1. Find the right bike
As Mountain biking is an individual sport, your best teammate is your bike. During a mountain biking trail, you can face a lot of obstacles and difficulties that demand a full control of your bike. Therefore, you cannot have a mountain bike too big or too small because it will be hard for you to control it. That’s why before purchasing for a mountain bike, you should ask for the help of some bike experts, and choose a mountain bike that fits perfectly with you.
2. Check your bike
Before starting any ride on a mountain trail, you have to check your bike for any mechanical problem it might have. If you do not know how to do a proper checking of your bike, you can take it to a mechanic shop. Basic bike maintenance before going on a mountain ride can avoid further troubles on the route. This procedure is so much better than having a mechanical problem on a far away trail, or even worse, having an accident that can injure you. So, take a good look of your bike, listen to any strange noise, and repair it in advance.
When you are doing mountain biking a common error is to look at the obstacles, rocks, trees, roots, etc, and forget to focus on the path you want to follow. This is what some experts have defined as “Target fixation”. This happens when your eyes focus on an obstacle and you end up riding your bike straight into it. The best advice to avoid this phenomenon is to find your line and look 10 to 15 feet ahead on the trail. In this way, your ride will be smoother and safer, and you will find easier to avoid obstacles.
It does not matter if you have a rigid mountain bike or a full suspension one, your arms and legs will always be your best suspension. In order to make them the best suspension you need, you have to be relaxed. So you should stand up and let your limbs to take in all the bumps and ruts on the route. When you assimilate these movements, and allow your bike to move beneath you, floating over the obstacles will be easier for you. In the same way, you should also be careful of holding very tightly on the handlebars. You can hang on them firmly, but your forearms and hands cannot fatigue because it will be difficult for you to have control.
5. Make a good use of your brakes
When you need to put on your brakes, you must think carefully how to use them, and how much or how little you squeeze them. Therefore, you should know that more weight on a tire means it has more braking power. If you are going downhill, the front wheel of your bike will bear more weight than the rear wheel. That’s why it is better for you to put on the front brake, this will help you to be in control without going into a skid. However, you should not squeeze it too hard, since you can toss yourself over the handlebars. Likewise, you can put on the rear brake when descending, but you should take some of your weight back over the rear wheel, so you can increase the power of the rear braking too. By doing this, you balance the power of both brakes, and you will have maximum control of your bike.
6. Ride with riders that challenge you
Although mountain biking is an individual sport, it is so much better if you find a good cycling community to ride with. And it will be even better if this community have people with more mountain biking experience than you. This kind of people will push and challenge you to go much further than your own expectations. In addition, you can learn many skills and tricks from them, not only about how to handle rough trails, but also how to fix a flat tire or other mechanical issues when you are far away.