Mountain Bike Beginner Guide

Looking For More Information On Mountain Biking.

Why Should You Buy A Mountain Bike

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Health Benefits

A Brilliant Way To Improve Your Fitness Levels

Challenging

Mountain Biking Is A Great Way To Challenge Yourself

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Fun

You Will Have Plenty Of Fun

Mountain Bike Questions

 

Thinking about buying a mountain bike and need more information on why you should purchase one. We have put together on mountain bike questions. To help an entry level cyclist learn more about mountain biking.

 

What is a Mountain Bike?

 

A mountain bike is commonly referred to as a MTB. A bike designed for cycling off road. Mountain bikes are designed for tackling different types of terrain. A mountain bike will tend to have a front or full suspension, large tires with durable wheels, straight handlebars, hard wearing brakes and low gear ratios

Mountain bike are commonly used on unpaved surfaces, exploring mountain biking trails or used for travelling over uneven terrain. The uneven terrain can contain rocks, dirt, steep grades and inclines. Mountain bikes are designed with a strong durable frame, wide tires, responsive brakes that can provide the rider with plenty of support.

Mountain bikes have become popular with urban riders who need a bike that can handle a wide variety of activities. To continue,, our article on mountain bike questions we will now look at how mountain biking evolved.

Development of Mountain Biking

 

The first mountain bikes were designed in the 1970’s. Cruiser bikes were modified to go down mountain bike trails. In California USA riders used single speed bikes to descend hills and were referred to as bloomers. Joe Breeze specialised in designing bike frames used the bloomer design to build the first ever mountain bike.

Moving forward to the late 1970’s, the popularity of mountain bikes lead to the leading manufacture designing mountain bikes. The first mountain bike was built in 1979 “Lawhill Pro Cruiser” by Terry Knight of Oakland. An impressive six hundred bikes were made.

By 1981, Randy Ross, the vice president of Ross bicycles Inc stated in New York Times that mountain bikes are one of the biggest developments in the biking industry and changes the image of the modern mountain bike. Next in our article into mountain bike questions, we will look at the differences between a full suspension and hardtail mountain bike.

Full Suspension Vs Hardtaail Mountain Bike

 

Hardtail: A hardtail is a mountain bike with a suspension fork for the front wheel with a rigid frame.

 

Full Suspension: A dual or full suspension bike comes with a front and rear suspension.

 

The suspension of a mountain bike will affect the bikes control, comfort, traction and how enjoyable the bike is to ride. If your planning on going on technical trails, then a full suspension bike may be the best choice. On the other hand, if you intend to go on smother terrain, then a hardtail may be the better choice.

Choose A Full Suspension Bike

 

You have a bigger budget: Full suspension bikes are a little bit more technical and tend to be more expensive than hardtail bikes.

 

Technical Mountain BikeTrails: If you intend to use the mountain bike exploring mountain biking trails. Then a full suspension bike may be a better choice.

 

More Comfort: One of the main benefits of a full suspension bike is that it is designed to absorb the shocks and bumps of going over uneven terrain. Having a full suspension while going over uneven terrain will offer the rider a more comfortable ride allowing them to travel further.

 

Speed: Having a full suspension allows the mountain bike to travel through technical sections of a trail at much faster speeds.

 

Choose A Hardtail

 

Tight Budget: A Hardtail mountain bike has a simpler design, allowing them to manufacture bikes a lot cheaper and pass on the savings to the cycling enthusiast. In addition, the customer will be able to get more value for their money by having a higher end specification than if they were going to buy a full suspension bike.

 

Smooth Trails: If a rider intends to spend most of their time on flatter surfaces then a hardtail bike can offer a comfortable ride with the front suspension absorbing much of the shocks and bumps.

Low Maintenance: A hardtail has fewer parts, less expensive to maintain and require less maintenance. However, a basic maintenance is still needed.

Lighter Bike: The simpler design of a hardtail mountain bike means that a hardtail is lighter than a full suspension mountain bike. However, if you intend to purchase a high-end full suspension bike, then the weight difference may quite minimal.

 

Rigid Mountain Bikes

 

A Rigid mountain bike does not have any suspension at all. The newer rigid bikes are extremely light and easy to use. In considering, mountain bike questions, we will now look at why you should buy a mountain bike

 

 

MTB Metrics

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Customer Satisfaction

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Happiness

Why Should You Ride A Mountain Bike

 

Fun

 

One of the main reasons to buy a mountain bike is that it is a great way to have some fun. When you’re a child, it’s not about training to beat your best time. It’s about getting sweaty, covered in mud and spending some quality time with your friends and family. Building up memories that will hopefully last a lifetime. Furthermore, mountain biking is an inexpensive way of spending your weekend.

 

Challenging

 

Mountain biking is a great way to challenge an individual’s riding skills and help them reach the next level. By exploring new mountain bike trails, the rider will push themselves into taking on more challenging terrain. Becoming a more experienced mountain bike rider.

