Mountain biking is a 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, trail riding, all mountain (also referred to as "Enduro"), downhill, freeride and dirt jumping.
This 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.
Mountain bikers ride on off-road trails such as singletrack, back-country roads, fire roads, and often venture to ski resorts that stay open in the summer for such activities. Because riders are often far from civilization, there is a strong ethic of self-reliance in the sport. Riders learn to repair broken bikes and flat tires to avoid being stranded. Many riders carry a backpack, including water, food, tools for trailside repairs, and a first aid kit in case of injury. Group rides are common, especially on longer treks. Mountain bike orienteering adds the skill of map navigation to mountain biking.
Mountain biker riding in the Arizona desert
|Highest governing body||UCI|
|First played||Open to debate. Modern era began in the late 1970s|
|Mixed gender||Separate men's & women's championship although no restrictions on women competing against men.|
One of the first examples of bicycles modified specifically for off-road use is the expedition of Buffalo Soldiers from Missoula, Montana, to Yellowstone in August 1896.  The Swiss military had its first bike regiment in 1891. 
Bicycles were ridden off-road by road racing cyclists who used cyclocross as a means of keeping fit during the winter. Cyclo-cross eventually became a sport in its own right in the 1940s, with the first world championship taking place in 1950.
The Rough Stuff Fellowship was established in 1955 by off-road cyclists in the United Kingdom. In Oregon, one Chemeketan club member, D. Gwynn, built a rough terrain trail bicycle in 1966. He named it a "mountain bicycle" for its intended place of use. This may be the first use of that name.
In England in 1968, Geoff Apps, a motorbike trials rider, began experimenting with off-road bicycle designs. By 1979 he had developed a custom-built lightweight bicycle which was uniquely suited to the wet and muddy off-road conditions found in the south-east of England. They were designed around 2 inch x 650b Nokian snow tires though a 700x47c (28 in.) version was also produced. These were sold under the Cleland Cycles brand until late 1984. Bikes based on the Cleland design were also sold by English Cycles and Highpath Engineering until the early 1990s.
There were several groups of riders in different areas of the U.S.A. who can make valid claims to playing a part in the birth of the sport. Riders in Crested Butte, Colorado, and Cupertino, California, tinkered with bikes and adapted them to the rigors of off-road riding. Modified heavy cruiser bicycles, old 1930s and '40s Schwinn bicycles retrofitted with better brakes and fat tires, were used for freewheeling down mountain trails in Marin County, California, in the mid-to-late 1970s. At the time, there were no mountain bikes. The earliest ancestors of modern mountain bikes were based around frames from cruiser bicycles such as those made by Schwinn. The Schwinn Excelsior was the frame of choice due to its geometry. Riders used balloon-tired cruisers and modified them with gears and motocross or BMX-style handlebars, creating "klunkers". The term would also be used as a verb since the term "mountain biking" was not yet in use. Riders would race down mountain fireroads, causing the hub brake to burn the grease inside, requiring the riders to repack the bearings. These were called "Repack Races" and triggered the first innovations in mountain bike technology as well as the initial interest of the public (on Mt. Tamalpais in Marin CA, there is still a trail titled "Repack"—in reference to these early competitions). The sport originated in California on Marin County's Mount Tamalpais.
It was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that road bicycle companies started to manufacture mountain bicycles using high-tech lightweight materials. Joe Breeze is normally credited with introducing the first purpose-built mountain bike in 1978. Tom Ritchey then went on to make frames for a company called MountainBikes, a partnership between Gary Fisher, Charlie Kelly, John Frey (Marin County mountain biking innovator) and Tom Ritchey. Tom Ritchey, a welder with skills in frame building, also built the original bikes. The company's three partners eventually dissolved their partnership, and the company became Fisher Mountain Bikes, while Tom Ritchey started his own frame shop. The first mountain bikes were basically road bicycle frames (with heavier tubing and different geometry) with a wider frame and fork to allow for a wider tire. The handlebars were also different in that they were a straight, transverse-mounted handlebar, rather than the dropped, curved handlebars that are typically installed on road racing bicycles. Also, some of the parts on early production mountain bicycles were taken from the BMX bicycle. Other contributors were Otis Guy and Keith Bontrager.
