Welcome to Mountain biking
Has the thought of cycling off the beaten track been on your mind for a while? Mountain biking is an adrenaline fuelled sport full of benefits to the body and the mind as each trail is different and full of unique features.
If you’re looking at getting into the sport then it can all seem quite daunting at first but with a few tips and tricks, you’ll have all the bike control and skills you need to tackle most green and blue trails. Of course, once you build your confidence and ability then you can easily progress onto red and black trails which offer bigger features to shred.
In this blog, we will cover 6 basic necessities in the world of MTB that will get you exploring the trails quickly and efficiently. We have attached videos on “how to choose your Mountain bike”, Essential equipment you might require, a few skills to improve your bike control when riding and a little bit on trail etiquette.
How to choose your Mountain bike
When it comes to choosing your Mountain bike, it can be quite a difficult choice to make as there are so many different categories of MTB with unalike qualities and varying levels of travel. With frame material, suspension, drivetrain and brakes all playing a major part in the componentry, it is worth trying to figure out what sort of trails you prefer.XC bikes are useful if you’re travelling cross country or on the flats and usually have 100mm of travel or less. Trail bikes (100mm - 150mm) excel out on the singletrack trails whereas Enduro bikes boast slightly larger travel capable of tackling the gnarly bike park trails. Downhill bikes do what they say on the tin… equipped with 200mm these bikes are weapons at tackling any downhill, off-piste stint.
What to wear on your Mountain bike
When it comes to clothing, a helmet is paramount as it is the key to your safety. If the worst was to happen and you came off your bike then protecting your head is essential as most of the other bones in your body can heal. If you want to increase your grip on the pedals then a pair of flat MTB shoes will do just the job as the rubber sole will stick to the grips of the pedals. As for actual clothing, a lightweight, durable jersey will be sufficient for riding in the summer and for the winter you can pair it with a base layer and a waterproof jacket. On your bottom half, a set of MTB shorts or trousers matched with padded shorts will be perfect.
Body positioning when on a mountain bike is fundamental as getting it correct gives you incredible bike control and boosted confidence to ride the trails faster. Dropping your heels, leaning back over the saddle and looking at the trail ahead are all crucial steps to becoming a better rider. The perfect place to practice these skills are at a local pumptrack or out on the green and blue trails.
How to Manual
What is a Manual? A manual is similar to a wheelie but instead of pedalling to get your front wheel in the air you simply shift your body weight over the back wheel and use your rear brake only to keep balance. A manual is useful for maintaining speed when going down a trail. The best place to learn to manual is on flat ground before taking your bike to a pump track and practising to manual between rollers.
How to bunny hop
Like learning to manual, learning to bunny hop is crucial when out on the trails as it improves bike control and gives you the basics to jump. How your bike feels in the air compared to when it's on the ground is completely different so it is good to learn how they compare from early on. Bunny hops also become beneficial when you’re riding a trail with rock drops as you can bunny hop off of them and land flat.
How to look after your Mountain bike trails
Looking after your trails is crucial when you're riding them. The last thing you would want is to ride a damaged trail because of someone elses mistake and potentially run the risk of falling off. In this last video, we will go through the basics of how to look after the trails to ensure they are both safe and fun for everyone to ride.