Handling Skills

 

Practise makes perfect. Going out on a regular basis is a great way of improving the riders handling skills. Peter Sagan who won the junior mountain biking cross country championships, combined both road and mountain biking into his training practises. One of the main benefits of taking on a few off-road descents, is that the rider will easily be able to tackle descents on the road.

Off Road Access

 

One of the big benefits of mountain bikes is that it allows individuals to get to the hard to access places and allow the rider to go on real adventures exploring their local surroundings. Exploring Scottish and Welsh Forests, the Lake District or the Yorkshire Dales. Not forgetting about heading down to the local café to collect their well-deserved treat.

Mountain Bike Frames

 

One of the easiest parts of the decision process, is deciding that you are ready to buy a mountain bike. The next confusing part is when you realise there are many different types of frames. There are four main options when choosing a mountain bike frame. Steel, Aluminium, Carbon Fibre or Titanium.

 

Steel

 

Steel is one of the most common bike frame materials as it is strong, still and easy for bike manufactures to work with. In addition, cost effective allowing the manufacture to pass on the savings to the consumer.

On the other hand, steel is density challenged and is usually heavier than aluminium or titanium. Steel can also rust if its neglected. However, manufactures such as Reynold have produced stainless tubing that largely stops the problem.

Steel is a strong and durable material in the event of a minor bump or scrap. Offering the rider plenty of support when riding. Furthermore, will help boost the rider confidence when trying to take their riding skills to the next level.

Aluminium

 

Aluminium is normally not as strong as Steel, however the reduced in density will normally give the rider a thirty percent lighter frame. An aluminium frame will use around twice as much volume as steel. The two main types of alloys used are 6061 and 7005. 7005 can be slightly cheaper for manufactures to work with.

One of the of the common misconceptions is that aluminium frames don’t offer the best ride. In the early days this may be of being true. However, advancement in technology has allowed manufactures like Cannondale to produce “Cannondale CAAD series who wielded areas that would reduce stress and increase the durability of the mountain bike. Aluminium is considered a lightweight material that will offer the rider plenty of stability in the event of a minor bump or scrap.

 

Titanium

 

Titanium is commonly uses in the aero space industry. An material that is used in aerospace needs to be taken seriously. A titanium frame is harder to weld and work with, normally wearing out tools quicker. However, a titanium frame provides a frame for life and is known throughout the biking community of a true sign of quality.

 

Carbon Fibre

 

Carbon fibre or more commonly known as Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polymer is one of the newest materials used for bike frames. One of the main benefits of Carbon Fibre is that it can be designed specifically for its application. Offering incredible strength for such a lightweight frame. Next in mountain bike questions, we will look at mountain bike suspensions

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Mountain Bike Suspension

 

A suspension is designed to help a rider travel over uneven terrain and help absorb the shocks and bumps. Allowing the rider to stay in control of the mountain bike. Most mountain bikes have a front suspension fork that helps the rider control the bike control. In addition, a rear suspension which helps the rider have a comfortable ride by absorbing the bumps of travelling over uneven terrain.

Having a suspension on a bike will add to the weight of the bike and tend to be make the mountain bike more expensive.

 

Pros and Cons Of A Bike Suspension

 

Pros

 

  • Comfortable Ride

 

  • More Control of the bike

 

  • Faster rides on more difficult and technical terrain.

Cons

 

  • Heavier frame

 

  • More Expensive

 

  • Slows the bike down on climbs

 

Sometimes the number of cons can misled a cycling enthusiast. The most important think for a rider to remember is the type of riding that the mountain bike is going to be used for. An example is for an individual that intends to go on mountain bike trails, then a full suspension may be the best choice. On the other hand, if a rider intends to ride on smother terrain then a hardtail may be a better choice. Next in mountain bike questions, we will look at mountain bike brakes

 

Mountain Bike Brakes

 

There are a wide variety of brakes when purchasing a mountain bike. The two main types of brakes fall into two categories; disk and rim brakes. Rim brakes are most commonly found on road bikes so we will look at disk brakes.

 

Disk brakes:

 

A disk brake uses a circular metal disk mounted on the hub of the wheel. The disk brakes rotate with the caliper that contains the brake pads. When the rider applies pressure to the brake lever, it causes the rotor to slow down the mountain bike. There are two main types of disk brakes, either hydraulic or mechanical brakes.

Mechanical Disk (pistons are activated by a wire cable.)

A mechanical disk brakes are cheaper than hydraulic brakes. One of the main benefits of mechanical brakes is that they seem less daunting than hydraulic brakes.

Hydraulic Disks (piston is activated from the Hydraulic fluid.)

A hydraulic disk is where the hoses filled with brake fluid is immediately moved to the pistons. When the rider applies any pressure to the brake lever.

Pros And Cons Of Disk Brakes

 

Pros

 

  • Better Stopping Power

 

  • They Don’t Wear The Rim From Braking

 

  • Hydraulic pads automatically change according to the pad distance.