Tom Ritchey built the first regularly available mountain bike frame, which was accessorized by Gary Fisher and Charlie Kelly and sold by their company called MountainBikes (later changed to Fisher Mountain Bikes, then bought by Trek, still under the name Gary Fisher, currently sold as Trek's "Gary Fisher Collection"). The first two mass-produced mountain bikes were sold in the early 1980s: the Specialized Stumpjumper and Univega Alpina Pro. In 1988, The Great Mountain Biking Video was released, soon followed by others. In 2007, Klunkerz: A Film About Mountain Bikes was released, documenting mountain bike history during the formative period in Northern California. Additionally, a group of mountain bikers called the Laguna Rads formed a club during the mid eighties and began a weekly ride, exploring the uncharted coastal hillsides of Laguna Beach, California. Industry insiders suggest that this was the birth of the freeride movement, as they were cycling up and down hills and mountains where no cycling specific trail network prexisted. The Laguna Rads have also held the longest running dowhill race once a year since 1986.
At the time, the bicycle industry was not impressed with the mountain bike, regarding mountain biking to be short-term fad. In particular, large manufacturers such as Schwinn and Fuji failed to see the significance of an all-terrain bicycle and the coming boom in 'adventure sports'. Instead, the first mass-produced mountain bikes were pioneered by new companies such as MountainBikes (later, Fisher Mountain Bikes), Ritchey, and Specialized. Specialized was an American startup company that arranged for production of mountain bike frames from factories in Japan and Taiwan. First marketed in 1981, Specialized's mountain bike largely followed Tom Ritchey's frame geometry, but used TiG welding to join the frame tubes instead of fillet-brazing, a process better suited to mass production, and which helped to reduce labor and manufacturing cost. The bikes were configured with 15 gears using derailleurs, a triple chainring, and a cogset with five sprockets.
Throughout the 1990s and first decade of the 21st century, mountain biking moved from a little-known sport to a mainstream activity. Mountain bikes and mountain bike gear, once only available at specialty shops or via mail order, became available at standard bike stores. By the mid-first decade of the 21st century, even some department stores began selling inexpensive mountain bikes with full-suspension and disc brakes. In the first decade of the 21st century, trends in mountain bikes included the "all-mountain bike", the 29er and the one by drive train. "All-mountain bikes" were designed to descend and handle well in rough conditions, while still pedalling efficiently for climbing, and were intended to bridge the gap between cross-country bikes and those built specifically for downhill riding. They are characterized by 4–6 inches (100–150 millimetres) of fork travel. 29er bikes are those using 700c sized rims (as do most road bikes), but wider and suited for tires of two inches (50mm) width or more; the increased diameter wheel is able to roll over obstacles better and offers a greater tire contact patch, but also results in a longer wheelbase, making the bike less agile, and in less travel space for the suspension. The single-speed is considered a return to simplicity with no drivetrain components or shifters but thus requires a stronger rider.
Following the growing trend in 29-inch wheels, there have been other trends in the mountain biking community involving tire size. One of the more prevalent is the new, somewhat esoteric and exotic 650B (27.5 inch) wheelsize, based on the obscure wheel size for touring road bikes. Another interesting trend in mountain bikes is outfitting dirt jump or urban bikes with rigid forks. These bikes normally use 4–5" travel suspension forks. The resulting product is used for the same purposes as the original bike. A commonly cited reason for making the change to a rigid fork is the enhancement of the rider's ability to transmit force to the ground, which is important for performing tricks. In the mid-first decade of the 21st century, an increasing number of mountain bike-oriented resorts opened. Often, they are similar to or in the same complex as a ski resort or they retrofit the concrete steps and platforms of an abandoned factory as an obstacle course, as with Ray's MTB Indoor Park. Mountain bike parks which are operated as summer season activities at ski hills usually include chairlifts that are adapted to bikes, a number of trails of varying difficulty, and bicycle rental facilities.
The level of protection worn by individual riders varies greatly and is affected by speed, trail conditions, the weather, experience, fitness, desired style and numerous other factors, including personal choice. Protection becomes more important where these factors may be considered to increase the possibility or severity of a crash.
A helmet and gloves are usually regarded as sufficient for the majority of non-technical riding. Full-face helmets, goggles and armored suits or jackets are frequently used in downhill mountain biking, where the extra bulk and weight may help mitigate the risks of bigger and more frequent crashes.
