You wish to ride like a wind; you want to be agile, shoot up the hills, roll over the rocks, and smoothly descend in the downhill sections. Many might even hope for the prestige, fame, or money, which comes with being a pro cyclist, while some might do it just for exploring the local trails without crashing. Regardless of what your goal is, you should be aware of the basics. You may be mountain biking for fitness or to have some fun outdoors, but having the right bike and excellent bike handling skills and trail confidence will elevate your experience. Let us get started and look at some tips that can boost your mountain biking experience.
Maintain the bike well
It is almost impossible to focus wholly on the trail when you hear strange noises coming out of your bike. Primary bike maintenance does not take over a few minutes, but it can save you from having to take a long walk home or a trip to the emergency room. In case you cannot fix it yourself, it is still better to examine it regularly. It will improve your chance to take the bike to the shop for repairs before it hits the trail.
Time and again, one must examine the bike thoroughly to check for anything that may be worn out, broken, cracked, or not working as well as it should, says Sherry, who works with TFTH and is a biking fanatic. Please know that even the minuscule problems can become bigger down the trail. So, be sure that before you take the bike on the road, it is fit for the journey. Further, do not invest in a bike that is too small or too big for your size. It will be impossible to control.
Ride with riders better than you
Going on a mountain ride with riders better than you will push you to perform better, and will also help you learn a few tips from the pros. Keep a close eye on how they position their body when they are riding downhill or uphill. Check how they handle and balance in rocky and rough sections. See how they fix a flat tire, even if they are miles away from the base. These are a few valuable skills that you need to pick up while you ride with other pros. You can enquire from your local bike shop about some biker groups in your area.
Know where you wish to go
When you are biking on a trail, be aware of where you wish to go. It is particularly important when you ride on a course that has a lot of rocks and roots. If you keep looking at the tree or rock you wish to avoid; you might probably hit it. It would be best if you instead focused on the line that you may want to take. It is known as target fixation. There is a sort of complicated explanation behind its working, but do not worry, it just works. When riding a bike, you must always look forward and ride on the line that you want, and it will result in a smooth ride, says Hannah, who offers the best online photography courses and is a biking regular.
Be it a full suspension or a rigid bike, the best suspension you have is your limbs. So, please stand up, relax, and let them absorb the ruts and bumps on the trail. After you allow the bike to move beneath you, you will be able to pass all the obstacles with ease. It can also be helpful for you to relax the grip on the handles. Ensure that your grip is firm, but not very tight. A white-knuckle death grip may cause your hands and forearms to get tired faster, and that can make it hard for you to keep control.
Rotation of the cranks or cadence is a crucial aspect of cycling. Pros spend a lot of time developing a good spin, says Robbie, an online chemistry tutors and a professional cyclist. If you happen to pedal in jerky downhill strokes or squares, you probably throw yourself off balance and work harder than usual. Spinning is not just more efficient but also helps maintain traction on the loose trail conditions. The right cadence incorporates spinning and being in the ideal gear. If you are geared too high, it can be a bit hard for you to power over things. On the other hand, if you are geared too low, you will jerk the bike around and spin out. However, if you change the gears to maintain a standard pedaling RPMs around 70 to 100, you may find it easier to climb and pedal across the challenging sections.
Shift the weight
While riding the bicycle, you will hit some extreme terrains, such as steep declines and inclines. When you are climbing on to a tough pitch, you should shift your weight forward and simultaneously lean forward. It will keep the center of gravity over the rear wheel and help you maintain your traction.
If the trail is downwards, you have to go in the opposite direction. For this, you have to shift the weight over the rear wheel and behind the saddle. It prevents you from going over the bars.
Stay loose Primarily the job of your bike is to take you through the technical terrain. And your job is to allow your bike to do the job it is supposed to be doing. It means that you need to keep your body loose. Only then will it be able to move underneath you. For this, you should hover your butt from the saddle while you ride over challenging obstacles, such as rocks and roots. If the terrain is technical, your bike will need more room for it to move. When you descend, think cowboy legs and pushup arms, and flare your knees and elbows. It ensures that your body flows seamlessly through the ride.