Cross-country cycling

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**Terrain and Trails in Cross-Country Cycling:**
– XC courses feature rough forest paths, singletrack, smooth fireroads, and paved paths.
– Trails traditionally categorized as easy or intermediate; recent advancements in difficulty levels.
– Emphasis on physical ability over technical prowess.

**Bikes and Equipment for Cross-Country Cycling:**
– XC bikes are lightweight (7.5-12.5 kg) with front suspension forks and often rear suspension.
– Most XC bikes have 100mm of suspension travel, maxing out at 120mm.
– Riders wear bicycle helmets, typically road helmets, not full-face helmets.

**Racing in Cross-Country Cycling:**
– XC races prioritize endurance over technical skills with durations ranging from 30 minutes to 24 hours.
– Marathon XC races cover over 50 miles and can be point-to-point or lap-based.
– Races governed by international and national cycling bodies.

**Racing Disciplines and Wheel Size in Cross-Country Cycling:**
– XC racing includes XCE, XCO, XCC, and XCM formats with varying race structures.
– Historically, various wheel sizes were used, but 29′ wheels have become the standard.
– Larger wheels offer better momentum and energy efficiency but may increase weight and affect handling.

**Benefits, Safety Measures, Training Tips, Gear, and Routes in Cross-Country Cycling:**
– Benefits include improved cardiovascular health, muscle strength, mental well-being, weight management, and stress reduction.
– Safety measures involve wearing helmets, reflective gear, following traffic rules, maintaining the bike, and carrying essential tools.
– Training tips include gradually increasing mileage, strength training, hill practice, hydration, nutrition, and proper rest.
– Essential gear includes a quality bike, cycling apparel, shoes, pedals, storage solutions, navigation tools, and popular routes like Pacific Coast Highway, EuroVelo 6, Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, Munda Biddi Trail, and Silk Route.

Cross-country (XC) cycling is a discipline of mountain biking. Cross-country cycling became an Olympic sport in 1996 and is the only form of mountain biking practiced at the Olympics.

A cross-country mountain biker on a trail in Utah, USA.
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