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Too Old For Mountain Biking? (Myth Busted)

As time goes on and we get older the need for physical activity becomes bigger and bigger, a sedentary life is a road to an unhappy life filled with too many trips to the hospital. If you decided that mountain biking is the thing for you, and you aren’t in your 20s anymore, a common question that arises is: am I too old for mountain biking?

Mountain biking has a lot of health benefits like the improvement of lung capacity, cardiovascular system, immune system, and sleep, it is a great way to lose weight and all of this without putting too much stress on your joints. This is why mountain biking will be more beneficial the older you are.

In this article, we will discuss if it is a good idea to start mountain biking as you are older and we will answer common questions about the age at which you can start mountain biking. So keep reading!

Is Mountain Biking Good for Older Adults?

As a general rule the older you are, the more important physical activity becomes. Mountain biking is a great full-body workout that brings many health benefits and the risk of injuries is fairly low, but if you are older and your body is frail you should avoid riding the more technical downhill trails.

Senior man biking

The main benefits of mountain biking for older persons are:

  • Improves the cardiovascular system: Because mountain biking demands a greater amount of energy and it is a full-body workout your heart needs to accelerate to pump blood to your muscles, this will strengthen the heart and lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Improves lung capacity: The high demand for oxygen will make your lungs pump harder and harder, a fit mountain biker will have 20% more lung capacity than a sedentary person.
  • Helps Regulate Blood Sugar: Mountain biking is a full-body workout, as a result, your muscles will use the glucose reserve of your body, and over time, this can lower your blood sugar levels.
  • Strengthens The Immune System: As we all know, athletes and cyclists have a great immunity system, and despite the unfavorable conditions of training they rarely get sick.
  • Improved mental well-being: People that do one hour of intense physical activity such as cycling have a reduced risk of suffering from depression and anxiety.
  • Great Way To Reduce Stress: Mountain biking in nature is a great way to disconnect from the day-to-day problems that have a negative effect on our stress levels.
  • Great For Weight Loss: Besides running, mountain biking has the highest calorie demand among all outdoor activities.

Because mountain bikes are equipped with suspensions you can have a fun ride without putting too much stress on your joints and this is important for older people. If you decide to ride a full-suspension mountain bike you will enjoy the trails without too much stress on your lower back, so a full-suspension MTB is recommended for older people because lower back pain is a common problem for them.

If you find yourself hardly capable of breeding after you climb a few stairs, try mountain biking for one or two years and climbing stairs will be like a walk in the park for you.

As you can see, mountain biking has so many advantages for older people that you should not waste time anymore and start riding the trails, this is true if you don’t have medical problems that will prevent intense physical exercise (please talk to your doctor before you start mountain biking). Believe me, you won’t regret it!

Too Old to Start Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a sport well suited for any age, there are people that start mountain biking at 70+ years, but the older you are the easier your rides need to be because your body doesn’t have the same healing capacity. So you can’t afford to take the same risks as the younger riders.

If you can ride a bike on the road then you can ride a mountain bike on beginner-friendly trails. If you feel too old to start mountain biking you are out of shape and this is a big problem, so this becomes your main reason to start mountain biking. Isn’t this ironic?

I recommend you watch the short video below, it will give you the motivation you need:

If you what to know how dangerous is mountain biking, I encourage you to read this article!

Is 30+ Too Old to Start Mountain Biking?

Mountain biking is a demanding sport that requires you to get in good physical shape, in your 30’s you have the capability to adapt to almost any sport and there are a lot of people starting their mountain biking journey at this age bracket.

I started mountain biking in my late 20s but I have lots of friends that started in their 30s and after two years they are in great physical form, some of them even compete in amateur races.

The only reason you feel that you can be too old for mountain biking in your 30s is that you are in a bad physical form, my recommendations are to throw these worries out the window and start mountain biking. You don’t need to be a champion from the first day, take it slow and you will grow.

An easy 20 to 30 minutes ride per day is a good starting point, if you can do more than that don’t hesitate to do it. Just be aware to ride inside your skill comfort levels, and don’t take unnecessary risks.

If you push yourself just a little bit you will be amazed by your progress, at this age you have no reason to be worried that you are too old.

Is 40+ Too Old to Start Mountain Biking?

In your 40’s you are at the peak of your body’s maturity level, if you aren’t in physical shape then mountain biking will help you to become fit. This is the perfect time to start making better life choices and starting your mountain biking journey is one of the best choices you can make.

This is the age when the effects of a stressful life become noticeable, you will not believe the positive effect that riding a mountain bike surrounded by nature has on your mental well-being, and how it makes most of the stress melt away.

There is something about riding your bike on the trails that makes you forget all the day-to-day problems and helps you disconnect from the mundane life just enough to release you from a great deal of stress.

One of my riding partners is in his 40s and he is in better physical shape than me, and I am in my 30s now. Don’t be discouraged you are definitely not too old to start mountain biking.

Is 50+ Too Old to Start Mountain Biking?

Mountain biking at 50+ years is one of the best ways to get in shape and prevent most of the cardiovascular diseases that are common at this age point. Riding with great speed on technical downhill trails would be a bad idea because an injury will not heal so quickly.

To reduce the risk of injury you need to ride at your comfort level, don’t push yourself beyond your skill level, believe me, this is the most important thing.

There are a lot of people starting mountain biking in their 50s because at this age, the need for cardiovascular exercises is more noticeable, and riding a bike is easier on your joints than running.

What could be more relaxing than riding your bike surrounded by nature, and encountering some wildlife (birds, a dear, turtles, etc)? I can’t think of many things, so if you enjoy bicycling and nature then mountain biking is for you.

Let us not forget that if you will ride a mountain bike every day it will help you lose some extra pounds, a common problem for this age.

Don’t be wary too much about your age, one of my friends in his 50’s even competed in a local amateur MTB race and he placed decent, in front of much younger riders.

Is 60+ Too Old to Start Mountain Biking?

Mountain bikes are tough and stable bikes that are equipped with suspensions that absorbed the majority of shock from bumpy roads and for this reason, they are a good choice for 60+ old people that are looking for a great way to get in shape.

The health benefits of mountain biking are becoming more and more valuable the older you are. You don’t need a great physical form to ride a mountain bike on beginner trails or unpaved country roads. Believe me, it looks harder than it is.

If you don’t have chronic illnesses (please consult with a doctor) that prevent you to make a cardiovascular effort, mountain biking will be one of the best ways to spend your time.

Over time your overall physical shape will increase and you will become healthier or at least you will preserve your health. There are many stories over the internet about people starting mountain biking even at 72 years old, so you have no excuse!

Conclusion

There really is no upper age limit for mountain biking, the key factor is to not push yourself to ride trails that are too technical for your skill level so that you have a lower risk of falling off the bike and injuring yourself. Mountain biking has many benefits and all of them become more valuable the older you are.

Don’t let fear stop you, start mountain biking!

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I started mountain biking many years ago to improve my overall health state. After my first ride, I fell in love with the sport. Now I spend dozens of hours a week researching and training to compete in local XC and Enduro events.