There are many categories of mountain biking , each of which requires unique gears and technique. Several challenging mountain biking categories involve speed, agility and presence of mind. Take this quiz to learn more about this exciting new sport.
The bikes used in cross-country mountain biking are generally the lightest of all these bikes, weighing between 21 and 28 pounds (9 and 12 kilograms)
In downhill mountain biking, rocks, ditches and other unknown debris are everywhere. Since your downhill speed is increased by gravity, you have to think fast to avoid mishaps, like tumbling over the handlebars.
In four cross (4X), four cyclists are pitted against each other in a race through a series of natural and man-made obstacles.
In dual slalom, two bikers race to the bottom of a hill while strategically zigzagging in and out of gates (poles with flags on them).
Trials test agility, balance and creativity of bikers, who try to complete the course with as few mistakes as possible.
Urban/street, also known as urban, freestyle or street BMX (bicycle motocross), involves using any available object or place for stunts.
In dirt jumping, bikers on stronger and heavier bikes perform stunts on dirt hills and mounds.
All-mountain, also known as enduro (for endurance), involves riding long trails, uphill and downhill in the mountains.
Freeride is the go-anywhere, do-anything form of mountain biking. Here, riders use heavier all-mountain bikes.
Cross-country mountain biking was accepted as an Olympic sport for men and women in 1996.
Mountain bikes are the biggest sellers in both countries.
Mountain bikes accounted for nearly 95 percent by 1993.
The well-treaded, multigeared, spring suspension mountain bikes of today offer something for every rider.
The first bicycles, invented in the mid-19th century, were built with wooden frames and metal rims and weren't especially easy to keep upright.
In cross-country biking, riders need to handle both uphill and downhill terrain.
Downhill mountain bikes are built tough to take a beating, with great suspension to ease the rocky ride. As a result, they tend to be heavier than other mountain bikes.
In four cross (4X) mountain bike racing, the course is usually only a few hundred yards (meters) long.
Trials are about agility, balance and a little bit of creativity. Trials focus more on maneuvering and less on riding.
Urban/street biking is more commonly known as urban, freestyle or street BMX.
All-mountain biking requires bikes with lots of gears to handle both uphill and downhill riding, which are built light enough for uphill riding and are tough enough to take hits.