Mountain Biking in North Borneo


Perhaps 30 years ago, no one in Sabah knew what a mountain bike was. Although people had relied heavily on bicycles to get about since colonial times, they were very basic, and had no gears. The cyclist had to rely solely on his own pedal-power.

Later, more sophisticated road bikes were introduced for sporting events.

In early 1990, a journalist from Hong Kong-based adventure magazine came to Sabah to write about mountain biking tours. There were none, so his article featured road bike tours instead.

At about the same time, we became interested in mountain biking and began pedaling around places near Kota Kinabalu. After venturing further afield to the to Danum Valley, we were confident enough to establish our own mountain biking tours.

Our very first group of cyclists, from Bike Adventure Tours in Switzerland, arrived in 1996. In those days, cycling was indeed a real adventure, and full of interesting challenges. It was entirely off-road: villages, rubber plantations and secondary forest.

More innovative mountain biking tour packages were then introduced, attracting many cycling tourists to Sabah, and creating a sustainable tourism product.

Our very first mountain biking expedition was the circumnavigation of Mt Kinabalu. The successful attempt was recorded in the “Malaysia Book of Records” as it was the first time that cyclists, using mountain bikes, had achieved this feat.

We established the “Kinabalu Iron Horse” website many years ago to promote mountain biking tours and to attract more adventurous tourists to use pedal-power to visit places of interest in Sabah. This eco-friendly tour allows the traveller to experience Sabah’s beautiful scenery, exotic wildlife and fascinating and diverse cultures in a way not possible by other means of transport, and to enjoy at first hand the hospitality of the friendly local people.

Come mountain biking with us on your next holiday, and allow ”Kinabalu Iron Horse” to help you to discover some of Sabah’s best kept secrets!