Is Mountain Biking an Extreme Sport?

For mountain bikers, nature is a park of limitless obstacles. A trail with tree roots, steep ascents, rock formations, downhill slopes, and bridges is how a mountain biker’s haven would look like.

Mountain biking is a special discipline. The only difference between them is the fact that it is an extreme sport, why? 

  • Mountain biking can cause severe and fatal injuries.
  • The paths that nature provides to riders are fun yet uncertain.
  • Steep slopes can appear lower at one angle, causing the bike to trip. Rocks can also be abrasive to the skin.
  • The head can also be at risk if it hits the ground with great impact.
  • The chance of death per 100,000 cyclists is about 1-6 patients, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

This concludes the average 1.6% out of all admissions related to mountain biking. The most common cause of death among mountain cyclists is a brain injury or neurotrauma. 

So, if you’re planning to dive into mountain biking, first make sure that you have the ideal bike, sufficient protective gear including a quality helmet, and the advanced skills to ride the path of nature.

Types of Mountain Biking 

Like most competitive sports, mountain biking composes of different race types including downhill or DH, cross country or XCO, freeride, slopestyle, pump track, speed and style, and enduro. 

Down Hill 

Downhill biking can make a cyclist speed up to 80 miles per hour which makes it the most thrilling discipline in mountain biking.

A downhill race starts with a chairlift that takes the cyclist to the top of a mountain.

Instead of racing with other competitors at the same time, the total time gets recorded and compared by the judges. 


Included in the list of Olympic games, cross-country is the most popular type of discipline under mountain biking.

As compared to groomed downhill tracks, cross-country competitors race in a route with harsh climbs and rocky descents – all provided by nature.


Freeriding is a discipline that highlights the skill and creativity of tricks rather than the time of completion. The point of races under this type is focused more on finding out the limits of a bike. This takes place on a rocky trail similar to cross-country paths like Zion National Park in Utah, USA.


Slopestyle is a type similar to freeriding.

The only difference between the two is the trail where slopestyle races take place.

Instead of rocky terrain, a slope is assembled for cyclists and racers.

Like freeriding, slopestyle also focuses on tricks, creativity, and form rather than time.


The “pump” in “pump tracking” is actually quite literal.

Pumptracking limits cyclists from pedaling and only allows them to control the bike by using their weight, arms and, legs.

In a pump track competition, cyclists ride within a loop-like track that has bermed corners, whoops, and rollers.

The fastest cyclist to complete track wins. 

Speed and Style

Literal in its sense, “speed and style” mountain biking highlights the creativity of tricks and speed on a slopestyle track.

Aside from this, cyclists compete at the same time with their competitors.


Enduro races are quite like the earlier types of mountain biking. It is a competition that takes hours or even one to two days long.

Races take place in mountain ranges, and hills that have steep descents and downhill courses. 

Mountain cyclists have the most interest in cross-country and trail riding with a percentage of 93% in total participation for the last year.

The second most popular subdiscipline is Enduro, with a total of 56.3% participation in a similar period.

How dangerous is mountain biking?

In conclusion, mountain biking is dangerous and is considered as an extreme sport.

It’s for people who have the determination, interest, and guts to take their hobby to the next level.

If you’re up for a greater ride, then why not? 

About David Miller

Passionnate about extreme sports since a young age, I started my journey with brazilian Jiu Jitsu and skydiving. After 2000 jumps, I’m now a professionnel skydiver focus on wingsuit flying. I’m writing about all kind of extreme sports, trying to find the best spots in the world to do it.

Leave a Comment