If you have been riding in a group before and been dropped from them, then you have experienced the feeling that you want to climb better, faster and descend quicker in a clear movement on every obstacle that comes in your path. While only great fitness, endless bailouts and riding into the bushes does give you the merit of a good rider, you need to hone your basic mountain biking skills if you are aspiring to become better at this.
When braking, you will need to use your head a lot, which is very important when you make your descent. This skill is not used as a stopping block. It means that you will be using brakes at your judgment on how little or how much you want to squeeze into the levers of the brakes.
The more weight that the tires have, the more power your brake needs. When you go downhill, the front wheel has more weight compared to the rear wheel. Braking on the front wheel will aid you in keeping control without skidding. But braking all the time is not good. You have to be careful that you don’t overdo it as you might toss yourself accidentally in the air or over the handlebars. There are brakes on the rear wheel so don’t ignore its use. When you descend, you need to shift your weight back to the rear wheel. This will increase the breaking power at the rear wheel. Doing both front and rear brakes will balance its power, giving you total control.
When going uphill
Shifting to a lower gear – before you shift, make sure you ease up on the pedaling to decrease the pressure placed on the chain. The gear that you’ll wear must match with the steepness and terrain of every climb on the trail.
Staying seated – you can stand out in the saddle as this will help you when you do your climbing up on steep hills using the road bike. However, when you go for mountain biking, standing will cause the rear tire to lose its grip and will spin out. Climbing needs traction, especially when you are running on loose terrain. You need to stay seated as long as you are able.
Lean forward – every steep hill you make, the bike’s front end may feel like there’s no weight and it may pop up out of the blue. To prevent this, slide forward with weight on the saddle and then lean forward over the bike’s handlebars. This will give more weight at the front wheel and will help you keep grounded.
Keep pedaling – when you climb on rocky terrain, this means that it requires putting more pressure and will not let you up on the pedals. The harder it will work for you if you go slower on the rough trail sections.
These are just the surface of the skills you need to practice on when mountain biking. You need to be consistent with your practice so you can achieve greater performance.