Protective gear cannot provide immunity against injuries. For example, concussions can still occur despite the use of helmets, and spinal injuries can still occur with the use of spinal padding and neck braces. The use of high-tech protective gear can result in a revenge effect, whereupon some cyclists feel safe taking dangerous risks. Because the key determinant of injury risk is kinetic energy, and because kinetic energy increases with the square of speed, effectively each doubling of speed quadruples the injury risk. Higher speeds of travel also add danger due to reaction time. Because higher speeds mean that the rider travels further during his/her reaction time, this leaves less travel distance within which to react safely. This, in turn, further multiplies the risk of an injurious crash.
Cross-Country (XC) generally means riding point-to-point or in a loop including climbs and descents on a variety of terrain. A typical XC bike weighs around 9-13 kilos (20-30 lbs), and has 0–125 millimeters (0.0–4.9 inches) of suspension travel front and sometimes rear. Cross country mountain biking focuses on physical strength and endurance more than the other forms, which require greater technical skill. Cross country mountain biking is the only mountain biking discipline in the Summer Olympic Games.
All-mountain/Enduro uses bikes with a moderate-travel suspension systems and components that are usually stronger than XC models, but a weight still suitable for climbing and descending. While traditionally called All-mountain riding, this style has been adopted to the Enduro World Series.
There are two formats of Enduro racing. "Big-Mountain" Enduro is similar to a DH course, but is much longer, sometimes taking a full day to complete and often incorporates climbing sections. "Gravity" enduro uses roughly equal amounts uphill and downhill, but the uphill segments are not timed. Typically, there is a maximum time limit on how long a rider has to reach the top of the climb. There is also a third category called "super-D" which is similar to XC, but has sustained climbs followed by sustained descents, with the climbs less technical than the descents.
Enduro racing is seen as the "everyman's" race in North America, and while there are still extremely high level riders such as Jérôme Clémentz that race enduro full-time, most enduro racers compete for fun.
Downhill (DH) is, in the most general sense, riding mountain bikes downhill. Courses include large jumps (up to and including 12 meters (39 feet)), drops of 3+ meters (10+ feet), and are generally rough and steep from top to bottom. The rider commonly travels to the point of descent by other means than cycling, such as a ski lift or automobile, as the weight of the downhill mountain bike often precludes any serious climbing.
Downhill racers must possess a unique combination of total body strength, aerobic and anaerobic fitness, mental control, as well as the acceptance of a relatively high risk of incurring serious injury.
Because of their extremely steep terrain (often located in summer at ski resorts), downhill is one of the most extreme and dangerous cycling disciplines. Minimum body protection in a true downhill setting entails wearing knee pads and a full-face helmet with goggles, albeit riders and racers commonly wear full-body suits that include padding at various locations.
Downhill-specific bikes are universally equipped with front and rear suspension, large disc brakes, and use heavier frame tubing than other mountain bikes. Downhill bicycles now weigh around 16–20 kg (35–44 lb), while the most expensive professional downhill mountain bikes can weigh as little as 15 kilograms (33 pounds), fully equipped with custom carbon fiber parts, air suspension, tubeless tires and more. Downhill frames have anywhere from 170–250 millimeters (6.7–9.8 inches) of travel and are usually equipped with a 200 millimeters (7.9 inches) travel dual-crown fork.
Four-cross/Dual Slalom (4X) is a discipline in which riders compete either on separate tracks, as in Dual Slalom, or on a short slalom track, as in 4X. Most bikes used are light hard-tails, although the last World Cup was actually won on a full suspension bike. The tracks have dirt jumps, berms, and gaps.
Professionals in gravity mountain biking tend to concentrate either on downhill mountain biking or 4X/dual slalom because they are very different. However, some riders, such as Cedric Gracia, still do 4X and DH, although that is becoming more rare as 4X takes on its own identity.
Freeride / Big Hit / Hucking, as the name suggests, is a 'do anything' discipline that encompasses everything from downhill racing without the clock to jumping, riding 'North Shore' style (elevated trails made of interconnecting bridges and logs), and generally riding trails and/or stunts that require more skill and aggressive techniques than XC.
"Slopestyle" type riding is an increasingly popular genre that combines big-air, stunt-ridden freeride with BMX style tricks. Slopestyle courses are usually constructed at already established mountain bike parks and include jumps, large drops, quarter-pipes, and other wooden obstacles. There are always multiple lines through a course and riders compete for judges' points by choosing lines that highlight their particular skills.
