Elztal is part of the largest mountain biking network in the world covering a distance of approximately 3000 km. Mountain biking is a form of offroad cycling which uses very rugged bicycles with straight handlebars and wide tires. A mountain bike, also called All-Terrain-Bike is a bicycle designed for riding off-road, either on mountain trails or unpaved environments; road bicycles are not rugged enough for Black Forest terrain. In France mountain bikes are called vélo tout-terrain. Mountain bikes have knobbly tires for extra traction in the dirt. Until recently, mountain bicycles had road bicycle style frames but as mountain biking has become more aggressive, better designed and stronger frames have been introduced. Now one can ride over rocks without any problem. Most mountain bikes have either 24 or 27 speeds, with 3 gears in the front and 8 or 9 gears at the rear wheel and typically use 26-inch wheels.
Mountain bikes can be classified into three categories based on suspension: rigid - with no suspension, hard tail - front suspension fork, no rear suspension, and dual or full suspension, a bike with front and rear suspension integrated into the frame.
Designs vary to reflect the challenges of the different disciplines in Elztal mountain biking competitions: Firstly, Cross Country, so-called XC mountain bikes, tend to have only a small amount of suspension, and have little weight. This is achieved through the use of lightweight materials and suspension is typically provided by air shocks. Most XC bikes weigh less than 15 kilos.
Secondly, Enduros or so-called All-Mountain-Bikes are generally heavier than XC bikes, and have higher suspension to bike longer distances in comfort.
Thirdly, Freeride mountain bikes are a further step up. They tend to have more suspension, and are built from heavier material. They are designed to be all-rounder bikes, and able to take on dangerous downhill trails.They range between 14 and 20 kilos.
Other types of bikes are: Downhill mountain bikes which tend to be heavier.They are suitable only for riding down dedicated downhill trails or race courses.
Trial mountain bikes are set up specifically for bike trials. Mostly, they have no suspension at all and only one gear; some even have no seat, as the rider spends all of time out of the saddle.
Mountain biking evolved in the late 60s but it wasn't until the early 80s that traditional bicycle companies started to manufacture mountain bicycles. Early suspension frames were heavy and took a lot of power out of a rider's pedal stoke, especially during climbs up steep hills. Newer suspension frame and fork designs have improved the weight. Most suspension frames and forks have at least 100 mm of suspension travel. Many Elztal mountain bikers prefer to ride a hardtail frame rear suspension, but almost everybody uses a suspension fork.
Elztal is in the heart of this unique Black Forest region, where you can experience many facets of mountain biking along a large number of well-marked routes. With the opportunity cycle in the countryside while improving your fitness, you can also use steep mountain trails. Elztal is one of the first choices for activity based holidays. The leisure extends from walking and cycling to geological or historical excursions.