Mountain biking is a tough and rewarding sport. If you’re interested in trying mountain biking don’t shy away! Use the tips below to ensure you avoid some common mountain bike mistakes that could either lead to unsafe or embarrassing first experiences.
1. RIDING THROUGH WATER
It’s exhilarating to feel the splash of cool water on your skin as you ride through a mountain stream. But while you’re enjoying that refreshing spray of water, rust and corrosion are already working its unfortunate magic on your bike and bearings. Uh oh. Not only will this cost you money, but your chains could snap during a lofty climb. Instead of riding through water sources, take the time to pause and carry your bike across. Otherwise, be careful and slow down so the water doesn’t splash up into your bike’s components. Your bike and wallet will thank you. On the flipside, water is your friend, but only after you’re done riding for the day. Be sure to thoroughly clean your bike of dust and dirt, and give your chain a solid wipe down. Watch Global Mountain Bike Network’s video below on how to clean your bike properly.
2. STAYING IN THE SADDLE
Yes, your mountain bike is equipped with a seat, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it at all times. In fact, you’re much more effective on a mountain bike if you don’t sit down. For one thing, your legs act as built-in shock absorbers – and believe me, there’s a lot to absorb, especially with more technical sections that have you bumping and vibrating every step of the way. But another benefit is that you’ll be able to shift your weight more easily, which will make you faster and more agile during your ride. Make this a habit early on to protect your spine from a world of pain down the road (or trail).