Mountain Biking For Beginner ：The Ultimate Guide In 2023
The mountain bike is a mixed-use bike or for all terrains. It is one of the most fun bikes and the practice of mountain biking besides an excellent exercise, still generates interaction and contact with nature.
In general, a mountain bike has a front damping system, wider tires and generous gear heads in the scroll band, and more open handlebars, which favor riding and comfort. On a mountain bike, the riding position is also more relaxed, unlike road bikes, for example.
There are still mountain bikes with front and rear damping system, called full suspension as we will see the front. And also, tubeless tires filled with air and a kind of latex sealant that seals good parts of the holes instantly.
Types Of Mountain Bike Trails
Mountain bikes are famous for their versatility, with such a bike you can ride both on paved highways and on forest trails. You can break long distances on rural roads, or climb mountains climbing steep mountains on trails known as single tracks.
It is common for a beginner to have a certain fear of getting on trails through the woods and woods. However, as the beginner in mountain biking gains experience, this fear is over and the rider begins to overcome small and medium obstacles naturally and easily. The correct thing is to understand that this development is gradual, and that it takes even a certain amount of time before trust is gained.
Some bike parks where cyclists can enjoy structured trails and have indications on the trails that inform the cyclist how difficult that segment relates. This prevents a beginner from accidentally going on a trail with a very high technical degree.
Singletrack is the one way or road where the trail allows only the passage of one cyclist at a time, it is quite common in mountains, parks or farms. In addition, singletrack is the most common and popular type of track among mountain bikers.
Doubletracks are trails or rural roads where the path is divided into two tracks. Usually, they are formed by rural roads with a certain traffic of vehicles that end up marking the path in this way. In this type of trail it is possible to walk quietly with another colleague, side by side. They also tend to be quieter and more user-style trails for beginners on mountain biking.
Bikeparks For Mountain Bike
More popular than ever, bikeparks are what the name itself suggests. A park where cyclists can ride on trails with the most diverse degrees of difficulty, and also have a support and leisure structure.
There are bikeparks that were born for this specific purpose, but there are also places that during the winter, for example, are ski resorts. In the thaw, they use their structure to receive cyclists from various parts of the world, as is the case of the city of Whistler in Canada, considered the mecca of the world mountain bike.
In a park you can find all kinds of terrain to ride with your mountain bike, from mind-blowing jumps, to halfpipes, drops and bridges of various sizes and shapes. Curves with walls to help control stony trails with a high degree of difficulty.
Mountain Bike Styles
Mountain biking is a cycling modality that has been divided into several submodalities. Trails, Downhill, Enduro, Trail, XC, Fatbikes... Each division of this has very different characteristics and so we will deal here only these that we can clearly perceive the difference between the way of practicing, the bike and the intention.
Trails and Tours:
Perhaps it is the most practiced version of mountain biking, it's just about pedaling in the middle of nature, alone or with a group of friends. The goal can be to climb a beautiful mountain range with a lookout to top to enjoy the view, or visit a local waterfall.
In this case, the stories and experiences lived are more important than speed and performance. With an inbound mountain bike you are already able to make the vast majority of this type of ride.
XC or Cross-country:
The XC, the fastest mountain bike mode can be practiced on almost all types of terrain, yet rural, trails and technical climbing are the preferred terrain of these cyclists.
The XC can also be subdivided into XCO, which would be the Olympic Cross-country, played on short tracks with approximately 5km per lap, as we see in the Olympics and the world championship. And yet the XCM, which would be the cross-country marathon, played at least 62km away, and that starts at one point and returns to the same place, taking a lap. We can still cite the XCP, which is usually smaller than the XCM and does not necessarily need to finish in the same place as the start.
XC mountain bikes have shorter suspensions than gravity modes, such as Enduro and Downhill. Currently The XC bikes have suspension stroke of up to 120mm, being 100mm the most common, and in the case of full suspensions, this stroke can be from 60mm up to 160mm.
All Mountain ou Enduro:
Enduro or All Mountain mountain bikes are more robust than track and XC bikes. They have a longer suspension stroke, tougher tubes and wider tyres, but still well below the next sport, the Downhill.
