Mountain bikes are a useful tool in search and rescue operations. During the early stages of a search, searchers want to cover a lot of ground quickly along trails or other linear terrain features that the subject may have followed. Later, searchers will try to “confine” a subject to a specific radius. Mountain bike teams can cover ground faster than hikers during this stage of a search, helping to make sure that the subject stays within a known area or comes upon a searcher.

Mountain bicycles can also carry gear to areas where trucks and even all-terrain-vehicles cannot, making them a useful tool for transporting rescue or communications equipment, such as radio relays.