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Official Guide to the Loxahatchee River and Jupiter Outdoors  

 Loxahatchee River .net -- Your Coastal Connection!


Off-Road Biking "Florida-Style"
MounTain Bike (MTB) Information

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Get on that Bike & Hit the Trails!


Places to Bike, Hike, Run or Ride in the Loxahatchee River area.


Mountain-Style "All Terrain" Bikes:

  • Welcome to the world of "off road" cycling! Experience trails like never before. Off-road bikes allow the rider to get away from it all (especially vehicle traffic), and enjoy nature and the outdoors. You can "get out" and "get back" much faster than hiking or running, while covering many more miles of trails and greenways. Get ready to enjoy the ride...
  • Bike Designs: There are mountain bike (MTB) frames available to fit almost any man, women, or child. It's a good idea to visit your local bike shop for a professional fit when you're ready to buy your first bike. All mountain bikes should have some sort of shock absorbing capability. You generally get to choose between a "hard tail" mountain bike (front suspension), or a "soft tail" mountain bike (full suspension). For most flat terrain, a hard tail bike is sufficient. This bike style has front shocks; many even have adjustable settings for a softer/harder ride over the bumps. Some of the higher end soft-tail bikes with full suspension, even have a "brain" device that can automatically adjust the ride stiffness depending on the type of terrain your riding on!

  • Bike Size: Traditionally, the most common size mountain bike has been the 26er, which has 26" wheels. Lately, many riders have been switching to the new 29" models. The 29er offers larger wheels that more easily roll over stumps, roots, and obstacles on the trail. The larger wheels/tires also help to float the rider on sandy trails (like the wonderful sugar sand we have in our area). Although there are many factors that will dictate which model is best. The 26ers are better in tight switch-backs and jumps; and also they are a better fit for smaller riders. It's always best to speak with local riders and experts in your friendly neighborhood bike shops in order to select the correct bike size and/or frame geometry for your particular style of riding and comfort level. When off-road biking, you want more clearance space than usual between the top crossbar and your anatomy!

  • Bike Features: There are many features to look for in your new bike. Shop and compare the individual components like the gear and crank set, pedals (plastic vs. metal, clipless or flat bike pedals), brakes (mechanical or hydraulic disc brakes, seats (comfort vs. quality), rims, tires (tread style), shocks (adjustable), water-bottle cage mounts, frame warranty, etc. Different bike shops also provide various services long after the purchase. Some local shops provide a lifetime of free adjustments and minor tune-ups when you purchase a bike from them. Others sell optional warranty protection plans which include yearly tune-ups and replace faulty parts. Compare price, components, and warranty when bike shopping.
  • Bike Weight: Bike weight is directly related to the bike's frame, and components. Off-road mountain bike frames are built strong, to take the off-road pounding of bumps and jumps. There are frames made of aluminum alloys, steel, carbon fiber, and a mixture of other high-tech materials. The general rule is the lighter the bike, the higher the cost. There is even a drastic weight difference in bicycle components, with the higher-end bikes having more expensive, but lighter, stronger components. A lighter bike is easier to carry, easier to load in your vehicle, and faster on the trails. Your budget and the bike's weight are directly related.
  • Clothing: We recommend wearing a vented bike helmet to protect your head from trees, rocks, and hard-ground impacts. Purchase a high-quality pair of biking gloves to reduce fatigue on your hands and wrists. Wear clothing that is lightweight and comfortable, depending on the local weather conditions. The newer SPF and moisture wicking "dry tech" clothing will help keep you cool, dry, and protect you from the damaging rays of the sun. Don't forget your eye protection as well; sunglasses not only shade your eyes from the sun, but they also shield your eyes from other potential hazards while on the trails.

    Wear closed-toe shoes when biking off-road. Many trail riders prefer to use clipless pedals and specially designed bike shoes which attach (clip) to the bike pedals. This keeps your feet from slipping off the pedals, keeps them in the correct riding position, and provide extra power because your feet can pull up on the pedal as well as push down when riding. These clip-in pedals provide adjustments so you can always "kick out" of them if needed, on the trail.

    Specially designed biking shorts for off-road riders are readily available in many bike shops and sporting goods retailers. Gone are the days when you had to choose from which brightly-colored spandex road biking outfits to wear :). Modern-style mountain bike (MTB) shorts work great. They look more like baggy cargo shorts on the outside, but contain soft, chamois-like padding within an inner-liner to keep you comfortable while in the saddle.

  • Supplies: Carry plenty of water; wear a bike helmet; take your cell phone.  You should also carry a spare tire tube, patch kit, and air supply (pump, or CO2 cartridges), and tire levers.  A small multi-tool is also a good idea for those back-woods bike repairs!  If your out in the summer, you may also need insect repellent, sunscreen, and snacks. One of the best ways to stay hydrated, and carry all your supplies, is to purchase a Camelbak style backpack. These small backpacks contains a built-in water bladder. The packs contain a water tube that hangs over your shoulder so you can easily drink while you ride. Most of these hydration packs offer plenty of storage for your keys, wallet, & spare parts.

  • Exercise (Benefits): You may not realize it, but you actually get a much more aerobic work out when riding on sandy trails, than you do when riding on the road. It takes more effort to pedal through soft sand, mud, grass, roots, etc than rolling on pavement. Of course, your own "work out" benefits/results depend on the terrain and how hard/fast you choose to ride. One of the best work-outs around is riding the sugar sand hills and trails of Jonathan Dickinson State Park's Camp Murphy trail system. Check it out on our Trail Page, along with many other options!

  • Shared-use Trail Etiquette (Bikers and Equestrians): When approaching horses on shared-use trails, please keep the following tips in mind. Stop, and communicate with approaching horseback riders when you meet up on a shared-use trail. They will let you know whether it's OK to ride past them, or wait. This also helps to calm the horse, as you talk to the rider. The horse will see that you are a human on a bike, and will not be startled. Horses, by nature, are food animals (prey) and have a natural instinct to flee from predators (flight to safety). Domestic horses still have this natural instinct to varying degrees, so it's important to speak up and let them know you're approaching, especially from behind. A horse has "blind spots" directly in front and directly behind in their "field of vision". In addition, do not attempt to pet or touch a horse, unless the owner says it's OK. Use common sense and never attempt to approach a horse if it's ears are pinned-back and/or it's showing signs of distress or fear (anything other than a calm disposition).

    Shared use bike - hike - horseback riding area - ride with caution.
    Photo © 2010

    Be safe out there, and enjoy the ride!

Shared-Use Trails for hiking, biking, and horseback Riding

 Instructional Off-Road Bike Videos:

  Coming Soon!



Florida Ocean-to-Lake Trail on mountain bike


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