Mountain biking is a great outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by all ages and all skill levels. When you delve into the world of mountain biking it can seem a little daunting at first. There is a huge range of price points and brands to choose from. How do you know what bike is right for you and what you need to begin with? Adelaide has a plethora of great trails within an hours drive from the city. How do you know which ones are right for beginners and which ones are too dangerous? These are all questions that you can find the answers to with a little research and chats with the right people. The advice i’d like to give you here are the 3 tips that I feel every beginner mountain biker should follow.
The Nuts and Bolts
1. The bike fit: You have done your research and talked to some people about what bike to get and you have picked one up that suits your need and your height. What you should do next is get a bike fit done by a professional that knows what they are doing. A bike fit will aim to get the motor for the bike (You!) working in collusion with your machine. It will look at areas such as saddle height, size and position. It will assess handlebar width and distance from the handle bar to the saddle to ensure you are sitting in a posture that allows your legs to work efficiently and powerfully. If you are going to wear cleats it will ensure good cleat position. All up the bike fit will get you seated correctly and comfortably and this will make your riding experience both efficient and much more enjoyable.
2. Ride often: Now that you have your bike and know it is all adjusted to fit you well you can find some places that you want to ride. Don’t go for anything technical to start with. Start with basic, easy trails with few obstacles. If you need to, just getting out around the backstreets is great. Time on the bike is time well spent learning how to stay connected with it. You want to feel like the bike is an extension of yourself. You should feel comfortable moving your body weight forward, backward, leaning side to side all whilst maintaining control. Becoming proficient at this is a learned skill and at first may feel a little strange. The best way to improve this is to spend time riding.
3. Get in the gym: Finally, get into the gym! This point holds true for riders of all ability. Getting strong in the gym will make your riding a whole different experience. Essentially, getting stronger means delivering more power to the pedals. More power to the pedals translates to faster riding, easier and more efficient climbing. You’ll also feel like you have much more control over your bike over all types of terrain. There are of course a multitude of extra health benefits on top of all the bike related points too.
Now you have a few tips to get things rolling. Get your new (or old) bike and get some riding into those legs. One final bonus tip before we finish. Ride and progress at your own pace. Push yourself to try new things but ultimately if you aren’t 100% comfortable with an obstacle (a jump, rocky section, drop) then its best to walk it or find a different way around. As you ride these skills will develop and you will quickly find things that once troubled you are now a non-issue. Happy mountain biking.
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