Mountain biking is one of the most popular outdoor activity globally. It is not only fun but also adventurous and educative depending on where you ride, whom you ride with and the reasons behind it. Mountain bikes are capable of handling different terrains depending on the type of bike you’ve bought. Like other bikes, there are a lot of things you need to learn about mountain bikes in regards to how they vary, what to look for when shopping, how to repair and maintain them and how they work among other aspects. Read this to find out more.
After you’ve gathered the necessary information about mountain bikes in general, you will be able to make the right choices when buying or riding the bike. As a guide, here are things every mountain biker should know:
Go easy on the brakes
You are required to be very cautious when braking because it can make you topple or even get injuries. When going downhill, the front wheel carries more weight than the rear wheels. As a result, you need to use the front brakes gently to avoid tossing yourself over the handlebars. In addition, don’t forget to use your rear brake but you should start by shifting your weight back over the rear wheel to increase the braking power. When you balance your weight on the front and rear wheel, you gain maximum control of the bike and balance the power of both breaks. Finally, always have your index fingers on the brakes so that you can use them easily in case you have to.
Since you will be riding on a rough terrain with obstacles, you need to maintain momentum by staying loose. For instance, when riding over obstacles such as roots and rocks, hover your butt off the saddle to keep momentum and keep your bike moving forward. If the terrain is friendly and clear, you can ride faster but carefully because you will need the momentum when going uphill or come across an obstacle.
Understand basic repairs
You will be riding on a rough terrain and hence your bike is prone to breaking down from time to time. Before you start mountain biking, you need to understand basic repair and maintenance techniques to be sure you can get out of the woods even when the bike breaks down. You can start by researching online basic repairs, watch videos and even seek help from an expert to do it yourself in case you have to. As a mountain biker, you should know how to fix a flat, change wheels, tighten or loosen nuts and bolts and repairing/replacing a broken chain. In addition, you should have an idea about the tools required, where to buy the tools and spare parts required as well as their price and how to use them.
Use all the gears
Whether you are riding downhill, cross country or following a trail, you should use all the gears. Mountain bikes have a variety of gears and they are used depending on the terrain and obstacles you face. If you want to maintain your momentum and ride with ease, consider using all the gears appropriately.
Keep your eyes on where you want to go
You can be listening to music or sightseeing while riding but keeping your eyes on where you want to go is very essential. Your bike goes where your eyes are directing it to go. Therefore, if you don’t want to fall or damage your bike, be very cautious of where you are riding. Look past obstacles by keeping your chin level to the ground and keep your eyes forward to avoid hitting obstacles or facing the unexpected.
Always carry money and other essentials
You may ride longer than you anticipated and have a flat. If you don’t have any cash, there might be no convenience stores where you can use your card. In addition, carry everything you might need because anything can happen when riding your bike. Therefore, carry spare parts, tools, pack some food, drinks, and water in case you run into trouble.
It is very important to be prepared because you will have options and a plan in case things don’t go as planned. Also, you may consider riding with a friend or as a team because you can help each other out when trouble kicks in.