Tips For The New Mountain Biker
People from all backgrounds and all ages enjoy the thrilling sport of mountain biking. Just like any other sport though, your level of enjoyment will go up when you learn how to mountain bike the right way. Getting the hang of the basics will give you a solid foundation on which you’ll be able to fine-tune your skills. This knowledge will come in handy whether you plan on biking nearly every day, or only once or twice per year.
Shifting is the first skill you need to learn. Mountain bikes are designed to allow you to shift gears without having to take your hands off of the handlebars, which is much safer when riding over rough terrain. The proper shifting technique is to take pressure off the pedals and gently moving the shifter. You should never force the shifter, as that may damage the bike.
The next thing you need to know for how to mountain bike is what’s known as spinning. This will take some practice, but it’s basically a pedaling technique that gives you the most power. The idea is that you use both legs on every stroke; one pushing down, and the other pulling up. The sweet spot for this technique is in the range of 60 to 90 revolutions per minute.
They don’t call it « mountain biking » for nothing, and that means you need to learn how to climb with your bike. There are two main methods to learn for climbing: seated and standing. Each requires different maneuvers, and figuring out when to use either technique is part of the challenge of mountain biking. If you are on loose ground, or terrain that isn’t too steep, then a seated climb is usually preferable. You will get more power on steeper ground if you’re in a standing position.
Getting up is one thing, but making your descent is a vital part of how to mountain bike. The first few times going down will probably be quite thrilling, but just remember to use your brakes judiciously. Also, be sure to look far enough ahead on a regular basis, and not just a few inches in front of the bike.
Because you will be going through wild terrain, you will encounter various obstacles. Learning how to deal with those obstacles is important. The basic technique is to lift up on your front wheel and push a little harder on the pedal. When done right, this technique will lift your front tire off the ground and over the obstacle. Lean forward as soon as the front wheel clears so there will be less weight over the rear tire; thereby allowing it to clear the obstacle more readily.
Mountain biking is a great way to enjoy the outdoors; however, you won’t be an expert the first time you ride. That being said, just learning how to mountain bike is a lot of fun. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked.