Mountain Biking for Beginners
Mountain biking has gained increased attention in recent years than road bikes because it’s an excellent way to connect with nature and to exercise.
These bikes are characterized by bigger tires with rugged treads to make them durable and stable while on off-road terrain. They assume an upright cycling position that allows you to enjoy the view. Some bikes have suspension systems that absorb shock, thus giving you a more comfortable ride.
You can use mountain bikes, not only in the mountains. Thus, if you're a beginner but there is no nearby mountain, try using it on wide, flowing logging roads or technical singletrack.
This beginner guide will take you through the basics of mountain biking before making your first ride. You will learn about different terrains, mountain biking styles, basics information about gears, and some tips to help you have fun while on the trails.
Estimated reading time: 14 min
Table of Contents
Brief History of Mountain Biking
Mountain biking has always been an amazing and thrilling sport throughout history. Joe Breeze built the first fast tire for the rough terrains after riding with friends near Mt. Tamalpais.
From the 1930s to 1950s, riders used one-speed bicycles with coaster brakes, which they referred to as "my mountain bike" rather than "my road bike."
Thus, fat-tire bikes were used for mountainous trails in Santa Barbara, and the riders participated in Velo Club Tamalpais using Breeze's bikes.
The First Mountain Bike
The first fat tire bike that Joe Breeze built in October 1977 was made of large tires with lightweight tubing. These were also the features of refined road bikes. The first Breeze's bike can be found in museums such as the Oakland Museum, which has permanently displayed the bike since 1978.
Innovation and Marketing
Charlie Kelley, Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, and Tom Ritchey are the friends that were involved in the production of first mountain bikes. After building the first nine bikes, the team decided to begin selling their products. These include the frames and the wheels, which were mostly the flat tire versions. Sadly there was a limited market since most people were not interested in the sport.
Later Kelley and Fischer teamed up and established their mountain bike under the label Tom’s bike. The duo tried to trademark the name Mountainbike, but this failed.
Further, the Bicycling magazines began a competition dubbed "name that bike" that failed miserably. It also left out the name Mountainbike because it was already rejected. However, the all-terrain bicycle (ATB) won the contest, although there were several natural Mountain Bike (MTB).
Joe Breeze's business did well over Fisher and Kelley because to date, Breezers mountain bikes are very popular.
Mountain Biking Industry
In 1982, the biking industry produced the first batch of mountain biking, although it was believed that it was a fad, and the trend was short term. Thus, mainstream cycling companies like Fuji and Schwinn didn't focus on this adventure sports. On the other hand, only new companies innovated and filled the market with off-road and downhill biking. At the same time, these manufacturers introduced suspension forks to serve as shock absorbers and a lightweight frame to offer exceptional support to riders on rough terrain.
Later in the 1990s, mountain biking began attracting attention and gained the status of a sport. The industry became more innovative and introduced modifiable structures such as front suspensions, lightweight gearing, full suspension, and disc brakes.
The Outlook of the Mountain Biking
The design of the bikes has caused them to stand distinguished from other modern fleets. Most builders have laid focus on the structure and the gears brakes. Technology will improve the structure and make the bikes to standard out.
The future of mountain biking depends on whether the present and future generations will find it thrilling. Further, today there are more adventurous air and water sports competing with mountain biking for youth's attention.
Types of Mountain Bikes
Mountain bikes are classified based on where you intend to ride them. These bikes are further categorized based on two key features, namely the wheel diameter and suspension type. The following are different types of mountain bikes.
1. Suspension Type
Full suspension: The bike has a front and rear suspension that helps it absorb the impacts of the trail, minimizing its effects on the riders, enhancing traction, and offering an enjoyable ride.
Additionally, this bike can soak up a lot of trail chatter and bumps. The full suspension bike can lock-out the rear suspension, giving it an excellent transfer of power and efficient climbing.
Hardtail: The bike has front suspension only, which helps this wheel to absorb the impact. They are less costly compared to full-suspension bikes. Further, the bike has less maintenance because it has fewer moving parts.
Most cross-country riders lean towards hardtails bikes because of the smooth transfer of power between the rear tire and the pedal stroke. They are also used in all-mountain trails because they are less expensive to buy and maintain. However, they are not the best option for serious lift-serviced downhill (DH) trails.
