While mountain biking is a great joy, it carries a lot of potential danger with it Whether the rider is going up or down the mountain, improper form and faulty technique can result in serious injuries. Because of this, it’s of vital importance for prospective mountain bikers to learn about mountain bike braking and climbing hills technique.
There will be some readers that are well versed in this topic, but there will be certainly many more who know very little about it. This article will help to educate such readers by providing crucial information that they need to stay safe while riding. It will also answer certain questions that are relevant to the subject. These questions include: What are some basic things that riders should do before setting out? What are some specific braking techniques that every writer should know? And, what are some core skills that should be learned to master climbing? Let’s answer these questions.
Mountain Bike Braking and Climbing Hills Tips
WHAT ARE SOME BASIC THINGS THAT RIDERS SHOULD DO BEFORE SETTING OFF
The first concern for every rider setting out for a pleasant trip should be getting back home in one piece. In order to do this, mountain bikers should form the habit of doing thorough safety checks on the bike before every trip. Some things that should be checked include:
Tire air pressure can be checked either with a hand-held gauge, or by floor style pumps that have built-in gauges. For best performance and safety, the majority of mountain bike tires need to be inflated to between 25 – 45 pounds per square inch. In cold or sandy conditions, the low end of this range should be the goal. This is because slightly lower pressure will improve grip, feel, and absorption of bumps.
Each individual break should be checked individually by squeezing the lever. At the same time, riders should make certain that all tire fastenings are properly tightened.
Mountain biking involves off-road action, and this can dirty the chain very quickly. Because of this, riders should make sure that the chain is as clean as possible before every trip. Dry lubes such as Teflon or light oil can be used in dry times, while in wet conditions moisture resistant lubrication should be selected. When oil based lubricants are in use, a dry cloth should be use to remove excess grease.
WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC BRAKING TECHNIQUES THAT EVERY RIDER SHOULD KNOW?
While going fast can often be thrilling, it’s critically important be able to stop when necessary. Having good brakes isn’t enough: Knowing how to use these bricks properly is what will save the day. The following braking techniques will enable even beginning riders to stay safe while out on the open trail.
The first and most important mountain bike braking skill to develop is the skill of observation. Riders that can spot a possible hazard very early will know when they need to brake. This provides extra time, and allows riders to slow down gently rather than having to slam on the brakes. It is also key to brake with the index fingers only, and use the other fingers to maintain control of the bike.
Another thing that needs to be taken into account is the kind of surface that the bike is on loose surfaces, riders would be wise to exercise a little bit more control. The brakes should be applied gently at first, and then with increasing force to prevent unwanted skids. This kind of progressive breaking is very valuable, but bikers should exercise care when using it on changing surfaces. A good rule of thumb is to always brake on the firm surface before rolling onto the loose one.
WHAT ARE SOME CORE SKILLS THAT SHOULD BE LEARNED FOR CLIMBING?
Since much of a mountain bikers’ time will be spent climbing, it will pay dividends to have some solid skills when it comes time to do so. It may seem like a difficult task at first, but riders that apply the following skills will have little trouble conquering seemingly unconquerable hills.
ALWAYS HAVE ENOUGH MOMENTUM
Before beginning the climb, be sure to have enough momentum to get a decent start up the first few yards of the climb.
USE THE EYES PROPERLY
Riders should make sure to look well ahead in order to identify any possible challenge or difficulties. There may be times when vision will have to be focused closer to the wheel, but it should be directed forward once again as soon as possible. This is because that the wheels will follow the eyes, and thus bikers need to make sure to control where they are looking.
SHIFT GEARS IN ADVANCE
The next necessary climbing gear should be selected before it is needed, not after. The selected gear should allow bikers to pedal at a higher pace than previously, and provide enough power to overcome tough sections. It will also make chain damage or a loss of momentum less likely.
USE A RELAXED GRIP
Mountain bikers that grip the handlebar more tightly than necessary will probably have trouble steering. In order to keep optimal control, riders should make sure the hands are as relaxed as possible. The elbows should be bent to help keep body weight over the handle bars.
Many tough climbs require not only strength, but also endurance. In recognition of this, bikers should always make sure to pedal at a rhythm that is sustainable, and use maximum effort only in the most difficult situations. On the steepest sections, the chin should be dropped towards the handlebars to improve traction.
Mountain biking is fun, but it can be dangerous. Prospective bikers that apply the tips in this article will be giving themselves an excellent chance of enjoying their next ride, and making it home safe and sound afterwards.