Cons

 

  • More weight on the spokes when braking.

 

  • Heavier than Rim Brakes

Mountain Biking Essentials

 

One of the first questions a cyclist enthusiast should ask is what type of bike is best for me?

 

Rigid: No suspension. Reduced weight as the bike is designed with a simpler. A rigid bike is not designed for rocky terrain. If a cycling enthusiast is on a budget, it is better to invest in a Rigid bike rather than a mountain bike with a low-quality suspension.

 

Hardtail: A suspension fork at the front, with a suspension at the backend. Hardtails are designed for tackling more difficult and more technical terrain. Hardtail bikes tend to be heavier than Rigid bikes. However, lighter and offer the rider more control over entry level handling.

 

Full Suspension: As the name suggests, a full suspension bike has a suspension at the front and the back of the bike. Having a full suspension allows a rider to more control and speed when tackling more complex terrain and are designed for mountain bike trails.

 

Helmet

 

Once, an individual has decided on what type of mountain bike they are going to purchase. A rider needs to think about purchasing a good quality bike helmet that fits well and offers them plenty of protection.

The best bike helmet in the world is no good if you’re not wearing it. A helmet should fit well, be level, and not obscure the rider vision or be over the ears. No excess movement in the helmet. Only buy a bike helmet from a reputable bike brand that has good customer testimonials.

 

Gloves

 

If an entry level cyclist is staring out it may be worth purchasing a pair of gloves as it will offer the rider plenty of protection while riding. Gloves will offer the rider protection in the event of a crash or reduce the impact of sores from riding the bike.

In addition, a rider can purchase fingerless mitts for the summer. Trying the gloves on to make sure they fit. The fingers shouldn’t feel cramped.

 

Mountain Bike Tyres

 

To continue our article on mountain bike questions, we will look at mountain bike tires. Mountain bike tires are designed for off roading and the knobs to grip uneven terrain. Well-designed mountain bike tires will offer good grip, provide the rider will plenty of stability while riding. When purchasing mountain bike tires, a rider must consider:

 

Wheel Size: Mountain bike tires generally come in three different sizes. Twenty-nine inch through twenty four inches. The wheelset will highlight the size of the tire.

 

Tyre Width: One of the main factors of the performance of a mountain bike is the tire width. Having a wider tire width provides the rider with a bigger surface area to improve the traction and grip of the mountain bike. On the other hand, tire width can reduce the mud clearance between the tire and the frame. Which in turn can affect the speed. Next in mountain bike questions, we will look at mountain bike essentials

 

 Bike Pump

 

If a rider is thinking about riding on a regular basis then may worth purchasing a bike pump. If a tyre is not inflated to the required PSI level then the bike will have to work harder.

Owning a bike pump will allow the rider to be able to check and inflate the mountain bikes tires on the go. It may be worth taking it one step further and learning how to fix a flat tire.

We hope you have enjoyed the article on mountain bike questions and found it helpful and informative. Please support our website and share the article on your social media.

What is a Good Mountain Bike For a Beginner?

 

Purchasing a new Mountain bikes can be an expensive investment. You want to make sure you spend the right amount of money that match your cycling needs.

We have put together a beginner’s mountain bike guide to help entry level cyclists. Here are the stages cycling enthusiasts go through in their mountain biking lifecycle. To continue our article on the beginner’s guide to mountain biking we will take a look at an entry level mountain bike.

 

Entry Level Mountain Bike: Here are the reasons why you should not spend a lot of money.

 

Commitment

 

When you begin biking, no one knows how much they are going to use their bike. Some individuals will use their bike every day, others will use the bike every couple of days, once a week or on a monthly basis.

Skill

 

If we are honest, when a cyclist starts out, they are not going to be that good. It takes time to learn the ropes and master the basics. Another reason, not to spend an absolute fortune. Next in our article on the beginner’s guide to mountain biking we will look at what type of bike are you looking for.

 

What type of bike are you looking for?

 

 

When an entry level cyclist is starting out. The bike in most cases wont impact how quickly an individual takes their skills to the next level.

 

An individual does not want to buy a cheap bike. They are looking for a solid bike from a reputable bike brand. Purchasing a hardtail is much more cost effect and will offer the rider more value for money.

 

Intermediate Biking

 

The mountain biker has come to realise that they love exploring their local mountain biking trails. They are getting more and more confidant; and they want to get a mountain bike that will take their riding skills to the next level.

The prospect of buying a mountain bike fills the individual with excitement. However, a cycling enthusiast should not over spend. Purchasing a really expensive bike does not turn you into a season professional. In our article on beginner’s guide to mountain biking we will now look at what different things beginner and intermediate mountain bikes look for.

 

 How do you separate Beginners from Intermediate bikers?

 

The main difference between beginners and intermediate mountain bikers: Price, reliability, strong and durable materials. A beginner’s mountain bike is normally under five hundred pounds.

