Mountain Biking For Beginners – The 3 Basics
A Word about Mountain Biking
The popularity of extreme sports has taken the sporting world by storm. Mountain biking sport has become so popular because it can be done anywhere. Mountain bikes have a large range of functions, and they can be used anywhere, from urban streets to rugged mountain terrain. Mountain biking appeals to so many people because it can be done at any skill level, from leisurely riding the local trails to roughing it up in professional races and competitions.
Tip: Take time to master the fundamentals.
Too many beginners get overly excited about the prospect of transitioning from mountain biking to BMX competitions and extreme bicycle stunts. They fantasize about becoming a superstar, but never take the time to master fundamental cycling skills.
When it comes to mountain biking, there are three essential skills - cycling uphill, cycling downhill and turning around corners. Make sure you have fully mastered these skills before you move on to more complex stuff.
Buying the Right Bicycle
If you're a beginning mountain biker, it's important to start with the proper bicycle. First, you must determine your budget. Mountain bikes range in price from relatively inexpensive to virtually no price limit, so it's important to determine a price range and only look at bikes within that range.
It is also important to determine what kind of riding style you'll be doing. Terrain differs from smooth trail riding to extremely rough, gravity-defying mountain terrain and everything in between, so pick a bike tailored to your specific riding style. There is also the matter of comfort versus efficiency. Bikes with full rear suspension are much more comfortable, but they are heavier and less efficient to pedal, so they would not be a great choice when learning mountain biking for beginners.
Finally, it is important to realize mountain bikes fluctuate drastically in price throughout the year, so look for mountain bikes during the off-seasons of fall and winter and save yourself some serious money. I would recommend buying an entry-level, hardtail mountain bike, such as these bicycles from eBay:
One important note about entry level mountain bike: Do not get a cheap bicycle, as your riding experience might be disappointing!
Cycling Equipment for Beginners
Beginning mountain bikers should also know they will be investing in other cycling equipment in addition to their bike. Safety equipment is essential for mountain biking for beginners, and it's usually required. Besides a mountain bike, the most essential pieces of safety equipment are a properly fitted helmet and biking sunglasses to protect your eyes. Other basic equipment include a tire patch kit, spare tire tube, pocketknife, bicycle light, bicycle lock, water bottles, and snacks. Take a look at these basic items:
Wearing the Right Gear
In addition to using the right cycling equipment, it is important to realize that wearing proper cycling clothes is not less important. This includes padded bicycling shorts, cycling underwear or cycling tights for the lower body. For the upper body, it is important to wear removable layers so you can adjust to higher and lower temperatures. Good choices for upper body layers include short sleeve bicycling jerseys or moisture-wicking long sleeve bicycling jerseys to protect the arms from scratches and sunburn. For the cold and rainy days you will need a waterproof winter riding gear. Finally, gear for beginning mountain bikers should include a warm hat, padded bicycling gloves, neck protection, moisture-wicking bicycling socks, and proper bike riding shoes. Take a look at these cycling clothes:
Click here to see many more cycling clothes.
Mountain biking for beginners is a challenge, and it is important to know a few facts before you begin. It is important to learn to shift gears appropriately. This takes some practice but becomes easier with experience. As you learn to ride different terrain, play around with your bike seat, and adjust the height to determine what works best for you. Also, go easy on the handlebar grips. Beginners tend to squeeze the grips too hard, leading to hand, arm, and shoulder discomfort. Finally, as a beginner, remember to take it slow. Never exceed speeds at which you feel in control and feel comfortable. This will keep you safe, give you opportunities to learn, and before you know it, you'll be an expert mountain biker. Click here to read more cycling techniques.
Tip: Braking skills are essential in mountain biking
When it comes to mountain biking along a trail you will realize that the brakes are not meant to stop you but give you more control. The braking power on a wheel is influenced by the weight on the wheel.
When descending down a slope, the front wheel carries more weight and is hence recommended for braking, however, this should be done carefully to avoid being thrown over the handlebars. Alternatively you can shift your weight to the rear wheel and use it to break safely.
Last Word About Mountain Biking For Beginners
If mountain biking is a sport with which you're interested in investing, talk to local bike shops and experts, study your area's local maps and trails, and don't be afraid to get out there and give mountain biking a try!
Books About Mountain Biking for Beginners