The official blog of The Original Muck Boot Company.
If you’re new to mountain biking and you’re eager to improve, there are a few things you need to know to get on the path to becoming a better biker. While some things may seem obvious to veteran mountain bikers, for those new to this fun and exciting way to enjoy the outdoors, these tips may very well be news to the novice cyclists out there.
Learn to move on your bike when going up or down steep trails: When you're on your bike, you're part of the overall mechanism that makes it operate, and that means you have to work as well as the gears and wheels do. Practice leaning back while going downhill, as this will keep you from going over your handlebars. When you're headed into sharp turns, practice moving the weight of your body to the outside — this will balance you and your bike as you lead from one bend to another.
Wear the right mountain biking gear: Getting the right shorts, shirt, shoes, and other mountain biking gear is essential to your success on the trail. You’ll need well-fitting shorts, so be sure to pick the pair that suits your weight and height. While it isn’t often discussed, there’s no need to wear undergarments with your biking shorts — they are made to fit you like a second skin, so anything else between you and your shorts will cause chafing. Moisture wicking shirts work well for mountain biking, especially for warm days and when you’re working up a sweat. When picking out mountain biking shoes, be sure they fit well before hitting the trail — if they're too small they'll cause sores, and if they're too large they'll make going up steep inclines difficult, which could cause injury.
Using your mountain bike's brakes: When riding down a steep rock face, you may find yourself going too fast. In these instances, the last thing you want to do is slam on your brakes. Instead, pump both your brakes at once — this will help you control your speed until you reach the rate that you're comfortable with.
Hydration and fuel: The most important mountain biking gear item you’ll need is a water bottle that fits on your bike’s frame, or a cycling hydration pack, which you wear on your back. These are convenient because they’re out of the way and have a flexible straw that runs over your shoulder, making it easily accessible while riding or making a pit stop. It’s also smart to wear a waist pack where you can add granola, trail mix, or the power bar of your choice to keep you going strong throughout the trek.