An enduro bike is designed to offer control and performance on technical descents and can also make huge jumps on ramps, drops and stones, as long as of course, the cyclist possesses these skills.
Considering their endurance, we can even say that they are relatively light and agile, while showing themselves as one of the most fun modalities and the fastest growing in mountain biking.
Enduro mountain bike events may or may not be competitive. In competitions, wins that rider who achieves the shortest time in all sections of descents.
Downhill bikes are a case apart. Parrudas, robust and with super resistant tires and suspensions, are specific bikes to descend hills and mountains with the most technical and challenging trails of the sport.
It is usually a modality practiced in bike parks, since its nature requires structured trails, especially if the circuit has jumps, drops and other obstacles that require maintenance.
Of all the modalities, it is the only one that the beginner in mountain biking should avoid in the beginning, without jokes, Downhill is not amateur pair.
Perfect for terrain with snow or soft sand, it goes well also in gravel, with pedriscos that can remove some of the comfort of other bikes.
Fatbikes are visually striking, have tires with at least 3.7 inches, really very generous and therefore offer high traction. Now it's easy to understand why they're perfect for snow and fluffy sand.
Beginner and recreational cyclists can enjoy a fatbike a lot, as they are easy to control, good cornering and very comfortable throughout the grounds.
Types Of Wheels Of A Mountain Bike
Currently the most popular model of mountain bike pants wheel 29 inches, a modernization that began to gain strength around 2011 and has since solidified as the most used wheel shape.
You can still find mountain biking with 26-inch beadings, however they are most used on urban and entry bikes. The 27.5 (650b) wheels are still found on very small bikes, with numbering frames less than size 15, for example. Gravity and Enduro modes also use 27.5ers.
Type Of Suspension
Mountains bikes that have only the front suspension are called hardtail. This suspension fork cushions and absorbs terrain impacts and makes riding more comfortable and safe. Hardtails generally have low maintenance and reduced weight if purchased the full suspensions of the same range.
Typically, hardtails are more responsive and agile, so XC riders and aficionados tend to opt for it. In addition, its acquisition cost is lower and the range of options is also wider.
It is the mountain bikes that have two damping systems, one on the fork and the other in the center, normally fixed by a pivot system. This suspension set makes the bike more comfortable, gives more traction on technical climbs and helps considerably in technical descents.
The mountain bike full suspension needs more maintenance and attention, since it has a double system of shock absorbs. In addition, it requires a finer adjustment, especially of the central damper for the rider to enjoy all the benefits of it. Full suspensions are also generally more expensive.
How To Dress For Cycling
Beginners tend to twist their noses at cycling clothes, especially boys. It turns out that clothes specific to cycling, or technical clothing have an instrumental function, that is, they avoid rash, reduce wind drag and are safer.
Bike-specific clothing makes the ride more comfortable and efficient, and certainly among all styles you'll be able to find something that fits your profile. The most common clothes and accessories for the basic practice of mountain biking are:
In the XC the shorts are tight, usually in elastane and Lycra, while in Enduro, for example, the looser Bermuda make the preference of practitioners. Enduro or Downhill shorts have more protections and toppings, while in the XC, they are lighter and smoother.
For both cases, the shorts have internal linings, or cushions that depending on the training time or the ride, can be more or less exparts. This cushion helps reduce impacts of the trails, and also promotes more comfort and pressure relieves between the rider's body and the saddle.
Just like the shorts, the bretelles are also made in elastane and lycra, the difference is in the adjustment straps that send the lower part more adjusted and gives more comfort to the cyclist. They say that the cyclist who wears the bretelle once, never wants to wear another type of shorts or shorts on his already in Enduro, for example.
Cycling shirts or jerseys are classic pieces of all cyclists. Possibly, a beginner buys a Jersey before creating the courage to wear Lycra shorts. In addition, the Jersey is even the best shirt to pedal, both for the type of fabric, and for the functionality of the pockets and for the freshness of the zipper.
They can have short or long sleeves, this varies greatly according to the preference of the cyclist, in hot seasons, long sleeves can be a good option to protect the arms from the sun
Like Bermuda, Enduro and Downhill, they are looser and have more cushions and protections to prevent or minimize the damage from any falls.
