Mountain biking, either professionally or as a hobby, is a hugely rewarding endeavor. This is mainly due to the perfect blend of the adrenaline rush generated by the sport and the breathtaking beauty of the natural scenery out on the trails. To make sure your experience in the great outdoors is perfect, here are the five most common mistakes you should avoid doing.
Preparing for your mountain bike adventure out on the trails means more than just getting psyched over the beautiful terrain you will ride over. It is essential to perform a thorough maintenance check before heading out so that you avoid malfunctions, accidents, and any other potential mishaps.
The state of your mountain bike must be assessed from the handlebars down to the tires. First of all, look at the bolts holding the handlebars in place on the stem. Are they adequately tightened? For bikes that have four, they should be in a crisscross pattern, so make the necessary adjustments if there are any. Check the fork and fork seals for leaks and funny noises as well.
Moving down on the bike, take a look at your tires. Are they scratched, scraped, or dented in any way? If the damage is serious, you might want to consider changing them. Just make sure to pick the right size for your MTB. The best 26 inch mountain bike tires are more expensive than the ones you find at your local store, but they are worth the investment.
Finally, have a look at the brakes. They are essential to your safety and enjoyment during the trip, so inspect them to determine whether or not they are functioning up to standards. If they are not, do not attempt to repair them on your own. It’s better to take the bike into a specialized shop and let an expert solve the problem.
With the fact that they’ve already performed a routine maintenance check before hitting the trails in the back of their minds, many mountain bikers forget about the on-the-road repair kit. While it might seem superfluous to carry the extra weight of additional tools and supplies with you, it will come in handy when you are met with unpredictable situations.
As a general rule, you should always pack a bicycle multitool, a portable pump, brake pads, tire levers and plugs, cleats, and a few spare tubes. These simple items are more than enough to get you out of a sticky situation so that you don’t remain stranded in the middle of nowhere. Prevention is always the best solution, but being prepared for an emergency never hurts.
Mountain biking apparel means a lot more than just functional and comfortable clothes. Don’t wear what you would at the gym or on a light bicycle stroll in the park. It is essential to equip yourself with specialized padded bike shorts to avoid chaffing as well as gloves, protective glasses, and a helmet. And in the eventuality of cold weather, always opt for layers.
A bike jacket, as well as long-sleeved shirts and bike tights are recommended, as are arm and leg warmers. Footwear is also an essential aspect to consider, as wearing the wrong shoes will completely ruin your experience. Choose a pair that is compatible with your pedals so that your grip on the system is a sturdy one.
When you’re caught in the whirlwind of excitement that precedes an mountain bike adventure, it’s easy to misjudge the amount of food and water you will require. Make sure you have two liters of water per day (more in hot environments) and plenty of easy foods and snacks that you can carry in your backpack. Our favorites include peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, trail mix, and energy protein bars.
Finally, make sure you choose a location that is suitable for your skill level. Sometimes trails that are scenic and visually stunning force you to go through hellish terrain. For your safety and enjoyment, always bike in areas that are suitable for your aptitudes. It’s perfectly fine to want to be challenged, but don’t push yourself over the edge, as that's how holiday horror stories begin.
It’s easy to allow a few slipups to fall through the cracks here and there when getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime. However, you should prevent this from happening at all costs if you treasure your safety and comfort. Fortunately, with the help of the list above, you will avoid the most common errors and be able to enjoy yourself out there.