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A mountain bike or mountain bicycle (MTB or ATB (all-terrain bicycle) is a bicycle created for off-road cycling. This activity includes traversing of rocks and washouts, and steep declines, on dirt tracks, logging roads, and other non paved environments, the activities are usually referred to as mountain biking. These bicycles need to be able to withstand the stresses of off-road use with obstacles such as logs and rocks. Most mountain bikes use wheels with rims which are referred to as "26 inch", although the term is inaccurate as it covers too many rim and tire sizes to be meaningful.

Since the development of the sport in the 1970s many new subtypes of mountain bikes have developed, such as cross country biking, all-day endurance biking, Free biking, Downhill biking, mountain biking, and a variety of track and slalom competitions. Each of these place different demands on the bike requiring different designs for optimal performance. MTB development has included an increase in gearing, up to 30 speeds, to facilitate both climbing and rapid descents. Other developments include disc instead of rim brakes.

The history of the mountain bike. The name "mountain bike" first appeared in print in 1966 as "mountain bicycle". The mountain bike was a modified heavy cruiser bikes used for freewheeling down mountain trails. The sport became popular in the 1970s. However, it was not until the late 1970s and early 1980s that road bike companies started to manufacture mountain bicycles using high-tech lightweight materials, such as aluminium, although in recent years, titanium and carbon fiber frames have become more common but can be very expensive.

Mountain bikes can be classified into four categories based on suspension:

Fully rigid: A frame with a rigid fork and fixed rear, no suspension.

Hardtail: A frame with a front suspension fork and no rear suspension.   

Soft tail: A frame with small amount of rear suspension, activated by flex of the frame instead of pivots.

Dual or full suspension: A front suspension fork and rear suspension with a rear shock and linkage that allow the rear wheel to move on pivots.

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