5 Useful Tips For Beginner Mountain Biker
You just bought your first mountain bike and don’t know what will it take to get the most out of it? Don’t worry, this guide will teach you how to use your new toy and prepare you for the challenges and thrills of off-road biking.
Mountain bikes are very versatile – they perform very well in urban conditions and on hillside trails. Of course, their level of performance depends on the skill of the rider just as much as on the technical construction of the bike. Capable cyclists can stay on top of their mountain bikes without trouble even when the terrain is not their friend, but beginners can easily get into trouble if they venture outside of their comfort zone and attempt to take their bicycles too far from paved roads.
Of course, this is not rocket science and it won’t take long before you can control the bike with total confidence. These tips for beginner mountain biker could accelerate the learning curve and make the process a little less painful:
Even the best cyclists can make a mistake and lose balance, so safety equipment is mandatory in order to prevent serious injury. Helmets and mountain bike gloves are recommended whenever you mount your bike, while additional protection in the form of knee and elbow pads should be considered when you intend to ride on dirt trails. Don’t forget to bring a pair of sunglasses with you, even if the weather is cloudy when you are heading out, since the conditions could change quickly. It is better to bring too much equipment along than to find a crucial piece is missing when you happen to need it the most.
2.Picking a suitable trail
Inexperienced riders should always carefully select the location for their early attempts, avoiding too demanding or too steep trails until they gain some experience. Controlling a mountain bike may be easy when the terrain is flat and dry, but a rough patch could take a novice by surprise. That’s why beginners should avoid difficult rides and stick to relative safety of basic courses, at least until they get more familiar with their bikes. Gradually increasing the level of difficulty is probably the smartest strategy for bikers who are just learning how to control their machines.
3.Managing hills and slopes
As the name implies, mountain bikes are supremely equipped for steep terrain. The technique used differs for the climb and for the descent, with the idea to maximize stability and conserve energy in both cases. An easier gear should be used while you are climbing a hill, allowing you to power the bike with moderate effort. A stand-up stance is recommended once you start running downhill, with the pedals held in flat position, as this method improves body balance and prepares you for sudden braking. It may take a bit of practice, but riding over slopes becomes a lot of fun once you master it.
4.Running over smaller obstacles
There is no need to avoid every single rock or tree root when you are riding a bike well equipped for rough terrain. Its suspension forks and tires are designed to absorb shock and you shouldn’t be afraid to simply run over smaller items that turn up in your way. That said, you should decrease speed ahead of such encounters to minimize the power of impact and avoid the element of surprise. If handled properly, a solid mountain bike should have no problem staying on its course even on bumpy grounds.
5.Maintain your bike – and your body!
You have to be prepared for anything that might happen out there, since it takes just a single mistake for the ride to end on a sour note. That means a mountain bike needs to undergo regular maintenance in between rides to make sure every bolt is well fastened and key mechanisms are working properly. You don’t want to risk brake or shifter failure while you are out on the trail and a periodical check up should help prevent such issues. Of course, the rider must be in shape just as much as the bike for the journey to be without interruptions, though this shouldn’t be a problem if you are using your bike regularly.