All mountain biking (AM) is a discipline that fits in between cross-country and free-riding. Bikes used on this discipline are usually found having a front suspension between 4 to 6 inches and they have a more slack geometry to allow descending at higher speeds.
Some of the importante features and differences in AM bikes compared to XC and Downhill are:
- Weight: While AM bikes are not as light as XC ones, they are built stronger which will make them heavier.
- Wheelbase: AM bikes have a longer wheel base compared to XC bikes.
- Suspension travel: Front suspension will usually be between 120mm and 150mm. This allows them to perform very well in descends while still make them a capable climber.
Some of the most popular bikes in the category are the Giant Stance, Rocky Mountain Instinct, Specialized Stuntjumper, Intense Tracer, Giant Trance.
Many people will disagree, but All Mountain biking can also be called Trail and in some occasions even Enduro, and while Enduro bikes have more suspension travel, they usually come with a very similar frame geometry and wheelbase.
What to wear
A dress code isn’t really necessary when riding AM, but since riding can be more aggresive than XC it’s recommended to wear better protection:
- Consider buying a trail helmet. These are mountain bike helmets that feature more cover on the sides and back.
- Full finger gloves because you are more prone to slide and crash.
- Knee pads. It’s one of the first parts of your body that you hit.
- Elbow pads.
Don’t forget that lycra isn’t necessary.