Rigid: It's not a typical mountain bike because it doesn't have suspension, which gives riders greater comfort. Rigid bikes are easy to maintain and usually less expensive.
They are mostly found in fat bikes category because the wide tires and low tire pressure helps it to absorb bumps in the different trail.
2. Wheel Size
Mountain bikes are classified in terms of the wheel size, as shown below.
24 Inch Wheel: These are wheels for kids’ mountain bikes. The main reason for such wheels is to accommodate the children’s shorter legs. Some of these kids’ bikes are the less-expensive version of the most popular adult bikes but with simpler components.
Although these bikes are suitable for kids aged 10-13 years, the choice should be based more on the child's size than the age. For that reason, a smaller or younger child can begin riding a 20-inch wheel bike and advance to a bigger one as they grow.
26 Inch Wheel: In the past years, all-mountain bikes were fitted with 26-inch wheels. The wheel is still prevalent because of its maneuverability and responsiveness.
27.5 Inch Wheel: The wheel offers a middle ground between the 26 inches and the 29-inch wheel. These bikes have superior features, such as they can roll over terrain in a better manner than the 26s. They are more maneuverable than the 29 counterparts. The 27.5-inch wheel size is available in both hardtail and full-suspension rigs.
29 Inch Wheel: They are generally heavier and a bit slower to accelerate. Still, you're able to conquer a substantial terrain when it starts moving compared to standard 26-inch wheel bikes. They offer excellent grip and attack angle that helps the wheel to roll over trail obstacles easily.
The 29-inch wheel bikes are popular in cross-country rides and are available in both full-suspension and hardtail rigs.
Types of Mountain Biking Styles
Cross Country (XC) Cycling
It's a type of riding from point A to point B or in a loop and characterized by descends and climbs on different terrain. The ideal bike for XC riding should be 20-30 lbs or 9-13 kilos. It should have 0-4.9 inches of suspension travel front or even rear. This mountain biking emphasizes more on endurance and physical strength. XC is the only discipline in the Summer Olympic Games.
It’s appropriate for bikes than have moderate-travel suspensions systems. It should have strong components compared to XC models and weight suitable for ascending and descending. Enduro World Series has accepted the all-mountain riding style.
Enduro racing has different formats, namely the big mountain Enduro which is longer than the DH and may take you the entire day to complete all the climbing sections.
Gravity Enduro has similar amounts of uphill and downhill; however, the uphill section is not timed, although a maximum time limit has been set of how long it should take you to reach the climb.
The super-D category is comparable to XC, but it has sustained climbs that are less technical than sustained descents.
The Enduro racing has full-time riders as well as those who compete for fun. For that result, Enduro racing is viewed as an everyman's race.
Further, the use of the Enduro descriptor in the long-distance XC races to denote the endurance aspect has led to confusion. Thus many long-distance race events have adopted these names, which has interfered with the contemporary Enduro format.
It entails riding your mountain bikes downhill. It includes courses such as drops measuring 10 and above feet or 3 meters, large jumps of above 39 feet or 12 meters, as well as rough and steep rides from top to bottom.
The rider has to travel to the start point using an automobile or ski lift because the DH mountain bike can't withstand the severe climbing.
This type of riding requires a unique combination of mental control, acceptable of reasonably high risk, total body strength, aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
The extreme steep terrain is mostly found at ski resorts during summer months, and the DH is the most dangerous cycling discipline. The rider has to wear a full-face helmet, goggles, and knee pads.
The DH-specific bikes have heavier frame tubing compared to other mountain bikes, large disc brakes, and front and rear suspension. They weigh approximately 16-20kg or 35-44 lb. High-end professional DH mountain bikes are fully equipped with tubeless tires, air suspension, and custom carbon fiber parts.
Dirt Jump (DJ) Mountain Bike
It involves riding over built mounds of soil or dirt, with a goal of becoming airborne and landing on the knuckle. Although you can use any bike to perform DJ, smaller and those with more maneuverable hardtails are the best because you can complete tricks such as whips, backflips, and tabletops.
It's essential to select a simpler bike so that fewer components will be damaged or cause less injury to the rider when a crash happens. More so, because they are made of sturdier materials like steel bikes can withstand substantial impacts of bails and crashes.
