Mountain biking is a fun and exciting sport for people of all ages. Learning how to mountain bike properly will greatly increase your enjoyment of the sport. There are some proper basic techniques that will serve you well as you increase your interest in the sport. Whether you intend to mountain bike daily or will only bike occasionally you need to learn how to mountain bike.
The first thing to know when learning how to mountain bike is how to shift gears. Mountain bikes come with shifters that are adjacent to the handlebars to let you shift easily without moving your hand grip. There are two types of shifters, the trigger shifter and the grip shifter. They both work well and the choice is mostly a matter of preference. To properly shift release pressure on the pedal while smoothly affecting a shift. Don’t try to force a shift or you could damage your bike. Practice shifting by riding around on flat terrain. The right gear is one where you are not working too hard at pedaling.
When learning how to mountain bike you need to learn spinning. Spinning is a bicycling technique that will help you pedal more smoothly and efficiently. Spinning adds power to your pedal stroke and keeps you moving more quickly without as much work. Spinning, also called cadence, is done at about 60 to 90 RPM, revolutions per minute. You should be using your legs on both the upward and downward strokes. Again, practice this technique on a flat surface until you get the hang of it. Soon it will come as second nature to you.
One of the most difficult things to do when learning how to mountain bike is climbing. There are several techniques that you can try when climbing. The right one to use depends on how steep the hill is and the length of your ride. There are two basic techniques used for climbing. You can use a seated climb technique or a standing climb technique. When climbing steep inclines you’ll get more power by standing. If you’re on loose terrain or longer climbs you can use the sitting technique. Shift to a lower gear and shift your weight over the bottom bracket for stability. When sitting keep your head low and control the front wheel.
Getting down the hill is a lot more fun than getting up if you know how to mountain bike. Your first time going down rough terrain will likely scare you. For good downhill biking use your brakes coupled with good bicycle handling. Try to keep your weight off the seat but still centered in the back of the bike. Watch out for any obstacles. Avoid them when possible but always keep focused on your entire line of sight and not just a few feet ahead.
When you first learn how to mountain bike learn the basic way to get over obstacles such as rocks and tree roots. As your skills improve you can learn more advanced techniques. The basic way to get over obstacles is to pull up on the handlebars while using a powerful pedal kick. This should effectively bring up your front wheel. As soon as you clear the obstacle with your front wheel immediately shift your weight forward so the back wheel will more easily move over it.