Mountain Biking Tips for Beginners
Has the thought about Mountain Biking tickled your fancy but you have no idea where to begin or what to even do? Then look no further, because here are some tips and tricks to get you ready to rule the mountains.
It all starts with the bike
Mountain bikes perform differently to road bikes. They’re designed to tackle all kinds of trails, like the roughest terrains, steepest climbs and fastest declines. You need to get a bike that allows you to ride on all these different terrains and more. It’s important to make sure that your bike is set up correctly and safe for you to ride comfortably, so why not play around with your bike in your garden or garage to get to know your bike before you hit the dirt.
Take it easy at first
Most mountain biking trails are graded based on their level of difficulty. No matter how skilled and experienced you are as a road cyclist, for your first few rides, take more easy tracks to test your abilities and for you to get used to the new environment and the challenges it provides.
Dress the part
It’s important to look the part as well as feel the part when mountain biking as it helps keep you comfortable and protected.
Mountain Biking Shoes - invest in a pair of proper mountain biking shoes instead of some sport trainers as you’ll have an insane amount of grip to your pedals, something that other trainers can’t provide.
Helmet - it might seem like a no brainer but it’s important to get a mountain biking helmet that will give you the most protection in the event of a crash (fingers crossed you won’t)
Knee Pads - If there is one piece of protection (other than a helmet) that you should invest in, it’s knee pads. Not only will they help with grazes and hard knocks to the knees, but they can also save you from the inevitable pedal strikes that will happen!
Mountain Biking Shorts - like any form of cycling, getting a good pair of shorts will be the best thing in the world. We don’t want to brag (even though we are), but we do have some cracking mountain biking shorts on the market. We've revolutionised the mountain bike short with our innovative 4 way stretch deep panelled waistband meaning better fit, ultimate flexibility, more comfort and no 'bum crack' on show.
Gloves - This is definitely an on-going debatable if gloves should be a thing or not. But we believe that gloves are a staple item. They help increase grip and protection while wicking the moisture from your hands. If you’re not sure about them, buy a cheap pair and get them a go.
As Frankie Goes to Hollywood says, Relax. It’s natural for some cyclists to tense up when faced with rough terrain. Even though it’s unpleasant, rough and uneven terrain is the beauty of mountain biking and to be comfortable when riding, you’ve got to relax your body. Embrace the thrill, enjoy the great outdoors and have a brilliant time. When you and your body are relaxed, it allows you to be more flexible and confident on your bike.
Go easy on the brakes
Mountain bikes are known for their powerful brakes, so powerful that if you’ll quickly apply the brakes, you will end up on the floor. It is a stark difference to some road bike brakes therefore, slowly apply pressure to the brakes when you need them.
Keep up the momentum
When mountain biking, momentum is your best friend. It may seem dangerous to maintain your speed or even speed up when you come up to an obstacle, but sometimes it’s the best way to tackle it. If you go too slow, you’re more likely to end up riding in every hole or dip which could cause you to wobble off your bike. You’re also more likely to slide back down a hill and end up on your arse if you haven’t built up the momentum first!
Watch where you’re going
On a mountain bike, wherever you’re looking at is where you’re going. If you spend too long looking at an upcoming rock, then you are going to hit it. Whilst you’re rocking the trail, make sure you’re facing where you want to go and keeping your head up. Don’t focus too much on your front wheel or looking at the scenery around you, you will get into some trouble.