It's a big hit or hucking because it's a do-anything type of discipline comprised of jumping, untimed downhill racing, north share style, skillful stunts, and aggressive techniques.
The slopestyle riding style is a combination of stunt-ridden, big air Freeride with BMX style tricks. The trails are constructed on an established mountain bike parks. It consists of quarter pipes, large drops, jumps, and wooden obstacles. Further, the course has multiple lines, and riders have to select lanes based on a particular skill to gather higher points.
The freeride bike has specifications such as 5.9-9.8 inches or 150-250 millimeters of suspension rear and front and 30-40 lbs or 30-40 kilos. For that reason, freeride bikes have a more ample suspension and heavier than XC bikes, yet they can retain their climbing ability.
It's one of the preferred mountain biking styles because it's not restricted to a particular type of racing. Thus, you can meet up with friends at a standard trailhead and embark on mountain biking on a terrain with a mixture of descents and climbs. The best bikes for the style combines efficiency, fun, and reasonable overall weight.
Fat biking can be ideal for all-season trail riding and beginners because they have a fat tire that ranges from 3.7 inches to above 5 inches. Thus, these bikes offer superior traction while riding through sand, snow, and other rough terrains.
Types of Mountain Bike Terrain
As a beginner, you may opt to start on relatively flat, smooth trails. You can explore rough ones later when you gain experience so that you can navigate around and over obstacles such as roots and rocks. The ability to go around these challenges is part of the fun of mountain biking sport.
There are different types of mountain-bike trails marked and maintained by your skill level, namely beginner, intermediate, expert, and double expert levels.
Singletrack: it's a popular trail whose dimensions range from the width of your shoulders to a track that accommodates two bikes. It's a trail that allows one-way travel and leads to the best terrain on that landscape.
Doubletrack: It's a trail that is double the width of singletrack and can accommodate two bikes riding side-by-side. In most instances, a doubletrack trail was initially a logging road, power-line road or fire road that is now abandoned.
Mountain bike terrain parks: These include lift-serviced trails at ski resorts or jump and pump tracks under urban overpasses. Features such as halfpipes, berms, jumps of different sizes, hairy downhill switchbacks, banked corners, and elevated bridges.
Thus, the vehicle's tires left two single tracks that now form the doubletrack trails with a gentler grade and less-technical features than the earlier one.
Mountain Bike Gear, Accessories and Clothing
The mountain bike helmets are designed to offer plenty of coverage and protection compared to road bike helmets. The right helmet should have adequate venting and protect the lower back of your head. As a beginner, you can buy or rent a full-face helmet when engaging in downhill riding.
Further, the biking industry requires all bike models to pass a rigorous safety test regardless of the style they are to engage in.
These are essential accessories in all cycling sports because they protect your eyes from debris while riding. They have filtered lenses to protect the eyes from strain; thus, shaded glasses are for sunny days while yellow ones are for cloudy days. You can use snowboard or motocross goggles with full-face helmets when engaging in Enduro, freeride, and downhill riding.
2. Shoes and Pedals
You should select the right combination of pedals and shoes. This is influenced by the style of mountain biking you’re planning to engage in and the level of comfort that you want. The following are different types of pedals available in the market.
Platform Pedals: These are ideal for beginners or less experienced riders because the flat platform pedals allow you to quickly get on and off the mountain bike. It also allows you to step on the ground easily without unclipping the foot from the pedal.
Further, the platform pedals help you to build a technique that will help you to transit to clipless pedals. Platform pedal shoes for engaging in downhill riding should have a tacky sole to help them sink into the pedal pegs and still allow you to dismount quickly in risky situations.
Clipless Pedals: It's a type of pedal used by experienced riders. Thus, as your skills grow, you can stick to platform pedals or switch to clipless pedals together with compatible shoes. These pedals attach themselves to the riders' shoes to provide a higher control and transfer of power. On the other hand, these pedals require more attention when riding in rough terrain.
One way of learning to use clipless pedals is to practice on soft grassy terrain. This helps you to connect and disconnect the foot from the pedal.
Whichever is your preferred style of riding, you should select shoes with hard, protective toes. They should also have water protection from mud and rain as well as a flexible grip when you hike.
