Selected bikes for mountain biking sport Online
The mountain biking sport by itself offers a multitude of possibilities, from cross country exploration on bikes with or without suspension, to more hair-raising descents down mountain single track on freeride biking or down hill biking with full suspension downhill mountain bikes.
Although mountain biking is sometimes associated exclusively with a younger crowd of people, the renewed popularity of the sport has made mountain cycling more accessible to people of all ages and skill levels! Riders have been braving the road less travelled since bicycles first became popular. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s, in California, that fearless riders such as Tom Ritchey and Gary Fisher brought their chunky, fat-tire bicycles to the next level. Since then, many technical advancements of the bike combined with the bravery of the mountain biker have propelled the sport to higher and higher levels.
Mountain Biking Sport – Now and Then
Did you know…?
Did you know that mountain biking is an Olympic sport?
Mountain biking for both men and women has been included in the Olympics since 1996. During the 2012 London Olympics, Jaroslav Kulhavy from the Czech Republic and Julie Bresset from France took home the Olympic gold medal for the men and women’s mountain biking events respectively.
Mountain biking as a sport and a hobby has gone through several changes and modifications as years passed by, from a simple means of transportation meant to carry a person from point A to point B, to a complex machine engineered to bring about maximum durability for hardcore mountain bikers.
Any decent mountain biker who wants to be considered and looked up to as an expert in the field should at least know a little about the history of this wonderful activity, and if you are hoping to get your biking buddies admiration, or simply looking for some story to tell while you’re all sitting at the pub, here’s a quick overview of how mountain biking started and where it is now.
Mountain Biking – Then
The history of mountain biking sport is filled with controversies, especially about the part where it all began. There are basically three stories that all claim to speak the truth about the origins of mountain biking.
The first story is that it the whole concept started when a group of Black American Soldiers were led by a White lieutenant through the mountainous terrains of Montana to Yellowstone and vice versa in 1896. They rode on then bicycles which were modified to fit the needs of soldiers during that time. The story states that the whole purpose of the trip was to test whether it is possible to use this two-wheeled transport to get soldiers through the mountains. As to what modifications they made were not detailed in any report, but the story implicitly suggests that the bikes were modified in a way that it will allow for bike travels through mountainous areas.
Did you know…?
Did you know that mountain bikes were originally designed for military use?
In August 1896, bicycles were modified for use on rough terrain so that the Buffalo Soldier Regiment could be transported from Montana to Yellowstone.
The first noted modifications on mountain bikes are told in three other stories, which took place about fifty years ago.
Accordingly, somewhere around the early 1950s, a group of cycling enthusiasts from France made improvements to their ordinary French bikes and rode them through rough terrains. At around the same time, and American cyclist by the name of John Finley Scott built the “Woodsie Bike,” which demonstrated the early developments in mountain bikes. The “Woodsie” had derailleur and gears, as well as the distinguishing flat handlebars common to mountain bikes nowadays.
Decades later, another group of cyclers from California were said to be creating modifications on their bikes that further contributed to the development of modern mountain bikes like thumb-operated gear shifters, better derailleur and gears, and so on.
Mountain Biking – Now
The developments and improvements made on the mountain bike continued to the following years, and thus gave birth to a new and modern concept of mountain bikes and biking.
Modern mountain bikes are designed and equipped with specific parts that make them look cool, as well as promote complete efficiency and maximum durability that will allow them to survive demanding rides on challenging and dangerous tracks paved in mountains and hills. Whilst traditional bicycles were mainly made of steel, the modern mountain bikes are not restricted to such material, and are now made with other materials like aluminum and such. In addition, technical equipments like cyclometers and whatnots can be installed on the bike to help riders better understand and improve their riding skills.
In addition, since mountain biking was accepted as a form of sport, many types of mountain biking have sprouted up, all of which can be very challenging yet exciting. Here are some of the most common forms of mountain bike races:
- Cross Country – requires riders to ride through different and difficult terrains.
- Downhill – a really dangerous and probably the most dangerous form of mountain bike racing where riders test their riding skills by pedaling for dear life through a steep and technical side of a mountain – perfect for adrenaline junkies on wheels! As such, riders are required to wear full protective armors which include a full-faced helmet and ride bikes that are specifically made for this event.
- Super D – somewhat similar to downhill riding, as riders will basically be going through steep hillsides, but there are courses where significant amount of uphill rides are present as well.
Mountain Biking Sport v.s. Cross Country Mountain Biking
At its most basic level, moutian biking can be defined as riding that takes place off the paved road. This includes dirt or gravel single track trails, logging roads, forest paths, deserts dried-up or muddy creek beds, and so on. This sort of riding, called cross country bicycling, by people of any skill level.
Did you know…?
Did you know that there is a national mountain biking club called USA Cycling?
Join as a member to get exclusive information about upcoming mountain biking events, interact with other mountain biking enthusiasts and find out more about national athlete selection and training programs for mountain bikers.
Many different mountain bikes can be used for cross-country riding. Because cross-country terrain often demands that the rider climb steep embankments or trails, lighter bikes are preferred for ease of ascent.
Similarly, the rider will also benefit from front, if not rear suspension on the mountain bike. This not only makes the ride more comfortable, but also helps to keep your wheels in contact with the ground.
I am currently riding a Santa Cruz Superlight, and compared to a hard tail mountain bike, I must say that dual suspension makes for a very plush ride!
Suggested Equipment for the Mountain Biking Sport
As with any other kind of riding, in mountain biking sport you should use the best bicycle helmet: it is a must! Other very help, if not necessary, pieces of equipment include:
- Bicycle repair kit
- Cycling clothes
- First Aid Kit
- Bicycling gloves
- Biking sunglasses
- Cycling nutrition (Food & Snacks)
- Bicycle hydration (Water & Juice)
Mountain Biking Sport Safety
Because mountain bike rides tend to be longer than a regular spin on the neighborhood, it is important to be prepared for any situation. If you injure yourself, do you have a method of contacting help? It is not a bad idea to bring a mobile phone of rides, even in patchy reception areas.
Read here some more bicycle safety tips.
Mountain Biking Sport Nutrition
It is essential to bring enough to eat and drink. The sugars found in juice or sports drinks might be enough for short bursts of energy, but solid foods are also necessary for a more sustained release of energy. It’s too easy to forget to eat enough (I don’t have this problem…), and when you do, the uncomfortable effects of “bonking” are quick to set it. If you haven’t experienced this before, the side effects range from weariness and shaky muscles, to extreme mood swings and nausea. This doesn’t sound very fun, does it?
Read here some more health and nutrition articles.
Where to Buy Mountain Bikes?
If you are interested in buying mountain bikes, you can always buy them at your local bicycle store, however there is another alternative: you can buy mountain bikes at one of these trusted online stores:
Selected bikes for mountain biking sport on Competitive Cyclist.com
Books About Mountain Biking Sport
More information about mountain biking sport can be found on several informative books. Take a look at these selected books: