Mountain Biking Terrain Beginners Guide

All of us have a pretty good idea with what a bike does and looks like - but as you look closer at cycling and biking - you begin to notice and learn of different bike styles and types, all of which have been designed for a specific purpose.

Mountain Bike Design

One of the biggest areas of cycling, is mountain biking - a sport which is carried out on bikes which have been purposefully designed to be able to handle off road terrain. Compared to a road bike, which will be our comparison - mountain bikes have the following:

  • Fatter, gripper wheels and tyres which provide greater stability across a wide range of terrain, compared to the skinnier tyres found on a road bike
  • A more upright position, allowing the rider to be able to see what is both close up and what terrain lies ahead. 
  • Suspension - Most mountain bikes have front suspension forks, these bikes are known as hardtail mountain bikes. Full suspension mountain bikes, which have a rear shock suspension system and front suspension forks are also available. Full suspension bikes are designed to travel downhill and over obstacles quickly, whilst hardtail mountain bikes are designed for more gentle terrain. 

Mountain Bike Terrain

One of the reasons mountain biking is so fantastic, is because it is so diverse - there are so many different mountain bike types and disciplines, that see riders spending time in some of the most beautiful places on earth - closer to nature than ever before. 

The beauty of mountain biking is that if you want to enjoy some relaxing riding and scenery you can do, pottering around is just as acceptable as screaming across downhill tracks. Although mountain bike terrain is massively varied, here is some of the most common types of mountain bike terrain:


Doubletrack terrain is very popular here in the UK, and this terrain can be found across many big commercial forestry areas. A doubletrack can hold at least two riders side by side, and the perfect example of a double track is the fire roads which have been cut into forestry blocks. 

These tracks are usually pretty smooth - with some rougher sections. Gradients vary massively depending on the local geography, and these doubletracks can provide a relaxing ride, right across to steep ascents and descents. 


Singletracks are the tracks and trails which are only wide enough for a single rider to ride across and down. These tracks are usually cut into and through the countryside - some are natural, whilst many have been built by bikers. The very best examples of mountain biking single tracks would be those found in a ski resort during the summer months, which have been carved into the hillside.

Mountain Bikes Online

At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a massive range of mountain bikes suitable for all kinds of different riding styles and requirements. We supply budget hardtail mountain bikes, which still deliver a cracking performance, right across to specialist mountain bikes ridden by world class athletes. 

If you have any questions about getting into mountain biking for the first time, and which products and mountain bikes would be the best fit for your requirements - just get in touch and we will be more than happy to advise.