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Learn the lingo with explanations for some of the most common mountain biking terms.



ATB: all-terrain bike


Berm: an embankment on a trail


BMX: Bicycle Motocross is a form of cycling with specialized small bikes. It’s included in the Olympics for the first time this year


Cross Country (XC): riding across the countryside


Cyclocross: an off-road race that involves riders having to dismount and run over obstacles, carrying their bikes


Dirt Jumping: Trails where you hit lumps of dirt to get airborne

Free-riding: doing things in a non-competitive way


Four Cross (4X): four racers ride downhill over a short course with big jumps and bermed corners


Hardtail: a bike with no rear suspension


IMBA: Internation Mountain Bicycling Association – an organisation dedicated to the building and protection of mountain bike trails.


MTB: moun-tain-bike


Single-track: narrow trail, big enough for one rider, often through woodland


Street Riding: Riding steps, walls, banks, skate parks and the like in an urban environment


Trials: Very skilled riding over obstacles. Usually slow-speed and very precise