A "typical" freeride bike is hard to define, but typical specifications are 13-18 kilos (30-40 lbs) with 150–250 millimeters (5.9–9.8 inches) of suspension front and rear. Freeride bikes are generally heavier and more amply suspended than their XC counterparts, but usually retain much of their climbing ability. It is up to the rider to build his or her bike to lean more toward a preferred level of aggressiveness.
Dirt Jumping (DJ) is the practice of riding bikes over shaped mounds of dirt or soil and becoming airborne. The goal is that after riding over the 'take off' the rider will become airborne, and aim to land on the 'landing'. Dirt jumping can be done on almost any bicycle, but the bikes chosen are generally smaller and more maneuverable hardtails so that tricks e.g. backflips, are easier to complete. The bikes are simpler so that when a crash occurs there are fewer components to break or cause the rider injury. Bikes are typically built from sturdier materials such as steel to handle repeated heavy impacts of crashes and bails.
Trials riding consists of hopping and jumping bikes over obstacles, without touching a foot onto the ground. It can be performed either off-road or in an urban environment. This requires an excellent sense of balance. The emphasis is placed on techniques of effectively overcoming the obstacles, although street-trials (as opposed to competition-oriented trials) is much like Street and DJ, where doing tricks with style is the essence. Trials bikes look almost nothing like mountain bikes. They use either 20", 24" or 26" wheels and have very small, low frames, some types without a saddle.
Urban/Street is essentially the same as urban BMX (or Freestyle BMX), in which riders perform tricks by riding on/over man made objects. The bikes are the same as those used for Dirt Jumping, having 24" or 26" wheels. Also, they are very light, many in the range of 25–30 lb (11–14 kg), and are typically hardtails with between 0-100 millimeters of front suspension. As with Dirt Jumping and Trials, style and execution are emphasized.
Trail riding or trail biking is recreational mountain biking on recognised, and often waymarked, trails; unpaved tracks, forest paths, etc. Trails may take the form of single routes or part of a larger complexes, known as trail centres. There are "trail bike" designs for this activity.
Mountain Bike Touring or Marathon is long-distance touring on dirt roads and single track with a mountain bike.
With the popularity of the Great Divide Trail, the Colorado Trail and other long-distance off-road biking trails, specially outfitted mountain bikes are increasingly being used for touring. Bike manufacturers like Salsa have even developed MTB touring bikes like the Fargo model.
Mixed Terrain Cycle-Touring or rough riding is a form of mountain-bike touring but involves cycling over a variety of surfaces and topography on a single route, with a single bicycle that is expected to be satisfactory for all segments. The recent surge in popularity of mixed-terrain touring is in part a reaction against the increasing specialization of the bicycle industry. Mixed-terrain bicycle travel has a storied history of focusing on efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and freedom of travel over varied surfaces.
Bikepacking is a self-supported style of lightly-loaded single or multiple night mountain biking. Bikepacking is similar to bike touring, however the two sports generally use different bikes and the main difference is the method of carrying gear. Bikepacking generally involves carrying less gear and using smaller frame bags while bike touring will use panniers.
A typical bikepacking set-up includes a frame bag, handlebar roll, seat pack and backpack and typical gear includes lightweight and basic camping gear, and a bike repair kit.
Mountain bikes are generally used as many bike packing destinations are reached via forest-service roads or singletrack trails. Mountain bikes specific to bike-packing use a slightly taller frame to get the maximum framebag capacity. This is achieved by using a longer headtube, a more horizontal top tube and a reduced stem degree.
Generally, bikepackers tend to cover anywhere from 25 to 75 miles (40 – 120 km) in a given day as the riding can be technical.
Injuries are a given factor when mountain biking, especially in the more extreme disciplines such as downhill biking. Injuries range from minor wounds, such as cuts and abrasions from falls on gravel or other surfaces, to major injuries such as broken bones, head or spinal injuries resulting from impacts with rocks, trees or the terrain being ridden on. Another risk factor is that mountain biking takes places in wilderness area so emergency response will be delayed in case of injury.
