What Is A Mountain Bike?

Many have a mountain bike, but few know about the differences to a conventional bike and what a mountain bike actually is.

The mountain bike is often marked with the abbreviation MTB and means nothing more than "mountain bike".

Mountain bikes are built primarily for use on unpaved terrain, off paved bike paths . Of course, the mountain bike can also be used in the city, but it is due to its special nature much more effective in rough terrain.

How does a mountain bike work?

Bike is not the same bike. There are many different models , each with their own unique characteristics. For example, the tires on a racing bike are especially narrow. As a result, there is a much lower frictional resistance between tires and asphalt. The racing cyclist thus requires less power to move the road bike. And the mountain bike also has a number of peculiarities that make it so efficient, especially in the mountains or on rough terrain.

One of these peculiarities are the tires , which, for example, have a significantly larger diameter compared to the tires of a racing bike   . The larger diameter of the tires makes them more robust overall. Gravel roads and rocky roads can damage the tires so much less. In addition, the tires of mountain bikes have a  clear profile , which, for example, the racing bikes almost completely missing. The profile provides the necessary grip. This also contributes to the fact that mountain bikers do not lose their grip on bumpy tracks and muddy surfaces.

Another difference between the tires of mountain bikes and the tires of many other bicycle models is the size. The tires of mountain bikes are usually smaller in diameter than road bikes or touring bikes.

Due to the smaller diameter of the wheel, the larger diameter of the tire and the profiling, the driver of a mountain bike has to spend more power for one wheel revolution than the driver of a racing bike. In addition, due to the smaller wheel diameter, a smaller distance per wheel revolution can be covered than with a racing bike or a touring bike.

Another special feature of the mountain bikes is  the frame size . The frame of a mountain bike is usually a bit smaller compared to other bike models. This means that the focus here is lower.

Mountain bikes also have a  gear shift . The number of courses can vary quite a bit. Thick chainrings, which are available for many gears, are not necessarily a must in order to cope with steep climbs without any problems.

Because that is quite possible with a smaller number of courses. The translation plays an important role here. With many modern wheels, the translation is so good that you can get through the mountains even with "only" 20 gears .

The off-road driving is not only hard on the muscles, but also for the joints and the spine. When it comes to bumpy roads, enormous forces finally act on the support apparatus.

During rapid downhill runs over bumpy roads, the impact load on shoulders, neck and tailbone is enormous. To cushion this, so a good damping is necessary. And that's why you'll always find a spring-loaded fork on mountain bikes  , which somewhat dampens the impact load on the upper body. Most conventional mountain bikes have no saddle suspension installed. However, there are also models in which the saddle is equipped with a professional suspension. These models are called  Full Suspension Mountain  Bikes .

Advantages and applications

The mountain is only once a bicycle , which basically can be used on any terrain. Of course it can also be driven in city traffic. However, the mountain bike can only reach its full potential when you drive it in the area for which it is actually built.

For example, driving in the city could be a real downside to the fact that the mountain bike is not originally equipped with mudguards. When driving on rain wet road you will be so wet even after a rain shower. Also, a luggage rack, on which you can attach his bag for the university or the work, there is basically not on a mountain bike.

In addition, most mountain bikes are not road worthy . So you are not allowed on the road. This is mainly due to the lack of lighting. The standard is not available on a mountain bike. However, the lighting can be easily retrofitted, so that a mountain bike is approved for use in traffic.

The mountain bike is clearly built for off-track riding off the beaten track.

The low center of gravity , which comes from the relatively small frame of mountain bikes, also allows safe in the field Driving maneuvers. The driving pleasure is therefore always higher than other bicycles. Also, it is slightly more agile than other models due to the smaller frame.

If you ride a mountain bike over rough terrain , you have to be sure that the bike is very sturdy. And that's true on mountain bikes. The tube construction of the frame has a proper diameter, which makes it particularly stable.

The fact that more material is used to build a frame for a mountain bike does not negatively affect the weight of the bike. Because the manufacturers know that the weight of the bicycle plays a not unimportant role. After all, the mountain bike rider has to spend more weight on every kilogram of weight. And that's no pleasure, especially when driving uphill on stony forest roads.

