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How to choose your XC Bike

The Cross Crountry: an intense sport

The Cross Country is the best-known MTB practice and the only one to be present at the Olympic Games since 1996. With this sport, enjoy the thrills as much as you enjoy nature!

The Cross-Country is practiced in leisure or competition mode on circuits that do a series of ups and downs: it is a discipline that requires both technical piloting qualities and great physical abilities. Indeed it is an intensive effort where the pace changes continuously and it takes both endurance and speed for accelerations.

There are several race formats: the Olympic Cross-Country, the Cross-Country Marathon and since 2011, the Cross-Country Eliminator.

  • The Olympic Cross-Country is an event that takes place on a short circuit (between 5 and 9 km) where all the riders leave at the same time and the first-arrived is the winner. The pace is steady all along.
  • The Cross-Country Marathon is made on a longer format (between 60 and 120 km) and includes rolling parts and technical parts.
  • The Cross-Country Eliminator is the sprint version on a circuit whose distances are between 500 m and 1 km and which includes obstacles.

Which MTB to choose for Cross Country?

The choice of a cross-country mountain bike will depend on the practice of each one: amateur in walk mode, sportsmans living for the thrills or competition lovers. These criteria associated with the budget you want to devote to your practice will condition the purchase of a more or less high-end MTB.

For competition, you will need a fast bike that combines strength, lightness and rigidity. A semi-rigid carbon frame is ideal for performance with a front suspension, limited displacement of 100 to 120 mm and disc brakes that allow progressive and effective braking at all times.

We see more and more 29-inch MTBs for cross-country practice, as this wheel size offers better performance with great traction power. The mono crankset is also increasingly used, which makes it possible to lighten the weight of the bike.

For cross-country marathon, you will need more comfort because the distances are longer, so a full suspension mountain bike will be the most suitable, with a greater displacement than for the Olympic format.

For the Cross-Country Eliminator, the riders use the same MTB as in the Olympic Cross-Country: an MTB still that has to be very fast.

A must-have if you want maximum comfort: a telescopic fork to better appreciate the shocks.

For leisure practice, an aluminum frame is quite suitable: it will be cheaper and light enough so that you enjoy your outings on a comfortable mountain bike.

Tubeless tyres are appreciated for comfort and a better grip, hence with such preventive measures in the tyres, you are prepared for long and safe journeys!


The Cross Country is a sport that requires to be well equipped to ride comfortably and safely. The outfit is similar to the road cyclist's outfit, whose shoes with automatic pedals are light, resistant and equipped with studs to be able to walk everywhere with them on.

Do not take a walk without a helmet and put on glasses to protect your eyes from projections. In competition, full helmet use is mandatory.

Alltricks' advice

Choose a terrain suitable for your level in order to ride safely and take maximum pleasure!


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