Mountain biking is an adventurous competitive sport that is picking up in several parts of the world. It is one sport that is loved by both nature lovers and adrenaline junkies. This sport can be taken up professionally or as a hobby. It doesn’t matter whether you wish to compete in mountain biking events or want to indulge in this activity over the weekends, if you wish to it safely and obtain maximum fun from it, you got to learn mountain biking essentials.
In this article, we shall discuss some of the essential skills that a mountain biker must possess. Let’s get started.
Learn to adjust the levers of your mountain bike
The levers on your mountain bike should be placed far from the handlebar so that you can put maximum pressure on them without having to worry about to your fingers getting clenched. The angle of the levers must be set in a way that it causes your wrist to bend slightly up naturally. This will set up your bike to give you smoother ride on difficult sections of the trail. This will also reduce the amount of fatigue on arms and hands.
Learn to brake smoothly, especially when you are panic struck
Whenever you have to apply brakes, ensure that you apply them smoothly. Sometimes newbies make the mistake of pressing the brake levers too hard. This generally happens when they are panic struck. This is a dangerous action because it can cause the rear tire of your mountain bike to skid.
If you want to avoid this situation, there are three things that you can do:-
- Place only the index finger of your hand on the brake levers – By placing only the index finger, you will not accidentally apply too much pressure on the brake levers
- Look out far ahead on the trail – By looking out far ahead on the trail, you will be more attentive towards the obstacles and will be able to take action earlier
- Never speed up on downhill section – Downhill sections of the trail will naturally increase your speed, so you can stop pedalling and only try to manoeuvre through the obstacles
When you have to brake immediately, make sure you shift your weight at the rear tire. This will compensate for the momentum pushing you forward. Sure, the rear tire will skid, but the motion will be controller. Also, when you have to brake to slow down for a corner, try to finish the braking before you begin to take the turn. And don’t forget, under strong braking, try to put on more of the front brakes and not the rear brakes. On a good surface, this will keep you moving ahead on the same line of action that you were following previously.
Learn to steer and corner well
On loose surfaces such as loose mud and gravel, you should try not to jerk the bar and swerve around too much. Try to make use of the all the trail available to you while making turns.
Before you hit the trails my advice would be to practice downhill and uphill riding on a road bike. Get the best entry level road bikes for 2016. It’s cheap and perfect for a 4-5 week training routine. Once you perfect shifting and braking move onto the trails and once you get the right mountain bike do not forget to get a good bike lock for both your bikes. Read some bike lock reviews to lock onto the right deal.