Cross-country (XC) cycling is the most common discipline of mountain biking. While less publicized than downhill cycling as it is more difficult to televise, it garners the highest levels of participation both recreationally and competitively. Cross-country cycling became an Olympic sport in 1996 and is the only form of mountain biking practiced at the Olympics.
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... In cross-country, more than other areas of mountain biking, a debate has begun over the optimal wheel size ... rapidly gaining in popularity, and having some success in cross-country racing ...
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“I shall not bring an automobile with me. These inventions infest France almost as much as Bloomer cycling costumes, but they make a horrid racket, and are particularly objectionable. So are the Bloomers. Nothing more abominable has ever been invented. Perhaps the automobile tricycles may succeed better, but I abjure all these works of the devil.”
—Henry Brooks Adams (18381918)