How to climb better on a mountain bike.
So you’ve recently taken on mountain biking, after recommendations from friends and family, and after serious consideration brought about by what you’ve probably been watching on TV. Something about riding a bike across terrains unknown and otherwise breathtakingly beautiful gives you a sense of longing, a sense of wanting to be free from the everyday grind.
You’ve consulted with your expert buddies who have had the hobby for years ahead of you, and now you’ve gone to the point where you’ve bought a best mountain bikes under 500 USD for yourself. You’ve taken it out for a spin, and so far, in the first trails and paths you’ve taken, you’ve been very satisfied.
If you have a small budget, see this guide to choose a best mountain bike under 300.
Unfortunately, when it comes to climbing steeper trails, you’re finding yourself wanting, particularly when you see others going ahead of you. Far ahead of you.
Does this sound familiar? Do not fret. While climbing with your mountain bike is not a skill instantly mastered, it will definitely factor in most, if not all of the trails you will be riding through, no matter what skill level you place yourself in. In other words, it helps to improve your climbing game, and it helps to improve it yesterday.
Somewhere in this and other similar articles, you’re bound to hear the words that practice makes perfect. While there are a lot of factors to climbing with a mountain bike that involve practice, practice, and more practice, here are some tips you ought to try to immediately improve your climbing:
Prioritize Proper Preparations
The chances of the most efficient and effective biking trip increase with taking the right precautions. Check yourself and your bike with the same mindset you would have when you check your car before taking a long trip. Read some helpful tips at RecreationSpace.com to know what’s in a mountain biker’s survival kit.
While you check gas and oil among other things in a car, you would do well to check air and water before you go on a biking excursion. This means you would check the air on your tires, so you have the right pressure to handle the terrain, whether you are on an incline or a flat path.
Checking water? Your bike stays dry; it’s you who needs to hydrate. Don’t make the mistake of drinking only when you feel like it, especially during more physical activities where you know you’ll be sweating buckets in a short period of time. Have a good drink of water around 10-20 minutes before you even set off, and you should be all set.
Stay Aware Of Your Balance
You’ve probably noticed that there is always the tendency to perform an unexpected ‘wheelie’ (where the front wheel just lifts off) when encountering inclines on the biking path. This only happens when you lose balance, and the only option you would have, if all attempts to balance fail, is to dismount to prevent damage and injury.
Now, if you’re just starting off, and if you are on the heavier side, then you would do well to apply body positions to stay steady on an incline. One technique to practice right away is the Chest And Nose Technique, where you bring your chest closer to the bars, and you scoot forward to the nose of your seat.
The Chest And Nose Technique may not be the most comfortable position, but you will discover its value when encountering your next incline. Moving your chest closer to the handlebars adjusts your center of gravity as you ascend, and seating around the nose area ensures secure weight distribution.
Focus On The Right Things
Simply put, if you’re focusing too much on how your legs hurt, they’ll hurt even more, and chances are you’ll stop more often. If you’re focusing too much on not doing a wheelie, or just not falling, then you tense up, and your chances of that happening increase significantly.
On a climb, if you want to focus on anything, it’s to focus on your breathing, and to focus on your cadence. Increase intensity if you must, but don’t fall into the trap of bursting upward, and literally crashing and burning. You would do so much better if you stay your focus on breathing, and keeping your legs moving at a constant rate. Before you know it, you’ll be at the top, ready for the next ascent.
Maintain The Right Mindset
Sure, mountain biking is great for your health, and it’s a definite way for you to lose weight. You can get into it to meet new friends and to see new places. But there’s something to mountain biking that sets it apart from rock climbing, and hiking. Appreciate mountain biking for what it is, and eliminate any doubts that this isn’t what you’re passionate about.
Mountain biking is more than a healthy hobby, and it is so much more than a tool to expand your social network. It’s the marriage of the thrill of speed and the appreciation of raw nature. It’s a way to push your body to its limits, to literally overcome mountains. Most of all, it’s an experience that would leave a unique positive mark on whoever chooses to stick to it, through easy paths and tough trails.
Do mountain biking for the sake of mountain biking, before anything else. Not everyone can enjoy this sport as much as you could. It’s something you need to remind yourself of every day. The right mindset may very well determine whether you make it to the top of the hill or not.
Again, there’s no question to the fact that if you keep on biking consistently, it is inevitable that your climbing technique would improve. There’s no substitute to practice and constant riding when it comes to making clear improvements in your ascent, among other factors in and around the mountain biking activity.
However, as you can see, most of the changes you can make to get better immediately involve more of presence of mind, and keeping the right focus. Stay safe, have the right mindset, and you will notice how climbing becomes a joy rather than an unwanted encounter in the mountain trails.