An intermediate bike is normally once you get past the five hundred mark. The bikes start to have more than the basic Shimano parts and SRAM. You will see a XT or a X8.

The main difference is that the mountain bike wont break under pressure. It’s a balance between cost, weight and hard-wearing bike that will last for a while.

Materials and components on intermediary bikes normally last the longest. Professional bikes are normally designed for weight. Lighter components and materials will normally mean the rider can travel much quicker. A lightweight material will break much easier. Next, in our article on the beginner’s guide to mountain biking we will look at common mistakes.

 

Common Mistakes

 

Intermediaries should not buy by weight

A common mistake a lot of intermediaries start making is purchasing the most expensive bike they can afford. The majority of the time, bike components are only expensive because they save weight. Next in our article on the beginner’s guide to mountain biking we will look at how difficult is mountain biking.

 

 

How difficult is Mountain Biking?

 

 

Mountain biking tends to be a little more difficult than road biking. Something mountain bikers have taken much pride in. There are a few main factors.

 

Obstacles on The Trail

 

The complexity of a mountain bike trail can definitely have an impact on how difficult mountain biking can be. Smooth roads and pavements tend to be easier to use. Obstacles slow down an individual and increase the level of physical effort.

 

Fat & Squashy tires

 

the aerodynamic and tire resistance can make mountain bikers work harder. Allowing the mountain bikers to have a more strenuous workout.

 

Terrain

 

Mountain bike trails tend to require a more strenuous workout. The steep climbs. Compared to smooth roads mean a rider has to work harder on a mountain bike.

Road bikes tend to be more lightweight than a mountain bike. Trails tend to have more twist and turns than the traditional roads.

 

Stop & Go:

 

Road bikes have to contend with traffic. Impacting on how strenuous a commute through a city can be. Roads and trails can vary dramatically. A road might have a lot of areas where a rider can pick up speed. While a mountain bike trail can have relatively few places.

 

Suspension

 

Even the most tuned up suspension takes out the energy of mountain bike.

 

Making Decisions

 

Making decisions in rush hour traffic can be mentally taxing. On the other hand, choosing which line can be equally stressing.

 

Effort

 

A mountain bike takes more effort and energy to ride on a grassy surface. Compared to a road bike on a smooth surface. As a guide, mountain biking is around 50- 150% more difficult. A 5-mile mountain bike ride is like 7.5 to a 12.5-mile ride on a road bike. To continue our article on the beginner’s guide to mountain biking we will look at how old you have to be to start mountain biking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How old do you have to be to start mountain biking

 

If your beginning to acknowledge the benefits of mountain biking has on your life. The excitement of navigating a new tail, challenging your self on new terrain. When do you start to introduce mountain biking to your children? And how? Mountain biking can be enjoyed by children, help build fitness and confidence. All children need is the correct equipment, guidance and practice.

 

Having An Early Start

 

Quality mountain bike are normally built from reputable brands for children aged six to eight years old. That’s not to say children need to start riding at eight years old. Purchase a tandem or a balance bike.

Start a child on a paved bike path. Focus on the destination; and not the journey. Go down to the local shop for a well-deserved treat or down to the local park.

Let children progress at their own pace. Going down wide paved trails, then move on to smother dirt roads used for jeeps and service roads. Then graduating to pump tracks and single tracks. The number one priority is having fun. Next in our beginner’s guide to mountain biking we will look at the correct technique to teach aa child.

 

Teaching The Correct Technique

 

Children who have only cycled on pavements need to learn the correct mountain bike techniques. Teaching the child the “default position “or the “attack position”: Keep the pedals level, elbows bent and weight centered. The child must remain relaxed, no stiff muscles or death grips.

 

Looking Straight Ahead

 

No matter the terrain, steep, rocky or gravel. The child needs to be looking straight ahead to make sure they can quickly and safely manoeuvre out of any hazardous situations quickly and safely.

Encouraging children to practice on A regular basis will help the child take their riding skills to the next level. Our beginner’s guide to mountain biking will now look at mountain biking necessities.

 

Mountain Biking Necessities

 

The main priority is to purchase a good quality mountain bike and a helmet. There is no need for expensive clothes. Mountain biking is a form of exercise, so make sure that the child has plenty of room to move around in them. Owning a good pair of quality mountain biking shoes will help your child have a better grip while riding.

 

Helmet

 

Once you have chosen your child’s mountain bike, the next item on the checklist is a good quality bike helmet with good customer testimonials. Allowing the child to have a part in choosing the bike helmet will help prepare them for wearing it when using the mountain bike. The best mountain bike in the world is no good if you’re not wearing it.

 

Purchasing padded clothes will offer the rider plenty of support. The G Form brand make t shirts and shorts with padding that is easy washable. An athletic t shirt or shorts will do just fine. Elbow pads and T shirts can be beneficial, but are not a priority until the child is tackling more advanced single tracks. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at safety.

