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Complete Guide How Learn to Mountain Bike (from Beginner to Pro)
Mountain biking, without question, is action-packed and can be one of the best activities you can do over the weekend. It’s a great sporting activity and can be a great way to wind down after those days and days of work in that little office. If you plan to go mountain biking just for fun or on doctor’s orders, there are a few things you need to know. Mountain biking is incredibly technical, and unlike traditional cycling, you need to be fully equipped for these fun activities. For starters, this is how to learn to ride a mountain bike.
What Skills Should You Have to Learn Mountain Biking
Like any other sporting activity, mountain biking is not for everyone. You have to start somewhere. You know how to ride a bike, but you need to have several skills before you can play. In this, you should be able to climb steep slopes, change gears and also avoid obstacles. Mountain biking is a whole new game, and if you go into it with that traditional cycling mentality, there’s no way you’ll be a successful cyclist.
Mountain biking is also a matter of health. This type of cycling is demanding, and you must be in good cardiovascular health. In short, you must be prepared to be pushed to the limit by these vigorous cycling adventures.
Essential Equipment you Will Need
If you want to learn how to ride a bicycle, then you will have to buy certain items. Here is a list of things that you should be prepared to purchase before learning to ride.
It is one of the most apparent pieces of equipment you would need for mountain biking. Choosing the correct type of mountain bike will be very difficult if you are a beginner. It’s a complicated machine, and selecting the best will be a real problem if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Fortunately, with some advice, you could make an excellent choice. There are many types of mountain bikes in the market, and you should choose one that meets your basic requirements. In this case, we are talking about your size and the type of mountain biking activity you want to do.
As a novice, what is the best bike for you? We have three main types of ATVs on the market today.
Rigid bikes :
These bikes come without suspension. And that alone makes them the lightest bikes you can put your money on today. They also require less maintenance, so you won’t have to worry about many things when learning to ride off-road. However, these bikes have one major problem; if you depend on rough and rocky trails, you will suffer. They offer less control and comfort.
Hardtail bikes :
As their name suggests, they often come equipped with a suspension fork up front. These bikes will allow you to face many technical terrains. They are heavier than rigid bikes.
- Full Suspension :
These are fitted with the suspension front and rear. They provide much-needed comfort, especially when you’re managing more technical terrain. They are expensive, and you will be forced to dig a ladle out of your pocket for this.
Bike Helmet – This item helps protect your head from injury. You will also find this item useful if you have an accident and need to protect your head or face.
Flexible plastic headgear for protection against falls. It is designed to fit the contours of the human head. Headgear is made of a soft, flexible material. It can be used as a protective helmet, a facemask or both. It has a visor which may be raised or lowered, and a neck strap with adjustable buckle.
Bicycle Shoes – Your feet must fit into these shoes properly.
Like the helmet, gloves are a must-have. Although most mountain bikers don’t usually wear gloves, it will make sense to start using them. This piece of equipment has excellent advantages. For example, it can help your hands avoid severe pain caused by bicycle vibrations. There are two types of gloves on the market.
- Fingerless Gloves: Your hands are not entirely covered, making them the best for summer
- Full gloves: the best choice for winter
The two Mountain bike gloves we mentioned come with different levels of insulation and padding. You might want to try a few before making a final decision. In this case, your fingers should in no way feel cramped.
Cycling Gear – The clothing you wear while you’re cycling will help keep you comfortable.
Keep in mind that the more clothes you wear, the heavier you’ll be, which could slow you down. You can’t afford to buy a whole new wardrobe of cycling clothes, but you should invest in some of the following:
- Cycling jerseys
- Cycling shorts
- Cycling pants
- Cycling socks Gloves
- Cycling shoes
- Shorts Sweatpants
A good pair of sunglasses is an absolute necessity. Make sure you have a pair for every type of weather you encounter.
Riding Belt – A belt is useful for keeping things like keys, wallets, and other small objects close at hand.
Cycle Tires – You may want to consider purchasing a set of tires that are designed specifically for cyclists.
Spare Parts – If you break something, then you’ll need to replace it with spare parts.
