These 14 mountain biking movies are guaranteed to get you in gear
If you need some inspiration, or if it's just too wet to hit the trails right now, check out this list of mountain bike movies that will get you pumped to get out on the trails.
Stuck indoors and missing your bike? If you can't ride, that doesn't mean you can't get your riding fix vicariously and luckily there’s a veritable cornucopia of incredible mountain bike films available to satisfy all your two-wheeled needs.
Maybe you're searching for epic adventures with blockbuster-level cinematography, or want something that captures the spirit of razzing around your local woods with friends. Perhaps you favour riders that break boundaries in uncharted, unridden regions or the world, or are those with amazing tricks and trials skills more your style? Whatever you fancy, there'll be something for you here.
So grab some snacks, pop on your bike helmet for ambiance and get watching. Handlebars optional…
1. North of Nightfall
North of Nightfall
Freeriders are always seeking new, uncharted terrain and the wild, remote islands of the Canadian Arctic provide the setting for this incredible feature-length film.
A group of North American pro freeriders – Darren Berrecloth, Carson Storch, Cam Zink and Tom Van Steenbergen – travel to this remote region in search of new lines that can be ridden 24 hours a day, with the sun never setting in the height of summer. Pioneer riding in such an isolated region comes with risk, though, and help and civilisation is a long way away. They discover the kind of beautiful, brutal wilderness that's sadly now rare on Earth, with raw riding that offers immense rewards and stunning visuals.
2. Riding the Tatshenshini
Riding the Tatshenshini
If you like your riding with a big dose of adventure, then this is the film for you. Staying in Canada, local mountain bike legend Darren Berrecloth and friends go in search of wild, unridden lines, following the flow of the Tatshenshini river through the country's Yukon territory.
It's a mission through some seriously amazing terrain, which sees the riders packrafting a whopping 260km in their hunt for the best riding. Nights are spent out in the wild, camping under the stars (and include visits by the odd bear or two). Huge mountains, big terrain, incredible riding; it's all here. You get to enjoy the highs and lows of a big expedition, without having to deal with sleeping in a tent, or eating tinned beans. Winner.
3. Kilimanjaro: Mountain of Greatness
Kilimanjaro: Mountain of Greatness
Yes, this is a film with Danny MacAskill in it, but if you’re expecting the usual trick-fest, you'll be surprised.
MacAskill joins mountain biking legends Hans Rey and Gerhard Czerner as part of a mission to ride Mount Kilimanjaro. At 5,895m, the difficulty is not the rocky volcanic terrain, but rather the altitude. The thin air makes riding incredibly hard work, even for riders as fit and able as MacAskill.
It's a challenge unlike any other you’ve seen for MacAskill, Ray and Czerner. Will they overcome the effects of altitude and low oxygen levels to reach the summit of the mountain? And will the joy of the descent be equal to the tough journey to the top?
4. EMIL – Every Mystery I've Lived: The Next Chapter
EMIL – Every Mystery I've Lived: The Next Chapter
Imagine this. One minute, you’re riding out of your skin, taking podiums at slopestyle events all over the world and being crowned FMB world champion. The next, you're facing an auto-immune disease that threatens your health and means you might never be able to reach those heights, or even ride again.
The top dogs of downhill mountain bike racing take centre stage in Gamble. This movie sees the likes of Greg Minnaar, Loïc Bruni, Brook Macdonald, Mark Wallace, Sam Blenkinsop, Connor Fearon and Finn Iles let loose from the confines of the race tape to shred locations around the world including Argentina, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. Gamble is tailored for madness and raw speed.
6. Lars Forster: Way to the Top
Lars Forster – Way to the Top
Highs and lows are a normal part of bike racing. In Way to the Top we see this on display, as Lars Forster's 2019 Mercedes-Benz UCI Cross-country Mountain Bike World Cup season is charted in a revealing documentary.
Forster entered the 2019 World Cup season in the form of his life, with some impressive victories on the international circuit and a win at South Africa's Cape Epic alongside Nino Schurter. However, a leg injury sustained at the first World Cup in Albstadt threatens to derail his season. Will Forster be able to regroup from the physical and mental challenges of that injury to get to the top of his sport? Watch to see if he can.
