Mountain Biking Basics

During the Covid-19 outbreak, the cycling industry has had to deal with an unprecedented demand for all kinds of different bikes - with customers getting into cycling for the first time, or rediscovering their love for cycling due to the increased free time they have during social distancing restrictions. 

At Westbrook, we have been supplying a massive range of beginner and intermediate level mountain bikes - which have been going to customers looking to get out more on a mountain bike. The vast majority of these bikes are hardtail mountain bikes, and we thought - to accompany the high levels of interest we would create a post covering some of the basics of mountain biking, alongside some hints and tips to help you make the most of our new mountain bike. 

Do not break too hard

This is one of the most important things to remember for those new to mountain biking, or mountain biking on a bike with disc brakes for the first time. Mountain bike brakes, especially disc brakes are very powerful - and if you jam the brakes on - you are asking for an almost immediate stop. Instead, try to use one or two fingers on your brake levers - which should give you the right amount of braking pressure. 

Cycle through the Gears

Mountain Biking terrain, by its very nature is hilly - so make sure to use the full range of gears available on your mountain bike. Try and look at what terrain lays ahead, changing gear before you get to the point where you need to. Pre-empting this will help you ride quicker, as well as help protect the gears on your bike from premature wear and strain. 

Adapt your Suspension

Suspension is a truly wonderful invention, and on mountain bikes - especially full suspension bikes, suspension transforms a bike into a downhill machine - soaking up lumps and bumps with ease. Suspension however, is only as good as how it’s set up. Once you have your bike, spend a bit of time learning about the suspension and how it’s set up - including how to set the sag of the mountain bike, which is how much travel you need and use when you are just sitting on the bike. 

Look Ahead

One of the biggest challenges facing anybody new to the world of mountain biking - is ensuring that you have enough discipline to remain looking ahead of you. It’s really easy to just look at, and concentrate on - what is directly in front of the wheel - and what you are about to hit/ride over. 

Mountain Bike Padded Shorts

Anyone who has cycled before will know that the comfort of their rear end can be brought under some pressure when out bike riding - especially during long mountain bike trips, where unforgiving seats and rough terrain can really cause discomfort. Padded Mountain Bike Shorts are the perfect way to keep comfortable. 

Remain Loose

If you are tense on a mountain bike, you are not going to enjoy the ride as much - and most importantly, you are not going to ride as well. Remember that the bike has been specifically designed to roll over harsh terrain - so keep your arms in a pushup position, and your legs in a cowboy position (think horse riding) to allow the bike to do the work underneath you. 

Remember Speed is your friend

Although it may seem that the faster you ride, the more risk you have of injury and falling off - the opposite is true in many circumstances. Carrying speed when riding means that you are able to roll over obstacles with ease, whereas if you were hitting these obstacles slowly - you may struggle to get over them. 

Mountain Bikes Online

At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply an excellent range of hardtail mountain bikes which are absolutely perfect beginner mountain bikers. You can view the full range across our site, and if you have any questions about the right bike for your requirements, you can just get in touch and we will be more than happy to help.