Get to know all the necessary mountain biking tips for beginners
Whether you’ve been introduced to mountain biking recently and you are in love with it, or you just want to know some more, you came to the right place. There is just no way around mountain biking tips for beginners.
Check out some mountain bike tips and techniques essential for you to know and understand before you start riding.
Basic safety for beginners
Here you will have the opportunity to learn about all mountain biking basic skills. Those who have a bit of experience but want to learn more about mountain bike tips and techniques will also find something it useful here.
What to know about mountain biking is one of the most frequently asked questions by someone who’s just starting out. Get to know all the dos and don ts of mountain biking! However, and before anything else: if there is one thing I cannot stress enough, it is the importance of wearing a helmet while you go biking.
That is just like one of the main things that you have to have in mind, along with wearing the proper kind of shoes and also some decent protective gear. All these techniques and tips will help you get over being a hesitant biker and in no time, you will whizzing over the toughest tracks you can find!
Safety is really important. As a beginner, you will need to get to know how to protect yourself during a fall – and believe me, there will be some! Even if you are lucky and manage to be seated all through your trip, you will feel more than just a little sore. There are many things you can do to keep yourself comfortable and sustain less injury!
Every mountain biking enthusiast would have started exactly at the same place as you are right now. Bumps, falls, and crashes are an accepted part of this life. You might as well be resigned to it! What you can do is to learn how to fall correctly and which protective gears to wear in order to sustain the minimal injuries.
Always wear a helmet, no matter what. They can save you from the nastiest of crashes. Helmets are designed to be well ventilated and light so you hardly feel their presence.
As a beginner, the first reflexive action when you take a fall would be to put your hands out to brace yourself and break your fall. You will learn better as you gain more experience. For now, it is always better to wear some gloves.
These will give your hands some much-needed protection. They also keep your hands from hurting and getting sore during long rides.
Knee and elbow pads are not a must wear protective gear (especially for gentle trail riding), but there is no harm in putting them on! If you plan on eventually moving to rougher trails, these pads will offer additional protection from any sudden and forceful impact.
The pads will also help in stopping cuts, bruises, and grazes in these areas.
How to ride a mountain bike properly
As a beginner, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. You really have to have some basic mountain bike skills. Following them can lead you to have a good and fun experience.
One of the essential mountain biking tips for beginners: when riding a bike always look ahead. Branches or some sudden obstacle looming up can catch you by surprise when you look down or to the sides while riding.
Sudden breaking can also cause you to skid or crash, especially since these tracks are not going to help you in any way. When you see an obstacle or a hazard coming up, you can then plan and ride.
You can watch out for puddles, potholes, roots jutting out, loose gravel, and similar things. Simple logic dictates the faster you go, the more time you will need to slow down or completely stop. Keeping that in mind, try to look ahead and plan your ride.
Once you see something that might pose a problem, don’t just keep looking at it! Try to gauge how far away it is and scan the area for an alternate path that you can take. If you cannot find one, slow down as you reach the obstacle and carefully cross the area.
Never assume that the trial is safe going ahead. Only believe what your eyes can see. Around sharp corners or after a particularly dense bit, you might find an injured animal or person or a group or hikers. Be prepared for all eventualities.
Do not play around with your or others’ safety or you will end up with one of those crashes we seem to be talking about a lot in this article! This is like among the primary mountain biking tips for beginners.
Try to be alert at all times so that you can hit the brakes on time. As a mountain biker, you need to understand how to use the brakes. You will need to use your judgment and keep a clear mind for this, especially when descending.
When descending, naturally, the front wheel carries more of the weight than the rear wheel. In such cases, using the front brake can help you avoid skidding and keep you in control. Shifting your weight over to the rear wheel while going downhill can help you balance the brake power, giving you good control over the bike.
Essential mountain bike skills
As a serious biker, you need to learn and practice how much weight to shift to each wheel along with applying just the right amount of brake power for all circumstances. When going uphill, you might be tempted to stand but it is better you stay seated. These are just two basic mountain bike techniques.
The dirt trail can cause the rear tire to spin out of control if you stand while moving uphill. Leaning forward over the handlebars can cause you to maintain better control over the bike as when you ascend steep hills.
On the subject of steering, you should let your body steer you rather than putting pressure on your wrists and hands. Relax and do not grip the handlebar tightly. The more relaxed you hold on, the lesser your elbows will hurt. Oversteering can be dangerous and cause you to lose control.