Protective equipment can protect against minor injuries and reduce the extent or seriousness of major impacts, but may not protect a rider from major impacts or accidents. To reduce the risk of injury, a rider must also take steps to minimize the risk of accidents, and thus the potential for injury; by choosing trails which fall within the range of their experience level, ensuring that they are fit enough to deal with the trail they have chosen, and keeping their bike in top mechanical condition.
If a mountain biker wishes to explore more dangerous trails or disciplines, such as downhill riding, they must learn new skills, such as jumping and avoiding obstacles.
Where a rider lacks the fitness required to ride a particular class of trail, they may become fatigued, putting themselves at an increased risk of having an accident.
Lastly, maintenance of the rider's bike needs to be carried out more frequently for mountain biking than for casual commuter biking. Mountain biking places higher demands on every part of the bike. Jumps and impacts can crack the frame or damage components or the tire rims, and steep, fast descents can quickly wear out brake pads. Since the widespread adoption of hydraulic and mechanical disk brakes on most mountain bikes from the late 1990's, the issues of brake pad wear, misalignment with, or slippage of rim brake pads on rims designed for rim brakes or "V brakes", has become a non issue. Thus, whereas a casual rider may only check over and maintain their bike every few months,a mountain biker should check and properly maintain the bike before and after every ride.
Mountain bikers have faced land access issues from the beginnings of the sport. Some areas where the first mountain bikers have ridden have faced extreme restrictions or elimination of riding.
Opposition to the sport has led to the development of local, regional, and international mountain bike groups. The different groups that formed generally work to create new trails, maintain existing trails, and help existing trails that may have issues. Groups work with private and public entities from the individual landowner to city parks departments, on up through the state level at the DNR, and into the federal level. Different groups will work individually or together to achieve results.
Advocacy organizations work through numerous methods such as education, trail work days, and trail patrols. Examples of the education an advocacy group can provide include: Educate local bicycle riders, property managers, and other user groups on the proper development of trails, and on the International Mountain Bicycling Association's (IMBA), "Rules of the Trail." Examples of trail work days can include: Flagging, cutting, and signing a new trail, or removing downed trees after a storm. A trail patrol is a bike rider who has had some training to help assist other (including non-cyclists) trail users.
The IMBA is a non-profit advocacy group whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve trail opportunities for mountain bikers worldwide. IMBA serves as an umbrella organization for mountain biking advocacy worldwide, and represents more than 700 affiliated mountain biking groups. The group was originally formed to fight widespread trail closures. In 1988, five California mountain bike clubs linked to form IMBA. The founding clubs were: Concerned Off Road Bicyclists Association, Bicycle Trails Council East Bay, Bicycle Trails Council Marin, Sacramento Rough Riders, and Responsible Organized Mountain.
According to a review published by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, the environmental impact of mountain biking, as a relatively new sport, is poorly understood. The review notes that "as with all recreational pursuits, it is clear that mountain biking contributes some degree of environmental degradation". Mountain biking can result in both soil and vegetation damage, which can be caused by skidding, but also by the construction of unauthorised features such as jumps and bridges, and trails themselves. Several studies have reported that a mountain bike's impact on a given length of trail surface is comparable to that of a hiker, and substantially less than that of an equestrian or motorized off-road vehicle.
A critical literature review by Jason Lathrop on the ecological impact of mountain biking notes that while recreational trail use in general is well studied, few studies explore the specific impact of mountain biking. He quotes the Bureau of Land Management: "An estimated 13.5 million mountain bicyclists visit public lands each year to enjoy the variety of trails. What was once a low use activity that was easy to manage has become more complex".
The environmental impacts of mountain biking can be greatly reduced by not riding on wet or sensitive trails, keeping speeds modest so as to minimize cornering forces and braking forces, not skidding, and by staying on the trail.
Mountain biking has been demonstrated to act as a human-mediated form of seed dispersal. Due to advancements in technology mountain bikers have begun to move onto trail networks once only accessible by hikers. The nature of their movement patterns also plays an important role as a vector for seed dispersal. Mountain bikes are not bound to any specific type of infrastructure and can therefore move freely between ecological environments acting as a connecting dispersal vector between habitats. Combined with their relatively long range and speeds they also contribute to long-range dispersal. In an effort to understand and assess the socio-ecological consequences of mountain bikes as a vector for seed dispersal Fabio Weiss, Tyler J. Brummer, and Gesine Pufal conducted an environmental impact study on forest trails in Freiburg, Germany. The results of the study found that although the majority of seeds detached from tires within the first 5–20 meters; small portions of seeds were still present after 200–500 meters contributing to moderate dispersal. The potential for long-distance dispersal was found through the transport of seeds on areas of the bike that did not come into frequent contact with the ground. The study also found that the majority of participants only cleaned their bikes on average every 70 km or every two rides. Rides executed in two different areas have the potential to connect previously unconnected habitats creating the potential for unwanted plant invasions.
