Are you thinking of going on a mountain biking trip? Just because you love cycling in your neighborhood doesn’t mean that you will enjoy mountain biking also. Mountain biking is not as easy. You have to go through scabrous and rough terrains. There are many unexpected challenges and unresolvable issues. You are still motivated to give it a try. There are many things which you have to learn first. You cannot just take your cycle and hit the road.
Don’t want your first mountain biking trip to be a nightmare? Well, if the answer is yes, then keep reading. To have a pleasant experience you have to know two things. First, your regular cycle will betray you on treacherous trails. Second, you have to learn some basic skills.
It is crucial to be fully aware of what you are stepping in. You don’t know what you will face and what to do in those situations. You may have no immediate help when needed. Then you are all alone. You should follow these essential tips before getting on a bike for the first time.
- Mountain Biking Tips for Beginners
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Words about Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking Tips for Beginners
Suppose you are just a newbie in mountain biking. Then you have to keep in mind that many unexpected and unusual things might hit you on the road. You don’t entirely know where you are going. In mountain biking, you have to go through rugged and rocky trains. They can be too steep or bumpy for you to control your bike.
Strength is what does not only matters. You should have good stamina and skills to enjoy your experience to the fullest. Now let’s discuss these tips which can help new beginners like you.
1. Boost your Stamina
You must have good staying power and strength because mountain biking is not an easy task. You have to control a bike on challenging roads. It requires a lot of energy to keep going. So the first thing is to have a fit body. You have to eat healthily!
Avoid processed, high carb, or fast food. Try to consume more vegetables and fruits. You should have excellent metabolism and proper hydration. Then slowly build your stamina. First, make your body ready for the long and exhausting trips. Do practice before going on an actual trip in the mountains.
2. Set Your Mountain Bike
Your bike is your most important companion. You should have a perfect mountain bike. But having a good bike is not enough. Before starting any trip, the first thing you should always check is your bike. You should make sure that it is all set to hit the road. It is important that you can fix it on time if something is broken. It will save you from any upcoming problems on the train.
If you don’t know, here are some things you must check. Make sure that your tires are in perfect shape. There is ideal pressure in them. Pump slightly more pressure on your rear tire because it is more exposed to the hurdles of the path. Check your brakes. Don’t over-tighten your bolts. It will make it difficult for the bike to stop. Set the saddle’s height to a suitable position.
3. Gear Up for Mountain Biking
You can’t just go out there with a bike. There are many things that you will need on your way. There will be no shop or delivery in the mountains. So you should take some essential items with you. You cannot carry entire luggage into the hills. You should be precise and have a small backpack. It would be best to have a water bottle, some of your favorite energy bars, pump, multitool, first aid, light, knee and elbow pads, gloves, and GPS. You don’t know what you might need on your way.
Last but not least, you must have a fully protective helmet to avoid head injury. Mountain bikers usually wear open face helmets but we highly recommend you to wear full face MTB helmet for complete protection of your face and head. If you feel comfortable in open face helmet, then you should consider convertible MTB helmet!
4. Body Position for Mountain Biking
You need to be in a perfect position. Your position indeed affects your performance. If the saddle position is high, you will be more prone to falling and back pains. Experienced bikers keep their bodies in comfortable situations. Best way to keep your body in a good position in the saddle. The best way to set the saddle is to keep its height parallel to your hip bone when standing.
When sitting on the saddle, you should keep your back straight. Keep your body in a loose position. Slightly bend your knees. It will help you in paddling. Put your heels on the paddle to be easy for you to control them. Try to make circular motions while paddling. So you will need less effort than when you paddle by stomping. When you move your feet in a circular position, the centripetal force helps you in moving them without exerting a lot of force.
Also read my detailed guide about mountain biking protective gear
5. Shift Your Body
Here is a simple trick. If you don’t want to fall off your bike. Maintain the center of gravity. It is very easy to do on straight rounds. But in the mountains, it may require some movements. You have to keep shifting your body based on the path you are going. You have to keep moving your body back and forth and shifting your weight to balance the center of gravity.
While biking on these rough and bumpy trails, you require more traction. You can increase your traction with the help of Neural Stance. It is an attacking position. You have to stand tall in a straight position. Most of your weight should be on your legs. It helps you put more pressure and add more traction. It also boosts your confidence, especially when you have just started.
