CHOOSE THE RIGHT BIKE AND LEARN TO REGULATE IT WELL
Choosing a bicycle is essential. To facilitate your first MTB releases in your free time, choose a bicycle that matches your stature and is suitable for your cycling practice.
Choose a MTB equipped with a frame suitable for your height.
Adjust the bike correctly. Many parameters are adaptable: saddle height and retraction, handlebar height, stem length … Each of these adjustments has an impact on civil practice and sensations.
For a precise calculation of these adjustments, you will find our article tips on optimizing your bike position.
Warning: a new bike works a lot in its first release! Arm yourself with a multi-tool to tighten the screws that can loosen. Check the MTB screws after the first ride and after a few walks.
Most beginners inflate MTB tires too much or too little and seldom choose those that are suitable for their practice. Here too, there are many rules and parameters of choice. You have to know that the harder the ground is and the more the tire pressure must be, moreover, the more muddy the terrain is and the more pronounced the tire blades must be.
WEAR SUITABLE CLOTHING
To take full advantage of the bike rides and not be cold or feel damp, do not underestimate the importance of clothing suitable for the climatic conditions. Depending on the weather: hot or cold, wet or dry, strong or moderate wind, you must wear appropriate clothing.
The first layer is the most important. Wear a tight-fitting shirt (short or long sleeves depending on the outside temperature).
Choose breathable clothing that evacuates perspiration properly. If the temperature is low, protect the ends of the body with gloves, hat and overshoes.
When spring comes, don’t find out too quickly. Remember that some parts of the course are shaded and / or humid and feels more cold.
In the sections exposed to the wind and in the descents, cover yourself and above all after having made a climb. Raise the shirt’s zipper and put on an extra jacket or put on your gloves if you took them off during the climb.
RESPECT THE POSTURE OF THE SHOULDERS AND THE LOOK
To know the obstacles of the path and learn to face them, you need to look far, to always anticipate the trajectory. It helps you to easily deal with the traps of your routes.
A frequent mistake is to look at the front wheel … and so the stones, the holes and the roots will be noticed at the last second. In this case, it becomes virtually impossible not to fall.
At the beginning choose a trajectory without obstacles, later, when you have learned to overcome them enter them in your path.
Don’t forget the following principle: the eyes help you find the best trajectory and the shoulders guide the bike on the chosen path. In a curve, you always have to watch the exit.
You can consult this dossier regarding piloting techniques.
LEARN TO BRAKE IN ALL SAFETY
One of the dangers during MTB practice is getting excited about speed without properly controlling braking. For a gradual slowdown, use the two brakes with the same force.
Before a bend, press the rear brake harder than the front brake in a straight line. If you brake near a bend, the front wheel can bend. This phenomenon is amplified by the irregularities of the terrain and the fork of the bike that changes its behavior.
If necessary, press the front brake more energy.
Warning: do not brake in this way on a steep slope, you risk flying off the bike! You will experience the leap forward ahead of schedule.
Many MTB exits are needed to learn how to control the brakes. Have patience and learn to dominate your bike little by little.
Last tip: with disc brakes, braking is very powerful. Do not press too hard on the levers.
LEARN TO REPAIR A DRILL
It would be a shame to end an exit by pushing the bike back. Changing an inner tube or repairing it is simple … you just need the right tools and know the technique.
You must have a tire-removal, a repair kit and a bicycle pump to remove the perforated inner tube and fix it in place.