Downhill MTBing courses are tracks that have been specially devised and created for MTBs.
Given that the sport needs downhill tracks and nearby lifts it tends to be found in mountain resorts.
Downhill MTBing is now a sport many people do, thanks to improvements in the material and in the facilities available in resorts. Nowadays it is comparable to downhill skiing.
Increasingly resorts are creating dedicated routes, normally earth tracks with a large number of hairpin bends for the more experienced mountain bikers. These tracks are classified using the same colour code as for downhill skiing – green for beginners, blue for intermediate, red for advanced, and black for expert. On certain tracks there can be a number of small jumps and wooden gangways to make them even more fun.
Downhill MTBs are specially designed for the sport, with long-travel suspension, powerful brakes, and slack geometry, all of which make them ideal for this sport.
Improvements to the equipment have played a key role in opening up downhill MTBing to the general public. You no longer get vibrations travelling up your arms at the slightest pebble. These bikes mean you can go significantly faster than on a bike without suspension. It is however essential to be well protected in the event of a fall, and a helmet, elbow pads, kneepads, and wrist and back protections are part of the kit of the perfect downhill MTBer.
Downhill MTBing is recognised as a competition sport by the International Cycling Union. World Downhill Championships are held each year.