You might already be cycling as part of your regular fitness routine, or perhaps you’ve been considering picking up a mountain bike and exploring the trails. Either way, riding a mountain bike has many benefits and is fun. However, mountain biking offers a unique set of benefits.
Cycling offers a number of health benefits, including physical benefits and mental benefits. When compared to regular cycling, mountain biking provides a more intense workout due to the uneven terrain.
Balancing the bike on uneven terrain requires more bike handling skills. This helps exercise your core and abdominal muscles. As you ride uphill, your upper body muscles also get a workout.
It is possible to experience the diverse landscapes of your area by mountain biking. Whether you tackle valleys and ridges or trek through heritage-listed rainforests, no two trails are the same. It is a great way to meet new people with similar interests.
If you are looking to take up mountain biking for the first time, here are some tips on how to get started so you will be hitting the trails in no time.
Choosing Your Mountain Bike
A beginner doesn’t need a bike with high-end components. Having said that, you don’t want a cheap low-quality bike that won’t hold up once you move from beginner to intermediate to advanced status.
Low-quality components will make the bike heavy and make shifting difficult. There are also three main kinds of mountain bike to consider, including:
These are bikes without forks or rear suspension. Experienced riders will use these models because they can get a more true, predictable sense of steering and enable them to hit lines they couldn’t before.
Beginners should avoid these though because the ride will be extremely rough. You will end up sore and sorry and there is a higher chance you will quit and hate mountain biking.
Full-suspension bikes have suspension in both the front and rear, increasing comfort and allowing you to ride on more technical terrain.
When you ride a full-suspension mountain bike, you will be protected from most of the jarring bumps that would otherwise send you tumbling (and in some cases, knock you off your bike). The benefit of this is that you’ll be able to ride faster, longer, and more comfortably if you’re less fatigued.
This is an ideal option, but these options are also the most expensive and might be best suited for your second bike once you have some experience under your belt and you are committed to the sport.
A bike without rear suspension shocks, but with suspension shocks on the front fork. These bikes are more affordable and better suited to entry-level riders.
They are also lighter than full-suspension models which are also advised for those new to mountain biking. A hardtail bike also has better handling than a full suspension bike.
Build a Base Level Of Fitness
Developing a base level of fitness and endurance is essential before working on speed or intensity. This increases the body’s capacity to handle higher-intensity exercises.
Start slow and build up your intensity and speed over a period of four to six weeks, especially if you’re coming off the couch. Take a ride for one to two hours three or four times a week.
Let The Mountain Bike Do Its Job
Rolling over technical terrain is your bike’s job. The beginner’s job is to let the bike do the work. You need to remain loose so that the mountain biking can move underneath you.
When riding over obstacles such as roots and rocks, keep your butt off the saddle. As the terrain becomes more technical, your bike will need more room to maneuver.
Extend your arms like you would when doing push-ups and bow your legs outwards like you were riding a horse when heading downhill over rough terrain. This is the best way to keep your body loose and to let the bike do its job.