Where the road ends, the fun begins for mountain bikers. Beginning in the 1970s, mountain biking quickly became the most popular movement in cycling – and its popularity shows no signs of slowing down. In many areas of cycling technology and componentry, mountain bikes set the precedent for the entire industry. Mountain bikes are extremely versatile: they’re great as robust city bikes, ideal for exploring the backcountry, and obviously the only real choice for serious, technical riding on challenging off-road terrain. Broadly-speaking, mountain bikes can be separated into two categories: hardtails (with a suspension fork and no rear suspension) and full suspension bikes (with suspension at both the front and back). Wheel sizes, suspension travel, geometry, components, weight and price vary dramatically depending on the bike’s intended use.