In addition, especially in the alpine area it also happens that there are route passages that are not passable at all.

The cyclist then has to carry his bike partially. A high weight of the bicycle would be a real disadvantage. That's why the manufacturers of mountain bikes use their bikes for the frame's robust yet lightweight materials.

Common materials for the frame of a mountain bike:

  • aluminum
  • carbon
  • titanium
  • stole

Aluminum

Aluminum is most often used on mountain bikes. And for a good reason. Because aluminum is not only inexpensive , it can also be processed outstandingly due to its soft texture. In addition, it is a very light material, which is a real advantage for bicycle construction.

Aluminum occurs in many components of a bicycle. However, it is rarely installed in pure form, but mixed with additional materials. For example, zinc is often added for strength.

Carbon

When carbon is a composite of fibers and epoxy resin . The peculiarity of carbon is its lightness. But as beneficial as it is light in weight, breaking strength is still a problem with carbon. In addition, carbon in the production is still quite expensive, so the consumer for the light carbon wheels must also reach deep into the bag.

Titanium

Titanium is a particularly high-quality material for the production of bicycle frames . Almost as robust as steel, it weighs almost 40 percent less than steel. In addition, it is very well protected from corrosion by the oxide layer on the surface.

The production of titanium frames is very complex, which is why such bikes are offered only very limited. The clientele that afford titanium bikes are usually very wealthy customers or collectors.

Stole

Steel is a true classic as a material for the production of bicycles . In former times you could not avoid steel in bicycles. However, steel is quite heavy and therefore this material is not ideal for modern bikes. Nevertheless, steel is still found today in many parts of mountain bikes. For example, screws and bottom bracket axles are often made of steel due to their low wear and high strength.

Even with the frame construction, steel is far from being old iron. It is still used today for the construction of mountain bikes. Especially retro fans are increasingly turning to steel again. Better alloys can provide even greater strength and greater pipe averages provide better rigidity.

However, steel still has the disadvantage that it is heavy and prone to corrosion.

Mountain bikes are often lighter than touring bikes or trekking bikes.

A big advantage that mountain bikes have beyond is the suspension. However, this is really an advantage only in the field. Because on flat, paved road, the power cannot be optimally brought to the road by the suspension.

Especially the saddle suspension makes itself rather disadvantageous noticeable. With many models, there is therefore the option to lock the suspension or to adjust the suspension at least harder.

Sprung suspension bikes, so-called full suspension bikes, compensate for uneven ground and thus relieve the joints and the spine of the driver.

What types of mountain bikes are there?

The mountain bike is a mountain bike. But what mountains can you actually drive up with that? And what if you prefer to leave the mountains in fast descents? Exactly for these different requirements there is the mountain bike in different categories.

These mountain bike types are available:

  • Hardtail
  • Cross country
  • All Mountain
  • Enduro
  • Free Rider
  • Downhill

Hardtail mountain bike

The peculiarity of the hardtail mountain bike is its rigid frame. In this type, at least the rear part (the saddle) is not sprung. Hardtail bikes are often made of aluminum or carbon. Depending on the requirements of the owner, the equipment can be quite different. Depending on the equipment, hardtails weigh between 8 and 13 kilograms.

Cross Country Mountain Bikes

The cross country mountain bikes are also referred to as a marathon mountain bikes. This type of mountain bike is available for recreational sports, but also for competitive sports in a special design. The models for recreational sports are usually a bit heavier and weigh about 12 kg. The models that are built for competition races on unpaved terrain, which usually weigh less than ten kilograms. In the models that are built for racing, the brake plays an important role. Normally, disc brakes are installed on the Cross Country Bikes. The seating position is rather flat on this bike. In addition, the bike is sprung front and rear. Where the travel is in each case up to ten centimeters. The racing bikes are often made of carbon, which makes them very expensive.