 

Safety

 

Some children will be fearless when learning mountain biking. Others will be intimidated by it. Less confident children will tackle the mountain bike trail slowly, resulting in them losing their balance.

 

Over confidence can cause children to go at a higher speed and have a collision. Encouraging fearful children to practice on flat ground will help them gain more confidence. Fearless children need to be taught by giving them examples of the situations where they need to be careful. Our beginner’s guide to mountain biking will now look at the common mistakes when mountain biking.

 

 

The main priority is to purchase a good quality mountain bike and a helmet. There is no need for expensive clothes. Mountain biking is a form of exercise, so make sure that the child has plenty of room to move around in them. Owning a good pair of quality mountain biking shoes will help your child have a better grip while riding.

 

Helmet

 

Once you have chosen your child’s mountain bike, the next item on the checklist is a good quality bike helmet with good customer testimonials. Allowing the child to have a part in choosing the bike helmet will help prepare them for wearing it when using the mountain bike. The best mountain bike in the world is no good if you’re not wearing it.

 

Purchasing padded clothes will offer the rider plenty of support. The G Form brand make t shirts and shorts with padding that is easy washable. An athletic t shirt or shorts will do just fine. Elbow pads and T shirts can be beneficial, but are not a priority until the child is tackling more advanced single tracks. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at safety.

 

Safety

 

Some children will be fearless when learning mountain biking. Others will be intimidated by it. Less confident children will tackle the mountain bike trail slowly, resulting in them losing their balance.

 

Over confidence can cause children to go at a higher speed and have a collision. Encouraging fearful children to practice on flat ground will help them gain more confidence. Fearless children need to be taught by giving them examples of the situations where they need to be careful. Our beginner’s guide to mountain biking will now look at the common mistakes when mountain biking.

 

Common Mistakes When Mountain Biking

 

Mountain biking can be highly rewarding. Here are a few common mistakes that entry level mountain bikers can sometimes make:

 

Don’t Go Through Water

 

A Mountain bike trail can be exhausting and the prospect of going through some refreshing water may seem like a good idea. However, the water will be already rusting your bike and causing corrosion.

The water may cause the chain to snap on a lofty incline. Take the time to carry your bike or go through slower. To lessen the impact of water getting into the main components of the mountain bike.

 

 Don’t Stay Seated

 

All mountain bikes have a saddle. However, that doesn’t mean you have to stay seated. Get in the habit early on of not always sitting down. Not only are your legs perfect for absorbing all the bumps and shocks but it will save your spine in the long run. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at mountain bike attire.

 

Mountain Bike Attire

 

Check the weather forecast to make sure your wearing the correct mountain biking attire. If the temperature is going to drop, then take advantage of wearing layers. Don’t forget to buy a helmet. Research has shown that mountain bike helmets can reduce serious injury by seventy percent.

 

Extra Provisions

 

If a rider is thinking about going out for the day on their mountain bike. Preparing a few provisions to tide themselves over in the case of an emergency is a brilliant idea. No mountain biker wants to have an empty stomach or suffer from dehydration. Always have a snack bar or a bottle of fresh water to hand.

 

Front Brake

 

A common mistake by entry level mountain bikers is over using the back brake. Causing the back tire to wear out more quickly. Gently apply pressure to the front and the back brake. Applying to much pressure to the back brake may cause the back tire to lock up.

 

Taking Opportunities

 

There are lots of opportunities in mountain biking to take the riders skills to the next level. It’s easy for a rider to get intimidated. Strive to take on a new obstacle on each excursion. Don’t for get to take your time and check out the terrain on foot.

 Looking Ahead

 

Mountain bikers need to make sure they keep a good riding position, to be able to out manoeuvre any hazardous situations safely and quick. A common habit of entry level mountain bikers is to focus on the front tire or looking at the ground. Mountain bikers should not ride blind.  Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at mountain bike attire.

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Biking Technique

 

There is no need for mountain bikers to always practice on mountain bike trails. All a rider needs are some off-road riding allowing them to get some fresh air and a good bit of exercise. Mountain biking does require a different set of skills than road cycling. Here are some of the basic techniques.

 

Body Position

 

One of the biggest ways of becoming a good mountain biker is having a good riding position. When a rider is tackling a trail they to have the need correct body position.

The two main types of body position are neutral and ready.

 

Neutral Riding Position

 

When a rider is travelling through a non-technical part of the trail. The rider needs to be in a neutral position on the mountain bike. The main benefit of being in the neutral position is it allows the rider too comfortably switch into the ready position when tackling more technical terrain.

The pedals are evenly weighed. A slight bend to the rider’s knees and elbows. Having the index finger on the brake lever a hundred percent of the time. Eyes are fixed at where a rider wants to travel and not where they don’t.

 

Ready position

 

When a rider is faced with a technical part of the terrain its time for the rider to get into the ready position. Sometimes referred to as the attack position. The attack position gears the rider physically and mentally to tackle the terrain.

