. It also ups your metabolic rate.
Side benefits of Mountain biking are better mood, better attitude, increased reflexes.

Yes, Mountain Biking is great exercise for you.

Getting started Mountain Biking

Compared to road bikes, they have the following characteristics:

Fatter tires with rugged tread for stability and durability on off-road terrain

A more upright cycling position that lets you enjoy the view

Some have suspension systems that absorb shock for a more comfortable ride.

There are many ways to enjoy mountain biking, and you don’t even have to be in the mountains. Trails vary from pleasant rides on wide, flowing logging roads to high-adrenaline challenges on technical single-track.

Types of Mountain Bikes

What type of bike you ride is usually decided by where you plan on riding. Suspension type and wheel diameter are two key features that determine what type of terrain the bike is capable of riding. You have a wealth of options when it comes to types of suspension and wheel diameter (denoted by such terms as 26, 27.5 (650b), and 29ers).

 

Suspension Type Profile of a rigid mountain bike

 

Rigid: While not the most common type of mountain bike, “rigid” mountain bikes don’t feature any suspension. They are easy to maintain and usually less expensive, but most riders prefer bikes with suspension for greater comfort. Most fat bikes are rigid, and riders find that the wide tires and low tire pressure provide all the squish needed to absorb bumps in the trail.

Profile of a hardtail mountain bike

Hardtail: These bikes have a suspension fork in the front to help absorb impact on the front wheel, but the rear of the bike has no suspension—ergo a hardtail. Hardtails are typically less expensive than full-suspension bikes, and have fewer moving parts (which often translates into less maintenance). Most hardtails can lock out the front fork for times where a fully rigid bike is desired.

Cross-country riders typically gravitate toward hardtails as they allow more direct transfer of power between the pedal stroke and the rear tire. Hardtails can also be at home on all-mountain trails, and the lower cost and easier maintenance make them a solid option for everything except serious lift-serviced downhill trails.

 

Profile of a full-suspension mountain bike Full suspension: There are many variations of full-suspension bikes, but the general idea is for 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.

 

A full-suspension bike can soak up a lot of a trail bumps and chatter, but the bike can also “bob” a bit and you lose some of the energy transfer when climbing uphill. As a result, most full-suspension rigs can lock-out the rear suspension to offer better power transfer and more efficient climbing.

 

Bikes designed for downhill riding typically boast a lot of travel—the amount of movement in the suspension—compared to bikes designed for cross-country and all-mountain riding. As much as eight inches of travel front and rear is common.

Wheel Size

26 in.: In the not too-distant past, all mountain bikes were equipped with 26 in. wheels. It is still a popular wheel size for its responsiveness and maneuverability, but now when you walk into a bike shop and inquire about mountain bikes, you are likely to be asked, “26 in., 27.5 in. or 29 in.?”

 

27.5 in. (650b): Offering a middle ground between standard 26 in. wheels and 29ers, these bikes apply a “best of both worlds” solution, more easily rolling over terrain than the 26s, but more maneuverable than 29ers. As with 29ers, this wheel size can be found on both full-suspension and hardtail rigs.

 

29ers: These bikes feature 29 in. wheels that are typically heavier and a little slower to accelerate, but once you start moving you can conquer considerably more terrain easier than on a bike with standard 26 in. wheels. They generally offer excellent grip and they have a higher “attack angle”—meaning the wheel rolls over trail obstacles easier. These bikes have become extremely popular for the cross-country crowd. 29ers can be found in both hardtail and full-suspension rigs.

 

24 in.: Kids’ mountain bikes typically have 24 in. wheels to accommodate the shorter legs of children. Most are less-expensive versions of adult bikes with simpler components. These suit kids ages 10 to 13, but this depends more on the size of the child than the age. Younger/smaller children can get started biking with 20 in. wheels.

Dressing for Mountain Biking

Bike-specific clothing makes for a more comfortable ride, no matter what style of biking you’re doing. That said, different styles of mountain biking will dictate what type of clothing you’ll choose.

 

Shorts: Options for mountain biking shorts range from form-fitting styles (often worn by cross-country racers) to baggy styles with a more casual look and more coverage and durability for snags along the trail. These generally have an inner lining with a padded chamois that helps reduce saddle fatigue and reduces some of the trail impact.

 

Jersey: Like shorts, jerseys range from form-fitting to lose and more casual-looking. Regardless of fit, you still want to choose something that wicks sweat and dries quickly. You’ll also want something you can wash and dry with little fuss. If you plan to carry a backpack, you won’t need a lot of pockets—although some mountain-bike jerseys offer that option.

 

Gloves: You’ll be surprised how much a good pair of gloves reduces hand and wrist fatigue; get a pair with padding at the palm. Full-fingered gloves keep your hands warmer and provide some texture between your fingers and the grip on the breaks and gear shifters. Both fingerless and full-fingered gloves add protection in the event of a crash.

Bike-specific clothing makes for a more comfortable ride, no matter what style of biking you’re doing. That said, different styles of mountain biking will dictate what type of clothing you’ll choose.

 

Shorts: Options for mountain biking shorts range from form-fitting styles (often worn by cross-country racers) to baggy styles with a more casual look and more coverage and durability for snags along the trail. These generally have an inner lining with a padded chamois that helps reduce saddle fatigue and reduces some of the trail impact.

 

Jersey: Like shorts, jerseys range from form-fitting to lose and more casual-looking. Regardless of fit, you still want to choose something that wicks sweat and dries quickly. You’ll also want something you can wash and dry with little fuss. If you plan to carry a backpack, you won’t need a lot of pockets—although some mountain-bike jerseys offer that option.

 

Gloves: You’ll be surprised how much a good pair of gloves reduces hand and wrist fatigue; get a pair with padding at the palm. Full-fingered gloves keep your hands warmer and provide some texture between your fingers and the grip on the breaks and gear shifters. Both fingerless and full-fingered gloves add protection in the event of a crash.

How to find where to go Mountain biking

To find the best Mountain biking trails near you, a good site that will show you this is trailinks also, you can just put in google Mountain biking and the area you live in.

Mountain biking is a lot of fun, great exercise, challenging, and a great stress reliever. Give it a try!

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