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  1. #1
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    What is the difference between Freeride, XC, Downhill etc?

    I've been reading these forums for quite some time now and have learned tons of new stuff about bikes and biking. I always read references to different styles of riding and I figured with time I would be able to figure out the differences, but I can not. What exactly is freeride, XC, etc? Downhill seems pretty self explanatory to me, but I could be wrong. I'm assuming downhill means riding downhill re: mountains, hills.
    Thanks in advance for any explanation!

  2. #2
    Telecommunication Tweek's Avatar
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    XC is Cross Country like trail riding type stuff.

    Someone else will have to explain the difference between Freeride and Downhill cause I don't really know. I've always thought FR and DH were the same thing, but I'm probably wrong.
    Last edited by Tweek; 06-16-05 at 06:15 AM.

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    You are correct with the downhill. Ski slopes in the off season are a big thing for downhill.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    Freeride would be (usually) long travel full suspension bikes, a bit like DH bikes, except... well... different. FR would consist of drops, jumps, north shore and many more.
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  5. #5
    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    Freeride is morely to get big air, downhill is for quickly doing drops and stuff very quickly, lots of speed in downhill. Downhill and Freeride bikes are very similar. Xc stands for Cross Country, Xc is usually less extreme, there might be some smaller drops, but not many. Xc Bikes are made light, and quite often are hardtails. The full suspension Xc bikes have short rear suspension, usually not more than 100mm.
    Freeride:

    downhill

    Xc Hardtail:

    Xc full suspension:

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the explanations! I guess the type of riding I do would be XC then...mainly paved trails, some dirt trails(with small hills, drops), around the neighborhood.
    I live in the deep South, so no Freeride or Downhill for me. The highest point in my city is still like 1 foot below sea level I think.

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    Banned. Jason222's Avatar
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    You can still do DJ and Street with a Freeride hardtail

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    Paved trails?
    Isnt that an oxymoron?

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    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Jason222,

    That avatar... are you mad at someone?

  10. #10
    1/2 a binding 1/2 a brain telenick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BErad
    Paved trails?
    Isnt that an oxymoron?
    no.

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    I thought the main difference was that downhillers get a lift to the top of the mountain...

  12. #12
    mmm babaghanouj. rasheed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beccagrrl
    I've been reading these forums for quite some time now and have learned tons of new stuff about bikes and biking. I always read references to different styles of riding and I figured with time I would be able to figure out the differences, but I can not. What exactly is freeride, XC, etc? Downhill seems pretty self explanatory to me, but I could be wrong. I'm assuming downhill means riding downhill re: mountains, hills.
    Thanks in advance for any explanation!
    everyone's got their own little definitions for these terms. some try to limit it to the types of bikes you use, or things like getting "big air" or whatever. i try not to limit it to that but rather try to think of them in relation to what the terms actually mean.

    downhill - basically just that. taking your bike up a mountain, pointing it down the hill and riding. usually done on "big" bikes with lots of travel in the suspension, but that's not always the case - as lots are downhilling on hardtails nowadays. the bike's toughness and strength is more of a concern than the amount of travel the bike's got (although more is usually nicer and easier on the body) or the weight of it.

    cross-country - think of cross-country running, then apply it to a bike. riding all types of terrain, nothing too extreme. weight is more of a concern here than toughness and strength as far as the bike used is concerned. you want to be able to ride up hills, rather than walk up them.

    freeride - just what the name suggests (at least, that's what i think it should be). riding anywhere, over anything. more about having fun than anything else, pushing your limits and exploring new terrains, enjoying your surroundings and just being free. seeing an obstical and trying to figure out the best or most creative way around/over it - whether it be riding right over it, jumping over it or hucking off it, etc... the bike's toughness and weight are of concern here - thoughness and strength moreso than weight, but you still want to be able to pedal your way up a hill even if it takes you forever... nowadays though, people usually associate freeriding with lots of stunts, jumps, hucks and stuff like that, big burly bikes with tons of suspension travel. freeriding should be able to be done on just about any bike strong enough to handle the terrain - whether it be a rigid, hardtail, short or long travel suspension bike.

    current ride: 2003 norco vps fluid 3.0 (custom build).



  13. #13
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beccagrrl
    I live in the deep South, so no Freeride or Downhill for me. The highest point in my city is still like 1 foot below sea level I think.
    You must live near me. The only hills we have are call BRIDGES!

    Actually, you'd be surprised about your area. I'm guessing there are probably some pretty technical trails near you.

    If you get the latest issue of BIKE magazine they did a whole article on Freeriding in Florida.



    Now, there are so many sub-classifications of mountain biking.