Move your body back with your hips above the rear tire if you go down a hill. Whereas, if you are going up on a slope, you should bend forward with your shoulders down. The more your center of gravity is balanced, the less there is the chance that you will fall. So you have to shift your weight so you can keep going on the trails without any broken bones. You should shift the position of your body in opposition to the forces exerted.
6. Take control
It would help if you had excellent control of your bike. The more you have practiced, the more you are comfortable controlling it. You should know how to use your weight and when to break. A good biker seems to be integrated with their bikes. You should see the capacity of your bike. You should know when to press the breaks. On flat ground, use the front brake, and on slopes, press the rear brake. But when you are in a slippery area, try to push both breaks slowly.
Cornering is a very nice technique used in biking. In biking, you have to shift weight back and forth and left and right. In cornering, you move the handlebars towards one side. So, in turn, the whole body shifts with them. It helps you with traction and will require less effort than straight paddling. All you need to do is drop your outside ankle, so your center also drops and gives you more traction.
8. Wheel lift
When there are minor hurdles, then you can ignore them. But life in the mountains is unexpected. If the obstacle is not that small to dodge, you will have to do a wheel lift. All you have to do is take your bike up, cross over the thing and then take your back wheel up and cross it. This technique might seem complicated but is not impossible to achieve. It will surely help you on a train.
9. Keep out for Obstacles
These mountains are very unpredictable. You may not know what might hit you the other minute. So keep your heads up. Keep your eyes open and focus on the path. You can foresee an accident or can dodge that hurdle. There can be rocks, logs, water puddles, and even animals on your way. If your eyes are not on the road, you can easily trip over a small rock if you are not looking correctly.
10. Explore New Trails
Exploring helps when it comes to experience. You can learn new things from different backgrounds. You can become a better mountain biker if you like to change the trails you usually go on. Every route has its difficulties. If you are familiar with these issues and know how to resolve them, you are a good mountain biker. Mountain biking is all about surviving and problem-solving. The more you bike in different trains, the more you know about issues and learn their solutions.
11. Take Good Company With You
It is not necessary to bike alone. You can have some company. You will enjoy it more with people. Try to take someone who is experienced. You will be able to learn a lot from them. You can observe them directly and see how they are working. You can learn many tricks and tips from them. They can share their experience with you. They can guide you. You will surely learn many things. You will also enjoy their company.
12. Get Proper Rest
Biking in the mountains requires a lot of muscle and footwork. You have to paddle for hours. This can drain all of your energy. You cannot do mountain biking daily. There must be a gap for your body to recover from the damage. You must feel fresh and vital to start a new trip. For that, it is essential that you must get proper sleep and a gap between your trips. If you are too worn out, you will struggle on your travels.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should a beginner start mountain biking?
It is effortless to start mountain biking. All you have to do is build the base, get a nice bike, learn control and be open to surprises. Take some friendly, experienced people with you.
How do you mountain bike uphill?
It is very easy. You need energy and technique. When you are going uphill, your center of gravity is disturbed, making it difficult for you to go uphill. You have to bend forward and lean your body down so it will be easy to move uphill,
How do you progress in mountain biking?
You can surely progress in mountain biking by taking care of your bike, focusing on the trail, taking intervals, learning from others, and improving yourself. All these things will surely help you make your mountain biking experience very good.
Final Words about Mountain Biking
Mountain biking might seem like an impossible job, but it is very simple. It can be hazardous if you go out there without knowing anything. You are more likely to break a leg or shoulder on your first trip due to a lack of skills.
Here I have listed many tips for you that you can follow to get some idea about the skills needed and some methods to improve them. You should build your stamina and get a nice bike to accompany you. Learn new skills which can help you on the way. Keep practicing and be consistent. You can get a lot of help by following these tips.
Hi, I’m Alexandra Betty, co-founder of OutdoorGearsHub.com! I am a cycling enthusiast and currently living in Waltham, Massachusetts. I love just about everything about the cycling industry, which is why I created this site! Combining my passion with my work has always been extremely important to me. Feel free to reach out, leave comments, or recommend improvements to the site and its content so we can help you improve your cycling experience!
I am on a mission to enable everyone to spend more time on a bike and outdoors. So whether it’s on the road, gravel, mountain, e-biking, or just cruising around – Outdoor Gears Hub is the place to come for trusted advice.