 

Pedals that are evenly weighed

 

A deep bend in the elbow and knees. Consider making chicken wings with your arms. At a ninety-degree level. Keep the back flat and parallel to the ground. The index finger is kept on the brake lever at all times. The rider eyes are fixed on their chosen riding position.

 

 Personalising the Seat Position

 

A rider must change the seat in order to get the correct riding position for climbing and descending.

For climbing change the seat for the maximum efficiency by making sure the bend has a ninety percent extension. Maximising pedal efficiency by allowing the leg muscles to get to work.

On the other hand, when descending a rider should aim to drop the seat by two or three inches. Resulting in the rider’s centre of gravity dropping by two or three inches. A ride should spend some time experimenting with the best seat level for each particular mountain bike trail.

 

Picking A Line

 

One of the common mistakes of entry level mountain bikers is focusing on parts of the trail they are trying to avoid rather than their chosen line. Right or wrong, the mountain biker should choose a line and keep their focus on the line. Flicking the riders focus from fifteen to twenty feet ahead and the tire should help the rider maintain their line.

 

Braking

 

Braking can be seen as very simple. The rider squeezes the brake lever and the mountain bike comes to a stop. However, spending some time mastering how to use brakes can seriously help an entry level mountain biker take their skills to the next level

Braking should be controlled and consistent. The majority of braking power comes from the front brake. However, too much front brake will send the rider over the handle bars. The brakes should be applied lightly and evenly. Avoid sharp movements of the brake lever.

When a rider starts to brake, they should brace themselves to drop their hips and bend the knees. Keeping the heels down. Having a good riding position will help the rider stay in control.

With Mountain bikes with disk brakes the rider should aim to have two fingers on the brake levers and three on the handle bars. Allowing the rider to keep full control of the mountain bike and have sufficient braking power.

 

How to use the Brake

Brake before approaching the turn, let the momentum carry you through. The technique allows the rider to focus on the technique through the turn and allow the rider to exit with more speed.

Having a good momentum can help the rider when approaching obstacles.

 

Shifting

 

Mountain biking requires the rider to go up and down hills. Being able to shift the gears will not only reduce the impact of wear and tear but it will allow the rider to move more efficiently around the mountain bike trail.

Entry level cyclists should practise shifting. Building up muscle memory that will allow the rider to shift the mountain bike without even thinking about it. Allowing them to focus on the trail.

Shifting should always be down before the rider hits the incline, decline or corner. Shifting under a load can cause an unnecessary load that can cause the chain to pop off.

Falling Off

 

If a rider is thinking about cycling on a regular basis then there will come a time where they fall off. A cyclist should try and keep their arms in. Common instincts will cause the mountain biker to stretch out their arms to lesson the fall. Reaching out can cause a broken wrist or a collarbone.

The majority of the time a fall will just impact the rider’s pride. Picking themselves up, checking the bike and carrying on with the trail.

 

Hiking with a Bike

 

There is going to be a time when the rider is out on the trail and they get into a tight spot. Don’t fight the bike. Get off the mountain bike and walk it out. There are many parts of mountain bike trails where “hiking with the bike” is required as the part of the trail is to difficult. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at mountain biking etiquette.

 

Mountain Biking Etiquette

 

Mountain bike trails are used by other road users. Always be respectful and considerate. It may be their first time on a mountain bike trail. Keep to the right of cyclists riding up hill. On single tracks, get off the bike completely. Let other road users know your coming. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at how best to clean a mountain bike.

 

 

How to Clean A Mountain Bike

 

A rider should look to clean their mountain bike at least every two weeks. Cleaning the bike is a great opportunity to notice any wear and tear. Stopping it from developing into a more serious issue. We have put together a comprehensive list of steps to keep the mountain bike in peak condition.

 

Remove all the accessories on top of the handlebar: Take off the lights, bells

 

Turn the bike upside down

 

Remove the Wheels

 

Drive System: With some soppy water and a brush start cleaning the derailleur. Start giving the chain a good wash with an old rag and use a brush to clean the rings.

Use a cloth to give dry the chain. Using a wet rag, start washing the pedals and the cranks. Move on to the gear mechanism and use a rag into all the moving parts.

Clean the underside: Start cleaning the gear mechanism, working the rag around all the moving parts. Dry them with the cloth as you go. Move on to cleaning the centre and the rear of the frame.

Clean the handlebars, with a soppy rag and pay close attention to the brake lever and gear assembly. Finish off by cleaning under the seat.

 

Wheels

 

Get a wet rag and clean the rims of the front wheel. Pay close attention to the spokes and the axle. After Washing the wheels, remount the wheels back into the fork and tighten the quick release

Next, take the rear wheel, clean the rims, spokes, axle and rear disk rotor. Drop the wheel back into the frame.

