For all mountain biking beginners or those, who need to refresh their memory, we’ve listed 11 useful tips which will help take their skills to the next level, get the most out of the trails and feel more comfortable riding a full suspension bike. Here we go:
01. The proper equipment – know where you ride and what. You can’t really enjoy your bike is too big or small or you have malfunctioning parts. And to make sure you know which size of the frame you need you should read our → Guide on how to pick the right size bike.
02. The right body position riding uphill – raise your seat so your leg is fully stretched on the lower pedal, and don’t forget to lock your suspension. This way you won’t lose as much energy through moving forks and damper.
03. The right body position riding downhill – put your seat down, lower your body center and get ready to brake while moving the center of your body towards the back of the bike. The pedals should be parallel to the ground and you should always stand up, don’t you ever sit down while riding downhill.
04. Knees and elbows away from the bike and ready to bend and work with suspension.
05. Master the gear shifting: Down-gear before you ride uphill – thinking about your next move, move into a higher gear for not losing speed and keeping the momentum.
06. Cornering – with your whole body, look where you are going, not at the point which scares you! Pick a line you want to go down. If you are not sure to get off the bike, have a look at the problematic area, pick a line and ride it. You can even have someone pre-ride your line and watch them master it. You can always keep the inner foot up and the outer foot down on your pedals to help you get around the corner.
07. Braking! With one index finger, use the rest of your hand to hold on to your handlebars – very important. Don’t only use rear brake – both in combination. Otherwise, if you use too much of your rear brake: uncontrollable drifting of the rear wheel. If you tend to use too much of your front brake: fall over handlebars – weight keeps on moving even though the bike has already stopped.
08. Learn about your trail before you go – read guides, watch videos, ask friends, check out the elevation gain/drop, watch out for the weather.
09. Feel comfortable on your bike, ride as much as you can. Ride your bike to work, to go shopping on smaller rides or weekend tours, your garden – everywhere! Learn how to do a bunny hop or ride on your back wheel – these skills can help you on harsh technical trails.
10. Track your trails, and performance on GPS watches/apps on smartphone and watch your progress.
11. Keep moving, speed is your friend. Once you lose too much speed it will get difficult to get over obstacles like roots and rocks or ride through berms.