All Mountain Mountain Bike

The All Mountain Bike is built for mountain tours . The seating position is a bit more upright than on cross country mountain bikes. The materials of which the bike is built are sturdy and durable. That's why an All Mountain mountain bike usually weighs between 10 and 15 kg. The bike is fully sprung and the suspension travel is between 10 and 14 cm. And although the bike is fully and very well sprung, this is not necessarily noticeable by the special construction when driving uphill. On downhill runs, the good suspension ensures fun and safety. The tires of the All Mountain mountain bikes are quite wide, which makes them ideal for off-road use. But you can also be driven well on the road.

Enduro mountain bikes

The Enduro mountain bikes can be found either in bike parks or in steep terrain. They weigh up to 16 kg and have a travel between 13 and 16 cm. The bicycles are built so that the chassis can be adapted by each driver exactly to their own needs. Another special feature of Enduro Bikes are the tires. Not only are they much wider than the tires of other models, they are also equipped with a particularly strong profile. Disc brakes are standard on these models.

Freerider mountain bikes

Freerider mountain bikes are built especially for tackling steep runs. For tours, they are not suitable. The freeriders are available in different variants. The variant for the "recreational athlete" can weigh up to 20 kg and has a suspension travel between 15 and 20 centimeters. These models are especially suitable for steep descents with a few short jumps. And then there is the variant for the big show. These freeriders sometimes weigh more than 20 kg and have a travel of more than 20 centimeters. With these bikes, for example, skilful jumps on special courses are presented. The freeriders are excellent for downhills, but they are only partially suitable for the way up.

Downhill mountain bikes

The downhill mountain bikes are in principle built for nothing else than for fast descents. This is actually about getting the mountain down as fast as possible. And for that they are equipped with extremely wide tires. The tires of the downhill bikes are up to 76 millimeters wide . To ensure the necessary stability, the bikes often weigh up to 22 kg .

For tours or climbs , the bikes are hardly suitable due to their high weight and high rolling resistance due to the wide tires. Other special features of the downhill mountain bike are the special suspension and the hydraulic disc brakes.

So we tested the mountain bikes

The driver behavior of mountain bikes can be quite different. It always depends on what type it is, how big and wide the tires are or how the bike is sprung. Nevertheless, there are test criteria that determine the quality of a mountain bike.

And we have used these criteria for our mountain bike test.

  • Mass
  • Material
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Circuit
  • Particularities

The weight

The weight of a mountain bike , it is quite advantageous if this is as low as possible. After all, every extra kilo requires more effort to move it. However, a higher weight on a mountain bike can also be an advantage. For example, when it comes to specialized bikes like the downhill mountain bike, weight is an advantage. Because here, the weight also affects the driving stability.

The weight of a mountain bike also determines the specialization of the bike on which weight is ideal. Low weight is ideal for mountain bikes built for longer trips, and high weight is ideal for bikes built specifically for fast downhills.

The material

The material is largely responsible for the weight of the mountain bikes. The material used for the frame is also responsible for the stability and ruggedness of the bike. The classic steel frame is heavy, but also very stable. Aluminum, on the other hand, is really stable only if the frame is molded in a special way. For a frame made of aluminum is particularly light. This also applies to a frame made of carbon. However, this is very expensive to manufacture, which of course affects the price of the bike. A high price you have to pay for a frame made of titanium. But this is as robust as steel and yet light.

When evaluating the material, the test not only depends on the material itself, but also on its processing. Especially the joints on the frame were critically evaluated. Because , they are among the classic weak points on the frame.

The suspension

When assessing the suspension , it is not about assessing whether a mountain bike is sprung only front or rear, but rather how well the suspension works well. It is necessary to test how long the travel is. In addition, it is advantageous if the suspension can be easily locked when needed (even while driving) and how well the suspension can be adapted to the weight of the driver.

The brake

The brakes are, as in a motor vehicle, a safety-relevant component. Therefore, the brakes are always critically appraised in tests. Disc brakes or even hydraulic disc brakes are basically better than the classic rim brake. However, the brake system must always be well matched to the bike and the respective requirements. The brakes of a mountain bike for particularly the sporty driving style (for example Freerider, Enduro, Downhill) must meet higher requirements than with a classical Cross County mountain bike.

Regardless of the model of the mountain bike, a brake must always be able to stop the wheels quickly and in a controlled manner.

