Mountain biking has different types. Among them, today, I will discuss XC mountain biking. Many people don’t know the term What Is XC Mountain Biking, and if they do, they don’t have an idea about the tricks, tactics, and rules of XC cycling.
PS: For the rest of the mountain biking types, you check my other guide. I am adding its link here.
Now, let’s start today’s healthy yet fruitful mountain biking guide:
What is XC Biking?
In XC biking, many people pronounce the letters alphabetically. However, here X doesn’t denote ex but Cross, while C represents Country.
Therefore, X = Cross, C = Country, so XC Bike means Cross Country, often written as cross-country.
XC Biking is the most fortitude biking that requires endurance above technical skill. So, not everyone can go on XC riding, and this is not for novice people.
You have to go through numerous pathways, terrains, roads, and lanes on the way while doing cross-country mountain biking.
What is XC Mountain Biking?
XC biking is referred to as Cross Country Mountain Biking because it is one of its types, or you can say, one of the most skilled and technical types.
As mountain biking is an all-terrain sport, you have to go through all types of pathways; in cross-country biking, you ride through forest paths, smooth fire roads, paved paths, singletrack, or double-track routes.
Here you might be thinking why it is not simply referred to as Mountain Biking but XC Mountain biking when all you are doing is passing through all types of trails.
I will compare both types so you can have a better idea of What is XC Mountain Biking specifically?
Cross Country vs. Mountain Biking
Here is a table telling you what is the difference between mountain biking and cross-country biking. By going through this, you will be better able to comprehend and define XC biking.
Cross Country vs Mountain Biking
|No.||Mountain Biking||Cross Country Biking|
|1.||You learn to ride challenging roads, and speed or time doesn’t matter.||You have to learn about completing the course as quickly as possible.|
|2.||You take the most adventurous paths, no matter how long they might take to cross.||You take the timesaver route to reach the destination faster.|
|3.||Biking knowers can go mountain biking.||People with high endurance and technical knowledge can go for XC Mountain Biking.|
|4.||You compete for difficulty.||You compete for distance.|
|5.||Always have to take uneven roads.||Taking roads helps you reach your destination faster.|
What is the Difference Between Cross Country and Track?
Cross country and track refer to two different types of racing competitions. Here check the definitions of both one by one;
Track races are performed on flat surfaces. However, a flat lane doesn’t mean a long boring road to cross speedily and win the race.
These are usually all-weather tracks. To create such ways, forms of dirt, rocks, sand, and crushed cinders are used. Time frame matters here, too, and people have to ride quickly to win.
Cross Country Races
In Cross Country races, routes are based on uneven and difficult surfaces created from grass, mud, hills, spikes, and stones.
In a particular time frame, the racer has to pass all these roads and reach the finish line or checkpoint. To jaunt such pathways, you need to know to ride on the challenging trails and keep your speed high.
Cross-country races can be based on short races, hard races, or longer endurance races. In short, as an XC biker, you should know all the technical skills of mountain biking and the mechanical knowledge of gears and speed shifters.
For more information on what is XC mountain biking, here are details of the tracks:
1. Hiking Trail
Also referred to as singletrack, riders must remain in the single lane during this.
2. Fire Roads
In villages, particular roads are built for fire management purposes. These are based on wood, mud, and hikes and have several turns.
3. Twisty Alleyways
These roads can come up with so many turns and a lot of sharp bends and corners. These require the highest skills to maintain the speed, like when to slow it down or increase it while riding.
For uphill and downward ridings, many manmade or natural cliffs come on the way. During this, a person has to go upward and downward speedily. This is XC mountain biking.
When taking twists and twirling roads, mountain bikers often have to jump their bikes up to reach a flat pavement. These jumps are also included in the racing tracks.
Sludge and bogs also come on the way, making riding even more challenging. However, XC mountain bike tires can cross such pathways.
XC Hardtail Bikes
Now you know what XC mountain biking is. Let me tell you about the bike or equipment you will need to do XC riding skillfully. Here are the details:
1. Lightweight Bikes
Although mountain bikes tend to become bulkier, but when it comes to competing in a race, these should be comparatively low-weight bikes.
Besides, make sure the bike is apt to your size because no matter how skillful a rider you are if your bike doesn’t fit your size, it is never going to help.
2. Front Suspension
To distribute the weight or lighten it up, one suspension from the back forks is removed because you need to keep with speed. That’s why front suspensions are used.
However, if the bike material is lightweight, the dual suspensions can add to your riding experience and increase maneuverability.
3. DH Frames
These frames are designed with larger rear hubs and require dual crown forks to keep with speed and downhill riding at the same time on rough terrain.
You can identify these frames via a more extended section near the seat post. Their geometry and design make them downhill-riding-friendly.
Of course, you need hard MTB tires here, but the rims should be larger than other bikes, up to 29 inches. Such edges add to the ease of riding on the roughest trails.
Their width should be more than 2 inches; a 2.2 inches width is enough. Remember, when it comes to determining what is XC mountain biking, every inch of detail matters.
Disc brakes are much handier than pull-up levers. Besides, these are more instant compared to others. So, XC MT bikes should come with disc brakes.
A dual brake system should be added to the bikes for handiness, control, and safety.
Cross-Country Cycling Benefits
Here are some benefits to get from XC mountain biking:
1. Improves Health
If you ask what is XC mountain biking’s biggest benefit, I would say it is your health. It helps you lose weight, maintain cardiovascular health, and build muscles.
2. A Complete Regimen
This type of biking is much more perfect than other exercises because you can lose weight faster, build necessary muscles rather than getting buffed, and maintain your heart health.
3. Helps You Recover Injuries
It is a non-load-bearing exercise. You are not lifting any weighty materials to build muscles and lose weight. Therefore, if you need your body to function properly and recover from injuries, XC mountain biking is going to help you here too.
4. Improves Brain Health
It also improves your mental health because you get a chance to spend so much time with Mother Nature, away from the hustle, bustle, and exhaustless of daily life. This will make up your mind refreshed.
5. Explore the World
You are able to explore pathways and roads that others cannot and hike faster than other pedestrian hikers. As you are sitting, you don’t feel tired easily.
What Are Some Cross-Country Mountain Bike Trails?
Mountain biking tracks in southern California are awesome. There you find epic sunny weather, dramatic Pacific coastlines, and massive parks.
Along with this, hills, oceans, beaches, and fire roads are also available for you to ride.
How much you will enjoy cross-country biking there depends on your level of experience, the sceneries you seek to see, the difficulty level, speed or jumps if you like, and many other such things.
Here at this link, I have discussed the 20 Best Southern California Trails for Cross Country Mountain Biking.
At the end, I hope that now you will have a complete idea regarding What Is XC Mountain Biking. For more information or feedback, you can freely write to me.
Also, don’t forget to check my other interesting guides on MT biking.