By Amanda Wilks
Getting ready for a trail adventure is a complex process, the very first indispensable aspect any beginner rider needs to consider is having the right bike. What you use on the trails can either make or break the quality of your experience. Thus, choosing something to suit your needs and skill level is of the utmost importance.
According to www.mountainbikereviewed.com, something like the Schwinn Protocol 1.0 is an ideal mountain bike if you’re just starting out with the sport. Its lightweight aluminum frame complete with a Suntour suspension fork and Shimano trigger shifters make this 24-speed bicycle ideal for carrying you through any type of terrain.
Beginner MTB Tips
After you’ve purchased your dream bike, it’s time to get down to the technicalities of the sport. There are quite a few things to consider when doing so, and you need to focus on all of them equally so that your experience is a truly unforgettable one for the right reasons. Here are five useful tips that will help you prepare for the ride of a lifetime.
1. Adjust Your Bike
Regardless of what make and model you end up going for, it’s important to set it up properly so you can make the most of it. With the right adjustments, any entry-level steed can shine. In order for that to happen, you will have to tweak every single technical tidbit your MTB has to offer to perfection.
BikeRadar suggests you start out with the gears. Less expensive mountain bikes aren’t as smooth in this department, but a little bit of extra attention can solve that. Remember they should shift, not skip, and get your cables looked at a local bike shop. New tires and pedals are also a great investment.
As for tune-ups you can perform on your own, correcting the saddle is essential. Don’t just assume it will be comfortable off of the assembly line, because that’s hardly ever the case. Finally, align your handlebars properly to your body according to your height. This will work wonders on your posture.
2. Wear Safety Gear
After your mountain bike is all set up, it’s time to consider your personal safety. Don’t forget even the beginner-friendly trails have their rough spots. Therefore, having the appropriate protective gear on is recommended. This won’t only guard your well-being, but it will also give you a much-needed confidence boost.
A helmet, a pair of glasses and gloves for additional grip power are the three basics you should never omit. However, when you’re a beginner it’s important to go that extra mile and ensure you are protected in every possible way. Thus, elbow and knee pads are a useful bonus that will shield you from any potential harm.
3. Bring a Repair Kit
Regardless of how much effort you put into periodical upkeep, your MTB might still break down during a ride. To avoid having to walk back to the trailhead, it’s thus vital to be able to repair it on the go at least temporarily. Of course, it’s also in your best interest to travel lightly. Thus, it will be impossible to carry a complete kit around with you.
Your on-road repair kit should thus contain nothing more than a multitool, a tube, and a pump. These three little items are more than enough to help you troubleshoot your way out of sticky situation. Needless to say, you will have to take your bike straight to the shop afterward, but at least you won’t have to travel to it by foot.
4. Take Water and Snacks
As mentioned above, traveling light is crucial. This will ensure you don’t lose your energy early on, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of excluding essential items from your backpack. Water and snacks are two of the things you should never be stingy about, so bring as many as you have the room for to ensure proper nutrition on the trail.
If your bike has a water bottle cage, that’s a plus. You can take one there and a smaller one in your backpack as an additional resource. As for snacks, everyone has a different preference here and there are many different nutritional philosophies. Take something you’re used to eating – a banana; trail mix; a sandwich; dried apricots…
5. Practice Your Position
The final thing that you need to take care of before heading out is your riding technique. Practicing your position is a key part in mastering the different types of terrain you might come across. There are two main ones to learn: the neutral and the ready. While the former is best for non-technical segments, the latter is great for steep or rocky conditions.
The neutral position involves just a slight bend in the knees and elbows, while the ready position implies a deeper one. That’s the main difference between them. However, the second one is a bit more complex, in the sense you also need to lift your rear slightly off the saddle and shift your hips back. Successfully executing this transition early on is crucial.
When you’re a beginner in mountain biking, preparing for an adventure might seem like a complicated process. But a little attention to detail will take you a long way. By employing this strategy along every step of the way, from the initial bike tune-ups all the way to mastering the technicalities of riding, success is guaranteed.
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