Cycling is a sporting discipline that encompasses a wide variety of specialties and modalities that require different skills and physical abilities. From long-distance road races to endurance tests on rugged terrain, the world of cycling offers a wide range of possibilities for amateurs and professional athletes. In this article, we will introduce you to the different disciplines of cycling so that you can learn about them and maybe find yours.

There are several disciplines of cycling, some of which are described below: 

road cycling

This is the most common form of cycling, in which cyclists compete on paved roads in long race stages. It is characterized by the use of road bicycles, that is, bicycles specially designed to ride at high speeds on asphalt surfaces. Road cyclists often ride in platoons or groups, which allows them to save energy and maintain high speed over long stretches of road.

Road cycling is a very popular activity around the world, with many events and competitions at local, national and international levels. The biggest road cycling events are grand tours such as the Tour de France , Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España , which attract some of the world's best cyclists and a global audience of millions of people.

Cyclists on the road

Mountain biking

This discipline involves cycling on often rugged and technical mountain trails. Mountain biking is a variant of cycling that is practiced off-road, on mountainous or rugged terrain. Racers use special mountain bikes that are designed to handle the toughest trail conditions; These have wider tires with deeper treads for greater traction and cushioning, more powerful brakes and a different geometry to handle difficult and rocky terrain.

Mountain biking races can be of different types depending on the type of competition: cross-country, downhill, enduro, marathon, rally and others.

Mountain biking is also a recreational and tourist activity that allows cyclists to experience the natural beauty of parks and trails, the possibility of exercising and enjoying direct contact with nature.


A combination of road and mountain biking, in which cyclists compete on a course that includes obstacles such as barriers, mud, and stairs.

Cyclocross riders compete in short races, typically 30 minutes to an hour, and must overcome various obstacles while maintaining a fast, constant speed over varied terrain.

Unlike other cycling disciplines, such as road or track, in some countries with seasons, cyclocross takes place during the autumn and winter season, meaning that races are often held in cold conditions, rain or snow, making it even more challenging for cyclists.

Cyclocross is popular in Europe, especially in Belgium and the Netherlands, where large races are held with thousands of spectators and a festive atmosphere. It is also becoming increasingly popular in other places around the world, including the United States and Australia.


The acronym BMX stands for Bicycle Motocross. A discipline in which cyclists compete on a track with obstacles, jumps and curves, it is a type of cycling that involves riding a small single-speed bicycle with 20-inch wheels on a track. dirt or asphalt.

BMX bikes are designed for tricks, stunts, and racing, and are designed to be lightweight as well as strong.

BMX racing involves riders competing against each other on a track with jumps and obstacles, the winner being the first rider to cross the finish line. BMX freestyle, on the other hand, involves performing tricks and stunts on ramps, rails, and other obstacles in a skate park or skate park.

BMX has been a popular sport since the 1970s and has been recognized as an Olympic sport since the 2008 Beijing Olympics. BMX has many different disciplines, including racing, freestyle, street, park and dirt jumping. It is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, agility and quick reflexes.


Downhill cycling is a mountain biking discipline that consists of descending steep and technical trails, tracks and roads at high speed, it is also known as Downhill.

Downhill riders use specially designed mountain bikes with long suspensions and reinforced frames to absorb impacts and wide tires to improve traction on difficult terrain. Additionally, it is also important to use the appropriate protective equipment, such as helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and gloves, to minimize the risk of injury in the event of falls or accidents.

The goal of downhill cycling is to complete the course in the shortest time possible, overcoming obstacles and challenges along the way, such as rocks, roots, jumps, and tight turns. Downhill riders must have advanced bike handling skills, as well as great physical and mental stamina.

This discipline is very exciting and attracts many fans and spectators. Downhill competitions are held around the world, from national championships to elite international competitions such as the UCI Downhill World Cup .

Track cycling

In this sport, cyclists compete on a 250-meter velodrome track, in sprint or endurance races. 

Track cycling is a cycling discipline that takes place on a closed track with a length of between 250 and 400 meters, in which cyclists compete in different tests, such as speed, keirin , individual pursuit , team pursuit , among others. .

