The Fix Bikes Blog

Gravity Mountain Biking Nerds – Downhill, Freeride, Trail and Dirt Jumping

Mountain Bike Racing – Dual Slalom, 4x and Mountaincross

Posted by thefixbikes on November 16, 2007

Mountain Bike Racing is a blast, especially when it’s in the form of the discipline like dual slalom, 4x or mountaincross. In these forms of gravity bike racing, riders try to get down the mountain faster than their competitors, whether they race on their own course or on the same course as their competitors.

The Mountain Bikes
Dual Slalom and mountaincross or 4x mountain bikes are designed to be light, nimble and aggressive. Whether you choose a full-suspension bike design or a hardtail design will depend on the terrain you race on most often. Generally, full-suspension bikes are the weapon of choice as they can be tuned to react like a hardtail. Geometry and amount of travel makes these bikes exceptional in the corners. They react quickly and turn on a dime. Intense Cycles, Specialized Bikes and Transition Bikes make mountain bikes that fit this category. The Intense Tazer XVP, the Specialized SX or the Transition Double are the best bikes to have when taking on the dual slalom and mountaincross tracks.

Dual Slalom
Dual Slalom mountain bike racing is similar to the dual slalom format in alpine skiing. Two racers compete head-to-head on separate, but identical courses and must make turns around gates, which designate the courses. The riders are timed once on each course per round. The racer with the lowest combined time moves to the next round.
Dual Slalom bike racing is exciting and one of the original racing formats of mountain bike competition. The style has grown from tracks consisting of some bamboo poles placed in the ground to that of technical jumps, turns and berms. Local, Regional and National mountain bike race series are likely to have Dual Slalom contests at their events.

Mountaincross or 4x
Mountaincross or 4x is a mountain bike race format similar to that of BMX racing. Four competitors start in a gate together and navigate courses that are filled with jumps and turns. Racers can use any portion of the track to get to the bottom the fastest and strategy becomes crucial. Having four bike racers on the track at the same time means there will be bumping and rubbing throughout the race. Preparing for that contact might help a racer move on to the next round as they can avoid contact or be in front of the contact. Out of the four mountain bikers in each round, the first two finishers move on.

Matt Fischer of The Fix Bikes Team

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One Response to “Mountain Bike Racing – Dual Slalom, 4x and Mountaincross”

  1. Nice photo! Thanks for article.

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