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Basic mountain biking techniques

Basic mountain biking techniques

mountain biking techniques

You don’t need to mountain to ride a mountain bike. Almost any off-road ride will reward you with fresh air, good exercise and whether the hills or mountains are the current beauty of excitement and long downhill stretches. Mountain biking does require some different skills than road biking. This article shares basic mountain biking techniques and basic skills to help you get started.


Perhaps the biggest key to successful mountain biking is your posture. Mountain bike trail surfaces include rocks, tree roots, ruts, sand or dirt. The variable terrain and potential obstacles are part of the fun, but it can be uncomfortable for beginners. Maintaining proper body posture can help you pass tricky trails.

There are two main body positions: neutral and ready.

Neutral position
Mountain bike rider demonstrates a neutral riding posture
When you are riding on off-road sections, you want to be in a neutral position on the bike. This allows you to roll efficiently and comfortably, while allowing you to easily transition to a ready position for technical terrain. Neutral positions include:
Evenly weighted horizontal pedals
Slightly bent knees and elbows
In 100% of cases, the index finger is placed on the brake lever (usually 2 fingers are required to brake on the rim)
Look forward about 15 to 20 feet; look where you want to go, not where you don’t
Ready position
Mountain biker showing ready pose
When the path becomes steeper or more rugged, it is time to enter the ready position (sometimes called the attack position). The prepared position prepares you mentally and physically to accept the off-road technical part. Preparation positions include:

Evenly weighted horizontal pedals

Deep bends at knees and elbows (Think of using your arms to bend 90 degrees to make chicken wings.)
The tail leaves the seat and the hips move back
Your back is flat, almost parallel to the ground
In 100% of cases, the index finger is placed on the brake lever (usually 2 fingers are required to brake on the rim)
Look forward about 15 to 20 feet. See where you want to go, not where you don’t
 mountain biking techniques

Adjust the seat position

Positioning your seat correctly can help you maintain the correct posture when climbing and descending. Climbing: For climbing, please adjust the seat position when pedaling to achieve maximum efficiency. When your foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke, you should see a slight bend in your leg, reaching 80-90% of full leg extension. This can help you use your main leg muscles effectively and vigorously.

Mountain biking trail

Descent: When you need to descend, lower your seat about 2 or 3 inches from the height you set for climbing. Lowering the seat will lower your center of gravity, giving you better control and confidence during steep downhills. You may need to try different seat heights to find the one that feels best.

Select a line
Mountain biker chooses a line of graphics
The beginner’s mistake is to look at where you want to avoid, rather than focus on where you want to go. Choose a path and stick to it to bypass the tricky part of the path.

What hazards should you look for? It depends on your skill level. The log that can stop a cyclist may be another interesting bunny jump. Generally, look for loose rocks, deep sand, water, wet roots, logs and other cyclists, hikers and animals.

To find your route: Look down the trail for about 15 to 20 feet, and scan ahead for danger. Then, move the eyes back to the tire. Doing this back and forth motion allows your eyes to absorb a lot of information. Knowing the dangers in advance can help you adjust your balance and choose a line around them. 

Mountain bike brake

Braking seems simple: you squeeze the lever and the bike will slow down. This is the point of it, but knowing more about how to brake can go a long way in making you more comfortable and safe on the bike.
mountain biking techniques

How to brake

Braking should be consistent and controlled. Most of your braking power comes from your front brakes, but grabbing a front brake will let you over the handlebars. Instead, gently step on the brakes and evenly step on the front and rear brakes. Avoid sudden, rapid squeezing to help prevent slippage.

When braking, support yourself by moving your hips back, lowering your heels, and keeping your knees and elbows slightly bent. This posture helps you maintain control and avoid riding too far forward.

If your mountain bike is equipped with disc brakes, place the index finger of each hand on the brake lever and the other three fingers on the handlebar. This provides you with sufficient braking power and control when riding. If you have a rim brake, try to hold the brake lever with two fingers, as they usually require more force to engage the brake

When to brake

When approaching a turn, brake before you make the turn and let your power take you through. This allows you to focus on your technique while turning and quickly exit the turn. Momentum can also be your friend when getting up and over obstacles on the road. Beginners usually slow down when approaching obstacles. Controlling momentum can help you pass these tricky parts of the trail.
Since most mountain biking involves at least some ups and downs, it is best to know how to shift gears correctly. The correct shifting habits can not only reduce bicycle wear (especially the chain, front flywheel and rear gear), but also allow you to go up and downhill more effectively.

Shift gears frequently: Beginners should practice shifting gears frequently. This builds muscle memory, so you can intuitively shift up or down as needed, regardless of whether you want to shift to a simpler or more difficult gear.

Shift early: Don’t wait until you have started to go to that mountain to shift shifts. Before you encounter steep terrain, always change to the gear you need. This allows you to maintain a steady riding rhythm to get maximum power. It also prevents awkward shifting under loads that place a heavy burden on your gears and may cause your chain to fall off.

If you have difficulty finding the right equipment for the terrain you are riding, choose gears that are easier to spin instead of hard gears. Another important rule is to prevent cross-linking. This happens when your chain awkwardly stretches from the small chainring in the front to the small gear in the back, or from the big chainring in the front to the big gear in the back. This applies to double sprocket and triple sprocket settings. Cross-linking may cause your chain to pop out of strain; over time, it will also lengthen your chain and shorten its life.

Finally, always remember to keep pedaling when changing gears. Failure to step on the pedal when shifting gears can damage or break the chain.
Fall off
No one likes to fall off a bicycle, but if you ride a mountain bike, it may happen at some point. When you fall off the bike, try to keep your arms adducted. Your instinct may be to reach out to support the fall, but this may cause a broken wrist or collarbone.

During a fall, most damage is limited to personal self-esteem. Cheer up, dust off and check to make sure you are not injured. Then check your bike. The seat or handlebar may be twisted and the chain may fall off. Before charging, also check your brakes and gears. May require roadside repairs or adjustments, so it’s best to bring
Hiking bike
Mountain biker hiking by bike
When you ride on the trail, you will definitely end up in trouble. If you encounter a rut on the road, please do not “fight the bike”. Do your best to overcome it. impossible? It is not shameful to stop and go out. Walking is definitely part of mountain biking. Many trails have mandatory bike hiking sections, which are difficult to ride up and down.

Trail etiquette

Mountain biking is usually carried out on trails or roads shared with other users, such as hikers and horses. Always be a polite and responsible rider and control your bike. Ride only on trails open to mountain bikes. Here are some of the most important rules:

Always make way for cyclists driving uphill (on a single lane, stop completely and lift the bike off the trail). Slow down when approaching hikers or horses and give them a wide berth. A good way to deal with horses is to follow the rider’s instructions. Let other trail users know that you are coming — say hello friendly.

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