How to Start Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is such an adventure. With time and practice, this sport can change your lifestyle.
How to Start Mountain Biking

Last update: 23 January, 2021

More and more people are taking to the sport of mountain biking as a lifestyle. Getting on a bike and setting off into nature is just as good for the mind as it is for the body.

You don’t have to be a professional to do it, nor train as if you’re going to do the Tour de France! Just wanting to head out to clear your mind and take advantage of the fresh air is enough! Here, we’ll give you some tips to help you take the first steps, or the first pedals, to becoming a mountain biker.

Beginner tips for mountain biking

To be a successful mountain biker, just like being a successful racer, you have to go through a period of basic adaptation and training. This way, you ensure better performance and that your body won’t tire out from day one.

Therefore, the first tip for any beginner to the world of mountain biking is that you take it slow. Here, we don’t mean slow in terms of bicycle speed. We mean that it’s not a good idea to go 200 miles on your first day.

In addition to this fundamental principle, here are some other suggestions for mountain biking that won’t have you giving up after day one:

1. Choosing the right bike

First and foremost, you have to have the correct bike for your needs and your body. Searching for a bike can be overwhelming at first. There are economical models, as well as others that at first can seem ridiculously expensive. Think about how much you’re willing to spend on your mountain bike (MTB). You can always start with a basic model and then change it later.

Some of the different styles of mountain bikes are: cross country, which is light and efficient; all-mountain bikes suitable for any terrain; downhill bikes that reach good speeds; dirt jumps for those who want to complete stunts; and free rides which are perfect for doing tricks.

Difficult mountain biking

2. Making sure you use the right equipment

In the beginning, you might think that you need to spend a lot of money on equipment in order to mountain bike. However, what you’ll quickly realize is that the necessary equipment will protect you from possible accidents. 

Choose an approved helmet. That’s to say, choose one that adjusts well to your head and, if possible, one that comes with ventilation grids. You’ll thank yourself when you start to sweat. Sunglasses are a necessity as well, not just for protection against UV rays, but also against dust, insects, and the wind.

In terms of clothes, padded biking shorts will provide comfort and waterproof shirts are important in case of any weather changes throughout the day. If you want to cycle at night, choose a reflective shirt. You can also buy gloves which will help you avoid blisters, and hip and knee pads to help protect you in case of a fall.

3. Go cycle!

Once you have all of the necessary equipment to mountain bike, it’s time for a baptism by fire! But this doesn’t mean that your first route needs to be one with ups and downs for 20 miles.

It’s recommended to begin by biking between two and four times a week for between 30 minutes and one hour. This way, your body can have time to adapt and will become stronger. At this rhythm, after six weeks of conditioning, you should be ready to increase your time and distance.

4. Mountain biking: don’t go alone

Although coming in at number four, this piece of advice is the most important for mountain bikers, especially for beginners. Look for a group in your city that cycles several times a week and join them!

Group mountain biking

Biking with others is one of the best ways to increase your performance and, at the same time, is absolutely necessary in case of an accident.

5. Drink plenty of water when mountain biking

It doesn’t matter whether you’re cycling in the middle of winter or if you think that drinking water will make you frequently need the bathroom, it’s fundamental to stay hydrated. You should regularly take small sips of water to help avoid cramps and reduce your muscular fatigue.

In addition, you could also eat a cereal bar for fuel during your ride. It’s necessary to keep you going!

Finally, if you want to start mountain biking, we recommend choosing easy routes with flat paths, few curves, and without steep descents. Once you’re more experienced, you can work your way up to more complicated routes and fill yourself with adrenaline!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.