4 Helpful Tips for First-Time Mountain Bikers

4 Helpful Tips for First-Time Mountain Bikers

For first-time mountain bikers, exploring mountain biking trails can feel intimidating. Get started on the right foot with these four helpful tips for first-time mountain bikers.

1. Improve Your Endurance

Improve your endurance to maximize your speed or intensity before heading out on the trails. Mountain biking trails are not as uniform as road cycling, and you’ll need to rely on your stamina for steeper climbs and technically difficult portions.

Develop your overall fitness and endurance over a span of four to six weeks. Consistent, frequent rides are more important than the difficulty level at which you train. Go out for a ride three to four times a week, one to two hours per session for optimal performance improvement.

2. Add Interval Training

After establishing your fitness baseline over four to six weeks, take a one-week recovery break. Then, continue to prepare for the trails with interval training, where you can apply different exertion levels throughout your workouts.

On one or two outings a week, sprinkle bursts of intense effort into your rides. Different interval training techniques suggest various methods, but no matter the specific timeframes of your preferred method, you will spend most of each outing riding at a comfortable level with short periods of intense activity.

3. Learn Useful Techniques

Another helpful tip for your first mountain biking trip is to master useful techniques like cornering, riding over small obstacles, and lifting your front wheel over larger obstacles. You should also know basic techniques such as proper positioning while riding through technical and non-technical sections, adjusting your seat position, picking your path, and braking.

4. Prepare To Walk the Bike and Take Breaks

Mountain trails are seldom completely bikeable. No matter how well you master various mountain biking techniques, you will likely come across sections where you need to hike the bike.

One essential tip for planning an off-road biking trip is to give your schedule some cushion to account for rest days and unexpected delays. Try to set realistic trip length expectations based on your destination, trail level, skill level, bike style, and trail conditions.

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