Other Accessories – Some people choose to carry water bottles, lights, and other accessories when they cycle.
Road Map – It’s important to know where you are on the road so that you don’t get lost.
Water Bottle – When you’re cycling, you’ll need to drink plenty of fluids.
Get Appropriate Clothing
Mountain biking is not like the traditional cycling you are used to. This type of bike comes with clothes specially designed for them. One of the biggest mistakes most MTB riders make is buying those tight shorts: they’re entirely wrong. Contrary to what many cyclists have always thought, mountain bikers have different types of clothing compared to traditional cycling. They are modest, and most MTB shorts are baggy, have many pockets, and come equipped with a few features.
For mountain biking, you also need to get a suitable top. With this, you need something that can dry fast when it rains. It should also be able to wick away sweat, leaving you feeling dry inside. For this very reason, you need a specific top.
There are several mountain biking apparel on the market today, and you can easily be spoiled for choice. However, the trick here is to find one that fits your body shape. It should also be very comfortable when sitting on your bike. You should be able to stretch.
In other cases, much like any other cycling apparel, what you should wear for your mountain bike will be influenced by weather and specialization.
Puncture Repair Kit, Multi-Tools, and Pump
As a mountain biker, you need to be prepared for anything. Things can get crazy, and the chances of you getting flat tires are very high. So, before mountain biking, be sure to put cash on the best puncture repair kit, a multi-tool, and, most importantly, a pump.
Always be ready for anything.
For your first outing, you should be ready for anything. Not only will your bike take a few instances of abuse, but you will also have to deal with several things. You might fall at some point when you start and suffer a few bruises and scrapes. It is why you may want to address several key issues. At no time should you go without:
- A water bottle – Mountain biking is a dehydrating activity, and a water bottle will keep you well hydrated while riding.
- Blister kits – the chances of you being hit with a series of blisters are relatively high. You have to deal with them, and this kit will help
- Extra Socks – Just like gloves, a pair of socks will protect you well from pain. It also offers much-needed comfort on those long rides.
- Rainwear – This will be useful if it rains while you are there
- Warm clothes – The weather can be icy, and you will need warmth.
Start with Easy Trails.
When you start, engaging in these technical tracks can be extremely risky if you are a beginner because such methods require a lot of knowledge and experience. You can easily hurt yourself. So as a beginner, it will make a lot of sense to start with short trails. You should have an excellent knowledge of the trail you will take; in this case, we are talking about local roads.
Tips for Beginners
When you’re just starting, there are several things you can do to become a better mountain biker. Here are the top tips to keep in mind at all times.
Familiarize Yourself with your Bike
Mountain bikes are different from the traditional bicycles that we are all used to. And once you have this beautiful machine, you need to get familiar with it before you can ride it in the wild. In this case, you need to know how to handle it correctly and shift gears. In short, you have to be comfortable with the bike before you can get out there and enjoy those thrilling rides.
Platform pedals are the best.
When it comes to mountain biking, if you are a beginner, you will be less confident, and it will make sense to be able to start with flat platform pedals. It will allow you to get on and off the bike quickly. It’s also a great way to develop techniques before moving on to the other type of pedals.
Always look ahead
When riding on a trail, always look ahead. You must focus on the road to scan the 10 meters in front of you. It will allow you to notice obstacles well in advance.
How you manage your brakes as a beginner is paramount. It needs to be handled properly if you don’t want a problem. When mountain biking, the terrain can affect how you brake. For example, if descending a very steep hill, you must step away from the saddle and apply the brakes evenly. It will prevent you from tipping over. If you want to control the speed, it’s that simple. Put light pressure on your brakes at the same time.
Find a mountain bike group.
As with anything new you learn today, if you know to mountain bike with a group of like-minded people, you will reap many benefits. Not only will you help cheer each other on, but it can also be fun to learn how to do mountain bike turns, for example, with people you’re comfortable with.
Starting mountain biking is not tricky. If you’re keen and have the right gear, you should soon enjoy these fabulous mountain or off-trail rides. While there are many things you can use or do to improve your sport, what we’ve mentioned above will help you get off to a good start.