Gloves are functions in addition to the grip of the hands to the handlebar handle. A good pair of gloves reduces hand fatigue and can prevent wrist injuries. Whole finger gloves protect the fingertips more in case of falls, in summer they tend to heat up more, however in winter the effect is contrary.
To those who prefer the gloves with open fingers, facilitate the touch and leave the skin in contact with the handles and handles, many people prefer this.
In both cases, the gloves are excellent protectors of our hands, because when falling, there is the maxim that the first thing we take to the ground to protect ourselves are the hands. Therefore, look at the glove as well as a safety and protection accessory.
Mountain Bike Helmets
Mountain bike helmets are usually more ventilated and have larger flaps, especially near the rider's nape. In addition, some models come from the factory with a type of removable visor, which does not exist in helmets for road bike.
If your intention is to go hiking or practice XC, the good helmets of the market should already serve you very well, although we hope that you never really need them. If the intention is to make maneuvers or enter more aggressive modalities such as the Enduro or Downhill, the helmet indicated is the integral helmet, all closed, very similar to that used by offload bikers.
Helmets are tested and withstand considerably high loads and impacts, all to protect the rider from any falls or knocks. Therefore, a helmet is something that goes far beyond style and appearance. Consider making a good investment in a quality, tested helmet.
Footwear And Pedals For Mountain Biking
Basically, there are two types of pedals for cycling in general. The platform pedals and the clip pedals. For each of them, there is the most appropriate footwear and in the case of clip pedals, you will need a special shoe to take advantage of everything this system can offer.
Suitable for beginners, it is the most common pedal on urban and walking bikes. Platform pedals allow the less confident rider to move his foot as far as he can quickly pull it out to lean on the ground.
Basically, everyone who already knows how to ride is used to this pedal system, and therefore should not have any complication so.
Pedal with clip:
More suitable for XC practitioners, but they do very well also in softer trillions. The clip system, attaches your foot to the pedal, giving more firmness, safety and control of the bike. However, it requires a certain time of adaptation to get used to loosening the feet of this system.
Some light falls can happen, but hardly more than that, after getting used to it, some say that it can never use the simple platform system again. Shimano's SPD clip system is possibly the most popular among beginners, enthusiasts and advanced, as it has easy maintenance and is not complicated to find parts, as well as the shoe clip itself.
You can ride very well around wearing only a closed shoe. It can even be the same tennis you use to run or go to the gym. However, the shoes are fired the most suitable shoes to pedal, because they have anatomical characteristics that protect the feet and give more performance. It is possible to use a sneaker without the pedal clips, however invariably the most correct is to "clip", that is, use a shoe clip to connect to your pedal with SPD clip system, for example.
This connection between the footwear and the pedal brings you more comfort, safety and performance. Once you get used to it, you'll also notice more confidence in descents and a refinement in your riding. Stay tuned when buying your sneaker, as there are specific models for mountain biking and road cycling.
Hydration is a key thing in cycling, and mountain biking is no different. To hydrate the rider must take with him some container with water. Pure water is enough for hydration even on pedal logos.
Virtually all bicycle frames, even though they are rides have a standard hole for the installation of water bottle support. This would be the most common form, and in most models, there is room for two water supports.
Another way is through the hydration backpacks, which as the name says, are backpacks that have the ability to carry water, and more than that, offer a simple mechanism with a canudo for the consumption of this water.
And of course, the cyclist can always trace his walking routes considering any places to replenish or buy bottles of mineral water, for example.
Minor Repairs And Basic Adjustments
Do not leave room for chance, sometimes during pedals and rides, even in those shorter tyre holes can happen. The same goes for minor adjustments and even a simple emergency repair.
Carry a basic kit of tire patches with you, plus a spare air chamber. A good bike shop can sell you a basic kit already ready. Fixing a tire hole is a skill every rider must possess, regardless of their fitness level. Holes happen, always when you least expect them.
Still on the tires, even being a beginner can opt for Tubeless technology. It is a very popular system among mountain bikers, as well as for gravel cyclists and that gains popularity among road bikes. The Tubeless system allows the rider to rotate without the need for an air chamber, provided he uses appropriate tires and a type of sealant liquid, usually latex-based and with a mixture of ammonia.