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Mountain biking

Mountain biking (Mountain bicycling) is a form of cycling which uses very sturdy bicycles with (usually) straight handlebars and wide tires. Mountain biking takes place off-road. It encompasses both competetive racing and purely recreational cycling. The remainder of this article focusses principally on the sporting (i.e. racing) side of this activity.

This sport originated in the United States, where young men left common roads or defined cyclocross circles and tried to travel on wild off-road ways especially through real nature. Although the first thing to say about mountain bike racing is that it need not take place on a mountain (a range of terrain, from remote alps to city parks) for common biking mountain countries and special bikes are preferred.

The start of this sport is situated near to the end of 1970s when the first special bikes were constructed. The first mountain bike (MTB) was produced probably by Gary Fisher in 1979. His motto was (and is): "All work and no game is no good".

Significant departure of mountain biking from established traditions in cycle racing is its focus on equipment, material and design. A marketplace fascination with technology played an integral role in the rapid growth of the mountain bike industry, and the race circuit always provides an ideal testing ground for new products. Therefore there are a large number of bike producers e.g. Gary Fisher, Trek, Cannondale, Scott, Giant, Schwinn and Specialized.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) recognised this sport relatively late in 1990, when it sanctioned the world championships in Purgatory, Colorado. The first mountain biking world cup series took place in 1991. Its nine-race circuit covered two continents - Europe and North America - and was sponsored by Grundig. In 1992, the Grundig-UCI world cup circuit expanded to ten races, and remained a trans-Atlantic series. Cross-country racing was the only world cup sport at this time, then in 1993 a six-event downhill world cup was introduced. In 1996, cross country mountain biking events were added to the Olympic Games

In 1988 the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame was founded, to chronicle the history of mountain biking, and to recognize the individuals and groups that have contributed significantly to this sport.

There are several basic kinds of race:

External links and references