Checking the wheels: Once the wheels are cleaned, spin each wheel and make sure they are straight. When the wheel starts to rotate, place a finger against the rim to see if there are any noticeable dents or knocks.   T

Spokes: Check the spokes, turn the front wheel slowly and make sure all the spokes are taint. If they are sloppy, they may need replacing or tightening.

Tires: The tire pressure needs to be checked. The required PSI level can be taken from the instructional manuel. Both tires need to be in good working condition.

Drive System: Check both pedals and make sure the spin freely and there is no noise and grinding. Moving forward, check the gear mechanism. Listen for any snagging by moving the pedal and chain, Perform a similar check with the rear derailleur.

 

Top side of the bike:  Turn the bike up the correct way.

 

Using a rag cloth and some soapy water, wash the handlebars and the seat. Play close attention to the brake and gear levers. Next, move over to the centre of the bike. Clean the downtube and cross bar

 

Brakes

 

Test that the brakes by standing at the front of the bike and apply the front brake and pull the bike towards you. The front wheel should not move. When enough pressure is applied. The back wheel should come off the ground.

Next, continue the test with the back brake. When applying the pressure to brake lever, the rear wheel shouldn’t turn. Applying enough pressure will cause the bike to skid.

The brake levers should start gripping at 1/3. If the brake levers are touching the handlebars then they brake need adjusting.

Disk brakes should be checked by playing close attention to the disk caliper, When the brake levers are applied, the brake pads must move across to clamp the rotor.

Repeat the test with the rear disk brakes. Disk brakes cables need to be checked for wear and rear. Follow the cables for any fraying. Replace immediately if the brake cables are fraying.

 

Head Set:

 

Test the headset by standing by the bike and holding with the right hand. Use the left hand to apply the brake lever. Rocking the bike back and forth. If any slack is spotted. The headset may need adjusting.

 

Lubricating the Drive System

 

Rotate the pedals clockwise and spray the lubricate vertically. Spray the chain for a few seconds. Put some old rags over the wheel rims derailleur.

 

Check the lights

 

Reattach all the accessories and lights that may have been taken off. Turn, the front light on and make sure it is bright enough. Do the same for the back light. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at advice on keeping a mountain bike running smoothly

 

Keeping A Mountain Bike Running Smoothly

 

Entry level mountain bikes have evolved massively over the years. We have put together a list of tips to help keep the mountain bike run smoother for longer.

 

Gears

 

Gears on cheaper mountain bikes don’t tend to shift as smoothly as more expensive ones. However, they should be able to shift accurately. Test the gears are staying in play when the brake lever is applied.

 

Stock Saddle

 

The saddles that comes with a mountain bikes have improved massively. However, a saddle needs to be comfortable. A replacement saddle can be purchased inexpensively. Men and women saddles are completely different, A women riding a mens mountain bike may want to buy a saddle that are wider and has a generous padding.

 

Plastic Pedals

 

Mountain bikes at the lower price point can sometimes come with plastic pedals. Bike manufacturers presume that they will be replaced after a little while. Purchasing metal pedals can be purchased rather cheaply. Furthermore, a mountain biker could also consider purchasing clipless pedals.

 

Good Grip

 

A mountain bikers’ hands are one of the main ways of maintaining a good control of the bike. Basic grips tend to provide plenty of durability but rarely great comfort. Replacement grips can be purchased rather cheaply too. There is no need to break the bank.

 

Chain Stay Protector

 

Mountain bikes can sometimes come with a cheap derailleur. A derailleur is the device that changes the gears by moving the chain.

There is normally one on the front and rear. A cheaper derailleur lacks the spring tension to stop the chain slap against the frame.

Fitting a chain protector will stop the metal sound and help protect the paintwork.   Chain stays can be purchased rather cheaply too.

 

 

Handle bar height

 

A common mistake by beginner mountain bikers is to have the handle bar to high. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at how a rider can improve their mountain biking skills.

 

Improving Your Mountain Biking

 

Every mountain biker doesn’t just become a seasoned professional overnight. Learning the basics takes time. We outline some tips on how a rider can improve their mountain biking skills.

 

Maintaining The Bike

 

A mountain bike requires regular maintenance like any ordinary bike. Basic maintenance only takes a few minutes and can save a lot of time and money in the future. Check over the whole bike, for anything worn out, cracked or not working.

 

Mountain Biking with Better Riders

 

Riding with other mountain bikers will allow the rider to push themselves a little harder. Learn how the more experienced mountain bikers handle mountain bike trails, position their body and fix a puncture miles from nowhere. These valuable skills can be picked up by riding with more experienced riders.

 

Relax

 

No matter, if you are riding on a hardtail or a full suspension. The best suspension a rider has is their arms and legs. Standing up, allowing the arms and legs to absorb the bumps and shocks. Mountain bike must try and be as relaxed as possible.

A white-knuckle grip on the handle bars will cause the riders body to be to rigid. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at the best mountain bike trails for novice riders.

