Mountain Biking Basics - How to Ride MTB

Unlike road biking, the joy of riding a mountain bike doesn't solely rely on pure physical strength to pursue speed; it requires more skills and strategies. To ride MTB fast and well, it requires not only excellent fitness but also the ability to adjust your body's center of gravity to ensure stability and speed. The body's center of gravity plays a crucial role in mountain bike riding, enabling your tires to grip the ground more stably and propel you forward quickly. Below are some MTB riding center of gravity adjustment techniques shared by Bounce, allowing you to adeptly handle various terrain conditions.

1.Basic Fundamentals - Riding Positions

The basics start with the "Neutral Position" and the "Attack Position". These two positions are considered the cornerstone of mountain bike riding, and mastering them is essential before progressing further.

The neutral position involves pedaling while seated, with the center of gravity placed in the middle. Apply an even force to the pedals, keeping the knees and elbows slightly bent to maintain efficient rotation. The neutral position is effective for tackling steep uphills, ensuring optimal rear wheel traction. However, it may slightly affect directional control. Therefore, it is recommended to sit at the front of the saddle, shifting some weight forward to control direction. When facing rapidly changing terrains, maintaining some suspension between the hips and the saddle can better handle various road conditions.

The attack position primarily involves standing while riding, with slightly bent knees and elbows acting as human shock absorbers. Adjust muscle groups as needed to maintain balance and lower chest height, while remembering to keep your head up for surrounding visibility. This posture shifts most of the body's weight onto the legs, with minimal weight on the hands. Such a riding position allows for free body movement while maintaining a stable balance and keeping vehicle control at a steady level. The attack position is particularly suitable for high-speed riding or rough and uneven terrain. By standing on the pedals with weight centered on the feet, the body can quickly respond to different terrain demands, making it more adaptable than sitting on the saddle and better equipped to handle various conditions.

Attack Position
Achieving higher stability through slight joint bends and shifting the center of gravity backward (Source: Bike Notes)

2.Cornering Techniques

When cornering, our instinct may be to turn the handlebars to control the bike. However, with mountain biking, the primary method is to lean the entire bike sideways for control. By maintaining an upright upper body posture, moderately applying weight to the handlebars can increase tire traction. During cornering, the inner arm should be straight, while the outer arm should remain slightly bent. Keep the elbows at a higher position as you enter the turn, and remember to engage your entire body, not just turning your head. Additionally, it's important to use your feet appropriately to press the bike while cornering. Mountain bikes have a smaller BB Drop than road bikes, so hitting the ground is less likely. Another trick is to press the bike while keeping your body upright, ensuring that the body's sway is less than the bike's lean angle. This way, even if traction is lost, the body's center of gravity can still maintain a considerable degree of balance, providing a chance for recovery.

Cornering Techniques
Focusing on the direction in the image, straighten the inner arm, bend and raise the outer elbow, coordinating the entire bike for smoother cornering (Source: Shimano)

3.Route Selection

A common term in mountain biking - "line choice" refers to selecting the path to ride. It's especially crucial in complex or steep terrain where mastering line choice techniques can make riding hassle-free. For seasoned riders, choosing a line is almost an instantaneous decision upon seeing the trail, heavily relying on experience, and carrying some level of risk. For beginners, the author recommends dismounting to observe the terrain carefully, walking around to assess it, and then determining the best riding approach.

Line Choice
Choosing a route that you are confident about will be safer; when necessary, it's advisable to explore the terrain on foot first.

The author recommends that when practicing the above basic skills, patience is key, and progression should be gradual. Along the way, there may be instances of poor execution or even crashes, but these are integral parts of mountain biking and contribute to understanding how to control the bike and master techniques. Once the fundamental movements and skills are acquired, one can then advance their riding skills and learn how to navigate around hazards. Additionally, the Bike Tie 4 Pro Max with its flexible dual straps ensures compatibility with various bike models, be it long or short handlebars, folding bikes, mountain bikes, off-road bikes, gravel bikes, or road bikes, providing stability on all terrains. Only then can one truly enjoy the thrill of riding while ensuring safety.

Bike Tie 4 Pro Max
Disperse Riding Vibration and Protect Mobile Phone Bike Tie 4 Pro Max
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