When you buy a mountain bike, you need to consider a number of things. First you need to decide on the type of the mountain bike. This varies according to the terrain and the style of your mountain biking.
Cross country mountain bikes are lightweight and are good for moderate outdoor use. Hardtail mountain bikes have a rear seat post which has no suspension. Full suspension mountain bikes have both front and back suspension. These are ideal for riding in very bumpy trails.
Downhill mountain bikes are meant for long slopes and have heavy duty brakes. Freeride mountain bikes are all-purpose version of a mountain bike. This bike is very versatile. The next thing you need to consider is the bike frame.
The strength, weight and durability of a mountain bike depends on it’s frame material. In the past, these bikes were made of steel. Aluminum alloy bike frames are used for mid-ranged bikes. Titanium frame carbon fiber frame are used in top-of-the-line bikes. You also need to select the size and price range of your mountain bike.
A mountain bike has a number of features. Here are the features that make a perfect mountain bike.
Mountain bikes have both rim brakes and disc brakes. Disc brakes give a stronger stopping force, but they are also expensive.
Suspension is found in both the front and back side of a mountain bike, or only the front side or only the back side. Better suspension system is required for riding trails that are bumpy.
The width, spokes and other features of the wheel varies and depends on your riding style. You should also consider your comfortableness in choosing the type of wheel for your mountain bike.
The shifting system
This determines how gears are changed during riding. Different types of shifting systems are available. You can choose from paddle shifters, trigger shifters, thumb shifters and twist shifters.
There are different types of seats. You need to check each type of seat to find out which one is comfortable for your long and bumpy rides.
These are the main features of a mountain bike. You choice should be based on your preference and your riding style.
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Mountain biking allows you to freely explore the natural terrain. It requires more technical skill than normal biking. Concentrate on your weakness and try to develop it. You should practice it more.
A good bike park is a good place to practice. As you progress, you can choose different levels of terrain. Here are some tips on how to become a mountain bike pro.
#1 Relax your body and mind
If you have a tensed body then it will magnify all the bumps on the trail. So, you should relax your whole body.
#2 Use your arms and legs as suspensions
Your arms and legs should be bent all the time. They should move up and down to absorb the bumps. You should loosen your handlebar grip to avoid muscle fatigue.
#3 Make your bike and body move separately
Your body should be open except your hand and feet. The body should be away from your bike so that it can float or lean when the trail gets tough, like in tight corners.
#4 Let your body show you the way
Let your knee show the way where you want to go. Your hips and body will follow automatically.
#5 Apply brakes before obstacles, not when you are over them
You should focus on your speed and momentum. Your speed makes the bike more stable and the momentum iron outs the bumps. Before you reach an obstacle, try to evaluate it.
Practice these skills as many times as you can. Try it on simple trails and then slowly move up to rough trails. Attending in different competitions can also improve your riding skills. Never give up!
There is something exhilarating about grabbing your mountain bike and hitting the trail. It’s no wonder that in recent years there has been a great demand for training secrets for mountain bike racers. Whenever any mountain bike racer wants to enhance performance, there are certain key areas that one has consider when designing a training regimen. In this column, 5 training secrets for mountain bike racers are presented.
Base your Training Days on the Actual Race Time
While it might seem like an obvious practice to design your training based on the distance of the race, it’s not uncommon to find riders training too short or too long for goal events. If you are aiming to race in an event that will take 6 hours, you need to train by riding several long rides each day. If you are going to take part in a race that is 3 hours long, you need to train for at least 3 hours of riding in order to build better endurance for the race. Shorter rides always need you to maintain high levels of intensity.
Design Your Training on the Basis of Course Profile
If your race is going to have short, steep inclines followed by some technical downhill sections, you need to focus on training that will help build the capacity to put out a powerful effort that’s above the lactate threshold. The high effort should be followed by the capacity to handle the steep decent while maintaining high intensity levels. In other words, don’t assume that the downhill sections of the course will be used for recovery.
