We’re pumped to have Mountain Bike back at the last stop of the FISE World Series 2018 in Chengdu. Some of you guys will probably watch the likes of Nicholi Rogatkin and Tomas Lemoine and dream of the wizardry they do on a mountain bike slope.
But hold up! You’ve never been on a mountain bike before, let alone riding one downhill? Before you jump on a bike and race down a mountain, here are five tips you’ll find helpful.
1. Get your saddle height right
Your knees can be put through hell if your saddle is at the wrong height. Here’s the general rule of thumb (and it’s a good one):
if your knees are sore at the front, raise the saddle
if your knees are sore at the back, lower the saddle
This could save you a trip to the doctor – and you’ll thank us later!
2. Maintain momentum
It might not feel the most natural thing at first, but it’s true – momentum is your friend. Holding your speed when you’re taking on challenging terrain makes it easier to get through. Trust your bike and trust your control.
3. Don’t be tempted to brake hard
Mountain bike brakes are damn strong – you don’t need to yank them down hard to reduce your speed or you’ll be flipping over the handlebars before you know it. Use the brakes to adjust your speed before you approach obstacles and maintain your speed as you go through them (see point 2).
4. Use all the gears
You’ll know if you’re in too high a gear – it’ll feel like pedalling through treacle and you’ll burn out fast. Shift down a gear or two and you’ll notice the difference. Find yourself a good pedalling rhythm and go up or down gears when necessary to ensure you stick to it.
5. Pack spares and know your repairs
A spare inner tube and a bike pump – always have these essentials with you on the mountain. You’re more likely to pop a tire on terrain than on a road, so having this kit could prove a lifesaver. You kind of need to know some basic repairs too, like how to fix a flat tire or mend a broken chain (there are some good videos online explaining how to do this).
1–4 November 2018 : Mountain Bike Slopestyle returns to FISE World Series Chengdu.
Find out more about the event here.