The circuit

If a good switch group is installed on a mountain bike , then this has an effect on the purchase price, but it is also to be assumed that the circuit is hard-wearing and enduring. The number of courses is rather secondary to judge. Much more important is a good translation.

Particularities

For example, in our test , we assessed how easy it is to assemble the wheel. How easy it is to assemble the wheels and how easy it is to adapt the handlebar and saddle. In addition, we also included details such as a particularly good tire profile in the evaluation of the bike.

Also, the functionality in the field can have a positive effect on the evaluation of a bike, for example, if it is particularly agile, if the suspension is particularly good, if it acts particularly well on wet surfaces or if it has a particularly high-quality equipment.

What do I have to pay attention to when buying a mountain bike?

When buying a mountain bike , it is important to first decide on the right model. For this in turn, the priority use of the bike must be considered (for example, mainly tours or departures). Once the right type of mountain bike has been found, it's all about the details.

The first detail is  the frame size . The frame height can be roughly calculated based on body size. However, it also depends on the personal feeling.

Basically, is more comfortable for touring cyclists, if the frame is a bit larger. In sportier driving it is safer if the frame is a little smaller.

It depends not only on the height of the frame, but also on  the frame length . It should be noted that a shorter frame allows a more upright seating position.

Especially for longer tours that is more pleasant because the cervical spine is not so much burdened here. If you like it sportier, that is better served with a longer frame. Here the seating position is flatter.

The seating position

Of course, the seating position is primarily determined by the nature of the frame. However,  the handlebar  plays a not insignificant role here. Flat handlebars are ideal for those who like to drive long, fast distances. However, if you prefer to travel on routes that require a certain maneuverability, we recommend a cranked handlebar. These reduce (ideally in conjunction with a shorter frame) the load on the arms and hands.

The wheel size

  • The size of the bike depends a lot on mountain biking. A smaller  wheel in 26 "  , for example, is particularly agile, light, accelerates well and can be braked excellently. However, it is restless in the run, has a low traction and brings even in the curves no ideal stability.
  • With a  large 29 "wheel  , high cornering stability, very good traction and smooth running are among the advantages. However, the big wheels are quite heavy, not very manoeuvrable and show no good braking behavior.
  • The best of both worlds you get with the  27.5 "tires . They can convince in all points. They run smoothly, brake well, have good acceleration, are agile, have good traction and do not weigh too much.

The circuit

We recommend when buying a mountain bike to pay attention to the price of the circuit. Where a good circuit always costs a little more. However, as a hobby mountain biker for the individual parts of the circuit, you really do not have to dig deep into your pocket. Professionals, on the other hand, can and should spend a little more on a good drive.

The brake

For the brakes, we definitely recommend disc brakes. More expensive, but better, are the hydraulic brake systems. In addition, the size of the brake discs should be considered. The principle is that the larger the brake disc, the steeper the terrain can be that you can handle with it.

Brief information on leading manufacturers

In the following we would like to briefly introduce some famous manufacturers of mountain bikes .

Bulls

The products of the Bulls brand have developed since 1995 in many countries, including the US, Russia and New Zealand, an excellent reputation. Bulls has always been synonymous with sporty driving pleasure. Even more since the BULLS team was founded in 2007. Since then, the company has been relying directly on the experiences of professional athletes and incorporating them into the development of new products. Bulls' product range includes hardtails, racing bikes, BMX and e-bikes.

Haibike

The Haibike brand was also launched in 1995. However, they are initially sold under the brand name Winora. The sporty bikes are constantly being developed by the company. And at Haibike you also enter unknown paths. As with the introduction of the first e-mountain bike in 2010. In addition to bicycles for children include mountain bikes for beginners and professionals on the Haibike assortment list. And of course there are the Cross Bikes, Trekking Bikes, Downhill Bikes and Offroad Bikes from Haibike also with electric drive.

Giant

The Giant brand was founded in 1972 in Taiwan. The aim was to produce affordable bikes in good quality. Meanwhile, the company has long since celebrated its 40th birthday and is one of the world's best bicycle manufacturers. The good quality and numerous innovative developments have contributed to the fact that in professional sports numerous prizes could be won with the products of Giant. In addition to racing bikes, cross bikes, city bikes, trekking bikes and children's bikes, the extensive Giant range also includes mountain bikes and modern e-bikes.

