The only MTB event that is part of the Summer Olympic Games
Cross Country MTB
One of the more common MTB disciplines, cross-country does not involve many obstacles but it does require high endurance from a rider to successfully traverse the varying uphill and downhill terrains spread across long distances.
As an outdoor activity, cross-country circuit is roughly 3.5 – 5 miles (6 – 8 km) in distance with varied trail sections of differing widths; elevations and dips; not to mention a varying terrain that alternates between dusty, muddy, rocky, gravel based and hard packed roads. The aggregate distance can be as high as 30 miles (50 km) in professional competitions.
Cross-country mountain bikes tend to forgo the gains in areas like stability and control during quick descents for more pressing needs such as quick handling and faster climbs. Hence, they employ single suspensions (usually at the front). The travel length can vary from 80mm to 120mm and sport knobby tyres to offer better grip for uphill climbs.
Cross country is in fact the only MTB discipline that is an Olympic sport that was officially introduced during ‘96 Atlanta Summer Olympics.