Downhill Mountain Biking Trails 101 – The Need for Preparatory Work

You are able to get a decent mountain bike and you plan to hit serious downhill trails. Without a doubt, it would be fun and challenging. However, getting caught up by downhill mountain biking trails unprepared won’t bring out the best experience. So, to guide you on your way to an unforgettable biking experience, make sure to consider the following guidelines:

Keep in mind that preparation should be primed

Any excursion, whether intense or not, should be fully prepared. Take your bike to easier terrain and practice your way. Adjust first on simple terrains before going out for the rough trails. Never use an untried bike on rough biking trails and terrain. You will also have to prepare your arm and leg strength so that you can keep your mountain bike on track. To have a feel for the real thing, make sure to try single-track before riding on the real rough road.

Part of preparation is to check your bike at least twice before the main event. A routine check is always the safest and wisest strategy to make the most out of your mountain biking. Preparatory work done even just for a couple of minutes will keep you from future serious trouble. As part of your preparatory work, always have the following: helmet, riding shorts, pants and gloves.

Always keep your balance

When riding, maintain your balance by keeping the weight of your body leaned back on the bike’s seat. Make yourself comfortable. Nevertheless, if you feel like you do not have the full control of your front wheel, you may lean more forward. Do not stop to experiment until you find the angle that you think fits best.

If the biking trail is tremendously rough, do not forget to bend your limbs so that you can absorb the shock. There may be a need for suspension, but you will have to make yourself free as possible. Try to relax your body muscle but, do not try a death-grip. Remember that a stiff body will find it hard to keep control on the descent.

Go hit for the rough road

So, you are well prepared. Now, go hit the mountain trails and free yourself!

Downhill Mountain Biking Trail

5 Factors to Consider in Selecting Your Mountain Bike Helmet

There are two important things you do not want to miss: safely riding your bike and having the right accessories to ensure your safety while riding your bike. This time, we are going to focus on the mountain bike helmet so that you get to experience the best ride while not compromising your safety. With the wide variety of helmets offered to you in the market, things might get to be very confusing. Having said that, it is essential to have a clear picture of what type of helmet you need. Here’s our mountain bike helmet advice to equip you with the knowledge when selecting a helmet.

Daniel McConnell (Australia)

  • Size – There are MTB helmets that come in small, medium, or large sizes. There are also those that are one size fits all (single, adjustable size). It is important to be able to wear a helmet that is intended for your size. Use a flexible tape measure to find your size. Wrap it around the largest portion of your head (around an inch above your eyebrows). Use the helmet sizing chart with conversion below and look for the helmet size that matches your measurement.
Helmet Sizing Chart and Conversions

Helmet Sizing Chart and Conversions

Note: If you prefer a snug fit, pick a helmet one size smaller. If you prefer a loose fit, select a helmet with a bigger size. If you are unsure, always opt for the tighter size.

  • Fit – Nearly all helmets are designed to have a universal-fit sizing wheel (dial) on the back of the helmet’s internal sizing ring. You can determine if your helmet is a good fit if it is not tilted back when worn on your head. It should be snug but not uncomfortably tight. The front edge should not be more than 2 fingers above your eyebrows. This ensures your forehead is protected. If the helmet moves noticeably (more than 1 inch) when you push the helmet from back to front and side to side, readjust the sizing wheel (dial) to achieve a snug fit.

Chinstraps should also be buckled and tightened fittingly so that the helmet does not move significantly (more than 1 inch) when you try pushing up on the front edge and back edge of the helmet. The helmet should press touching your forehead as you open your mouth.

Mountain Bike Helmet

  • Weight – A helmet’s weight is usually listed in grams (i.e. 28.34g = 1 oz). Occasional cyclists do not consider weight as a big concern. However, for racers and periodic riders, they prefer lighter helmets. Lighter helmets have higher price because of the materials used.
  • Visor – Mountain bike helmets typically come with sun visors. The visors act as a sun shield. But visors also contribute to additional weight and minor wind resistance.
  • Vents – MTB helmets are designed to ventilate at low speeds. The more vents, the better the airflow around and over your head. This is practically needed when biking in hot weather and over longer distances. It makes the ride more comfortable when you keep your head cool all the way.

The mountain bike helmet advice pointed above serves as a guide on factors to consider in choosing the best helmet for you. Always prime your safety regardless of your riding style. Being careful is always worth the time and effort.

Giro Bike Helmet

Mountain Bike Guide: Choosing the Right One for You

There is no better way to go rolling on rough surfaces such as dirt roads, gravel, and trails than to ride on a mountain bike. With built-in suspension and wider, knobbed tires, mountain bikes make it easier to ride on rugged paths. The upright riding position is easier on the back compared to other bike types like utility or road bikes. Below is a mountain bike guide to help you eliminate the daunting process of choosing the bike that best fits you.

  1. Before jumping in to purchase your own mountain bike, consider thinking about what you intend to use your mountain bike for. The type of riding you will be doing will help you aim the skill set you will be targeting within a year. Instead of choosing a bike that is based on your current skill level, try to find a bike that is suitable for the riding level you believably think you will be at in a year’s time.
  2. Choose what type of mountain bike works for you. Do you prefer hardtail or suspension? Hardtails are mechanically simpler, lighter, cheaper, and challenging when dealing with difficult trails. They are great for riding on unvarying UK trail centres and tracks. Full-suspension bikes have better comfort, better handling and grip, and higher downhill speeds. They are great for rocky, steep, technical descents like the ones in Morzine or Lake Garda.
  3. Take into consideration which components such as groupsets (brakes, gears, derailleurs and other moving parts), chain-sets (crank and chainring), and wheelsize will work for you. For example, brakes can either be rim or hub based. Rim brakes are likely to be affected by rain and mud. Hub or disc brakes, on the other hand, offer stronger, accurate and more reliable braking; particularly the hydraulic brakes which run with remarkable efficiency.
  4. Book yourself to join a demo day. This way you can try as many bikes as you can. You can sign up and pay a small fee. Then, you get to test ride a few bikes on several decent trails. Not only does it give you a chance to spend a great day out, you can also ask as many questions as you want from the staff. They can also help set up the bike for you and aid you along the way.

Mountain Bike Downhill Race

One more thing, purchase the best mountain bike you can afford in a brick and mortar bike shop. If you opt to go for affordable deals online, always remember to find a bike that fits you best. It is not just about specs, frames, brakes, suspensions, or wheels. Everything still boils down to finding a bike that allows you to appreciate the outdoors, improve your health, and enjoy the ride. Remember, this is just a mountain bike guide to help you select the right bike for you.

Below is a video to help you in knowing the different types of mountain bikes and the difference between full suspension and front suspension. By knowing these, you have a good idea on what factors to look for when selecting the right mountain bike for you.