To mitigate the accidental dispersal of an unwanted invasive species, the authors of the study proposed the following measures to support conservation:
a) Clean the bike between rides in different habitats, before traveling and especially before entering sensitive natural areas and regions.
b) Control weeds and non-native species at trailheads and trail margins.
c) Educate mountain bike riders about the potential dispersal of different species (good stewardship begets riding privileges).
d) Encourage cooperation between mountain bikers and managing authorities (avoid condescending regulations, establishment of monitored designated riding areas).
Media related to Mountain biking at Wikimedia CommonsCross-country cycling
Cross-country (XC) cycling is a discipline of mountain biking. Cross-country cycling became an Olympic sport in 1996 and is the only form of mountain biking practiced at the Olympics.Cycling at the 1996 Summer Olympics
The cycling competitions at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta consisted of three separate categories: road cycling, track cycling and mountain biking. The road cycling events took place in downtown Atlanta, track cycling was carried out at the Stone Mountain velodrome in neighboring DeKalb County, and the mountain biking events were held at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers.Cycling at the 2000 Summer Olympics
At the 2000 Summer Olympics, 3 different bicycle racing disciplines were contested: Road cycling, track cycling, and mountain biking.Cycling at the 2006 Commonwealth Games
The Cycling at the 2006 Commonwealth Games was made up of three disciplines:
Road bicycle racing
Mountain bikingThe track cycling was held at the Vodafone Arena, the (road cycling) Time Trial took place on a course on the St Kilda Foreshore and Beach Road, and the State Mountain Bike Course, Lysterfield Park hosted the mountain bike event.
The road race was contested on a circuit through the Royal Botanic Gardens.Cycling at the 2008 Summer Olympics
Cycling competitions at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics were held from August 9 to August 23 at the Laoshan Velodrome (track events), Laoshan Mountain Bike Course, Laoshan BMX Field and the Beijing Cycling Road Course. The event was dominated by the British team, who claimed 14 medals in total, including eight golds.Cycling at the 2012 Summer Olympics
The cycling competitions at the 2012 Olympic Games in London took place at five venues between 28 July and 12 August. The venues were the London Velopark for track cycling and BMX, and Hadleigh Farm, in Essex, for mountain biking. The road races took place over a course starting and ending in The Mall in central London and heading out into Surrey, while the time trials started and finished at Hampton Court Palace in Richmond upon Thames. Eighteen events were contested and around 500 athletes participated.
Cycling events have been contested in every Summer Olympics programme since the first modern Olympiad in 1896 alongside athletics, artistic gymnastics, fencing and swimming. Compared to the cycling at the 2008 Olympics, there were many changes in the Olympic track cycling programme. The men's and women's individual pursuit and points race, and the men's Madison were removed. Team sprint, team pursuit and keirin were added to the women's programme, while Omnium was a new race for both men and women. Countries were restricted to one entry per track event, a restriction which seemed to be directed at preventing the British team from double-medalling in the same event as they had in four events in 2008, thus lowering their medal chances. However, similar to the 2008 Beijing Games, the cycling events were dominated by the British team, which, with a haul including eight gold medals, was the only one to win more than a single gold medal.Cycling at the 2015 European Games
Three disciplines of cycling will be contested at the 2015 European Games; road cycling, mountain biking and bicycle motocross (BMX). A total of eight medal events will be held.Cycling at the 2015 Pan American Games
Cycling competitions at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto were held July 10 to 25, 2015 at four different venues. The BMX competitions took place at the Centennial Park Pan Am BMX Centre in Toronto, the mountain biking competitions happened at the Hardwood Ski and Bike (Hardwood Mountain Bike Park) in Oro-Medonte, due to naming rights the venue was known as the latter for the duration of the games. The road races happened in the streets of Downtown Toronto with the start and finish being adjacent to the Ontario Place West Channel. Finally the track cycling events occurred at the Milton Velodrome in Milton. The road cycling time trials happened in the streets surrounding the velodrome (Milton Time Trial Course).Cycling at the 2016 Summer Olympics
The cycling competitions of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro were held at four venues scheduled to host Eighteen events between 6 August and 21 August.
