If you want rides that are exciting, that get your heart-rate going and that is also very scenic you need to start mountain biking (MTB for short!). Mountain bikers always remember their first proper mountain bike ride. It will usually involve rock gardens, stream crossings, jumps, tight corners, and other super exciting features. Here are some very important tips to take into consideration when going on your first mountain bike ride.
One of the most important factors to keep in mind is your bike setup. Although it may take a little while to properly dial in your setup, it won’t need to be changed very often. We won’t go into setup specifics here as we already have an article regarding that. The main things to look out for are:
- Saddle height
- Bar & stem length
- Brake lever height
- Tyre pressure
Keep your eyes UP!
When riding on the trail you must always have your eyes up scanning the terrain and environment, this is especially important when riding off-road and on singletrack. By keeping your eyes up while riding on singletrack, you will be able to better assess your surroundings, predict upcoming obstacles, and the best line to take.
Invest in some lessons with a reputable MTB coach
You will save yourself some bruises and scratches if you learn the basics early on. Grab a good local coach and have them teach you how to be safe on a bike, and learn some skills before you hit the harder more technical trails. It is worth the investment and you will have some fun too.
Learn basic bike repairs:
Learning basic repairs can help save a lot of time and effort when a mechanical issue presents itself while riding, especially in remote areas. It is best to learn how to tune your gears, fix a broken chain, fix a puncture (tubeless & tubes), and learn how a bike works mechanically. By developing these skills, you will find it much easier to fix problems when out on the trails.
Confidence is a big one when comes to MTB riding and especially the development of skills. Confidence is needed to tackle new and progressively harder skills and obstacles. Much like when first learning to drive a car. Confidence is a tough one, you need enough confidence in order to have the guts to tackle new features, but too much confidence early on can drive you to attempt obstacles way out of your skill range.
Use all your gears!
Modern mountain bikes usually come with large range cassettes and longer cage Derailers. So don’t be afraid to use them! Mountain biking involves riding through lots of undulating terrains, including steep uphills and loose technical downhills. By working your way through your cassette and selecting the correct gear before the terrain starts inclining or declining, will help keep your momentum and ride a lot smoother.