Mountain bike or mountain bicycle (also abbreviated Mtn Bike, MTB; or ATB, for all-terrain bicycle) is a bicycle designed for rough terrain off-road toutes. Mountain bikes have similar features as that of other bikes, but include additional features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain which can’t be ridden by ordinary bikes. The additional features include suspension on the frame and fork, large and wide knobby tires, more comfortable and durable heavy duty wheels, very powerful brakes, and lower gear ratios which are necessarily needed for steep grades with poor traction.
Mostly mountain bikes are used on mountain trails, logging roads, fire roads, single tracks and other unpaved roads. Such terrains commonly include rocks, loose sand, loose gravel, roots, washouts, ruts, and steep inclined and declined grades.
Since the start of the adventure sport in the 1970s many new sub-types of mountain biking have emerged, such as country – cross (XC), downhill mountain biking, free-ride – biking, all day endurance biking, and variety of other track competitions. Each of these events require different designs of bikes for optimal performance. The design of MTB has included an increase in suspension, nearly up to 8″ or 203mm, and gearing, up to 30 speeds, to provide both climbing and rapid descents. However, advancements in biking technology the sprocket design has recently led to the “1x (pronounced one by)” trend, simplifying the gearing to one Chainring / Sprocket in the front and several sprockets on the rear, more commonly, 9, 10 or 11
The mountain biking got its origin from modified heavy cruiser bicycles used for freewheeling down mountain trails / terrains. This biking sport became popular in the 1970s in Northern California, USA. The riders used older single speed balloon tire bicycles to ride down rugged hillside terrains and trails. Joe Breeze, a bicycle frame builder, was the first to use the idea and developed what is considered the first mountain bike. It was in late 1970s and early 1980s the bike manufacturing companies started to manufacture mountain bicycles using high-tech lightweight materials, such as M4 aluminium. The mass production which can be considered the first mountain bike was the Specialized Stumpjumper in 1981. Slowly and gradually throughout the 1990s and 2000s, mountain biking became a mainstream sport activity moved from a little-known activity. The events like International racing circuit, world championship, in addition to various freeride competitions, such as the Red Bull Rampage and FMB World Tour have put this activity on the world map.
Mountain bikes can be divided into four categories based on suspension configuration:
- Rigid bike: The bicycle is without front nor rear suspension; a hardtail consisting of rigid fork.
- Hard tail bike: This bicycle is equipped with a suspension fork, and a rigid frame.
- Soft tail bike: This bike is without front or rear suspension, as with a rigid, the frames include some built-in flexibility to absorb bumps on the trail. The design is much more similar in road bikes than mountain bikes.
- Dual or full suspension: This bike is equipped with both front rear suspension.
Biking /cycling routes in Uttarakhand…….. please click.
Mountain trail biking in Munsiyari in Nov 2016 …… please click.
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