All-mountain is action-packed and full of challenging obstacles. All-mountain biking involves riding through the mountains natural terrain which makes the trails unpredictable with lots of drops and turns. It takes great skill, control, and focus.
The most common form of mountain biking is cross country. Cross country doesn’t involve extreme obstacles like all-mountain or dirt jumping however it does take a lot of control and endurance. Most cross country trails involve long periods of climbing and descending the mountain. Cross country trails vary greatly, requiring bikers to make their way through open spaces filled with mud and narrow gravel paths in the same run. This will test your ability to handle the bike.
The goal of downhill riding is speed. Unlike cross country trails that involve curves and snaking paths, downhill trails are usually straight down through the mountain terrain. Most riders don’t use specific trails. Instead, they use their focus and control to successfully get down the mountain at the fastest speed possible. Competitions and races require bikers to achieve blazing speeds, making it thrilling for the rider and spectators. Bikers don’t ride up the mountain. They either walk up a specific trail or are taken up via a lift system. It’s one of the most extreme forms of mountain biking and requires excellent skill and control. Riders are faced with incredibly rough tracks of mountain that have huge jumps and constantly changing obstacles.
Instead of riding through trails on a mountain with different types of terrain, dirt jumping is done in a dirt park. These parks consist of many different types of jumps. Ramps of varying heights provide riders of all skills with a challenge. Dirt lines are often placed close together, so bikers can easily move from one level to another. Essentially, dirt jumping is about tricks and air. Seasoned riders face steep ramps to achieve the most air possible. The challenge lies in achieving the right speed to perform a variety of tricks before safely landing on the other side. It requires strength, control, and a knack for airborne acrobatics.
This discipline is closely related to downhill mountain biking and dirt jumping. It focuses on mountain biking and tricks. If you plan on taking up free-riding, you’ll find a variety of different types of trails and riding areas. Most often, there are no rules or guidelines to follow. Riders allow their creativity and skill to take over. This type of mountain biking takes advantage of the natural terrain and special features built into the trail, such as ladders, ramps, and beams. Free-ride mountain biking is a very versatile discipline. Depending on your riding style, you may go for speed to achieve high jumps or control to get through intricate trail features. Either way, most of these trails and riding areas incorporate big drops and a number of obstacles.