50+ Interesting Mountain Biking Statistics (2023)
I’ve compiled a range of mountain biking statistics and facts that provide insights into the growth of the sport, its economic impact, as well as some fun and surprising facts.
Each statistic is sourced from a reputable study which I’m happy to provide on request.
Interesting Mountain Biking Statistics
- According to the market research company NPD Group, front-suspension mountain bike sales increased by 150% in the spring of 2020, and sales of full-suspension mountain bikes grew by 92% by June.
- Market Research Future predicts that the global mountain bike market will grow by 10% between now and 2027.
- The Mountain Bike Market was worth US$5.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a rate of 12% CAGR from 2021 to 2029, reaching almost US$13.86 billion in 2029.
- According to the latest research from Mintel on the UK cycling market, bike volume sales rose an estimated 22% in 2020, with MTBs remaining the most popular type of adult bicycle, with one in three cyclists (33%) currently owning one.
- In 2021, the number of participants (aged six years and above) in mountain/non-paved surface biking amounted to 8.69 million in the USA.
Mountain Bike Industry
- REI’s mountain bike sales were three times higher in the summer of 2020 than in the same period in 2019, according to Mr. Jameson.
- Average Mountain BIke Costs:
- Department store mountain bikes cost around $500,
- Entry-level bikes range from $800 to $3,500,
- Mid-range used bikes cost between $1,500 and $3,500.
- Higher end are priced at $13,000+.
- 43% of singletracks members own dual suspension mountain bikes, leaving 57% who still ride hardtail bikes.
Mountain Bike Culture
- Eric Barone, a 56-year-old male, broke his own speed record on a mountain bike by riding downhill on a snowy ski slope in the French Alps at a speed of 141 miles per hour, creating a new world record.
- A survey by Cycleplan found that 75% of cyclists noticed an improvement in their mental health since getting on the saddle, with 8% even saying it helped with their depression or anxiety.
- According to a study conducted by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), around 90% of mountain bikers wear helmets while riding.
- The popular mountain bike media has tended to over-emphasize the danger perceived in the sport, often portraying an ideology of hegemonic masculinity. A survey found that 60.6% of females believed that the perception of mountain biking as “hard-core” was deterring women from participating.
- Still, 5% of respondents to a recent Singletracks survey rated themselves “expert” mountain bikers, while roughly the same percentage (6%) rated themselves beginners.
Mountain Bike Demographics
- 27.0% of mountain bike guides are women and 73.0% of mountain bike guides are men.
- The gender pay gap for mountain bike guides is evident, with women earning 82 cents for every $1 earned by men. Male income is $68,495, while female income is $56,073.
- On average, mountain bikers sustain one injury for every 59.5 hours of riding, or one injury in 10 days spent in the saddle.
Mountain Bike Routes
- The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, spanning roughly 2,700 miles from Banff, Alberta, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, is the longest mountain bike trail in the world.
Interesting Mountain Biking Facts
History and Innovation
- The first mass-produced mountain bike was the Specialized Stumpjumper, introduced in 1981. By the founder of the Specialized Bicycle Components, Mike Sinyard.
- Mountain biking was added to the Olympic program for the first time at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games, with a men’s and women’s cross-country race.
- The first full suspension mountain bike was developed by Mert Lawwill in 1979.
- The first ever downhill mountain bike race was held in Fairfax, California in October 1976.
- The first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup was held in Durango, Colorado in 1991, featuring cross-country, downhill, and dual slalom races.
- The world’s first purpose-built mountain bike trail opened in 1987 in Crested Butte, Colorado, USA.
Trails and Destinations
- The Kingdom Trails in Vermont, USA is considered one of the best mountain biking destinations in the world, with over 100 miles of trails.
- The Moab area in Utah, USA is famous for its slickrock trails, which offer unique riding opportunities on a smooth, sandstone surface.
- Whistler Bike Park in Canada is known for its extensive lift-accessed trail network, allowing riders to access a wide range of trails with minimal climbing.
- The Trans-Cascadia race in Oregon, USA is a four-day, multi-stage event that takes riders through some of the most remote and beautiful parts of the Pacific Northwest.
- The Cape Epic in South Africa is a grueling eight-day stage race that covers over 400 miles of challenging terrain.
Skills and Techniques
- “Bunny hopping” is a technique where a rider jumps their bike over an obstacle without losing speed. Skilled riders can clear obstacles as tall as their own height.
- “Manualing” is a technique where a rider lifts the front wheel of their bike and maintains a balance point to ride without pedaling. It’s a useful skill for navigating technical terrain and obstacles.
- “Pumping” is a technique where a rider uses the terrain to generate speed, by pushing down on the bike through dips and turns to gain momentum.
- “Dropping” is a technique where a rider rides off a drop or ledge, using their body position to control the bike in the air and land safely.
- “Cornering” is a technique where a rider leans their bike into a turn, using body position and weight distribution to maintain traction and speed.
Health and Benefits
- Mountain biking can provide a low-impact workout that is easier on the joints than running.
- Approximately 680 calories are burned per hour during moderate cross-country singletrack riding.
- Studies have shown that mountain biking can improve mental health and reduce stress levels.
- Mountain biking can provide a sense of adventure and exploration, allowing riders to discover new trails and destinations.
- Riding with a group or club can provide a social outlet and a sense of community among riders.
- Mountain biking can be a lifelong sport, with riders of all ages and skill levels participating in events and recreational riding.
Sources of this article include studies performed by International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), Statista, and Outdoor Industry Association.
If you liked this list of mountain biking facts and statistics, you may also enjoy 5 Best Mountain Bikes Under $1000 (2023 Bargains), The 5 Best Folding Mountain Bike in 2023 [Ranked], and you can test out my MTB Tire Pressure Calculator.
A commercial analyst by day, and an outdoor/adventure blogger by night.