Going out with your two-wheel mountain bike is an excellent way to stay in shape and enjoy the fresh air. If you intend to experience some legitimate challenges and thrill, then put mountain biking on your list.
Mountain biking can be very fun and enjoyable, yet also nerve-wracking and frightening when going out for the first time. That’s why you should study up a bit before you head off and give yourself the advantage of a bit of knowledge before starting.
There is a lot to learn for the first time mountain biking. We constructed this article with 5 important things you should know before mountain biking.
1. Choose your bike wisely.
If you ask experienced mountain bikers, you will find that most of them were unsure about what type of bike they should buy when they first started the sport.
So, it is normal for some confusion about this matter. We can give you some suggestions on what type of bike to choose.
You can choose a trail bike when you first start. Trail bikes are strong bikes and also easy to ride. However, the ease of riding is not the only advantage; it will give you stable riding on every terrain and can be used for various riding styles.
Most importantly, you can transfer a trail bike into a hardtail and full suspension with just a few adjustments. This feature allows you to change your riding style according to your preferences.
Besides trail bikes, there are also other options you can try. There are cross-country, downhill, and all-mountain bikes.
The cross-country is perfect for going uphill and all-day riding. It can also be used for racing.
The downhill bikes are suitable for riding on flat trails through the woods or on lift-assisted rides at repurposed ski trails.
The all-mountain bike is ideal for steeper trails and descending rides, and the bike gives the rider a bit more suspension than a trail bike.
2. Consider your overall budget.
Before starting a new sport of any kind, consider your budget before purchasing equipment. As with any other sport, bikes and equipment have varying qualities and therefore pricing.
There are bikes for personal or professional racing use, and the prices will vary accordingly. A decent bike can cost anywhere from $400 to $800. If you get into a high-end bike, you could expect to pay thousands.
While the bike itself might give you sticker shock, there is additional gear to consider too. You will need a quality helmet, riding gloves, and knee pads. Smaller items like a water bottle that straps on your bike, safety goggles, and a GPS will bump up the cost too.
Any reputable bike shop will allow you to try out a bike in their parking lot. They should also be able to give you expert advice on where to start according to your experience level and the type of terrain you will be riding in. All of that will help, but make sure you do your research, too, and see what the experts say.
3. Position the saddle higher.
With mountain bikes, the seat is kept at a higher position than with other types of bikes. This decreases the power that is needed for the pedal to work smoothly. Having a higher seat increases the overall effectiveness of pedal power. It also improves overall efficiency.
Having the seat high allows the rider to extend their legs fully, which helps strengthen the muscles needed in biking.
The increased seat height will keep your knees aligned with the pedals and ease the strain on your legs. The height also provides you more control when navigating twists and turns on a trail.
When adjusting the seat height on a mountain bike, the seat should be high enough that you can reach the last point of rotation with your toe. The seat height should also be at a similar angle to the pedal when your leg is stretched at the highest limit.
4. Select the suspension range that’s right for you.
The two central suspension units on a mountain bike are the fork and a shock. The fork mounts to the frame’s head tubes and holds the front wheel. The shock is incorporated into the frame and governs the movement of the rear wheel over bumps.
When selecting the suspension that will be right for you and your riding style, research the areas you will be doing most of your riding on. This will help you choose a bike that has the right combination of suspension so that you can make the most of your time on the trails.
5. Invest in quality safety equipment.
You will encounter various hazards that you might not when riding on a designated bike path when mountain biking. You will be going through rough terrain with brush, branches, roots, and rocks. Clothing that offers padding and coverage for your arms and legs is preferable, but safety equipment is also crucial.
Make sure you have the proper helmet. Mountain bike helmets tend to offer more protection than a road bike helmet does. You’ll want a helmet that has vents to help keep you cool and one that has protection for the lower back of your head.
Goggles will protect your eyes from dirt, dust, and insects that will cross your path. You don’t want to be blinded by a branch when you are flat out riding down a hill, and a good set of goggles or safety sunglasses will prevent that from happening.
Knee pads are also a must to keep you on the trail. Both soft and hard shell knee pads will suit the purpose. Elbow pads and gloves will also help to keep you from injury. It might seem like they are unnecessary items until you fall for the first time. The point of protective gear is to keep you from injury and in the game.
Mountain biking is an exhilarating and fun sport. It is a healthy exercise and gets you out in nature. Many enthusiasts enjoy the community that a shared sport brings.
As stated before, start with some research before you take the plunge, decide where you will ride most often, choose the correct type of bike, and don’t skimp on the safety equipment. This is a sport that you could enjoy for a lifetime!
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