Tagmountain bike

How to Start Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is a great sport that anyone can take part in, the only skill you really need is the ability to ride a bike.  There is some danger involved and you’re going to need some safety equipment for the ride.  Before you head off road by yourself you should know how to start mountain biking, here are some tips to get you started.  These skills can be practiced pretty much anywhere.

How You Ride

Positioning yourself on your bike is important if you want to have a safe and comfortable ride.  Your arms should be relaxed and a little bit bent at your elbows.  Grip your handle bars firmly enough to have control but still relaxed.  You are going to have to adjust the seat to the right height.  When your peddle is at the bottom and your leg is extended it should be about 80% extended.  As you get more comfortable you will find your sweet spot.  Here is a look at how you should be riding.

Shifting Gears

Shifting mountain bike gears is an important part of navigating the terrain and it may take you a couple of trips before you get really good at it.  The smaller cogs are the higher numbered gears making it harder to go faster going downhill or on flat services.  Bigger cogs are the lowered number gears and they make it easier to peddle uphill when you need to, start changing your gears to climb a hill long before you get to it not as you start to ascend.

Body Position

Riding an off road bike is different from riding a racing bike in and around the city.  You are going to spend more time standing on the pedals because of the terrain that you are going over.  Off road biking means going over rocks and rough terrain, when you are sitting it is a bumpy ride so much so that you can be thrown of the seat and lose control of your bike.  Standing allows for your knees and elbows to flex as needed.  This is something that you will want to practice before you hit rough terrain with any kind of speed.  Start by standing while pedaling and going over curbs, your bike is more than capable of handling this kind of drop.

Biking offroad is a great ride and an excellent way to get out into nature while getting some great exercise.  A little bit of practice and you will be cruising those trails in no time at all.

Mountain Bike Trails in the UK

When people think about Mountain Bike trails, the ones in the UK probably don’t often pop into your mind. However, there are some absolutely breathtaking trails you can go on that would change your thoughts in a heartbeat.

Granted if you are looking for a truly beautiful experience the likelihood is that you are either going to be traveling up into the Scottish mountains or down south to the rolling hills of Somerset. Either way, they will honestly give you something to talk about as this is most important to a number of people.

I am going to give you some of my favorite trails that I believe are worth a visit if you are into your mountain biking like I am.

My Northern Trail Picks:

1. Lairig Ghru, Scotland – It certainly isn’t one of the longest trials available to you, but the scenery is like no other and the ride is gripping, this is very different to your usual trail but one that has to experienced rather than spoken about.

2. Kinlochleven Ciaran Path, Scotland – Voted Trail of the year back in 2009 it is easily understandable why that was the case, with an intense ride that truly gets your heart pumping this is not one you would want to miss out on.  Here is a closer look.

3. Ullswater, Lake District – This is a hard working 8-mile trail that really gets your blood flowing, with steep climbs and harrowing drops it isn’t for your beginner but if you love the adrenaline and a fast pace don’t miss out on this opportunity.

Rides Down South:

1. Quantock’s, Somerset – Now the trails in the area are magnificent and challenging, the one I truly want to mention is Triscombe. If you are a downhill specialist or a hill climb pro this really does cater to your needs.

2. Peaslake, Surrey Hills – This gem is a little more hidden away compared to the monsters I have already mentioned but is one that should be on anybody’s to-do list. Working your way through the forests is such a surreal experience that you just don’t get with the other trails.

Regardless of the type of rider you are from beginner to competitor, these are some of the all-around favorites and as a tight community feel free to post up on forums and blogs to get to know your fellow riders and the tips and tricks they use when facing some of the tougher trails.

Tips for Buying a Mountain Bike

If you are going to get yourself your first or a new mountain bike, shopping can be frustrating not to mention time consuming.  For a new buyer mountain bikes can come with all kinds of bells and whistles not to mention the huge price differences.  Before you start shelling out your hard earned cash here are some tips on buying a mountain bike to make the whole process a little less confusing.

Set the budget

As far as price goes you can shell out as much for a new mountain bike as you would a new car.  So it’s important to keep your budget within a reasonable range.  Determine a price you can afford and stick to it, buying locally is easier and the sales staff are far more knowledgeable than in a regular sporting goods store.

Find a style that suits

Mountain bikes are built for different terrains and riding styles, where will you be using your bike?  Are you going to hit the mountain trails or using it more locally on paved roads.  Find one that works where you want to ride it.

Comfort

Bicycle seats are notoriously uncomfortable so if you can afford it find a bike with some good suspension, your backside will thank you for it later.  However a hard tail without suspension can be lighter and faster if racing is your thing.  Full suspension gives you better control with a lot more comfort.

Research

Before you buy a bike always check the review to see what others are saying about the performance and reliability.  It will let you know how other liked the bike and whether there were any issues with durability.

Look for a good dealer

Finding a good dealer is more important than you think, local bike shops are more knowledgeable and the staff are better at steering you in the right direction.  Your bike will need tune ups and maintenance down the road so you want to find a place that can do both.

Get a good deal

Mountain bike prices change throughout the year and you’re going to pay the most for your new bike in the springtime.  If you can hang on until fall you can get a great deal on a bike for the following season.  However, the later in the year the less inventory will be on hand.  If you hang on until the fall you may get discounts too on all the gear you need to go with your bike.

Always take your bike on a test drive before buying to make a final decision, make sure it is comfortable and fits you properly.