Mountain biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off road, often over rough terrain, using specially adapted 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, downhill, free ride, street riding, dirt jumping and trials. Vast majority of mountain bikers falls into the recreational XC and Trail riding categories.
This individual sport requires endurance, core strength and balance, bike handling skills, and self reliance. XC type mountain biking generally requires a different range of skills and a higher level of fitness than other types of mountain biking. Advanced riders pursue steep technical descents and, in the case of free riding, down hilling, and dirt jumping, aerial maneuvers off of specially constructed jumps and ramps.
The history of the mountain bike includes contributions from cyclo cross in Europe, the Rough stuff Fellowship in the UK, and modified heavy cruiser bicycles used for freewheeling down mountain trails in Marin County, California. However, it was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that road bicycle companies started to manufacture mountain bicycles using high-tech lightweight materials. Specialized introduced the first major production mountain bike in the world, the Stump jumper, in 1981. Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, mountain biking moved from a little known sport to a mainstream.
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