7. One at a Time
One at a Time
Brett Rheeder is a mountain biker who probably needs no introduction. His success on the slopestyle circuit and as a freerider is only second to that of fellow Canadian Brandon Semenuk. One at a Time follows Rheeder across the 2018 Crankworx season as he looks to add to the five Crankworx Slopestyle wins he already has in his career. It's a season full of high and lows which culminates with Red Bull Joyride, the biggest slopestyle contest of the year. For a person where nothing less than first place is satisfactory, this documentary is a great insight into the workings of a top bike athlete who is always under pressure to succeed.
What drives you to ride? That's the question this film sets out to ask, and Dylan Dunkerton, Curtis Robinson, Matty Miles, Finn Iles, Garret Mecham and Matt Hunter answer the call.
If you like your bike films with the sort of cinematic style that's captivating to watch and featuring some of the world's best all-mountain riders, downhillers and dirt jumpers riding like you've always wanted to, this is the film for you. You can almost feel the loam of the Sunshine Coast soil scatter beneath your wheels, or the whoosh of air as you launch off a Californian dirt jump. You'll be hungry for a bike adventure after watching this.
9. Way Back Home
Danny MacAskill's Way Back Home
Another video from everyone's favourite Scottish trials rider, Way Back Home follows Danny MacAskill as he journeys from Edinburgh to his family pad in Dunvegan on the beautiful Isle of Skye.
Making use of everything from castles to coastal defences, benches and phone boxes, he flips and whips his way through beautiful, wild landscapes. This film is as much an ode to the landscape of Scotland as it is to the rider who uses its topography so creatively. It will leave you planning your next adventure to a rugged terrain there or elsewhere in the world.
10. The Moment
Freeride mountain biking has deep roots in Canada's British Columbia region. It's essentially where this side of the sport started, with a group of riders who wanted to go beyond the realms of early mountain bike racing and ride with freedom on trails that were fast, technical and challenging.
Celebrating the likes of early pioneers such as Brett Tippie, Wade Simmons, Richie Schley and Graham Agassiz, The Moment tells the story of the risk these riders took by building trails, man-made obstacles and ever bigger jumps in backcountry areas like Kamloops, the Kootenays and Vancouver's North Shore, and then pushing their limits by riding lines on them. Who knows, after watching the film, maybe you'll want to go out and build your own lines.
11. Originate: Formation
Originate is a film series that follows backcountry freestyle skiier Michelle Parker, so what's it doing in an MTB film lineup? The answer lies in the desert of Utah, USA. Formation is something you've probably heard of already – an event organised by freeride mountain biker Katie Holden to see what could be possible if you took some of the top female riders in the mountain biking world and gave them the opportunity to explore one of the former Red Bull Rampage sites.
The film is a chance to discover exactly what happened in what many people are calling Year 0 of the foundations of a women's Rampage event.
12. Going in
Racing mountain bikes professionally if you have a modicum of talent is everyone's dream, right? Well there's much more to pro-racing then simply turning up on the day to race.
Going In is a documentary by Trek Bikes that peeks into the lives of its Trek Factory Racing talent, as those mountain bike athletes experience the lows and highs of training and racing. Reece Wilson, Kade Edwards, Emily Batty, Jolanda Neff, Evie Richards and Pedro Burns are just some of the athletes featured.
13. Return to Earth
Return to Earth
Anthill Films make some seriously good films, with stunning visuals, stunning locations, stunning riding – but most of the latter is provided by the roll call of incredible riders.
Watch Brett Rheeder, Casey Brown, Emil Johansson and more showcase their skills in a series of beautiful sections that make for compulsive viewing. From solo runs to never ending trains, the riding is epic and the stoke is high.
14. A Mountain Biker's Hunt for Glory
Nino: The Movie
When it comes to cross-country mountain biking, there's one man who's dominated its recent history over the past decade. That man is Nino Schurter. This film follows Schurter as Rio 2016 approaches and his focus on attempting to win a gold medal. The film also portrays Schurter's life at home with his family, showing that despite being ambitious and driven, the thing that truly inspires him are those who he holds dearest.
After even more MTB? Here are some series to get stuck into.