Do you want to ride your bikes in the mountain area? Don’t you know how to be a good mountain biker? Don’t worry! You are in the right place. After reading our article you will be able to know details about mountain biking. Keep reading…
There is something about grabbing your mountain bikes for under 300 dollars and heading out onto a trail. You don’t have to be a pro to get into mountain biking. However, you also cannot just jump onto your bicycle and partake in this sport immediately.
Mountain biking requires a combination of endurance, strength, and skill. If you want to get the combination right, you’ll need to train – hard. This sport requires some different skills than road cycling. Here, we have compiled a list of basic techniques to help you become a mountain biker. We have also compiled a list of our 5 best mountain bike trails in the USA. Let’s take a look.
How to be a Mountain Biker
To become a successful mountain biker, it’s primal to have the right body position. Mountain bike trail surfaces are rough as surfaces include rocks, mud, sand, soil, roots, and much more. These terrains and potential obstacles can be unnerving to beginners. You’ll need to be in the right body position in order to get through these tricky trail surfaces.
There are two main body positions: neutral and ready.
Neutral Position: this position will allow a cyclist to keep pedaling along comfortably while still allowing them to easily transition into a ready position for technical and rougher terrain. The neutral position entails:
- A slight bend in knees and elbows
- Index fingers always on brake levers
- Level pedals that are evenly weighted
- Eyes looking straight ahead – look where you want to go, not where you don’t.
Ready Position: It’s time to move into a ready position when the trail gets rockier and steeper. This position enables a rider to get physically and mentally prepared to tackle rougher terrain. Ready (or attack) position entails:
- Evenly weighted level pedals
- Rear-end off the seat and hips shifted back
- A deep bend in knees and elbows
- Back flat and nearly parallel to the ground
- Index fingers on brake levers at all times
- Eyes looking straight forward to where you want to go and not where you don’t
Using your brakes requires using your best judgment regarding how much or how little to squeeze those brake levers.
NOTE: The more weight a tire carries the more braking power it has.
When going downhill, the front wheel tends to carry more weight than the rear wheel. Braking with a front brake helps keep a rider in control without them going into a total skid. Always be mindful of how much pressure used to squeeze your lever because when overdone, you might accidentally toss yourself over the handlebars.
When descending, shift the body’s weight back over the rear wheel as it’ll increase rear braking power. This will balance the power of both brakes (front and rear) and give a rider maximum control. In due time, a beginner biker will learn how much weight to shift over every single wheel and how to apply just enough braking power to each brake in order to avoid the risk of skidding down a trail.
Adjust Seat Position
Positioning a seat properly will help an individual set their body weight appropriately for climbing and descending mountain trails.
Climbing: For climbing, adjust the seat for maximum efficiency. Adjust it to high levels – this will help you pedal efficiently and powerfully using all major leg muscles.
Descending: Drop your seat about two or three inches from the height you’d set for climbing. A lowered seat lowers your center of gravity giving an individual better control needed to tackle steep descents.
Stay seated: Most beginners tend to stand out of their saddle as they do when on a road bike. This is a mistake when it comes to mountain biking. Standing while climbing over steep hills with a mountain bicycle may cause your rear tire to lose its grip and spin out. Climbing hills require traction so do stay seated for as long as you can.
Lean forward: Leaning forward adds more weight to the front wheel and will help keep a person grounded.
Keep pedaling: On rocky climbs, keep the pressure on and do not let up on pedals. The slower a person goes through rough trail sections, the larder they will have to work.
Relax: Stay loose on the bicycle and do not clench your grip. Steer with your body, allowing your shoulders to guide you through each turn and over any obstacles
Rise above saddle: When racing down a bumpy trail, rise above the saddle. This will allow your legs and knees to absorb rocky and bumpy grounds instead of your rear.
5 Best Mountain Bike Parks In The USA
Now it’s time to ride in the mountain trail. But you never know where to ride. Don’t worry, here are the 5 best mountain bike trails in us, you can ride.
1. Moab, Utah
This is one of America’s oldest mountain bike destinations. It comprises tons of new trails and has incredible views for riders to enjoy. Moab comprises world-famous slick rock riding, a fantastic desert view, miles and miles of trails, and best of all a great town with exceptional bike shops and shuttles! Some must-ride trails in Moab include Slickrock, Captain Ahab, and The Whole enchilada.
2. Doctor Park, Almont, Colorado
With a trail distance of approximately 9.6 miles, Doctor Park comes in three distinct parts, a top section through sharp root drops and thick pines, a flowing middle on a buffed-out smooth, and a rugged bottom that snakes through fangs of rocks. This incredibly constructed single track ends 2,600 feet down to the Taylor River.
3. McKenzie River Trail, Bend, Oregon
McKenzie River Trail (MRT) is located about halfway between Eugene and Bend. This single track snakes through old-growth Douglas firs, some as high as 300 feet tall. MRT follows the crystalline McKenzie River, crossing through rough log bridges and passing icy falls and lakes. There are even a few hot springs along the way!
4. Rock Lake Epic, CAMBA Trails, Cable, Wisconsin
With a distance of 27 miles, CAMBA trails are located in hilly woods, approximately an hour south of Lake Superior. It hosts a seemingly endless network of single tracks in summer. A rider will wend and bend through tangles of maple and oak forest and through the International Mountain Bike Association’s Epic loop. No climb is more than 100 feet and you’ll have a spin through Rock Lake, Patsy Lake, Namakagon, and Glacier. Be prepared to face some mud!
5. South Boundary, Taos, New Mexico
With a distance of approximately 20.8 miles, this track is great for intermediate to advanced persons. The majority of riding takes place on a tight, root-filled single track through dark trees and rocky plunges.
Cruising around on your bike has to be one of the most exhilarating experiences one can experience. The feel of the wind on your hair, feeling your muscles tense as you ride over those steep hills, cruising down a hill at great speeds, or even climbing that mountain you have always wanted to conquer.
There is no better way to get a feel of a country than by bike. Biking makes you feel one with nature and provides you with fun and thrilling ways of getting from one place to another. Have you ever been on any of these mountain trails before? What was your experience? We would love to hear from you so do share your adventure with us.
Last Updated: June 1, 2022