Mountain biking is only enjoyable if you are fast and able to overcome obstacles. Whether you are doing it to keep fit or preparing for an upcoming race with friends, you need to have good mountain biking skills. Here are some tips to become better at mountain biking.
Always Maintain your Bike
You will hardly focus on the mountain biking trails if you have not properly maintained your bike. That strange sound that your cycle is making is probably causing friction from a lack of maintenance. A healthy, well-maintained, bike will serve you well and keep you safe on the trails. Keeping your bike in good condition is worth a few minutes of time save you from walking down the entire mountain.
The same way your body refuses to function if you have not eaten, hydrated properly or have an illness, this also happens to your bike when you don’t. Do not expect to have a smooth ride without a properly tuned cycle.
Before hitting the trails, take a few minutes to examine your bike. It will allow you to check for safety measures; brakes, tire pressure, and the chain before jumping on the trails. Look for anything worn out, broken, or cracked. Always adhere to the rule that a small problem at the start can become a much bigger problem when on the road. Check the bike fit for you to avoid being uncomfortable on the road and that you have the correct pedal lengths for optimal efficiency.
Strive for a Competition
It’s good to ride with better riders than yourself. Riding with your peers is fun, but it will not help you build your biking skills and resilience. Some of the things to watch in better riders is how they position their bodies when going up or downhill and how they handle rough roads or rocky sections. Watching how they repair a flat tire will one day save you.
Always Look Ahead
Focus on where you want to go when you are on the trail. It’s easier to look at the bump or rocky places that you are about to hit. However, if you keep looking underneath your bicycle, you have a high chance of falling, seeing upcoming terrain and preparing yourself for what is ahead. Let your bike take care of the bumps as you focus on the road.
The best suspension you have when riding a rigid bike or a full suspension is your legs and arms. Give them a chance to absorb the bumps and ruts on the road by standing up and relaxing. Allowing the bike to move beneath you helps you to withstand most obstacles in your way and comfortably tackle different types of terrain.
Relaxing helps you loosen your grip on the handlebars for a smoother ride, especially if it’s a long trail. Holding the handlebars too tight will make your forearms and hands get tired sooner, thus making it tough to control. However, do not confuse being firm and being tight. Hold your handlebars firmly but not tightly.
Spinning is Important
One of the most important aspects of cycling is rotating your cranks quickly. If you have seen professional cyclists, you will realize that they use a lot of their cycling time to develop a fast and efficient rotation and pedal stroke. Peddling with jerky downward strokes or in squares is a sign that you will be off balanced or have to work harder pedaling than you should. Spinning quickly helps keep traction on loose trail conditions.
The right cadence includes cycling in intervals and staying in the right gear. Gearing too high makes it hard to power over things while gearing too low will result in spinning without power. If you are a pro, you can change gears and resume a pedal RPM of about 70 to 100, which can make it easier to climb through rough sections or steep terrain.
Being a good cyclists comes with hard work and determination. Maintaining your bike, relaxing, riding with better riders, and spinning efficiently are essential points in cycling. Use these tips to help improve your mountain biking skills.