Your first time mountain biking is always memorable. The experience of riding over rocks, across streams and different types of terrain can be both fun and intimidating at the same time. If you are preparing for your first time biking or your first time didn’t go too well, the following tips should prove helpful brought to you by Bike and Spanner – a leading mountain bike shop Edinburgh
- Keep Your Body Lose
Your bike is made for the different terrain, so allow it to do its job by keeping your body loose. This will allow the bike to move easily beneath you. Hover off the saddle when you hit obstacles like rocks or roots. The more obstacles on the terrain, the more room your bike needs to move. Flare out your elbow and knees to allow your body to flow when ripping down a descent.
- Maintain Momentum
Holding your current speed or even speeding up when the terrain gets challenging may seem like a counterproductive thing to do. But speed makes these challenging sections of the trail seem easier because the bike already has the one thing it needs to keep moving forward- momentum.
- Shift Your Weight
Shift you weight forward and remember to lean forward to keep your center of gravity when climbing a rough patch. When going down, shift your weight behind the saddle and over the rear wheel. This will prevent you from going over the bars.
- Don’t Brake to Hard
Resist the urge to pull hard on both brakes even when you think you need to. Mountain bike brakes are powerful enough that sometimes you only need one finger to modulate your speed. A better way would be to adjust your speed before some of the rough terrain areas and then maintain it through them. If you are in a situation where you are turning too hot, don’t use the front (left) brake. Doing so could send your front tire into a slide, sending you over the bars and onto the ground. You may skid if you hit the rear brakes, but you’ll remain upright.
- Use all Your Gears
Considering how unpredictable mountain bike terrain can be, the best thing you can do is anticipate these terrain changes and then shift before you need to. This will help you maintain your all-important momentum.
- Set Your Suspension
Modern mountain bikes have a front suspension fork and a shock absorber in the rear which can make bumps unnoticeable when you go over them. They will only however work if you set them to their active positions. Take the time to learn how to set your sag to avoid accidentally rolling out on the obstacle ridden terrain with a fully rigid bike.
- Look Where You Want to Go
Your bike will often go where your eyes are directing it. Therefore, the best way to avoid smacking into rocks is to look just past them. Keep your eyes forward and your chin level to the ground while directing your gaze as far down the trail as you can.