    XC - Cross Country, usually single-track trails. Probably what 80% of most riders ride.
    DH - True downhill is a timed event one rider against the clock on a closed course, going down a mountain as fast as possible.
    FR - Is very technical riding, some lift assisted, however, slower and hitting jumps, drops, and riding stunts and elevated trails. Some climbing too!
    4X - Four Cross or Mountain Cross. This is a type of racing, four riders on a downward track with jumps, berms, etc. Top two riders advance.
    DS - Dual Slalom, usually two seperate courses two riders, after one run the riders change sides and race again. Lowest combined time advances.
    Trials (not TRAILS) - Stunts, lots of balance, hopping from obstacle to obstacle without putting a foot down (dabbing), shortest time through a course with least amount of dabs wins.
    Urban - Riding agressively around town, jumping off curbs, loading docks, down stairs, off ledges...etc. Kinda like street skating on bikes.
    DJ - Dirt Jumping. Self Explanatory
    CX - Cyclocross. This is a specific type of bike, it's like a road bike with knobby tires and cantilever brakes, courses are short, and have a mixture of steep climbing and going over barriers.


    There is more, but I'm tired of typing
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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    I'm in a suburb of New Orleans actually. I mainly ride for exercise and to get out of the house...path beside Lake Pontchatrain, parks, and I am going to try the Spillway Trail(pretty nice trail I think although it looks complicated to me from the pics on the New Orleans Mtn Bike assoc. website www.nomambo.com). What is hucking? That may be a dumb question, but the last time I really rode a lot, I was 12 and just tooling around with my friends and they didn't have all of these terms.
    BTW I own a 2005 Marin Hawk Hill. I hope it will be able to handle the Spillway Trail I want to ride on. I read reviews on it and it seemed like a decent bike for the $.
    Thanks again

  15. #15
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Sounds like your riding style is pretty much XC.

    Hucking refers to throwing yourself off of an object either natural or man-made usually from a stupidly high elevation difference.

    A "small" huck is 4 feet. A "huge fricking" huck is 35'.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  16. #16
    Shreddin' heaven on his 20" the wonginator's Avatar
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    anyone race uphill?

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    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
    You must live near me. The only hills we have are call BRIDGES!

    Actually, you'd be surprised about your area. I'm guessing there are probably some pretty technical trails near you.

    If you get the latest issue of BIKE magazine they did a whole article on Freeriding in Florida.



    Now, there are so many sub-classifications of mountain biking.

    XC - Cross Country, usually single-track trails. Probably what 80% of most riders ride.
    DH - True downhill is a timed event one rider against the clock on a closed course, going down a mountain as fast as possible.
    FR - Is very technical riding, some lift assisted, however, slower and hitting jumps, drops, and riding stunts and elevated trails. Some climbing too!
    4X - Four Cross or Mountain Cross. This is a type of racing, four riders on a downward track with jumps, berms, etc. Top two riders advance.
    DS - Dual Slalom, usually two seperate courses two riders, after one run the riders change sides and race again. Lowest combined time advances.
    Trials (not TRAILS) - Stunts, lots of balance, hopping from obstacle to obstacle without putting a foot down (dabbing), shortest time through a course with least amount of dabs wins.
    Urban - Riding agressively around town, jumping off curbs, loading docks, down stairs, off ledges...etc. Kinda like street skating on bikes.
    DJ - Dirt Jumping. Self Explanatory
    CX - Cyclocross. This is a specific type of bike, it's like a road bike with knobby tires and cantilever brakes, courses are short, and have a mixture of steep climbing and going over barriers.


    There is more, but I'm tired of typing
    Excellent descriptions, should make a sticky.
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  18. #18
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    Hucking leads to Hurting.

  19. #19
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revmonkey
    anyone race uphill?
    Cross country races usually have a fair bit of climbing. Or at least they used to when I raced XC more than a decade ago.
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  20. #20
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BErad
    Hucking leads to Hurting.
    True Dat!
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  21. #21
    Shreddin' heaven on his 20" the wonginator's Avatar
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    and im assuming all-mountain is up and downhill, through trails, off of jumps, through skinny, up and down past teeters, and will still ride you home?

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    I'm glad someone asked this question, and that my guesses were mostly right
    Last edited by jcg878; 06-17-05 at 08:40 AM.

  23. #23
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    All mountain is a better description for a bike vs. a type of riding, but in actuality it'll suffice for both I guess. Your description for the type of riding is correct. For the bike description: 4 to 6 inches travel front and rear, disc brakes, triple rings up front and weight close to 30 lbs.(or less).
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  24. #24
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
    All mountain is a better description for a bike vs. a type of riding, but in actuality it'll suffice for both I guess. Your description for the type of riding is correct. For the bike description: 4 to 6 inches travel front and rear, disc brakes, triple rings up front and weight close to 30 lbs.(or less).
    I tend to think of all-mountain type riding as conservative freeride. You try to ride anything that is well within the known capabilities of both bike and rider. This is in contrast to true freeride which motivates the rider to push their boundaries. I suppose all-mountain could also be considered cross-country without the emphasis on speed or distance. As for the equipment, I think of all-mountain as the frugal, pragmatic market niche. That is to say that equipment is designed well to perform and not weigh a lot but it's also not stupid-light either like some XC parts can be. OTOH, it's designed generally not as strong as pure FR or DH components and has more of a budget-conscious emphasis placed on it. It's aimed at the mass-market. I don't think AM requires suspension or discs and think that linear-pulls and rigid can do the job un many circumstances. It depends on the conditions, the rider and a variety of other factours I guess.
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