Mountain biking is an exciting sport that can be
enjoyed by anyone who knows how to ride a bike.
Compared to the average bike ride, it does present
some danger. Therefore, you should master these
basic skills before you hit the trails or the
You can practice these beginning skills at a local
park, school, bike path, or simply around your
house. If you can, try to find a location with
a steep hill.
Get a feel for your pedals
Practice moving your foot away from the pedal,
first while sitting on your bike with one foot on
the ground. Next, move on to releasing and
replacing your foot while pedaling around for a
bit. Those with toe clip and clipless type foot
pedals will want to spend a bit more time
Sit and spin for position
Simply sit on your bike and pedal around. You
should keep your arms slightly bent. You should
also adjust your seat height so your leg is 70 to
90 percent extended at the bottom of every stroke
on the pedal. Keep your body relaxed, as there
will never be a position where you should have
either your knees or your elbows locked.
Get a feel for shifting gears with your bike. The
higher gears are harder to pedal and will go
faster while the lower gears are easier to pedal
and will help you ascend hills. As you get to
steeper hills, its best to shift before you get
to the hill rather than while your on it.
You should spend a bit of time coasting while
standing on your pedals, without actually sitting
on the seat. Keep your arms bent but don't lock
your knees. Now, try experimenting with shifting
your body towards the rear end of the bike.
Pedal while standing
You should get as comfortable as you can with
pedaling while standing on your bike. Try lifting
yourself off the seat while standing on the pedals,
then crank them around. You should try this in
higher gears on flat ground then again in lower
gears while on a hill.
Dropping down a curb
Try finding a curb where you can easily get to the
upper portion of it. Practice at a moderate speed,
standing and coasting right off the curb from the
upper level to the lower level. Try this at
different speeds until it becomes second nature.
Once you practice these techniques and get the
hang of them, you'll be able to hit the trails feeling
comfortable on your mountain bike. Even though it
may take some getting used to, it'll become second
nature before you know it.