The Disadvantages Of Mountain Biking

Whether you are an adrenaline seeker or someone that wants to enjoy the peacefulness of nature by bike, mountain biking is a great outdoor activity. But above all, this sport has some great mental and physical health benefits. However, there are a few things that might grind your gears; what are the disadvantages of mountain biking?

There are a few disadvantages to mountain biking. First, it is an expensive and time consuming sport that is not allowed everywhere. Second, you need some technical skill to be able to perform repairs and maintain the bike. And finally, there’s a good chance of getting injured at some point.

In this article, we’ll go through the drawbacks of mountain biking. Especially if you are considering mountain biking as a new sport, this will definitely help you to make the right choice. If you aren’t put off after completing this read, then you should definitely go and get your first bike!

The Disadvantages Of Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is mainly a cardio exercise. It will get your heart rate up for a longer period of time and you will build muscle strength and endurance. Many people consider it to be way more fun than exercising in the gym for example.

But just like the gym, also mountain biking has a few disadvantages that you should definitely know about. What about the costs of mountain biking? Or the risk of getting injured while being in the middle of nowhere? In the next section, we’ll look at all negative aspects so you can have a positive experience.


Mountain biking involves a lot of cleaning, especially after riding in wet conditions. You not only have to clean your bike, but also your clothes and gear.

Cleaning your bike is a type of maintenance and should be taken seriously. Not to have the shiniest bike on the trail, but to prolong the lifespan of your components. Pay special attention to your chain, cassette, chainring, suspension and brakes.

Many people don’t feel like cleaning their bike right after their ride because they are too tired. But it is important to not let the dirt sit for too long otherwise it becomes more difficult to get it off.

When it comes to cleaning your clothes and gear, be prepared to have to clean them after every muddy ride. It is advised to have at least two outfits so that you don’t have to rely on that one outfit being dry.


Mountain bikes require quite a bit of maintenance. They should be serviced at least once a year depending on your riding style and distances you cover. Also take in account that there is a fair chance of something failing in between, like a snapped derailleur, a snapped chain or a torn tire.

Other than a major service, there are some smaller maintenance chores that you should perform in between your rides. As mentioned, cleaning is a way of maintaining your bike. After cleaning your chain, you need to dry and lubricate it to prevent it from getting rusty. While at it, you should check your chain length, brake pad/disc thickness, and you should tighten the bolts every few rides.

Components, particularly the higher-end parts, can be quite expensive. Understanding the condition of vital components is not only beneficial for your safety but will also contribute to long-term cost savings. Having basic technical knowledge is essential for performing repairs if you find yourself stranded in remote locations.

Mountain Biking Is Time Consuming

Mountain biking is not a quick workout that you can squeeze in between tasks. People usually spend around 2-3 hours on a bike. If you don’t live near trails, you also have to take travel time into account.

Cleaning and maintaining your bike can be time-consuming as well. Depending on how dirty your bike is, it may take up to 30-45 minutes.

The time it takes to maintain your bike depends on whether you do it yourself or let the bike shop handle the work. In any case, as discussed earlier, there are some minor post-ride maintenance tasks and checkups that you have to do. On average, you should allocate about 20 minutes for maintenance after each ride.


The the best known disadvantage of mountain biking is crashing. Actually, if you want to call yourself an experienced mountain biker, getting into a crash is part of the experience. It is a way to discover the limits of yourself or your bike. But lets pray that you don’t get into anything serious!

Many people assume that road cycling is safer than mountain biking. That actually depends on how you look at it. This study shows that road biking causes more serious injuries than mountain biking. This has to do with the fact that you share the road with other road users on a road bike.

Although the chance of getting seriously injured on a mountain bike is not as big as on a road bike, the frequency of getting into an accident is higher. That’s of course because of the fact that there are a lot of obstacles like steep descents, branches, rocks and slippery trails.

If you want to learn more about the injury frequency and common injury mechanisms related to mountain biking, you should read this study.

Mountain Biking Is Expensive

Especially the last few years, mountain bikes have increased in price. You don’t necessarily have to spend thousands on a mountain bike, as you progress as a rider, chances are that you will. The base price for a decent mountain bike is $1500.

But it is not only the purchase price, it is also the maintenance costs that aren’t cheap. The exact maintenance costs depend on factors like mileage, riding style and grade of components. But based on experience, you’ll spend around $500 per year on maintenance.

Let’s not forget the price of mountain bike clothing and gear. You’ll need a suitable outfit for summer, winter and in between. Also, you’ll need a helmet, shoes, gloves and maybe a backpack. On average, a complete outfit will set you back around $500.

Other Forest/Trail Users

Enjoying nature is a significant aspect of mountain biking, but mountain bikers are not the only outdoor enthusiasts.

If you’re more of a cross-country (XC) style mountain biker, chances are you will encounter hikers. They might be in groups or accompanied by dogs or children. Tension between hikers and mountain bikers is not uncommon when they share the same path.

While there can be various reasons for conflicts between hikers and mountain bikers, my advice is always to be aware of hikers around the corner and to use a bicycle bell if you intend to pass them.


No matter how expensive your bike is or how good of a rider you are, the inevitable will happen at one point: a breakdown. This may vary from something minor like a flat tire, to severe drivetrain issues like a broken derailleur hanger.

If you go out for a ride, you should bring the following:

  • Bicycle pump or CO2 cartridge and inflator
  • Inner tube
  • Multi-tool
  • Chain quick link
  • First aid kit
  • Mobile phone

Mountain Bike Locations

You can’t just ride in any location you want; mountain biking is prohibited in some areas. Violating these rules may result in a fine, so you should always check the signs before entering.

Alternatively you could travel with your bike to a suitable location. But this might bring some additional costs when you need to get a roof/hitch rack for your car. If mountain biking in your local area is not an option, you should do some compatibility checks before purchasing a mountain bike.