5 Tips For First-Time Mountain Bikers

gears on your bike

5 Tips For First-Time Mountain Bikers

If you’re new to mountain biking, here are five basic skills, from best USA online casino, you’ll need to hit the trails like a seasoned pro.

  1. GET YOUR BIKE SET UP CORRECTLY

When you get a new (or new-to-you) mountain bike, there are a few things you need to do to set it up correctly for your weight and height. Many new mountain bikers don’t do this, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to comfort and confidence out on the trail.

  1. KEEP YOUR BODY LOOSE & SPRINGY

Easier said than done. But truly, if you keep your body loose – particularly your arms, shoulders, and knees – your bike becomes easier to handle and your riding will feel much smoother when going downhill and over trail obstacles.

To get started, keep these two things in mind:

Keep elbows and shoulders loose by lowering your chest to the handlebars. This makes steering easier and drops your center of gravity.
Keep your knees springy and wide to allow your your body to move independently of the bike. You’ve probably seen photos of mountain bikers careening around a turn with their hips way off to the side of their saddle. This is something you want to strive for. It’s called body-bike separation .
Your hands and feet will always (hopefully) be attached to the handlebars and pedals, but your hips and knees should move independently of the bike. This will allow you maneuver around turns, increase your speed, and hit larger features with greater confidence.

  1. REMEMBER THAT MOMENTUM IS YOUR FRIEND

Many riders new to mountain biking will rely on their brakes more than they need to. I get it, going faster than you’re comfortable with can be scary, but the truth is that momentum is your friend when it comes to mountain biking. Speed will help you get through tricky rock sections with ease, float around corners with confidence, and even cruise through drops and jumps once you build the skills and confidence to do so, just as you would before deciding to play the games at new zealand online casino sites.

In fact, most crashes for beginner mountain bikers happen because they don’t have enough speed. You’ve probably seen videos of riders going over the handlebars or toppling over onto their side through a rock garden. This happens (usually) because momentum is lost and the rider can’t maintain balance.

  1. SHIFT EARLY & SHIFT OFTEN

It always pains me when I see riders try to power through a climb in too hard of a gear, so one of the biggest mountain biking tips for beginners is to shift early and shift often.

If you see a climb coming up, downshift just before the incline starts. You don’t want to shift during the climb because that can crunch the drivetrain and maybe even result in a dropped chain, or worse, a broken derailleur. If you shift just before the climb starts, you’ll have a much easier and more pleasant pedal to the top. The same is true on descents. Shift into a harder gear so that your legs aren’t spinning a mile a minute when you get to the bottom of the hill.

  1. LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO

This mountain biking tip for beginners may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s so important. Keep your eyes looking ahead and look to where you want your bike to go. If you’re in a big berm, look to the exit. If you’re hitting a small drop, look at the landing. If you’re in a straightaway, look straight ahead. By looking to where you want to go, you’re setting your body position up to steer your bike in that direction.

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