Slalom racing and its younger offshoot Bicycle Four Cross (4X) – known as Bicycle Super Cross (BSX) in the UK – developed out of downhill racing, so slalom racing bikes share a number of characteristics with downhill models. The similarities include the high level of safety features that have to be built into slalom bikes, including double seat-pin clamp bolts and solid machined stems. The two types of bikes also share flat pedals and suspension forks with reasonably long travel.
The differences between the bikes include their respective weights. Slalom and 4X races are short, requiring agile handling and relatively light, responsive bikes that can be easily positioned on the course. Consequently, slalom bikes are lighter than downhill models. They also only require suspension at the front, since the prepared routes are not composed of the natural boulders and tree root-strewn surfaces found on the downhill and cross-country courses.