Mountain Biking

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Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking
Video: Mountain Biking
Video: Mountain Biking the lower Whistler Bike Park 2023, February

Mountain biking

Mountain biking is a popular nature and health sport and offers a variety of experiences for all skill levels and age groups. Health-oriented recreational athletes can enjoy the surroundings on moderately inclined forest roads and paths and train their endurance. Performance-oriented athletes are looking for a challenge on steeper paths or unpaved paths (single trails)…


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  • more on the subject
  • Diverse training effects
  • Technique - even kicking and pulling
  • Mountain bike disciplines
  • Which mountain bike is the right one?
  • The right equipment
  • Is cycling or mountain biking allowed in the forest?
  • General rules of conduct
  • Whom can I ask

The special attraction: Those who have managed the ascent will be rewarded with a descent: it is easy to roll down wide forest paths without being exposed to any particular risk of falling. On the other hand, steep, rocky and rooted paths demand - depending on the difficulty - special downhill skills.

Diverse training effects

Anyone who rides up and downhill on unpaved roads and paths on a mountain bike should be in good basic fitness. Because not only body weight, but also the bike has to be moved against gravity. Good leg strength helps you negotiate steeper sections. In order to be able to negotiate steep stretches without dismounting, a good sense of balance and responsiveness are an advantage. Regular mountain biking has many positive effects on the body: Above all, it is exercised

  • the endurance,
  • the power and
  • the coordinative skills.

Note If you have not done any sport for a long time, a medical check-up is recommended, as mountain biking places increased stress on the cardiovascular system.

Technique - even kicking and pulling

An even, round step is achieved by stepping and pulling the pedals. Several muscle groups are stressed and the forces used efficiently. The cadence shouldn't be too slow. Biking is not necessarily the same as cycling. The demands on the terrain are varied depending on the nature of the path. Uphill, downhill, waves, ditches, curves, light obstacles - the conditions require appropriate riding technique and control of the bike. You should get used to the stresses and strains of the bike and slowly approach your limits. Courses and driving technique training create self-confidence and convey a safe introduction to an attractive sport.

Mountain bike disciplines

Mountain biking offers a wide range of sporting activities. Experts differentiate between the following disciplines, some of which also include competitions:

  • Tours and cross-country: You are on easy paths and forest roads. Around two thirds of mountain bike owners belong to this group. Their primary concern is exercise in nature and physical fitness. Narrow paths, so-called single trails, are popular. These challenge and encourage skill. Depending on your driving ability, they offer a special charm.
  • Freeride / Enduro: In this discipline, single trails are mainly used. The bikers are mostly out and about in rough terrain - a challenge for the sense of balance.
  • Downhill: Downhill specialists are out and about on specially created paths and downhill trails. These are often provided with artificial elements such as ramps, banked curves and jumping hills. Cable cars are often used for the ascent.

Note A functional, off-road bike, helmet and gloves are in the interests of your own safety and a prerequisite for driving pleasure!

Which mountain bike is the right one?

Mountain bikes are designed for special loads. The market offers a wide variety of bikes and accessories. In every price range there is a suitable combination with regard to frame size, wheel diameter, spring elements with / without blocking option (lockout), gear shifting, translation, etc. Good advice from specialist dealers provides orientation. The most commonly used materials are aluminum and carbon.

It is important to consider for what purpose the mountain bike will be used! Depending on the application and price range, mountain bikes are designed and equipped differently:

  • Fully suspended mountain bikes - "full suspension bikes" - also called "fully" (suspension fork at the front, shock absorption at the rear), offer very good ride comfort and grip, especially in rough terrain or on forest and gravel roads.

    • Race Fully, Marathon Fully: short suspension travel, sporty geometry, smaller brake disc diameters, low weight, propulsion-oriented. Usually sufficient for forest roads and easy terrain.
    • All-mountain bike: medium to long suspension travel, neutral seating position, wide handlebars for good control in the field, versatile application, tours and descents even in demanding terrain - appropriately designed brakes and a wide range of gear ratios. "Medium weight class."
    • Freeride, downhill bike: very stable construction, long-stroke spring travel, therefore a little heavier. Downhill-oriented, only partially suitable for tours.

      Use of downhill bikes mostly in bike parks that offer climbing aids.

  • Mountain bikes with hardtail

    suspension only at the front of the fork, without rear suspension - rigid rear structure. Their greatest advantage is their low weight.

    • Race hardtail: very sporty geometry, particularly weight-optimized.
    • Touring hardtail: less elevation of the saddle compared to the handlebars compared to the race hardtail - more neutral seating position.
    • Dirt bike, trail bike: special wheels for tricks and skill driving. Not suitable for touring.

Tip Depending on your driving ability, body weight and use, make sure that the brake disc diameter is sufficiently large.

The right equipment

Cushioning systems must be adapted to the body weight. Often, expensive spring travel is not used. The right frame size of the mountain bike and a good seating position are important (see cycling). With clipless pedals, the shoes are connected to the pedals via a binding. Your advantage lies in the efficient use of all leg muscles. Your disadvantage: Getting in and out initially requires practice, but is easy to learn and should be mastered when driving off-road.

Tips for buying

  • An unsuitable saddle causes discomfort. Many shops offer the opportunity to test drive the saddles. You only notice pressure points after a long driving time - test sufficiently.
  • A test drive in the field is usually possible without problems for a small rental fee, which will be refunded upon purchase, and is preferable to a short seat test in the shop.

The perfect equipment

  • Helmet: Should always be worn when mountain biking!
  • Glasses: protect the eyes from dirt, stones, mosquitoes and sunlight. Caution: Sunglasses can darken too much in the forest or in the evening.
  • Cycling gloves: protect your hands from rubbing / pressure points and from abrasions in the event of a fall.
  • Functional clothing and a change of underwear : cycling shorts with padded zones ensure better seating comfort. The body can cool down on descents, so take dry spare clothing and a windbreaker with you. In alpine terrain or on longer tours you should protect yourself with overpants, gloves, etc. in bad weather.
  • Breakdown assistance: spare tube, tire lever (for easy installation of the jacket), air pump, a mini tool and chain rivet with matching chain pins help with small defects.
  • Bike backpack: Equipment and provisions can be stowed in it for longer trips.
  • Sufficient drinks (bike bottle, drinking bag) and a bar or similar. are part of the standard equipment,
  • also a small first aid kit, a map or a route plan and a mobile phone.

Is cycling or mountain biking allowed in the forest?

In the Forest Act 1975 it is regulated that everyone can enter the forest for recreational purposes. Driving and riding in the forest are only permitted with the permission of the forest owner or forest road maintainer. In order to avoid conflicts with landowners, you should only ride your mountain bike on designated, approved routes.

Further information: Ministry of Life.

Tourist companies or municipal information offices will be happy to provide information about approved routes and tour options.

General rules of conduct

Mutual consideration and a respectful, careful treatment of nature form the basis of the common use of the recreation areas.

  • “Fair play!” - safe, anticipatory driving style - always keep your bike under control.
  • Only drive past pedestrians at walking pace (risk of injury from splashing stones), hikers have no eyes behind, with each other instead of against each other, a friendly greeting promotes mutual respect.
  • No blocking rear wheel - leave no traces in nature, stay on the paths.
  • Many animals are particularly active at dusk and at night - avoid these times and plan the tours properly.
  • Note and respect signs and temporary closures (e.g. forest work).
  • Make sure you have a functional bike and suitable equipment.

Whom can I ask

  • Fit Sport Austria
  • Alpine clubs, university sports institutes

Notes: Tips for safe and considerate mountain biking

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