Alpine Kulinarik: 5 leckere Alm- und Berghütten-Klassiker aus Saalbach-Hinterglemm

Downhill, freeride, cross-country or enduro?

Mountain biking has enjoyed great popularity for many years. Both children and recreational riders or even professionals who participate in races no longer want to do without their beloved two-wheeler. As multifaceted as the athletes themselves are, so are the different options. We have looked at the main disciplines of mountain biking.

What is the difference between downhill and freeride?

The two disciplines are probably the best known within and outside the mountain bike scene. But what exactly are the differences?

Downhill already carries the explanation in its name. The riders start at the top of a mountain. The goal is to overcome a trail with gradients and obstacles and get to the valley as quickly as possible. The discipline is exciting for participants and spectators alike, because the riders sometimes reach speeds of up to 80 km/h and complete high jumps. Freeride is even more fast-paced – mountain bikers complete huge jumps, do flips and other tricks. While time counts in downhill especially in competition, freeride is more about showing as many tricks as possible on the way down.

What is Cross-Country?

Cross-country mountain biking is an endurance sport whose races usually include several individual disciplines. Even the Olympic Games can no longer do without this mountain bike discipline. In recreational use, cross-country mountain bikers are mostly on less paved roads, as well as forest, field and meadow trails. The discipline actually got its name from this cross-country riding because, unlike downhill, it does not involve descending from the mountain.

What is Enduro?

This discipline is a wonderful combination of technically challenging downhill runs and uphill runs in between. In the professional field refers to Enduro competitions, which usually last one or two days. On these days there are a lot of different tests, some of them challenging downhills that are ridden for time and uphill rides that have to be completed in a certain time window. The fastest wins.

Which bike for which discipline?

Of course, the requirements for the mountain bikes for the different disciplines are also different. Freeride, downhill, cross-country and enduro each require different equipment and a different structure of the bike. The cross-country bike is the only model with a hardtail, i.e. an unsprung rear end. All others have full suspension, also called full suspension. A downhill bike, unlike the other bikes, is again very heavy and has thicker tires. Bikes from the freeride sector are somewhat lighter, but are equipped with very high-quality, stable components. Therefore, these are also found in a higher price segment.

Expertise on site

No matter what discipline you’d like to try, take advantage of the expertise of a professional bike dealer. In Saalbach-Hinterglemm there are several bike rental shops open to you for this purpose. With all these experts you will be well advised and get the right mountain bike for your project. Nowhere are you in better hands than in Austria’s leading bike region – and at the bike’n soul Hotel Barbarahof!

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