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Mountain Bike Skills You Need Before You Attempt Mountain Biking

Aug 17, 2007
Anyone who knows how to ride a bicycle can enjoy mountain biking. There are some dangers to mountain biking, when it is compared to the standard bike ride. It is for this reason that mastering the following beginner mountain bike skills is a necessity prior to taking off for your mountain bike excursion.

These skills can all be practiced by heading to any school, local park, around your house, or on a bike path. The key to the right location is if it has a steep hill for you to practice on.

The pedals are an important part of a mountain bike. You can practice getting a feel for the pedals by doing the following:

Sit on your bike
Place one foot on the ground
Release and Replace your foot while pedaling around
Note: If you have clipless foot pedals or toe clips, you will want to practice this quite a bit.

Sit and Spin for position with the following:

Adjust the seat height so that the leg is a minimum of 70% extended at the bottom of each pedal cycle
Bend arms slightly
Keep the body as relaxed as possible; a position should never occur that requires you to lock your elbows or knees.

Sit on the Mountain bike and pedal

Practice shifting gears with the following:

Make sure you know the differences in gears on your bike

Try a high gear-It is hard to pedal, but rides at a faster speed

Try a low gear-Easier to pedal, particularly useful while on hills

Try shifting prior to reaching the hill-This is important because it is easy to overcome a shift before the hill than it is while on the hill.

Practice coasting with the following:

Practice this while standing on the pedals, not sitting on the bike seat

Do not lock your knees

Keep arms slightly bent

Attempt coasting while shifting the body towards the rear of the mountain bike

Practice pedaling while standing with the following:

This is important in mountain biking
Try pedaling standing up in two different ways, once you have become comfortable with standing on the pedals.

First, pedal while standing in a high gear on flatter grounds.

Then, pedal while standing in a low gear on hills.

Practice dropping down a curb with the following:

Locate a curb in the area; it should be easily accessible in regards to the upper portion
Using a moderate speed, practice coasting and standing off the curb to the lower level from the upper level.

Continue this at different speeds until you are comfortable with it and it is like second nature

The above practicing techniques are important because they will give you the feel of the mountain bike trail, without having to be on one while you are training.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about cycling and Cycling Gear and Apparel at http://www.cyclinggearplus.com
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