Scott

The Swiss bicycle manufacturer Scott is one of the world's most successful manufacturers of bicycles and sporting goods. It all started in 1986, when Scott launched his first mountain bike. The success of the company was largely due to the fact that the company has repeatedly convinced with new innovations. In addition, Scott has the claim to always deliver the best quality.

Cube

The Cube brand, founded in Bavaria in 1993, offers racing bikes, city bikes, children's bikes and mountain bikes in all variations. Of course, the company has long been very successful jumped on the train of electric bikes. The company's products are especially popular in recreational sports. Cube also likes to get suggestions and ideas from professional athletes or the company's own bicycle team. The Cube mountain bikes are now among the most popular models among customers in Germany.

KTM

KTM is an Austrian brand that was founded in 1964. The company produces bicycles for all areas in the best quality. In addition, the KTM brand stands for the latest technologies, which is why the KTM bikes are also very popular with professionals. The perfectly matched sporting performance in all parts can be experienced, for example, on trekking bikes, children's bikes, racing bikes, mountain bikes or e-bikes from KTM.

Where do I buy my mountain bike best?

There are several ways to buy your new mountain bike. However, before you actively search for a new bike, we recommend that you take a closer look at the results of our mountain bike test . Based on our test results, the selection can be limited in advance to a few specific models.

If you  buy your new mountain bike  from a retailer , you can usually rely on expert advice with sound knowledge of the seller. Many sellers are active cyclists themselves and can therefore draw on a large personal wealth of experience.

In addition, you can  They also give very good tips on which model is most suitable for which driving style.

However, the  offer in the specialized trade is usually not very big . In many shops  often only certain brands  are offered. Of course, these brands are especially praised by the sellers, regardless of whether the products of other brands offer better performance. Therefore, it is important to read the results of a mountain bike test before buying.

Many are afraid of a purchase  on the Internet  , because the advice is missing here. However, that is not always the case. First of all, the mountain bikes are usually described very well on the websites. And with every online retailer who is on the lookout, there is also a way to directly contact the retailer with questions or requests via a chat function or a contact form.

Also a telephone consultation is offered in some cases. The advantage of the online trade is  the large offer, which also  brings a  great variety of brands with it. In addition, online retailers can usually   offer much better prices . This is especially true for previous years models. But even current models can often be offered much cheaper than in retailers.

Worth knowing and advice

The history of the mountain bike

The history of mountain bikes began in the early 1970s in the United States. In 1973, three friends met on Mount Tamalpais in California to explore it by bike.

 However, the almost 800 meters high mountain with its gravel roads for a normal bike is a seemingly impossible task dar. Therefore, the three friends got old bikes from the 30s without gear shift, but with balloon tires and a wide handlebar.

The way uphill was extremely difficult with the more than 20 kg wheels, because the wheels had to be carried in some places. The reward was then but at the exit. Here was the true potential of the wheels. Enthusiasm for hill climbing was aroused and in 1976 the first race with these wheels took place.

In 1977 the first real mountain bike was built . This was an independent frame construction, which was adapted to the special requirements of mountain driving. Also, the weight of the bike was significantly reduced. It took a few more years before the idea of a mountain bike spread in the USA. The name of the bike is officially "mountain bike" since the year 1980. This year, the then still common steel rims were replaced by aluminum rims.

In 1982, production of specific components for mountain bikes began . About a year later, the mountain bike was mature enough that it could go into mass production.

In 1990 , the first mountain bike championships took place in the USA and also in Germany . At least since that time, the mountain bike has become a mass phenomenon.

The first mass-produced mountain bikes were indeed an independent division in the field of bicycles, but they were technically still far from mature. In the following decades, until today, more and more possibilities were found, how the mountain bike can be made even better. The materials for the frame of the mountain bike were for example with aluminum, carbon or titanium lighter and lighter. Also, the suspension was always improved. The same applies to the switchgear and the brakes.

