How to choose your Dirt Bike
Dirt and Street: spectacular disciplines
The Dirt, which comes from Dirt Jumping, is a spectacular discipline that comes from the BMX, where riders perform named figures in the air (Tailwop, Superman, Flair, 360°, Backflip...). The dirters' playground s is a field of dirt bumps created from scratch with ramps and modules. The Dirt is also practiced in town on artificial structures such as skate parks: it's then called Street.
In competition, a specific path is imposed and the figures are noted by a jury according to difficulty, technique, height, fluidity and style.
It's a highly visual sport to put on a show and attract spectators. There are several competitions in the world, the most famous championship being the FMBWT (Freeride Mountain Bike World Tour) where the best athletes of the discipline meet.
Features of a Dirt MTB
The Dirt MTB is a small compact bike with a semi-rigid frame with low sloping, e.g the upper tube is low enough to prevent the saddle from being too high and leaves the possibilty for the dirter to realise figures easily. It must be solid and equipped with a front suspension with a small dispalcement (100 mm) to cushion the shocks. Dirt is a risky practice with jumps that can be up to several meters high, so the choice of frame is important: it must be well adapted to avoid putting yourself in danger.
The Dirt MTB has a small handlebar for easy handling, a mono crankset like on the BMX and a single brake to slow down if needed. It has a long enough brake sheath for the driver to make figures by turning the handlebars several times.
Equipment is paramount
The most important element of the equipment: the helmet. It will protect your head in the event of a fall. There are dirt helmets or full helmets, with both types being rather common among dirters, knowing that the integral helmet is the one that will protect you the best. Whether you're a beginner or a professional, you'll need a variety of protections: knee pads, elbow pads and a back protector.
Nobody can become a dirter overnight and it's strongly advised to start on grounds with small bumps to acquire the technique which will then allow you to evolve into bigger jumps.