Top Trails For Novice Riders

 

All mountain bikers have to start from somewhere. Practising on easier mountain bike trails will help the rider develop their skills before they take on red and black trails. We have a put together a list of some of the best beginner trails

 

Dalby Forest -North Yorkshire

 

The Dalby forest is England’s biggest mountain trail centre. The Ellerbum family route is an ideal 2.5mile route. There is a longer eight-mile route, that offer a varied terrain and great views. The eight-mile blue trail is an ideal way for a rider to take their riders skills to the next level.

 

Forest of Dean – Gloucestershire

 

The best British cycle routes normally feature the family trail in Forest of Dean. Easy going, beautiful and suitable for all riders. The eleven-mile trail will allow the rider to feel a sense of achievement. Without pushing themselves too hard.

 

Swinley Forest – Berkshire

 

If an entry level mountain biker is looking to take their skills to the next level. The Swinley forest is an ideal place to go. Swinley forest was redesigned in 2013, offering a selection of loop routes.

Coed Landegla – North Wales

 

There are lots of family cycle routes in North Wales, Coed Landegla forest that have a lot of great rides for beginners. Entry lev mountain bikers can take advantage of the three-mile route. The seven-mile blue route will offer the rider a few gentle climbs and a gradual downhill trail.

 

Glentress- Scotland

 

Glentress is a top-quality trail centre for any level of mountain bike rider. There are some short green trails for complete novices, blue routes split into two five-mile loops. There are plenty of fun rides at the trail centre.

Furthermore, Glentress is well known for having great facilities. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will look at some of the most extreme mountain bike trails around the world.

 

Extreme Mountain bike trails

 

There is nothing quite like the thrill of mountain bike trail. Some mountain biking enthusiasts like to take it to the next level. We have put together some of the most extreme mountain bike trails in the world.

 

Yungas Road (The Death Road)- Bolivia

 

Known as one of the worlds most dangerous routes, offering serious mountain bikers an exhilarating, fast and beautiful ride.

The forty-mile trail is not as technical as the others on the list. However, it didn’t get the nickname “Death Road” for nothing.

Around two hundred mountain bikers die every year. Despite the dangerous terrain, Yungas Road is more popular then ever. The forty miles of fast unbroken downhill trail with eight-hundred-foot cliff drops with no guard rail.

Cliffs of Moher Ireland -(Cliffs of Insanity)

 

Cliffs of Moher, west coast of Ireland is really popular with tourists looking to experience stunning natural beauty. More recently, they have been regarded as one of the most dangerous mountain biking destinations in the world.

The Cliffs of Moher has A narrow causeway, with a 600m drop onto the rocks of the Atlantic Ocean. There are plenty of less dangerous routes located closely to the cliffs.

 

Portal trail Moab

 

There are many trails in Moab, Utah. The portal trail offers the most serious and advanced riders’ sheer danger.

Portal climb has two hair raising sections, a 3ft wide trail with a rock face on one side and a 200ft drop towards the Colorado River. The trail is so extreme, there are signs everywhere telling mountain bikers to walk with their bikes.

 

Alp d;Huez France

 

A popular ski resort in the French Alps is a mountain biking mecca with eighty miles of downhill bike lines. Considered as one off the worlds downhill race in the world. The unpredictable weather and terrain will challenge the most experienced mountain biker riders.

 

Anna Purna Nepal

 

The epic mountain biking trail has become very popular with mountain biking enthusiasts. If mountain biking on one of the highest mountains is not enough, then the technical descents should challenge any rider. Next, the beginner’s guide to mountain biking will now look at mountain endurance events.

UK Mountain bike Endurance Events

 

Searching the internet for the best mountain endurance events. There have been some exciting developments in mountain bike events with a big empathises on different destinations, new formats and longer distances.

 

Elan Valley        MTB Challenge

 

The Elan Valley offers riders a combination of natural beautiful beauty spots with an MTB challenge. The Elan Valley prides itself on staying true to the basic fundamentals of mountain biking.

Big climbs, fast descents, technical sections and a feeling of being in the middle nowhere. There are two distances to choose from, 30M and a 50KM

 

MTB Marathon Series Panmaenau Farm, Powys

 

The mountain biking series has grown considerably over the years. Regarded as being the original single loop off event in the UK.

The MTB Marathon series has four rounds, the first one in Buith Wells. A mixture of classic trails, single double track bridleways that showcase some of the best riding spots in the UK.

 

Glentress Seven Mountain Bike Trail

 

One of the most popular single endurance events in the calendar. At the Glentress seven mountain bike trail, riders ride in pair or trios for an impressive seven hours.

The atmosphere at the Glentress is laid back and riders will have plenty of fun. The course runs between thirty to sixty minutes per lap.

One of the biggest benefits of Glentress is that it offers some of the best descents out there. We hope you have enjoyed our Beginners guide to mountain biking. Please show your support by sharing the article on your social media.

 

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