Numbers, data, facts about the mountain bike

Since when is the mountain bike available?

The mountain bike, an American invention , has been around since 1977 . Since 1981, the mountain bikes are also officially MTB.

How many mountain bikes are there in Germany?

In Germany there are a total of about 72,000,000 bicycles. About 3,500,000 to 4,000,000 of them are mountain bikes.

How much is a mountain bike?

The price range for mountain bikes is very large. Simple models are already available for 300 or 400 euros. Among other things, the prices depend on which materials were used for the frame. But also the shift technology, the handlebar, the tires, wheels and the saddle affect the price. Therefore, a really good mountain bike can easily and well cost 5,000 euros. If you can assemble your own mountain bike from selected components, then the bike can cost even more.

But there are also mountain bikes on the market , for their price you could easily afford a new small car. The currently most expensive mountain bike on the market costs about 12,500 euros. Wheels in this price segment are of course nothing for the hobby biker. These mountain bikes, mostly downhill or trail bikes, are built especially for those who race in steep, rough terrain.

If you do not want to spend a fortune on your mountain bike, you can upgrade an inexpensive model gradually with individual high-quality components.

More facts and figures about the mountain bike

The first German championships in mountain biking took place in 1990 in Kirchzarten in the Black Forest. This year also saw the first official world championships in mountain biking in the USA. Of course it was with Ned Overend also an American who secured the first world title. At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, cross-country mountain biking is the first time Olympic. Gold went here to the Dutchman Bart Brendjens. For the ladies, the Italians Paola Pezzo secured the gold medal.

A mountain bike can be purchased in a total of ten different types . Each of these special types has particular suitability for special terrains and riding styles.

Mountain bike vs. touring

Whether buying a bike or a touring bike is the better choice, depends primarily on the terrain in which the bike is mainly to be moved. Basically, it can be said that the mountain bike is more at home on rough and steep terrain. The touring bike, on the other hand, feels at home on well-developed trails.

Why this is so, explain the differences between the two models. First of all  , touring bike and mountain bike differ significantly in weight . Mountain bikes with a weight between 10 and 14 kg are generally lighter than touring bikes with a weight between 16 and 19 kg. Of course, there are also deviations in each of these models, depending on the equipment. The weight affects the effort required to drive and the speed of the ride.

Another difference between the two bike types is  the seating position . On a touring bike the driver sits much more upright than on a mountain bike. Therefore, the touring bike is also better suited for longer distances, since the back and the arms are not so much burdened here.

 Mountain bike and touring bike also differ in the equipment. Touring bikes are generally equipped with lights, mudguards and luggage racks. The mountain bike is missing this equipment. As a result, mountain bikes are a bit more maintenance and care intensive. Because while the mudguards of the touring bikes can absorb water and mud well, the dirt is distributed in the mountain bike neatly over the bike (and the driver).

Attention: While touring bicycles generally meet the requirements of the StVZO (Road Traffic Licensing Regulations), mountain bikes are usually not approved for use on public roads. Mountain bikes must be equipped with suitable lighting for this purpose.

So are touring bikes so bicycles for everyday use or for longer trips on well-developed trails. Mountain bikes, on the other hand, are more suitable for off-road driving. Here they provide extra driving pleasure due to their slightly lower weight. In addition, mountain bikes are usually better sprung than touring bikes. A suspension is not essential for touring bikes, as you are traveling with them anyway only on well-developed trails.

Safe cycling

The Cycling learn most from the earliest childhood. And even if you have not sat on the saddle for a long time, you still do not forget cycling. However, pure skill alone is no guarantee that you will always travel safely.

For cycling safety you should definitely wear a helmet. In tests you can read which model is particularly safe. Wearing a helmet can prevent serious head injuries when falling. And that's just as important when driving in the city or on public roads as when driving off-road.

Studies have shown that with approximately 6,200 accidents with the bicycle the head injuries were clearly smaller. With helmet wearers, serious brain traumas with fatal consequences were up to 60% less common than with people who did not wear a helmet.

