Mountain biking is a demanding sport. Most people would conjure images of young riders racing down a near-vertical descent or flying over impossible obstacles. The inevitable trails, dirt, and hills make fitness and mountain bike skills necessary to enjoy this sport.
If you want to improve your mountain biking skills, then you came to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll give you some helpful tips and techniques to improve your mountain bike skills. Follow the tips below to take your riding to the next level. Soon, you’ll become the hottest rider on the block.
Ride the right bike
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There are different types of mountain bikes. Not all of them are designed to for biking up and down mountains. Not everyone who buys a mountain bike intends to use it for trail riding. If you are new to this sport, it is important to choose the right bike that suits your riding style.
If you are planning to do a lot of jumping and technical stunts, a freeride bike is the perfect choice for you. They are a cross between XC and downhill bikes. The bike’s frame is more compact, so mountain bikers can easily maneuver them. If you want to go downhill fast, opt for a downhill mountain bike. It is designed for speedy, steep descent, but it isn’t fun for riding uphill. If you can’t decide what bike you want or need, you may want to consider getting all mountain/enduro mountain bike. This bike is designed for taking on steeper, more complicated trails. Most of the bikes in this category are full suspension and will have around 140-160mm travel in them.
Finding the best mountain bikes may not be an easy task. If you are new to the mountain biking world, and you are on a tight budget, we suggest that you take a look at these entry level bikes.
Learn some tricks
Many of you probably want to learn how to do some mountain bike tricks to impress your friends. More than just showing off, learning some tricks will prove beneficial when you take your newly found skills on the trail.
Climbing, descending, braking, cornering, and the trackstand are just some of the fundamental mountain bike skills every rider should master. After you have mastered these skills, you can start learning some tricks like the bunnyhop, switchbacks, and manuals. For the novice, learning these tricks can be overwhelming. But the truth is that you don’t need to spend countless hours on the trails to perfect them. In fact, all you need is a few hours of practice a week to improve your overall skills. Plus, they can be practiced and perfected anywhere. Spend time learning and mastering these skills. Do this, and you’ll reap the rewards when you hit the trails.
Ride on different terrains to improve your mountain bike skills
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Riding the same trails every week is beneficial for amateur riders. Sure, it can help you master some skills along the way, but eventually, you’ll end up getting bored. If you want to be a better cyclist, you need to get out of your comfort zone and start riding different terrains. Tackling a new trail feature or terrain may seem intimidating, but it will test your balance, riding skills, as well as your ability to adapt.
If you’re used to riding on rocky trails, try something different. You may want to try riding uphill or in the woods or forest. This will help sharpen your skills and allow you to explore different riding experiences.
Riding on different terrains will not only help broaden your skill level, but it can also improve your confidence on the bike. The more time you spend on the bike, the better your mountain bike skills will be.
Join group rides
If you want to be successful, you need to surround yourself with successful people. The same principle can be said about mountain biking. Who you spend time with is who you will become. So if you really want to improve your mountain bike skills, we highly recommend that you ride with more experienced cyclists. Look at them as mentors and inspirations.
When riding in a group, you’ll want to keep up with the other riders. After all, no one wants to be the slowcoach, whom everyone is waiting for at the top of each hill. A group ride will allow you to push yourself to your limits. It will also drill good etiquette and technique into you. Plus, it makes cycling a lot more fun. You get to meet new friends and get to spend time with like-minded people.
For everyone’s safety, make sure that you know your limits. When you’re already tired, do not suddenly veer off to the side. Rather, let the person beside you know that you that you’re tired and that it’s time for you to go back.
During the first few times you ride with a group, you may get dropped. That’s okay. If you’re really exhausted and you can’t summon the speed to hang on, don’t push it. You may get dropped, and that’s okay. Ride at a comfortable pace. There is no need to pressure yourself to get back on. Team up with anyone else who’s been dropped and rejoin the group when you get to them.
Use brakes efficiently
The brakes are the single most important part of your bike. You’ll never know when you might have to stop. Being able to stop at a moment’s notice is a skill that every cyclist should master. This will not only make you feel more comfortable when you’re out cycling, it will also keep you from getting into an accident.
Your mountain bike has two brakes – front and rear brake. To improve your mountain bike skills, you need to know how to use your brakes efficiently. Part of this is learning when to use the front or rear brake.
Most people think they need to use both brakes to stop effectively. This is a good advice for beginner cyclists, who have not yet mastered how to use their brakes skillfully. But if you want to stop as safely as possible, especially in emergency cases, use your front brakes. 70-80% of your stopping power comes from the front brake. It is designed to stop you. Some cyclists are hesitant to use the front brake for fear of flying over the handlebars. This won’t happen if you take time to use the front brake properly. The rear brake, on the other hand, is for regulating speed. Use the rear brake when you’re approaching a roundabout or going into a corner. This will help shave off speed, but also settle the bike.