Mountain bike climbing and descending tips for improving your skills

Mountain biking is all about finding the right bike and technique that works for you. Once you have a working technique, you need to practise regularly so that you can reach your biking goals. 

Climbing up and descending down a hill are two of the most important mountain biking basic skills that you have to master to become a great trail rider. So, to help you improve on these basics, we’ve put together mountain bike cycling descending tips you can use. 

We also discuss a mountain bike uphill technique that’s beneficial in your biking journey. All of this will help avoid these mountain biking mistakes.

Mountain bike climbing tips 

When you’re climbing on a hill with your mountain bike, you need to be in control of three things; power, endurance and balance. Learning to manage these factors can positively impact your performance. 

When you’re riding on a mountain trail, you’re always going to face different obstacles and features, such as mud, rocks and tree roots. So, while climbing uphill, you have to position yourself in a way that allows you to see obstacles and features ahead. That way, you’re able to plan your navigation to avoid accidents. 

A good uphill technique to adapt is keeping loose on the bike, with your knees and elbows bent. This is where a remote seat post, also known as a dropper seatpost, becomes important. When you buy a quality dropper seatpost that can easily adjust as you ride, repositioning yourself will be manageable. From there, you’ll need to distribute an even power on your pedals in even and circular motion. Engage your lockout suspension to improve your pedalling.

In addition, you’re going to need to shift to a softer gear, the higher you climb to create a balance. To help you with this, you need a gear cassette with a lower ratio to keep the bike spinning for longer. Following this technique will help you avoid losing traction as you ride in varying trail conditions.

Mountain bike cycling descending tips 

Descending is possibly the scariest part of mountain biking; it raises a lot of potential for rolling and causing a crash where you might fall. That’s why it’s important to always put on your cycling apparel when you’re out riding. Mountain bike clothing in South Africa is available at varying prices. Be sure to visit Chris Willemse Cycles to buy yourself a helmet and other mountain biking equipment. That way, you’ll be able to learn how to descend on a mountain bike knowing that you’re safe and protected in case of any accidental crashes.

When descending, the crucial thing is gaining the ability to balance control and letting your bike loose. If you grip too hard, you risk crashing. So, will you have to let the bike loose to do what it's made to do. So, to descend, drop your seat, position your bottom over the rear tyre and bend your knees. This is a good position to be in to gain control of your ride. 

Remember that you’ll face obstacles and hurdles, so you’ll have to look ahead to know when to brake. To learn how to brake when descending, you have to twist your levers to a neutral position. By doing this, you’re allowing your hands to have a more firm grip when descending. Then you apply the brakes, slowly and evenly on the front and back.  

Final thoughts 

Mountain biking in South Africa is a huge sport that’s embraced by many. It may seem intimidating at first, but once you get used to the above-mentioned techniques, you’re going to enjoy it. Sooner or later, you’ll become a professional and impart this knowledge to your peers or beginner cyclists. Before you hop on your ride, learn how to set up your bike to boost your performance from our previous article. So, visit Chris Willemse Cycles today to purchase a bike or mountain bike parts and accessories. Enjoy your mountain biking adventure!