Use a Road Bike when Training for Endurance
One of the worst mistakes you can do when training for mountain bike races is to do all training on a mountain bike on technical courses. Doing this only limits your capacity to ride at threshold pace, which means that you will not be able to keep up with the rest of the group in case you are going to be required to compete in a group road race on a road race.
Focus your Training on Going All-Out
If you are going to compete in a race with a mass start in an open area that later narrows to a single track, you need to train on building your capacity to ride all-out for about 30 to 90 seconds. By including these kinds of efforts and tactics in your training you will have a great advantage over the other riders and it will pay off big time come the race day.
In any competition you have to be smart in order to outsmart your competitors. When it comes to mountain bike racing, evaluating the obstacle costs versus the potential return is absolutely important. If you are aiming to reach the finish line within the shortest time possible, it pays to evaluate the obstacles based on the cost. This means that you might be an awesome technical rider, but if you spend too much energy riding each technical section in a six-hour race, it might be better walking in some of the sections. This can help you save more energy for a strong finish.
Performing well in a mountain bike stage race is as much about preparation and logistics as fitness. Each time you participate in a mountain bike stage race, you discover something new and acquire valuable experience that makes you a better rider in your next race. If you are new to mountain bike stage racing, you might experience a hard time completing the event, let alone completing among the top positions. It is for this reason that you need to be armed with some vital tips and strategies for completing the race, and here are some useful ones you need to know before competing in a multi-stage race against more experienced riders.
Register Early for the Event
Nowadays, the process of registering for most mountain bike stage races is fast becoming a competition in itself. Some of the most experienced riders will tell you that signing up early for the completion is one of the most important aspects of preparing for the race. It helps you to stay focused on the task ahead and affords you ample time to sort other aspects of the preparation process and requirements.
Know what you will expect
Consult with other people who have participated in the race in the past. You can also look online to find out what people took part in the race and try as much as possible to base your equipment choices on what other more experienced riders used. For example, if the course is expected to be super rocky and each stage is going to be super tough, ensuring that your bike has full-heavy duty suspension will surely come in handy.
Focus on Improving your Fitness
Most experienced and successful riders will often inform you that they try to ride as much as they can in the build up to the actual race. Ideally, you should ride at least five days a week for a couple of months before the race. You should also hit the gym at least twice per week to build your endurance. You don’t want to come out of the race with destroyed arms because the course was too rocky or bumpy.
Get a Team of Helpers
If you can convince some of your friends and family members to accompany you as helpers during the event, they will undoubtedly prove to be worth it big time. Try to find people who won’t mind looking after the timings and getting their hands dirty cleaning bikes and handling repairs. If you can manage to gather a couple of helping hands, they can take turns sleeping and help you keep going once you start getting tired.
Setting Up your Base
You will have to set up a sheltered place that is comfortable enough for your whole team to rest and hangout, as well as sort your kit and equipment. The shelter should also be large enough that you can stand up, so a big tent with adequate head clearance or a kind of gazebo will do the job. You also need to ensure that there are enough seats for everyone. Additionally, try to make sure that you arrive early so that you can get a spot that is not too far from the start or finish area. However, it should not be too close that you will constantly be disturbed by noisy loudspeakers and public address systems.
Kit and Clothing
Ensure you carry the right clothing for the event. Try to pack a pair of shorts for each lap and if conditions get really bad, you may need to change your entire kit. This could mean that you may need up to 10 lots of kits, so try to dig out even your old stuff. Additionally, try to organize your kit in such a way that it is all laid out and ready for changing whenever it’s necessary. You want to have your next lap kit clean and dry so that its ready to wear as soon as you complete the previous stage.
For the night, you will need several items to stay comfortable. These include:
- A decent base layer
- Arm warmers
- Knee warmers
- A sleeping bag
For the day you will need:
- The right riding shoes
- Several pairs of shorts
- Several jerseys
- A helmet
- A stop watch