Mountain biking fitness

The best mountain bikes in the world are useless if you don’t know how to ride a bike properly. Decent levels of fitness and a reasonable skill level are really needed to ensure you get the most pleasure, enjoyment and benefit out of your mountain bike riding. Fitness is one of those things that once you attain it is easier to keep than to attain in the first place. By that I mean it is quite a undertaking if you classify yourself as unfit, but as with most if not all sports, you will certainly gain more and be more likely to keep the sport up if you have good basic fitness. Cycling itself is a good way to start getting fit, either using an exercise bike in your spare room or garage, or by getting out for short regular local rides. Another good way to get to a decent level of all round fitness is to swim. It is low impact exercise, and most people live within a few miles of a large enough pool to get in to the habit of regular swimming. With the swimming and cycling combined, you will before long reach a level of fitness that is more than enough to really help you get the most of your mountain biking adventures.Best Mountain Bikes excercise cartoon

When doing some serious off roading, upper body strengh can also play a part in your ability to control the bike through tricky terrain and navigate large rocks, logs and other objects that may be blocking your way. To build good upper body strengh I can’t recommend one particular technique more highly. Use a pull up bar, and get into a regular routine of doing 10 or so reps of pull-ups on this, repeated after a while as strength builds. At first they will seem close to impossible depending on your weight and strength, but start with lower reps and build – the key thing is to try and keep a routine: I’ve installed a simple pull up bar in my garage-office, which cost less than £20. They can be fitted pretty much anywhere, either in doorways, on a wall (where the brackets protude to give you enough space) or on the
ceiling if you have space.

With the pull ups and the general fitness levels improving, you will soon notice huge differences in your capability on the mountain bike, and at this stage, the qualities of having one of the best mountain bikes will really become noticed.


…Now get fit!