What’s a marathon bike? For what use is XC mountain bike recommended? When is it advisable to buy a trail bike? Is a rally bike the same as a cross country bike?

When choosing a mountain bike, a lot of people are guided by patterns such as the brand, the size of the wheel, the group of the change, and the diverter or the material of the box. However, as happens when you are going to buy a car or a computer, one of the details that should be taken into account is the type of use you will be given.

Aren’t they the same a utility car as a big saloon? Well, the same thing happens with mountain bikes. All of them are designed to run on unpaved terrain, but there are different types, each focused on a specific user mode.

The most frequent are trail, descent, cross country, although there are other segments such as marathon or all-mountain. Here we tell you what they consist of, what they differ from, and what the typology best fits depending on the use you are going to give to your mountain bike.

  • Bike trail

It is the most common type of mountain bike. These are bicycles designed to do the same as those on the road, but on non-paved roads: rolling.

They are not designed for a specific type of terrain but serve to do a little of everything: forest trails, dirt roads, rocky stretches, mountain paths, precisely because of this versatility they are often also known as all-mountain.

Trail bikes are used by most mountain bikers when they go out on routes and marches on a Sunday morning with no pretense but to ride at a light pace or explore new trails. They are also very manageable when it comes to making trailers and descents that require a specific technique.

They can have front or double suspension, with a low fork path (120mm to 140mm, although in some cases it can reach 160mm). You may find that some manufacturers make differences depending on the type of damping: if they are front suspension, they call them to trail if concerning have a rear damper, they call them all mountain. However, this difference is arbitrary.

They usually have 29-inch wheels, and it is increasingly common for them to have double suspension for comfortable rolling in stretches that require some technical difficulty.

To get started on the mountain bike, unless you are very clear that you want to do descents, rallies, or competitive tests, it is best to start with a trail or all-mountain bike.

  • Bicycle downhill

These bicycles are oriented for one use only: to descend a hill, a track, or an urban flight of stairs at full speed. They are competition bikes that are used in Downhill trials.

The most common thing is that they carry double suspension, with a damping path in the very wide fork of up to 220mm.

A remarkable feature of these bikes is that they are incredibly rigid. They’re built to withstand high-speed blows and falls. As for its design, the saddle is usually positioned at the lowest possible position, with a reclining angle backward. This is because, during the descent, most of the time, the biker is up.

Being designed for a particular functionality, such as high-speed descent, downhill bikes do not have many development options. It is common for the frame to be sloping, that is, for the horizontal tube to have an angular fall to lower the center of gravity and make the bike more maneuverable.

  • Bicycle Cross Country

Cross country (also known as rally or XC) is a competition where bikers have to cross mountain stretches at high speed. There are usually no significant declines. On the contrary, the tracks have to be flat or on the rise with obstacles such as areas of stones, ramps, muddy terrain or slopes that do not have technical difficulties.

In other words, they are bicycles to compete in the Olympic Games, the World Cup, and elite races.

On these bikes, the geometry is designed to make it very reactive, taking advantage of each pedal. They usually use forks with very little suspension path (80mm or 100mm) and in some cases, without suspension of any kind, as eliminating stoppages lighten the weight.

The wheels they use are 29″ so that they can advance more meters with each pedal stroke. XC mountain bike is the one that has made this tire size fashionable.

  • Bicycle marathon

You can find competing mountain bikes with double suspension and forks with a more significant route, up to 120mm. They are called marathon bikes and are used in long-distance tests or more technical tracks.

They are bikes used in races such as the Titan Desert or the Andalusian Bike Race.

They also use very light materials and 29″ wheels to roll fast, but they are somewhat more comfortable thanks to the central or rear damping.

Another difference bike Cross Country and Marathon with respect to the rest of typologies of mountain bike is that used components very lightweight, such as carbon fiber, to lighten the weight load and to facilitate a pedal stroke is more rapid.

They also use more agile drive changes and diverters, which results in a higher price.

  • Bikes enduro

Enduro is a competitive discipline that combines the technical requirement of downhill with the resistance of trail. I mean, they’re bikes designed to go up and down but, above all, to have fun. Enduro bikes are an intermediate step between trail mountain bikes and cross country bikes.

If you’re looking for routes along paths and mountain trails with wide slopes and some other Jump, an enduro bike is the best choice. Used suspensions range (up to 180mm) and posts telescopic to adapt to the pedal in different situations (climbs, descents, jumps).

Enduro bikes are sometimes confused with trail bikes and even XC bikes. The difference is in geometry, wheels and, mainly, fork travel. XC’s are lighter and are designed for climbing stretches. Trail bikes are long-distance bikes, while enduro bikes seek greater enjoyment in tracks that alternate slopes and slopes with technical requirements (Skipping Rocks, closed turns, jumps, etc.).