Our Mongolia Mountain Biking Tours
Vast and wild, the landscapes of Mongolia are the perfect setting for a rugged, off-road biking adventure. Dirt, grass and gravel roads abound. Where there are none, simply pedal your way across open steppe – the rolling undulating terrain that makes up the majority of the country.
We have developed great cycling routes in collaboration with the local communities that we work with. Mongolia’s awe-
We offer both our changing signature trips and our tailor made options. All can be adapted to riders of different physical abilities and experience as well as being extended, shortened or combined.
The price for our signature and tailor made trips includes the price of a Marlin 5 TREK bike. However, there are options to upgrade or even to bring your own bike.
The Marlin 5 has a lightweight alloy frame, Shimano components and front suspension. It is a light and versatile hardtail cross country bike. With 21 speeds and a wide range of gearing, you never need to pedal too hard or easy on terrain that varies in elevation. It’s equipped with mechanical disc brakes for increased stopping power in any weather conditions.
Farley 5 Fatbike
Reliable and comfortable, this high-performance mountain bike has exceptional versatility. The lower tire pressure means improved grip and traction on the most challenging terrain. Other bike upgrade options include a Fuel EX 5 (full suspension) or a X Caliber 9 (hard tail).
Bring Your Own
If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, and that it is in good mechanical order. Each of our Russian 4×4 Furgon vans has Thule roof mounted bike racks (17kg maximum weight).
If you are bringing your own bike, talk to us about your arrival and departure dates to ensure that if you choose a trip with domestic flights, we have time to transfer your bike by road to and from Ulaanbaatar.
Each trip is different based on whether it is one of our signature trips or a private trip tailor made to your requirements. As an example, for some of our trips we choose a mix of biking trails and route options so you get to experience a diversity of landscapes. In this case, we bring you by Furgon 4×4 Russian van (with bikes loaded onto roof top racks) to the different locations. Either way, use the following information as a guide and don’t hesitate to get in touch for more specific details.
Distances are kept at roughly 50km for each cycling day (but with the option of extending for those keen). Some days are shorter depending on the route.
All biking days are optional. Go the whole distance or you can hop in the van whether that’s for only an hour or for the whole day.
You make your own pace although we suggest that at least a good level of physical fitness will be an asset.
Our bike routes are not about competition or physical endurance. Yes, you can have your own personal deadlines but it’s about experiencing Mongolia – its landscapes, its people and its way of life.
While there are no ‘technical’ mountain biking sections experience in riding dirt trails will be an advantage. Also, there may at times be climbs.
The terrain is variable but for the most part, the terrain can be described as undulating with (as mentioned) one or two climbs sometimes (depending on the route).
Most biking days are on hard-packed dirt surfaces, grass, gravel trails and sometimes animal tracks. There are times that there are no visible tracks at all, biking across the steppe.
There’s no biking on asphalt / main roads – it’s all classed as off road. While most trails are generally smooth, some passes have loose gravel and sandy patches with some rocky descents. Also, if the route is in a mountain forest steppe region then expect to be dealing with tree routes.
The weather will also impact on the terrain. At times there will be a strong headwind which can make for slow progress. Depending on your route and / or rainfall, there may be river crossings or crossings of wet areas but remember you have the vans if you don’t want the challenge.
There will be wild camping in some of the more remote areas – it’s entirely appropriate in a country of herders and we believe that camping allows you to experience the wonderful remoteness of Mongolia. There are also ger homestays alongside local families – by using local family ger accommodation, it provides you with a more genuine experience. We don’t use the typical generic tourist ger camps.
- Sleeping tents are VANGO Hurricane or Nemesis. Solo travellers get their own tent.
- The rest of camp is comprised of a kitchen/dining tent and also a strategically located toilet tent covering a freshly dug hole in the ground.
- There’ll be opportunities for hot showers along the way at the brilliant local town shower houses and hot water can be made available for bowl washes.
- Each of our Furgon 4×4 Russian vans also has a sunshade – perfect for relaxing in the shade during the lunch stop.
Accommodation options depend on your final chosen route. We try to design our mountain biking trips focusing on the route rather than based around the accommodation options. However, if you’re looking for a biking trip with a little extra comfort, there are some great comfortable low-impact ger camps that we like to use.
As you can image, the traditional food in Mongolia reflects the history, culture and geography of the country. Food is very much fuel. We buy as much fresh produce as possible but fresh fruit is not available daily as it is not typically part of the locals diet and not always available for sale. Please remember where you are and that there will be limitations as to what we can provide.
Each of our vehicles has a simple portable kitchen as it offers more freedom and flexibility as we’re not reliant on anyone else to provide meals – such as the ger camp restaurants with their often restrictive timetable.
We frequently include the families we work with in our meals and so cook to please all and provide honest, heartening grub rather than bacon sandwiches, Thai curries or paella or Chinese stir fry.
We can cater for vegetarians and those with other dietary requirements – within limits.
All trips can be booked as a private or small group experience and can be adjusted to suit you.
Maybe you want to bike but your travel partner doesn’t? No problem. Both come along. Your travel partner will receive a ‘no biking’ discount. Ask Jess for details.
Our maximum group size is six as this allows for more freedom and flexibility. It also means the trip is more about the biking opportunities rather than the logistics. All our signature trips become guaranteed departures with a minimum of two bookings.
Let Jess know the number of people in your party and we’ll put some itinerary designs together for you and send them across with the pricing.
- Our bike trips are fully supported with an EL Mongolian team of (female) trip assistant and (male) driver. Our Russian Furgon 4×4 vans provide backup – transferring luggage and all equipment and maybe at times those who need four wheels not two!
- Wearing a helmet is compulsory. If you take an EL bike then you’ll have free use of a Bontranger helmet.
In case of an accident that requires administering of first aid at the scene, our staff are trained in basic emergency response techniques through the Mongolian Red Cross, and all trips carry basic first aid kits. But, to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding.
- Medical care is variable and may be precarious in rural areas. On our trips, travel insurance is mandatory and must emergency evacuation and repatriation. For relatively minor injuries, local hospitals (if needed) will usually be able to provide adequate medical provision. In most instances you will be within 0-4 hours’ drive of a local hospital. Doctors will probably not speak English, so your trip assistant would translate. If something serious happens, you will need to get back to the hospital in Ulaanbaatar.
Mountain biking in Mongolia is a fairly new trend – with the focus typically on the adrenaline addiction and the achievement rather than the journey. Not with EL. We believe in a balance and are switched on to our impact. Hence the small groups as this helps to leave less of an impact on the land – such as when braking hard or skidding. This also means we have a minimal impact on the domestic livestock as well. It’s something that’s rarely disclosed by tour companies but I’m proud to highlight it and proud that it is something we take into consideration.