Sunday, 15 June 2014 00:00

Three Tips for Better Mountain Bike Skills

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One of the best ways to improve your mountain bike skills is by getting off the bike. 

Think about that one log or rock on the trail you ride most regularly. The first time you came up to it you had to walk it.

A few rides later you slowly approached the obstacle and got your front wheel over it, but had to dab.Then one day you rode right up to it, popped your front wheel over, and without missing a beat, got the rear wheel over and kept riding like it was no big deal.

Successfully clearing a rock or a log in the trail is just the beginning. What’s next is getting better at picking lines through technical sections, and being able to ride cleanly through every time.

Here are a few tips to try when you come to a section of trail that you find challenging:

1.)  Set your bike aside and use your eyes. If it’s a steep downhill look at it from the top and the bottom. Is it a stream crossing? Wet feet are a small price to pay for knowing where you’re about to put your front wheel.

2.)  Walk the section with your bike. No, really. It sounds silly but rolling your bike through a tough section will help you find the best line. You’ll want to be rolling your bike on the path of least resistance, right? This very well could be the best line. Think about it. Take note of any places your front wheel could wash out or get stuck in a rut.

3.)  Ride the line you’ve chosen over and over again until you can ride it clean.

Mountain biking is as much about bike handling skills as it is fitness. Fitness improves the more your train. Skills improve the more you practice. Take a little time this week and master that section of trail that’s been your own personal dab fest. The next time you rip that section your feet will stay on the pedals and you’ll wonder why you ever had to think twice.

Read 1081 times Last modified on Tuesday, 17 June 2014 07:50
Cecilia Potts

Junior Cross Country Mountain Bike World Champion in 1997. Race pro mountain and road from 1998 to 2000. Past winner of the Iceman Cometh Race. Now a recreational rider enjoying the ride.

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