Mountain Biking for Beginners: Getting Started

The sport of mountain biking involves riding specially designed bicycles off-road over a variety of terrains and courses. As the name suggests, this usually involves steep climbs and descents and the ability to negotiate obstacles, such as rocks and trees, while travelling at speed. There are several categories of mountain biking such as Cross Country, Downhill, and Dirt Jumping. However, for the beginner, Trail Riding is a recommended starting point. This involves following a marked trail along forest tracks, unpaved roads and footpaths. Read on for the best way to get started.

Getting started with mountain biking is easy. For recreational mountain biking, all you need is the right bike, a map and a sense of adventure. There are many places, such as your local bike shop, trail park and mountain bike centre, that will rent you a bike and accessories for a day. If you are on holiday in a mountain biking area, take advantage of mountain bike schools that will offer basic training in some of the different disciplines like downhill cycling. Find your local club and get help choosing your equipment.

Basic Mountain Biking Equipment

The most important piece of equipment is your bike and what you eventually buy will depend on what you want to do as a mountain biker. Get advice from your local club, bike shop, fellow bikers and do some online research. The important points to look at include overall design, weight, tyre size, suspension, shock absorbers and pedals. If possible, try before you buy. Once you have settled on a bike, learn how to look after it and how to carry out the most commonly needed repairs especially when out in the back and beyond.

Once you have fully embraced mountain biking, there are endless accessories that can be purchased to increase your performance, comfort and enjoyment. But, for the beginner, the only other essential piece of equipment is a helmet. As with the bike, get advice on what you need in terms of protection, weight, comfort and ventilation and try before you buy. If you know you are going to do more than trail riding, then gloves and pads for knees and elbows would be a wise investment, as you are certain to come off the bike at some point.