Track cyclists use specific bicycles that are designed to be light, aerodynamic and rigid, with a single sprocket and no brakes, forcing riders to modulate speed and control the bicycle through the use of technique and strength. the legs.

Track cycling requires great technical and physical skill, as the events are usually very fast and intense, and cyclists must be prepared to face sprints and sudden changes of pace. In addition, tactics also play an important role, as riders must know when to attack and when to wait, and how to work as a team in team events.

Track cycling is a very exciting and spectacular discipline, and has become a very popular sport around the world, especially in the Olympic Games, where the best cyclists compete for medals in different track events.


A discipline that involves jumping and balancing the bike on obstacles, such as logs or barrels. Trials is a cycling discipline that focuses on the technical and acrobatic skill of the cyclists, rather than speed and endurance. In this discipline, cyclists compete on a circuit full of obstacles and must overcome them without touching the ground or stopping.

The objective of trials is to overcome obstacles in the shortest time possible, while maintaining balance and proper technique. Obstacles can be anything from concrete blocks to barrels, wooden pallets, ramps, walls, among others.

The trials are divided into two categories: mountain bike trials (MTB) and street bike trials. In the MTB category, cyclists use mountain bikes specially designed for trials, which are lighter and more maneuverable than conventional mountain bikes. In the Street category, riders use BMX bikes specially designed for trials, which are smaller and lighter than mountain bikes.

Trials is a very demanding discipline that requires a great amount of skill and technique from the cyclists. Riders must have excellent control over their bike and great ability to jump and overcome obstacles. In addition, they must also have a great capacity for concentration and endurance to be able to complete the complete circuit.

Trials is a very popular discipline in Europe and North America, and is very spectacular and exciting for the public. Different trials events and competitions have been created to promote this discipline, and specific circuits and areas have been created to practice it.

Urban cycling

Urban cycling is a form of cycling that takes place in cities and focuses on the use of bicycles as a means of transportation and recreation. Urban cycling is a form of sustainable travel, since it does not emit polluting gases or produce noise and contributes to the reduction of traffic and congestion in cities.

Urban cycling can be practiced in different contexts, such as daily trips to work or school, recreational walks around the city, trips to shop or run errands, among others.

To practice urban cycling, it is necessary to have a bicycle suitable for the city, one that is comfortable, safe and resistant. In addition, it is also important to have the necessary safety measures, such as a helmet, lights, reflective vest, among others.

In cities, there are different infrastructures and services to promote urban cycling, such as bike lanes, bicycle parking, bicycle loan programs, among others. In addition, events and activities are also held to promote urban cycling and raise awareness among the population about its importance.

Urban cycling is a healthy and sustainable way of getting around the city, which also contributes to reducing the carbon footprint and environmental pollution. In addition, it is also a way to exercise and enjoy the city in a different and fun way.

In addition to the cycling disciplines I already mentioned, there are some other lesser-known disciplines. Some of them are: 

Ultra-Long Distance Road Cycling

A form of road cycling in which cyclists compete over extremely long distances, often several thousand kilometers. 

Speed ​​Cycling

A discipline in which cyclists compete on a 200-meter straight track, reaching speeds of more than 70 km/h.

Long Distance Mountain Bike Cycling

A form of mountain biking in which riders compete in multi-day races, covering extremely long distances.

Dirt track cycling

A discipline in which cyclists compete on an oval dirt track, similar to oval motorsport. 

Team Cycling

A form of road cycling in which teams compete in stage races, working together to help the team leader win the race.

These are just some of the lesser-known disciplines of cycling. Each of them has its own unique characteristics and requirements, and each attracts different types of riders and fans.

In conclusion, cycling is a very diverse sport and offers a wide variety of disciplines, each with its own unique characteristics and challenges. From road cycling, which is a highly technical and endurance discipline, to mountain biking, which focuses on handling skills on difficult terrain, to track cycling, BMX, triathlon and more.

Each cycling discipline requires different skills, equipment and techniques, but they all share a passion for cycling and competition. Cycling is also a very popular and accessible sport for many people, from amateurs to elite athletes.

Overall, cycling is a very healthy and rewarding activity that can be enjoyed alone or in a group, and is a great way to stay fit and experience nature while enjoying the freedom and excitement of pedaling on two wheels.


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