Mountain bikes are typically ridden on single track trails, fire roads, logging roads, and other unpaved environments. These types of terrain commonly include rocks, washouts, ruts, loose sand, loose gravel, roots, and steep grades (both inclines and declines). Mountain bikes are built to handle this terrain and the obstacles that are found in it like logs, vertical drop offs, and smaller boulders.
Mountain bike construction differs from a typical bicycle in many ways. The most noticeable differences are the inclusion of suspension on the frame and fork, larger knobby tires, more durable heavy duty wheels, more powerful brakes, and lower gear ratios needed for steep grades with poor traction.