Mountain biking for Beginners
Mountain biking is the sport that involves riding one’s bicycle on off-road terrain while utilizing a mountain bike that has been specifically adapted for said activity. A mountain bike has features in common with other bicycles, but its features are meant to improve one’s stability and endurance while riding over rougher terrain. There are different kinds of mountain biking. These are all-mountain, cross-country, four-cross, downhill, big hit, dirt jumping, urban, mountain bike touring and trials. Many mountain bikers are encouraged to develop a sense of self-reliance since they will be biking quite a distance away from civilization. This self-reliance includes skills like being able to repair one’s own mountain bike.
A mountain bike is regarded as differing from other kinds of bikes primarily because of its construction. It is built to be more durable and perform better in rough terrain conditions. Mountain bikes usually possess dual suspension or a front fork, a flat and wider set of handlebars, and tires that can range from 26 inches to 29 inches in diameter. These bikes also feature a smaller frame that is constructed out of tubing. In contrast with other kinds of bicycles, mountain bikes feature disc brakes more often. For getting over obstacles and journeying across steep hills, mountain bikes tend to possess lower gears.
For a mountain biker, a helmet offers him or her necessary protection. There are three types of mountain biking helmets: full face, skate style and cross-country. Full face mountain bike helmets afford a biker the highest form of protection because they even provide a jaw guard to protect one’s face. The skate style mountain bike helmet is the cheapest of all kinds of mountain bike helmet, and this kind also offers riders greater head coverage. The cross-country mountain bike helmet is one that has good ventilation, is lighter compared to the others, and provides effective protection against scrapes and cuts.
In the case of a bike crash, a mountain biker will want to wear body armor. Body armor offers protection to one’s trunk and limbs during a crash. First designed mostly for mountain bikers who ride street, downhill and freestyle, body armor has now also become popular with those who ride trails. Rider should note that the more body armor they wear, the more they will have less mobility and speed on the mountain bike. A first aid kit is also another necessary piece of equipment. Carried frequently by mountain bikers, a first aid kit comes in handy to splint broken arms and clean and dress any wounds.
A good mountain biker will have a host of accessories at his or her disposal. Gloves are useful for hand protection, and the knuckles will receive extra padding, too. Glasses are necessary to protect the eyes of the mountain biker from any debris in the trail, while shoes provide riders with a gripping sole that is invaluable for providing traction over obstacles that are not easy to ride over. The clothing most common to mountain bikers is comfortable clothing that will withstand falls, and pumps are needed so that bikers will not get stranded if they get a flat tire. A GPS system can be mounted to the handlebars to both monitor as well as show progress in trail riding, while a high-power light can provide needed illumination at night.
The Various Types of Mountain Biking
The all-mountain type of mountain biking offers between 5 and 7 inches of front and rear suspension travel. It, however, provides appropriate weight for descending and climbing various terrain.
This is the most practised type of mountain biking. It involves riding either in a loop or point to point on different terrains.
Dirt Jumping (DJ)
Dirt jumping is riding a mountain bike across mounds of dirt that are shaped and getting airborne. Mountain bikes for this type are simpler; to guard against excessive repairs if a crash should happen.
This type of mountain biking typically involves downhill riding with a racing component. The courses for downhill are one of the most perilous because of the steep terrain.
Free Ride / Big Hit
This style of mountain biking is a “do-anything” type. This means that it includes everything from riding North Shore style to downhill racing.
Four Cross (4X)
In this type of mountain biking, the riders will ride either on short slalom tracks or on tracks that are separate. The tracks on this course feature gaps, berms and dirt jumps.
This type of mountain biking involves jumping one’s bike over obstacles and without touching one’s foot to the ground. It may be done in an urban setting or off-road.
Urban or street riding involves mountain bikers doing tricks by riding over or on objects that are manmade. The mountain bikes utilized are the same as in dirt jumping.
Dangers and Risks
Riders should always have it in their minds that mountain biking features a lot of innate dangers and risks. The range of injuries is also quite diverse. For example, injuries can be quite harmless and simple, as when they are only cuts from things like falls on the ground. Other times, injuries can be a lot more serious, as when they involve hitting of one’s head on a tree or on a boulder. Riders should be reasonably fit, too. If riders are not, they increase their chance of injury happening because of the fatigue that will set in.