Hopular off-read bike sport is mountain biking, which is done on specially designed bikes over rough ground. There are several categories of mountain biking - trail riding cross country (XC), all mountain, downhill, freeride, slopestyle, dirt jumping, and trials. This endurance sport needs a lot of stamina, core strength, balance, bike handling skills and individual reliance. Freeriding, dirt jumps, downhilling, aerial manoeuvres from natural and manmade ramps and jumps are done by advanced riders who also seek out technical descents. In XC (cross-country) biking, participants ride from one point to another or in loops that can include a variety of surfaces and heights. Typically, an XC bike has a weight of 9-13kgs (20-30lbs) with 0-125 mm (0-5 inches) of suspension travel front and, occasionally, in the back. The all-mountain/Enduro (AM) category requires 125-180mm (5-7 inches) of travel suspension in the front and back. The components of the AM bikes are stronger than those of XC bike, but the overall weight is still suitable for a variety of heights and surfaces.

Downhill (DH) riders typically take alternative transport, like cars or lifts, to the top of their starting point where they’ll begin their descent. This is because the weight of the downhill bikes is usually too great for any major climbing.

Four-cross/Dual Slalom (4X) involves competitors riding Dual Slalom on separate tracks or 4X on short slalom tracks.

Freeride, also known as Big Hit and Hucking, is the freest form of biking that can be anything from downhill racing to ‘North Shore’ style in which riders make use of trails that are connected by logs and bridges. The trail rides and stunts typically need more aggressive techniques and skills than bikers in XC.