Tour de France and Olympic successes might have given road biking a new life lease; however that is definitely not all the joy that one can experience on two wheels. Actually, while road cycling can be great for setting world record times and even trying to break them, mountain biking is more than just having a blast and going out. And, though there may actually be scope for time trials and races, the main objective for most mountain bikers is simply to go outside, and get the heart racing.
So, what does it really take to begin mountain biking, and how can an interested outsider or eager amateur get involved? Here is a comprehensive beginner’s guide to mountain biking.
Obviously, the first thing you should familiarize yourself with is the bike itself. First it’s important to note that mountain bikes look much more sturdy and solid compared to the road racing bikes. They come with wide tires, which don’t slip easily off rocks, and very a solid frame that’s capable of handling high variations in terrain. Their setup also includes stronger handlebars than those of road bikes to improve handling and control in any terrain. On the other hand, they are generally smaller compared to road bikes and this makes it quite easier to control them.
Also, lower range gears make it quite easier to climb very steep hills, while heavy duty hydraulic-disk brakes enable a rider to come to an instant stop, should they face difficulty.
Given the nature of this type of biking, wearing a helmet every time should not come as a surprise. Beginners or those who are no ready to push themselves very hard can make use of the common cycling helmets. They will offer suitable protection against falls or crashes, at the same time offering the ventilation that required to prevent riders’ heads from turning into saunas.
Aside from helmets, beginners will need to have other peripherals that mountain bikers depend on, based on their preferences. Some wear gloves and body armors in order to protect themselves against falls, while others bring a rudimentary first aid kit along. Elsewhere, hand-held tire pumps and water bottles for sustenance are incredibly useful, cheap to buy, and easy to pack.
With already sorted equipment, it is time to hit the road. However, it is not quite very straight forward as beginners may assume. Mountain biking comes with an array of variations – meaning there is plenty to choose – and every rider should find the most enjoyable one.
The most common is cross-country mountain biking which is the sport in its most free-flowing and loosest iteration. It basically involves riding around trails (often in a loop), adrenaline fuelled descents and muscle shredding climbs. This is the most ideal mountain biking form for beginners as it lays the best foundation that’s highly beneficial o them.
Another amazing variation is enduro, which is largely the similar to cross-country biking, but this one takes place on a huge loop, which can take riders up to a complete day of biking. While, this isn’t very ideal for a mountain biking beginner, it may be an ideal challenge to strive towards.