What Are the Different Types of Mountain Biking?

Mountain biking has become increasingly popular as an outdoor activity. It’s a great way to explore the outdoors while getting some exercise and having fun.

There are a variety of different types of mountain biking, each with their own unique characteristics and challenges. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of mountain biking and what makes each one unique.

Cross-Country Mountain Biking

Cross-country mountain biking is one of the most popular types of mountain biking. It involves riding on trails with varied terrain including hills, rocks, roots, and other obstacles.

Cross-country mountain bikers typically ride for long distances in order to build endurance and test their technical skills. Cross-country mountain biking is great for people who want to explore a variety of trails while getting plenty of exercise.

Downhill Mountain Biking

Downhill mountain biking is the opposite of cross-country riding. Rather than riding long distances on varied terrain, downhill riders focus on going fast down steep technical trails.

Downhill riders typically use gravity to help them navigate through tight turns and over jumps while avoiding obstacles like rocks and roots. Downhill riders usually wear full face helmets and body armor for added protection.

Freeride Mountain Biking

Freeride mountain biking combines elements from both cross-country and downhill riding. Freeriders typically ride on more challenging terrain with bigger jumps than you would find in traditional cross-country riding. Freeride riders also often use specialized equipment such as full suspension bikes with longer travel forks or frame modifications to make them more capable on larger jumps.

Dirt Jumping

Dirt jumping is a type of freeride mountain biking that focuses solely on jumping off man-made jumps or natural features like logs or rocks. Dirt jumpers usually ride shorter travel full suspension bikes with smaller wheels that are designed to handle takeoff and landing forces better than traditional cross-country bikes. Dirt jumpers need to be very precise in their movements in order to make it through their runs cleanly.


Mountain biking is an exciting activity that allows you to explore the outdoors while having fun and getting some exercise at the same time! There are several different types of mountain biking each offering its own unique challenge and experience, from cross country riding for those looking for an endurance challenge, to downhill racing for those looking for speed, or freeriding/dirt jumping for those looking for more extreme thrills!

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Jennifer Watson