Mountain bike

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A mountain bike or mountain bicycle (abbreviated MTB) is a bicycle created for off-road cycling. This activity includes traversing of rocks and washouts, and steep declines, on dirt trails, logging roads, and other unpaved environments—activities usually called mountain biking. These bicycles need to be able to withstand the stresses of off-road use with obstacles such as logs and rocks. Wheels used on mountain bikes usually use wide, knobby tires for good traction on uneven terrain and shock absorption. Since the mid-1990s, front wheel suspension has become the norm and since the late 1990s, full front and rear suspension has become increasingly common. Some mountain bikes are also fitted with bar ends on the handlebars to give extra leverage for hill-climbing.
Since the development of the sport in the 1970s many new subtypes of mountain biking have developed, such as cross-country (XC) biking, all-day endurance biking, Freeride-biking, downhill mountain biking, and a variety of track and slalom competitions. Each of these place different demands on the bike requiring different designs for optimal performance. MTB development has included an increase in gearing, up to 30 speeds, to facilitate both climbing and rapid descents. However, recently the "1 by 10" trend has emerged, simplifying the gearing to one sprocket in the front and 10 in the rear of the drive train. This allows for lighter component weights while still maintaining a large spread of gearing options. Single speed mountain bikes are also becoming more and more popular. Other developments include disc instead of rim brakes and 29" tires instead of the traditional 26" tires.

The history of the mountain bike includes contributions from cyclo-cross in Europe and the Roughstuff Fellowship[1] in the UK. The name "mountain bike" first appeared in print in 1966 as "mountain bicycle". The mountain bike was a modified heavy cruiser bicycle used for freewheeling down mountain trails. The sport became popular in the 1970s in Marin county, California, USA. The 2007 documentary film, Klunkerz: A Film About Mountain Bikes, looks at this period of off-road cycling in detail. However, it was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that road bicycle companies started to manufacture mountain bicycles using high-tech lightweight materials, such as M4 aluminium, although in recent years, titanium, hydroformed aluminium, and carbon fiber frames have become more common but can be very expensive. The first mass production mountain bike was the Specialized Stumpjumper, first produced in 1981.[2] Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, mountain biking moved from a little-known sport to a mainstream activity complete with an international racing circuit and a world championship.