Beginner Guide to Mountain Bikes


Are you ready to have some fun on the rocky outdoors?  You are probably wondering which biking skills, trails, and techniques will make your ride better and more fun. Today, we look at the different mountain bike styles that you need to know as a beginner as well as some tips advanced bikers wish someone told them right from the start. Mountain biking is diverse, and you won’t grasp everything in one day, but you will with time. Here, we have the necessary information to make your first experience easy and fun.

Mountain Biking Types

Since you’ve decided to get yourself a mountain bike, the next step should be to determine where you are going to ride the bike. They can be defined into some diverse disciplines;

Cross country
This type of off-road riding emphasizes fitness, high level of endurance and skills. They are always lightweight and efficient. You can consider this mountain bike if you are looking at being competitive or riding on less challenging trails.

Trail riding
This bike is meant for technical trails both up and down. You can also take them to new trail centers with your riding buddies. It favors a full suspension or a hardtail with 120-130 mm of travel. Your wheels and tires should be sturdy and your brakes responsive for you to hit the rough terrain with confidence.

All mountain
This riding style is challenging and unpredictable as it’s all about riding in the rugged trail. The mountain bikes are designed to be nimble to make it easy for you to pedal uphill. They are also created to offer best performance downhill. You will be safe on a bike that is lightweight with puncture-proof tires and sturdy wheels.

This riding style commonly takes place at lift-serviced bike parks. Bikes are lifted to a specific point on the mountain then the rider’s compete on who gets downhill first. They have durable components, few gears and their suspensions have extra travel.

Fat Biking
This style of riding is fast-growing. They make an excellent choice for beginners because of the fat tires which are kind on rough terrain. The tires on fat bikes are about 3.7-inch wide and offer excellent grip on sand and snow.

Mountain bike parts

For you to have a smooth and fun ride, all the mountain bike components must work together well. High end MTBs will have better parts than your cheaper models.

A pedal can break or make your riding experience. As a beginner, you are safer with a platform pedals compared to clipless pedals. Flat pedals are cheap, do not need any special shoes to ride and make it easy for you to bail off the bike if you need to.

Learn to brake properly before going for your first ride for safety. Know how to find the balance between the front and rear brakes pressure when barking. Always break before taking corners or riding through obstacles and let your weight roll you through.

Gears are located on the rear wheel by rings on the handlebar that you can comfortably reach while on the saddle. The left-hand shifter controls the front derailleur offering huge jumps in gears, powered by a groupset.  The right-hand shifter controls the rear derailleur for adjusting your gearing.

You should feel comfortable when sitting on your mountain bike’s seat and your legs must be comfortable when riding. Its material and shape must feel soft and comfortable. You should adjust it up or down to fit you comfortably.

The size of tires on your mountain bike will determine your comfort and control when you hit the rough trails. Before each ride, always confirm your tire pressure. A wheel with too high pressure can bounce off the surface while low pressure will cause a flat. The ideal pressure is indicated on the wheel’s sidewalk.

They should be easy to reach and comfortable to hold. Get a well-padded handlebar that can be adjusted to suit your height.

You may not need to go out and get a full bike gear but be sure to be comfortable while riding. Padded pair of shorts, glasses, gloves, knee and elbow pads, as well as a helmet, should work when starting. When you advance your biking, you will have to look into other bike accessories.
You will also need water to keep you hydrated. A bike pump, multi-tool, and spare inner tube will also save you a great deal.

Mountain Bike Riding Techniques

You should always be relaxed and flexible on your mountain bike to allow it to take a corner, move downhill, uphill or on a flat surface.

Riding uphill
Get ready for the ascent by looking ahead and dropping in an easy gear in good time. Sit and pedal steadily with your bum at the front of the saddle. Pedal while pulling down and back on the handlebars with your shoulder low and forward.

Riding downhill
Your arms and legs should be flexible while you are standing on the pedals. Look ahead, bend your elbows and knees with your body low and push your hips back.

Riding on a flat
You should pedal at a steady pace either sitting or standing. Watch ahead for any obstacles and keep the pedals level.

Negotiating corners
Brake before getting into the corner then get to a speed you are okay with. Stand up with your knees flexed and wide apart for traction before rolling through.

You are going into challenging terrains, and the least you can do is at least test your mountain bike before starting off. Try out the mountain bike in your neighborhood to be sure you can negotiate corners, initiate the brakes, the saddle and handlebars are comfortable for your convenience. Testing your mountain bike will help you get used to it for an easy time when you hit the trails.

Don’t overstretch yourself
When you are finally ready to hit the trails, don’t overdo it. Start slow and then increase your effort gradually. Most official trail parks have markings based on rider’s ability and you can always start with the beginner’s side. Overstretching yourself might injure you spoiling your experience.

Find trail centres
Trail centres will give you a fun experience as a beginner. You can always rent a bike if you do not have one yet and they have graded surfaces for different levels of riding. Learn the course before-hand for a relaxed and confident first-time ride

Get yourself mountain biking buddies
Now that you know what you need and where to ride, how about hooking up with your friends for a fun experience? You also get to learn new skills from them, new trails and be safe.

We understand that you want the best first experience. We have covered all the necessary information to make your start and progression easy. Now that you know all you need to take on your first ride, get out there and have some fun!