The venues were Fort Copacabana in the Copacabana venues were in Clusters for the start and finish of the road cycling road race, Pontal in the Barra Cluster for the road cycling time trial competitions, the Rio Olympic Velodrome, also in the Barra Cluster for track cycling, the Olympic BMX Center for BMX and the Mountain Bike Centre for mountain biking, both in the Deodoro Cluster.Cycling competitions had been contested in every Summer Olympics programme since the first modern Olympiad in 1896 alongside athletics, artistic gymnastics, fencing and swimming.
Since the 1896 contests which featured five track events and an 87 km road race from Athens to Marathon and back, Olympic cycling had gradually evolved to include women's competitions, mountain bike and BMX to arrive at the current eighteen events.
In February 2013, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced its intention to petition the IOC to extend the cycling programme by three events for both men and women: the return of the points races (track event), a BMX freestyle event and a mountain bike eliminator but in August 2013 the IOC stated that the cycling programme will be the same as in 2012. No changes were made to the 2016 Olympic cycling programme compared to the cycling at the 2012 Olympics.Cycling at the Summer Olympics
Cycling has been contested at every Summer Olympic Games since the birth of the modern Olympic movement at the 1896 Summer Olympics, at which a road race and five track events were held. Mountain bike racing entered the Olympic programme at the Atlanta Olympics, followed by BMX racing in 2008. Prior to the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics, all events were speed races, but the 2020 programme will feature BMX freestyle for the first time.
Women's cycling did not enter the Olympic programme until the road race at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
The 2012 Summer Olympics were the first at which men and women competed in the same number of events in all cycling disciplines including track cycling, which previously had more men's and fewer women's events than the 2012 programme. However, women have shorter distances for some events.Downhill mountain biking
Downhill mountain biking (DH) is a genre of mountain biking practiced on steep, rough terrain that often features jumps, drops, rock gardens and other obstacles.
Downhill bikes are heavier and stronger than other mountain bikes and feature front and rear suspension with over 8 inches (20 cm) of travel, to glide quickly over rocks and tree roots. In competitive races, a continuous course is defined on each side by a strip of tape. Depending on the format, riders have a single or double attempt to reach the finish line as fast as possible, while remaining between the two tapes designating the course. Riders must choose their line by compromising between the shortest possible line and the line that can be traveled at the highest speed. If a rider leaves the course by crossing or breaking the tape they must return to the course at the point of exit, unless they do not gain a time advantage from crossing the tape, in which case they can continue with their run.Riders start at intervals, often seeded from slowest to fastest, and courses typically take two to five minutes to complete with winning margins being often less than a second. Riders are timed with equipment similar to that used in downhill skiing.Enduro (mountain biking)
Enduro in its most basic definition is a type of mountain bike racing where the downhills are timed, and the uphills are mandatory but not timed. Riders are timed in stages that are primarily downhill, with neutral "transfer" stages in between. The transfer stages usually must be completed within a time-limit, but are not part of the accumulated time.Freeride
Freeride is a discipline of mountain biking closely related to downhill biking and dirt jumping focused on tricks, style, and technical trail features. It is now recognized as one of the most popular disciplines within mountain biking.The term freeriding was originally coined by snowboarders, meaning riding without a set course, goals or rules on natural terrain. In mountain biking, it is riding trail with the most creative line possible that includes style, amplitude, control, and speed. Many in the cycling industry suggest that the Laguna Rads were the first to freeride, that is riding terrain that didn't already have an existing path or network of trails.Mountain bike
A mountain bike or mountain bicycle (abbreviated MTB) is a bicycle designed for off-road cycling. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bicycles, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain. These typically include a front or full suspension, large knobby tires, more durable wheels, more powerful brakes, straight handlebars, and lower gear ratios for climbing steep grades.Mountain bikes are generally specialized for use on mountain trails, single track, fire roads, and other unpaved surfaces, although perhaps the majority of them are never used off pavement, and it is common to find hybrid road bikes based on "mountain bike" frames for sale. This type of terrain commonly has rocks, roots, loose dirt, and steep grades. Many trails have additional TTFs (Technical Trail Features) such as log piles, log rides, rock gardens, skinnies, gap jumps, and wall-rides. Mountain bikes are built to handle these types of terrain and features. The heavy-duty construction combined with stronger rims and wider tires has also made this style of bicycle popular with urban riders and couriers who must navigate through potholes and over curbs.Since the development of the sport in the 1970s, many new subtypes of mountain biking have developed, such as cross-country (XC), all-day endurance, freeride, downhill, and a variety of track and slalom types. Each of these place different demands on the bike, requiring different designs for optimal performance. MTB development has led to an increase in suspension travel, now often up to 8 inches (200 mm), and gearing up to 27 speeds, to facilitate both climbing and rapid descents. Advancements in gearing have also led to a "1x" (pronounced "one-by") trend, simplifying the gearing to one chainring in the front and a cassette at the rear, typically with 9 to 12 sprockets.
