Mountain biking beginner mistakes to avoid to ensure an enjoyable trail ride

Let’s face it; whether you are a beginner cyclist or a professional at mountain biking, there are a few mountain biking beginner mistakes you’ve made before. Mountain biking is a thrilling sport, but you need to know what you are doing to enjoy your experience. 

It's more than knowing how to ride a mountain bike; it’s a strenuous workout that requires skill and confidence. At Chris Willemse Cycles, we don’t just have the best mountain bikes in South Africa, but we know the skills you need to ensure you avoid any rookie mistakes. To stay safe and enjoy the benefits of mountain biking, read our article on the things you need to avoid. 

Not investing in quality gear 

Before you begin cycling, you need to have quality gear that will ensure you are safe and ready for a trail. One of the biggest mountain biking mistakes is thinking you simply need to hop on your bike and cycle. No, you need to have a few key pieces of gear that will enhance your overall experience. 

For instance, you need mountain bike shoes, cycling gloves, padded shorts, and a fitted and secure helmet in the event where you might fall. Not having the correct apparel is a safety hazard for yourself, especially when cycling alone. If you take a look at our online store, you’ll find that we offer good quality and breathable mountain bike clothing in South Africa

Not pacing yourself 

Cycling on a mountain trail is different from road cycling. It requires more focus and control to ensure you are safe while enjoying yourself. If you want to learn how to get better at mountain biking, then the first thing you have to remember is to pace yourself. Start off slowly, then build your way up as you get used to cycling. For example, if you’re struggling with your mountain bike descending technique, it may be because you’re focused on doing it rather than perfecting your technique. Most cyclists make the mistake of going too fast in the beginning. At first, make sure you focus on the road ahead, drop onto your seat, twist your levers then go fast. You cannot go fast if you aren’t focused or haven’t positioned yourself correctly; it can be dangerous. So, always remember to pace yourself. 

Ensure you’ve set up your bike 

Before you go on any trail, you should ensure your bike is set up

When you set up your mountain bike, you create a balance that will give you the best support that you need on a trail. You also need to ensure your bike is tailored to your body weight and the location in which you're travelling. You have to use a mountain bike for mountain trails. Also, always ensure you buy a bike that is the right size for you and a perfect fit. To ensure this, adjust your seats, take note of your handlebar, height adjustments, suspension setup and brake lever adjustments. 

Not looking ahead 

Most mountain bikers can attest to this mistake at least once or twice. And although it seems like something that would come as second nature, many individuals forget to look ahead. When cycling, make sure you never look down, rather focus ahead of the trail. This will ensure that you avoid any roots and rocks that are on your way, and can prevent you from crashing. Being able to anticipate and be ready for what’s ahead is important when mountain biking. 

Ensure that you have good tyres 

Tyres can make or break your experience when cycling. Always make sure you check your tyres before going on a trail to ensure that they are in good condition. Bad quality tyres will make it hard for you to cycle in muddy terrain and will make it hard for you to turn corners, which can be dangerous. Before any trail, check your tyres and always purchase sturdy and good quality options. With the right wheels, you won’t only be safe, but you’ll also enjoy your experience and have a boost of confidence that will help you when cycling.

Final thoughts  

Mountain bikes can be intimidating, but once the bug bites you’ll begin to reap mountain biking benefits that you’ll enjoy. Such as improving your heart health, reduces stress and risk of diseases, increases brain power and offers a full workout. At Chris Willemse Cycles, we always want to ensure that you get the best mountain biking equipment possible. Take a look at our website to find not only the best dual-suspension mountain bikes for sale in South Africa but also the best equipment, bicycle parts and apparel that will ensure you are all set for your next trail ride.