Cross-Country Mountain Bike Racing
Explore the countryside at heart-racing speeds and fight for the top spot with Cross-Country mountain biking. Cross-country mountain biking has a mass start, where bikers race around a taped circuit. With a more varied terrain with challenging up and down hills and mounds, this is an excellent way to test your biking skills, reflexes and general fitness, as you see how you stack up against competitors.
As long as you feel confident riding down and uphill, this can be the sport for you. When it comes to starting out right on the track, there are a few things to consider. Ideally, your mountain bike should be a short-travel or hardtail, full-suspension bike with fast-rolling, durable tires with high-grade traction and a sufficient range of gears for the rough up and down terrain. When it comes to ascending and descending, a bike dropper post to quickly adjust your seating and height can also be a lifesaver.
For the longer haul, it’s important that you also wear a mountain bike helmet and clothing that ensures comfort, protection and body mobility.
Another popular form of mountain biking is enduro racing. Enduro is made up of multiple downhill stages broken up by uphill sections known as 'liaisons'. Generally, the downhill stages are timed to generate the event's result, although in more intense events the liaison stages will be timed as well. You race these stages individually, although you can ride with other bikers in-between the timed stages for a chinwag.
With a longer time on the bike for that ultimate test of skill, enduro is a great balance between downhill and cross-country racing, giving you the best of both worlds. Letting you spend a longer time biking, challenging your bike-handling as well as your endurance and fitness. Due to the rough terrain, it’s recommended your bike be a long-travel bike, like a dedicated enduro, trail bike or hardtail bike with a front suspension fork. While riding a hardtail can be more difficult and less comfortable, it pushes the mountain bike rider’s speed closer to their actual skill level as a safety measure.
When it comes to your helmet, a full-face mountain biking helmet that’s fairly lightweight is ideal as it will protect your head while preventing overheating.