Dirt jump biking is a sport which has been relatively small until recently where a rise in both mountain biking and BMX has caused this hybrid of the two to really come into its own. It combines the fitness and determination needed to be a successful mountain biker and the skill and guts of a bmx rider to create a whole new phenomenon.
Dirt jump bikes are similar to normal mountain bikes in the basic design and build however they usually come with just suspension on the front and none on the rear. They are given the purpose of taking huge hits and falls which also means they have to be constructed tougher and therefore are often heavier than bikes used for racing. BMX bikes are also used when dirt jumping but the phrase ‘dirt jump bikes’ usually refers to the hard-tails.
At tournament level dirt jumping is a freestyle discipline where certain tricks and moves are performed whilst soaring through mid air and judged on difficulty, creativity and execution. Street riding is popular with a lot of people which refers to tricks being carried out in everyday places and using everyday outdoor objects. This could be jumping around on concrete slabs or riding down metal poles etc. This type of riding is easy to compare with trials riding where the bikes used are far more petite and of a lighter weight as street tricks are their only purpose.
The majority of bikes which have been made for specifically dirt jumping, have frames with the upper tube sloping towards the seat for more movement whilst performing tricks; have low travel forks; a small gear set and 24″ to 26″ wheels. As with most biking sports, it is also not uncommon to see various alternative bikes and customizations as it really comes down to what makes the rider feel comfortable when on their bike.
Jamie is an avid sports fan whom enjoys writing about various sports which have interested him throughout his life.