When you are going down bumpy trails, it is better to stand on the pedals and let your legs absorb the impact rather than your rear. For ultra-steep descents, it is better to lower your saddle by a couple of inches.
Drop your saddle. For super steep, technical descents, you may want to drop your saddle 2 or 3 inches. This lowers your center of gravity, giving you more room to bounce around.
We have covered most about braking, protective gear, being alert, etc. But being physically fit and strong is equally important.
What should you carry when you go off on an MTB adventure?
As a beginner, you will no doubt have queries regarding what you should carry when you go off on your big mountain biking adventure. When you are planning to go off on a trip, it’s better to prepare for the worst. Careful planning in advance can get you out of many sticky situations.
Take along spare tubes, if your trip is long. Patch kits are another necessity. These take up very less space and can help you a lot when you run out of spare tubes.
A good quality multi-tool kit is generally worth investing in as it can come to the rescue more times than you care to admit. You can take some chain lubricants along if you expect to be traveling on wetlands.
Some sunscreen and lip balm can also help to get some skin protection. Zip ties are innocent things which are more useful than you would ever know!
If you are planning to drive after the sun sets, taking along a small light is sensible. A bright headlight will help you navigate the way better and more safely.
A rain jacket will also be useful if you are riding on unpredictable terrains. It will not only keep you dry but also protect you from the wind. Mountains have especially unreliable weather, so you can trust that a downpour can occur at any time.
It is best to be prepared. It might also be wise to carry some paper cash with you. If you end up in some lonely region, they might not be taking your cards, but you know for sure you can use your cash!
A thing which I cannot stress enough is to take your first aid kit along. Before you set off, get a basic understanding of first aid and how to take care of minor injuries. Make sure the first aid kit is waterproof.
Taking along this stuff will not help if you do not know how to work it. Along with learning first aid, learn how to patch a tube, install a new tube, fix a chain, and apply a lubricant.
Mountain bike tips and techniques
The first thing to learn, keep in mind, and follow is the body position. Essential mountain bike skills are listed here for you to be ahead of the game. Since mountain biking will take you over a variety of terrain, you will need to balance and come out well.
Using the right body posture can help you navigate easily through the tough regions. One of the basic MTB skills is to keep a neutral position.
Neutral is when you slightly bend your elbows and knees, keep your hands on the brake, and keep your eyes on the trail ahead. There is another position, generally known as the ready position.
This position involves bending the elbows and knees forming a deep bend. Keep the rear off the saddle and move your hips back.
Adhering to the right position, you can easily ascend and descend the steepest of the terrains. When picking a line, look out for the one you should be taking rather than the one which you would rather avoid.
Obstacles differ from cyclist to cyclist. What could be a serious obstacle for one could be a fun hop for another really. As a beginner, look out for deep sand, water, loose rocks, wet roots, and logs.
Braking is an art and a technique. If you hope to be any good as a mountain biker, get your brake game on point. Squeezing the brake lever is not braking. Sudden and fast braking can lead you to skid or crash.
When you brake, move your hips back, bend your knees and elbows, and drop your heels. This will let you be in control of the bike after you brake.
Knowing when to brake is equally important as how to brake. If you are going to take a turn, brake before you come to the bend, and let the momentum carry you forward. Learning to shift gears can also be of immense help.
Knowing how and when to shift gears can give your bike a long life. As a beginner, you should learn gear shifting. The memory will later serve well when you need to intuitively shift up or down without having to give it a thought. A handy tip is to keep pedaling even as you are shifting. Not doing so can break or damage the chain.
Falling off is a pretty certain thing. What you can do is to learn how to fall the proper way so that you and your bike sustain the least damage. Do not try to break your fall with your hands or knees. It could result in a fracture.
Once you get up, check yourself for injuries. Stretch yourself. Now check your bike if the chain is properly attached and if the seats and the handlebars are unharmed.
If your bike is damaged beyond what you can do with your kit, it is better to walk with your bike. There is no shame in it.
As a beginner or even as an expert, you might come across certain sections of a trail where you simply cannot ride through. Walking through it is the simplest and the best way.
If you have read this article, you now know the ABCs of mountain biking and some of the most important mountain biking tips for beginners. As with every activity, you will gain experience only when you go out and indulge in the sport. Go out, find a lovely trail, and get going!
Keep in mind the techniques and the safety instructions and you should do alright. Good luck!