Who wants to move with his bike in traffic, whose  bike must be safe to drive . In a traffic-safe bike, the brakes must work properly to bring the wheel in dangerous situations as quickly as possible to a halt. In addition, a functioning lighting is a traffic-safe bike. This lighting is not standard on mountain bikes and must be retrofitted.

So that it does not come at all to a fall in the traffic , one should always move attentively and confidently on the streets. As a cyclist on the road, you should be aware that you are a normal road user and have the same rules to follow as the motorists. This means that you have to follow the same basic rules. On "gap jumping" should be waived. When turning, clear hand signals must be given and at intersections and traffic lights, cyclists must also clearly place themselves in a lane. When turning, cyclists should pay particular attention to the driver.

If there is a bike path , it must be used. However, if the bike path is too narrow or impassable, the cyclist may also drive on the road. If it is expressly allowed, then cyclists may also ride on the sidewalk.

When driving off the roads , which are allowed for car traffic ( forest roads, bike paths, trails ) cyclists do not have to worry about the risk of cars. Nevertheless, accidents can happen here as well. For example, it can lead to clashes with other cyclists when driving around a bend. Therefore, one should also keep on forest or bike paths to the right driving to avoid such collisions.

It can also come to falls where only a few cyclists are traveling. On rough terrain, where scree, roots or branches of trees can be, it can lead to heavy falls, if you can not dodge the obstacles in time. Therefore, it is always advisable to drive on such routes with increased caution and adapted speed. Above all, one should only choose those routes for which one's own abilities are sufficient.

Strength, condition and coordination should be available on difficult routes. Therefore we recommend to study exactly the route profile before starting a tour. Most biking trails or trails are available in brochures (available at the local tourist information office) or on related websites.

 

FAQ

How fit do I have to be for a mountain bike tour?

Mountain biking is a popular recreational sport. Many tour operators have recognized this and therefore offer special event tours with mountain bike tours. You do not have to be a pro for these tours. As a rule, the right tours are offered here for every fitness level. When mountain biking but it depends not only on strength and condition, when driving on steep trails with switchbacks, stairs and other obstacles, a good technique is required.

Providers of such mountain bike event trips usually also offer their customers a technical training course with which they are prepared for the upcoming tours.

Apart from that, they also offer tours in different levels of difficulty .

If you can cover up to 40 km and 800 meters of altitude difference on well-maintained paths on a day trip, then this is considered a beginner. These tours are also suitable for the whole family.

True professionals , on the other hand, venture on steep trails, where up to 100 km total 2,000 altitude difference must be overcome. Steep climbs and descents on difficult routes and longer carrying passages are just as much a part of these routes as are larger obstacles along the way and challenging switchbacks. At this level an extremely good condition and a very good driving technique are necessary.

Which mountain bike do I need for a mountain bike tour?

True professionals know, of course, that they do not get far in a steep terrain with a simple mountain bike. For the sporty mountain bikers who like to ride demanding passages, steep runs and trails full of obstacles, a full suspension bike is definitely recommended. Who is primarily on trails, for which special Trek Bikes are recommended.

If you are more of a pleasure driver, that is, on relatively good and well-developed roads with few or moderate climbs on the road, for a conventional hardtail is completely sufficient.

The more challenging the terrain you want to ride, the more you have to invest in your mountain bike.

What equipment do I need for a mountain bike tour?

We recommend wearing a helmet on every mountain bike tour , as even simple stretches can cause falls.

Otherwise, you should always pay attention to good cycling clothing. Of course, this must be chosen according to the season. In the summer a simple cycling shorts and a jersey are enough  . Even those who do not want to dress like a cyclist on the bike, is advised to wear clothing made of functional material. Cotton clothing should be avoided.

Of course, in the spring, in the fall or even in the winter, the cycling clothing must be chosen slightly differently. Cyclists should always carry several layers of clothing during the transitional periods. A thin  windstopper or rain jacket  over the jersey is recommended in spring and autumn. Also, of course, long pants are worn now. If it is colder than +15 degrees, it is also advisable  to wear a  functional undershirt under the jersey. Pants and jersey should have a thermo function at temperatures below +5 degrees. Also, the shoes must be warmer at these temperatures.

