Our Mongolia Mountain Bike Tours
Vast and wild, the landscapes of Mongolia are the perfect setting for our rugged, Mongolia mountain bike tours. Dirt, grass and gravel tracks abound. Where there are no tracks, 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 in long-term local community partnership with. Mongolia’s awe-
We offer both our set-date small group trips and our tailor made options for our Mongolia mountain bike tours which can be adapted to riders of different physical abilities and experience which can be adapted to suit.
- Sept 6th 2020 – 12 Days
- May 23rd 2021 – 12 Days
- July 1st 2021 – 12 Days (with option of Naadam extension)
- Aug 8th 2021 – 12 Days
We run these departures in partnership with Social Cycles. Social Cycles host small group cycle adventures for travellers with a social conscience. As well as the biking element, they engage with local transparent community-based projects. In the Mongolian context, that means learning from three to four different NGOs that are all connected with the reality of life, faced by Mongolia’s herders in the 21st century.
Our partnership with Social Cycles allows you to interact and connect with local NGOs to find out more about the lifestyle of Mongolia’s herders, the opportunities they have and the challenges they must overcome.
Gorkhi Terelj National Park
Southern Gobi Desert
The price for our signature and tailor made trips includes the price of a GIANT XTC bike. However, there are options to upgrade or even to bring your own bike. We don’t hire out our bikes – they are used solely on our bike trips.
GIANT XTC 800
The Giant XTC 800 is part of Giant’s hugely capable off-road range. It is suited to many different riding disciplines and terrains. We own the Giant bikes and use them solely for our bike trips – they are well maintained by our team of drivers who are also mechanics.
Our Giant bikes have a lightweight alloy frame, Shimano components and front suspension. They are 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. The bikes are equipped with mechanical disc brakes for increased stopping power in any weather conditions.
Farley 5 Fatbike
If you wish to upgrade, consider the 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 set-date small group trips or a private trip tailor made to your requirements. 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 some days are shorter or longer depending on the route. There is a daily breakdown in each specific itinerary. However, the daily riding distance does depends on several factors including the terrain, weather conditions, riding speed and experience of the trip members and of course whether the unexpected happens – as is common in Mongolia.
- All biking days are optional. You can go the whole distance or you can hop in the van whether that’s for only an hour or for the whole day.
- Our bike routes are not about competition or physical endurance and you make your own pace although we suggest that at least a good level of physical fitness will be an asset.
- While there are no ‘technical’ mountain biking sections experience in riding dirt trails will be an advantage.
- The terrain is variable but for the most part, the terrain can be described as undulating with climbs sometimes (depending on the route).
- Most biking days are on hard-packed dirt surfaces, grass, sand and 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 some trails are generally smooth, some 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 roots.
- 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 marshy areas but remember you have the vans if you don’t want the challenge.
Tailor made trips
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.
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 that we work in long-term local community partnership with – 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.
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. Get in touch with Jess for details.
Our set-date departures in partnership with Social Cycles have a maximum group size of 12.
The group size on our tailor-made options can be adjusted to suit you. Maybe you’re interested in one of our tailor-made options but your travel partner doesn’t want to bike. No problem. You can both come along. Your travel partner will receive a ‘no biking’ discount and we’ll adapt the itinerary to keep it interesting for them. Ask Jess for details.
If you like our tailor made options but are looking to explore a different region, 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. Depending on the group size we either provide a specific bike guide or one of our driver’s acts in this capacity. We don’t hire our bike guides or drivers from outside our company and our team have a wealth of knowledge and experience as they are local to the country.
- 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 helmet.
- Before booking a biking trip, understand that all rides take place in remote regions. Hospitals outside Ulaanbaatar have limited resources and so are suitable only for relatively minor injuries. Any repatriation – even that organized by your insurance company – would be back to Ulaanbaatar. The road infrastructure considerably extends any time of transport to a hospital. Your trip assistant is trained in basic first aid through the Mongolian Red Cross and we provide a medical kit on each trip. But, to a large degree you are responsible for your own safety while riding.
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 domestic livestock and wildlife as well.