How to distinguish the types of mountain bikes XC, Trail, AM, DH, FR

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When many bikers choose mountain bikes, they are often confused by looking at a large number of bicycle types. such as XC, AM, DH .etc. What the hell are these? What’s the difference? Why do different brands have different functions when classifying similar products? This is often puzzled by many cyclists. So today we will give you a detailed introduction on how to distinguish these types of mountain bikes.

XC, Trail, AM, DH, and FR. And from these five major categories, a number of small branches have been subdivided. The main reason for this is that some special gameplays (such as SS and Extreme FR) were born for some special terrains.

We go directly to the topic. First, introduce the various bicycle types:

1) XC = Cross Country

Racing bike type, a very competitive bike type, the world’s major mountain bike competitions are also dominated by XC. From the riding environment, 80% may be uphill and flat ground, and downhill is just a transition for XC. It is not the main direction of this level. In terms of equipment, the front fork travel is about 80-100mm, and the frame is mainly a hardtail frame. The biggest feature of this kind of bike is riding strength, which requires high physical strength.

TrifoxBike 29er Carbon XC Frame MFM200

2) Trail

This is also the most general type of mountain bike crossing. It may be more amateur riders without special consideration for competition. This may be the bike with the most actual riders. The riding environment is actually similar to XC. Uphill and peace roads may account for 70%, and the proportion and difficulty of downhills may reach about 30%. In terms of equipment, the fork travel of Trail bicycle should generally be 100-120mm, and the frame is a hardtail frame or a suspension frame with a travel of 4-4.5 inches. The biggest feature of this kind of bike is that the riding intensity and technical requirements are relatively low, and cyclists can enjoy more riding pleasure.

TrifoxBike Carbon MTB Trail Frame MFM100

3) AM = All Mountain

All-terrain bicycles, playing this requires the rider to have a certain amount of physical strength and skills at the same time. Since it is all-terrain, I think its riding environment may be uphill, flat ground, and downhill each accounting for 1/3. The physical requirements for uphill, the maneuverability of downhill, and the skills to pass obstacles all need to be mastered. In terms of equipment, the travel of the front fork is generally adjustable at 120-150mm, and the frame is basically a suspension frame with a travel of 5-6 inches. There are hardtail frames, but few. . AM cyclists can be said to be mountain bike cyclists who really know how to enjoy, they will challenge all kinds of unknown difficult terrain. Of course, they can also enjoy the most beautiful scenery of nature.

4) DH = Downhill

It can be seen from the literal meaning that this is a purely downhill bike. There may be only about 10% flat road + 90% downhill, almost no uphill. The road is generally a natural mountain slope + artificial maintenance. This is purely speed-seeking gameplay. It has the highest requirements for the cyclist’s control technology. The slightest mistake will make your score fall. DH equipment specifications are relatively uniform at present: the front fork stroke is generally 200mm, the frame travel is more than 8 inches, the bottom axle specification is 83mm; the rear axle specification is 150*12mm. This is for strength, and it is relatively convenient for users to purchase parts.

5) FR = Freeride

It does not pay attention to speed and purely pursues technical gameplay. The riding environment includes 70-80% downhill and a small number of flat roads and uphills. There are many such roads on the mountain roads of North Shore and Whistler in Vancouver, Canada. They have extremely high requirements for technology and handling, especially the balance of the riders, which is undoubtedly more obvious on those single-plank bridges. In terms of equipment, the front fork travel is mainly 160 or 180 mm. The frame travel is generally between 6.5-9 inches (yes, you read it right, 9 inches). Cyclists are after playing skills and guts, as well as challenging some exciting routes.

Freeriding, you can ride wherever you want, and you can ride as you want. Technology is the first priority, followed by speed. After years of evolution, it is now subdivided into a number of more specific categories:

5.1) DJ = Dirt Jump

This kind of gameplay is very popular among young people. The requirements for the site are simple, only a piece of open space is needed, and some of the soil is piled into cones or trapezoids. Take off along the slope, fly into the air, and land on the slope on the other side. You can do all kinds of fancy moves casually in the air. It feels very dazzling, very exciting, and very happy. This kind of bike does not require high equipment, a relatively sturdy frame; a relatively sturdy front fork with a travel of 80-100mm; a simple transmission mechanism; a rear brake, or even no brake can be used.

5.2) 4X = Four Cross

The 4 cyclists set off together and competed in the artificially constructed field with various obstacles. The first to reach the finish line wins. This is the hottest and most exciting of all mountain bikes. Competitors are allowed to collide with each other reasonably, and rollover accidents abound in competitions. Definitely an exciting choice. The race track is an artificially constructed field with various obstacles such as turning walls and soil slopes. The equipment is very close to the hillside truck. A hardtail frame or a special 4X suspension frame with travel around 3.5 inches; a 100mm front fork; a sensitive speed change and transmission device; of course, a chain protector is a must; the 4X competition also has very strong technical requirements for the cyclists. It not only requires the control ability of a DH cyclist, but also has a very strong explosive power, and also requires superior jumping skills.

5.3) ST = Street/Urban

Most cyclists will play on the city streets or on the side of the street. This kind of playing has almost no requirement on the venue. A small open space and an empty road can allow Street cyclists to play themselves. Simple Bunny Hop, Wheelie, Manual, Nose Manual, 360 Turn (360) and other actions can allow riders to enjoy the afternoon. He. The equipment is similar to that of a DJ. A sturdy street bike frame, an 80-100mm front fork, a good set of brakes (maybe only a rear brake or even no brakes), and a single-speed transmission is enough.

5.4) SS = Slope Style

A freestyle game that has become popular in recent years is a bit similar to flying bags. However, a bulldozer is required to pile up a lot of huge soil packs on the sloping hillside, as well as various technical obstacles. Cyclists use terrain to jump in the air to complete various stunts. Because this gameplay requires too much terrain support. For equipment, a 160mm front fork and a 6.5-inch frame are usually used. People who play more are basically lunatics.

Basically, the mainstream classification in the mountain bike field has been introduced. After reading these, I believe you have a general understanding of the various types of mountain bikes. You can try and choose the type you like according to your actual situation. The most important thing to ride a bike is to ride a bike. I hope you readers will participate in happy mountain biking activities.

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