Gloves  can also be useful in any season. In the summer, the classic cycling gloves with no fingertips help keep the handlebars firmly in grip even on sweaty climbs. During the cold season, full gloves must be worn accordingly. They protect the fingertips from the cold wind. So that the head does not cool down in winter, it is recommended to wear a thin cap or a buff cloth under the helmet.

In addition to the nature of the cycling clothing and the color is not entirely unimportant. Especially in the dark season or when traveling on country roads, the clothes should be as bright as possible to be seen well.

As a bike tour demands a lot from the body, it is essential to have a meal on a bike tour. Isotonic drinks and energy bars are the ideal companion on every tour.

Useful accessories

Like a car, you can also upgrade a mountain bike with accessories to make it more comfortable, more efficient or safer. We would like to recommend some accessories for mountain bikes that are especially useful and useful.

 Of course, we first recommend an important accessory that makes riding on a mountain bike safer. And that's a  good lighting . When purchasing the bicycle lights but must be sure that it is approved according to StVO. If this is not the case, then you can be asked in the event of a traffic control to checkout.

In addition, the luminosity of non- StVO-approved bulbs is often not large enough. This restricts the view in the dark and also prevents you from being seen well. The bicycle lights can usually be mounted on the frame and the handlebar of the mountain bike without much installation effort.

Fenders can also be quite useful   . These can easily be retrofitted to the wheel and prevent the wheel and the driver of the wheel from getting dirty on muddy and wet tracks.

There are also accessories that make riding on a mountain bike more comfortable. These include  the sprung seat post  and  the gel saddle . If the mountain bike, as is customary with a hardtail, only sprung in the front area, you can easily get the feeling of a fully suspension suspension ( suspension bike ) with a suspension seat post .

Of course that is not really comparable. However, the suspension in the seat post helps balance some bumps and bumps on the way. The load on the buttocks and spine are reduced.

So that the Po does not suffer too much on long distances, we recommend replacing the saddle of the mountain bike with a gel saddle. This is padded with a gel and makes sitting more comfortable.

The gel saddle is available in different sizes and ergonomically ( for men and women ) ideal shape. As an alternative to the gel saddle, you can also reach for a saddle that is filled with air. In such saddles, the padding can be customized with the aid of a standard air pump.

 To make driving on longer distances easier on the hands, we recommend the purchase of  ergonomically shaped handles . On these handles, the palms are, unlike the conventional round handles, on.

The wrists are relieved. In addition, these ergonomically shaped handles usually also small "croissants" attached to the outside. The allow a changed grip. This also allows the hands and arms are relieved while driving. In addition, these "croissants" are very well suited to pull up on the mountain.

As a further accessory, we recommend suitable  protective goggles to protect the eye from wind, insects and sunlight. Who is not only on lonely forest trails, we also recommend a  bicycle bell .

For drinks and food you should  not miss a  bicycle backpack. The special backpacks are usually quite small, adapt well to the back and are equipped with a hydration bladder. The beverage filled there can then be drunk directly via a hose (while driving). In the backpack then in addition to the food and additional clothing (rain or wind jacket) then even the  bike lock  a place.

Alternatives to the mountain bike

There is no real alternative to mountain biking . Especially if you want to ride a bike primarily on forest trails or in the mountains. Here you just need the slightly wider, grippy tires, a good circuit and a neat suspension to master the requirements of the terrain can.

Of course you often meet racing cyclists in the mountains . Of course, the road bike is ideal for climbs, because it has large, very thin wheels that offer plenty of propulsion and low rolling resistance, and on top of that is very light. Apart from that, it is completely unsuitable for the terrain. The thin tires can only be safely moved on well-developed paved roads.

However, if you are looking for a bike with which you can deal easily with light terrain and also get along well in everyday life, then the touring bike is a sensible alternative to mountain biking. The touring bike is an all-round bike, but its off-road capabilities are limited.

The mountain bike has been built especially for the mountains . So it's a specialized bicycle. In mountainous surroundings the mountain bike is thus without alternative. In order to be able to cope with the different requirement profiles of the mountains (for example low mountain ranges or alpine terrain), there are the mountain bike however in different variations.

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