The expressions "all terrain bicycle", "all terrain bike", and the acronym "ATB" are used as synonyms for "mountain bike", but some authors consider them passé.Mountain bike racing
Mountain bike racing (shortened MTB or ATB racing) is the competitive cycle sport discipline of mountain biking held on off-road terrain. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) recognised the discipline relatively late in 1990, when it sanctioned the world championships in Durango, Colorado. The first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup series took place in 1988. Its nine-race circuit covered two continents—Europe and North America—and was sponsored by Grundig. Cross-country racing was the only World Cup sport at this time. In 1993, a six-event downhill World Cup was introduced. In 1996, cross-country mountain biking events were added to the Olympic Games. In 2006, cross-country mountain biking events became part of the World Deaf Cycling Championships for the first time in San Francisco, USA.In the United States, there are three USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Calendars: Endurance, Gravity and Ultra-Endurance. USA Cycling runs the USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. There are mountain bike racing types that are not recognized by the UCI, such as mountain bike orienteering that is governed by the IOF.Single track (mountain biking)
Singletrack (or single track) describes a type of mountain biking trail that is approximately the width of the bike. It contrasts with double-track or fire road which is wide enough for four-wheeled off-road vehicles. It is often smooth and flowing, but may also feature technical rocky sections, go over tree roots, and include berms, banked turns, switch-backs, hills, drops, jumps, and so forth. Singletrack which descends significantly, and in the most downward direction, is said to be following the fall line.Many mountain bike riders prefer singletrack over other types of trails, as singletrack is usually designed specifically for the sport, and therefore can have elements which highlight features of the sport (whereas other trail types will usually be more straight, and not exhibit as many hills and other special features). Some singletrack includes TTF's (technical trail features) designed to challenge riders, such as log piles, log rides, skinnies, rock gardens, gap jumps, and wall-rides.
Doubletrack (or double track) contrasts with singletrack in that it has two paths, which are approximately parallel. Jeep trails and fire roads are examples of a doubletrack trail.UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
The UCI Mountain Bike World Championships are the world championship events for mountain bike racing in the disciplines of cross country, downhill, and four-cross. They are organized by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body of world cycling.
The first three finishers in each discipline at the World Championships are awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals. The winner of each discipline is also entitled to wear the rainbow jersey in events of the same discipline until the following year's World Championships. Unlike other UCI-sanctioned mountain-bike races, the competitors in the World Championships represent national rather than commercial teams. The World Championships are usually held towards the end of the season.UCI Mountain Bike World Cup
The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is a multi-round mountain bike racing series that is sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale. The first World Cup series – which was composed of cross-country events – was held in 1989. The Downhill World Cup was inaugurated two years later, and the Dual Slalom World Cup was launched in 1998. The dual-slalom format – which involved knock-out heats with two riders on the parallel courses in each heat – evolved into four-cross (with four riders on a single course per heat) in 2002 before being dropped after the 2011 season. Riders win points according to their placing in each event. The reigning series leaders in each class are identified by a special jersey. The UCI Mountain Bike World Cup is broadcast live and globally on Red Bull TV.
The replacement world series for 4X World Cup is the 4X Pro Tour and for XCM World Cup is UCI MTB Marathon series.UCI Urban Cycling World Championships
The UCI Urban Cycling World Championships are the world championship events for freestyle BMX, cross-country eliminator, and trials. They are organised by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the governing body of world cycling.
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