3. Repair Kit Essentials
It contains several in-the-field mechanical items. These are CO2 inflator with a cartridge or a hand pump, a spare tube, a chain tool, small multitool with some Allen wrenches.
4. First Aid Kits
It’s a crucial kit because you may sustain abrasions, cuts, spinal injuries, or splint broken limbs while riding. Thus, riders can clean or dress wounds and assist their colleagues when accidents occur as they wait for airlifting by a helicopter.
5. Hydration Backpacks
Although the hydration packs appear bulky for road bikers, they are convenient for mountain biking. Therefore, you should choose a pack with sufficient storage space for your snacks, repair essentials, extra clothing layer, a sternum strap, or clip to fix the hydration sleeve to your shoulder.
6. GPS Systems
It’s added to the handlebars in most cases and is suitable for monitoring your progress on trails.
7. High-Power Lights
You have to carry an LED technology-based lighting to be used during the night. At times you may delay completing the race when mechanical problems or injuries occurs; thus, you need a powerful torch to brighten your trail.
8. Dressing for Mountain Biking
You should wear clothing that is meant explicitly for biking, for this will make your journey comfortable irrespective of the style of biking you're embarking on. Still, different styles have different clothing.
Pads and Body Armor: These are used in protecting the limbs and trunk in case of a crash. The armor may be a simple neoprene sleeve for elbows and knees or a complex, articulated mixture of padding and full-body suits covering the whole body or whole limb.
Gloves: A good pair of gloves is an essential attire that can minimize hand and wrist fatigue. Gloves can be either full-fingered or fingerless, and their role is to protect you in case of a crash. Further, full-fingered gloves are the best choice because they offer your fingers some texture. They also keep your hand warmer and help you to hold the gear and brakes firmer.
Shorts: There is a wide range of shorts that can be worn when mountain biking. They include a form-fitting style, which is the best option for cross-country racers. The baggy style gives you a more casual look, wider coverage, and is durable. Their inner lining has a padded chamois, which is excellent at minimizing the trail impact and saddle fatigue.
Jersey: Like shorts, jerseys are available in different styles like loose, form-fitting, and casual-looking. The best jersey is the one that can wick sweat and dry quickly as well as one that you can wash and wear within the shortest time possible. The jersey should also be easy to pack and fit in your backpack.
Beginner’s Mountain Bike Buying Guide
There are myriads of models, processes, and types of mountain bikes in the market. The following tips will help you to find the right mountain bike for you.
1. The Budget
The market has some super cool, modern mountain bikes that cost nearly $10,000. However, you need to be realistic when buying the first bike because all you need is a two-wheel that will offer you a safe and fun ride. You can get a decent bike at $500, such as the entry-level hardtail, or a mid-level hardtail from the previous stock or a secondhand one. However, you should avoid buying a new full suspension bike at this level for it will be of low quality while a used one will cost you a lot in repairs.
- With a shoestring budget of $500-1,000, you can buy a hardtail, a 29er, or better still an entry-level full-suspension bike.
- An average budget of $1,000-1,500 can help you to access year close-out or clearance options. Thus you can buy a nice hardtail or full suspension bikes at this range.
- Upper range budget of $1,500-3,500 will enable you to buy a durable mountain bike that can last for years. These include a decent all-mountain bike, race-ready hardtails, or trail full-suspension bike models. More so some carbon fiber models are also available in this range.
- Above $3,500 will give a wide range of bikes that matches your riding style or those of different riding disciplines.
2. The Type of Riding
There are three main categories of mountain bikes, namely, all-mountain or trail, downhill, and cross country. You need to be realistic when buying a bike because you don't need a downhill bike if you only ride on local trails. The best option is buying a decent trail bike but hire a downhill bike whenever you need it. Otherwise, any good quality hardtail will help you enjoy the trail and get back safely.
On the other hand, if you're planning for lift-serviced or shuttled rides, it will make sense to buy a downhill or freeride bikes, particularly when you have the budget for it.
3. The Number of Gears
Look for a bike with a cassette that has a higher number of sprockets, for it offers a better shift and rides as well as allows smaller steps between gears. Further, 8-10 speed blocks are better, although they are costly; however, entry-level bikes with 7-speed cassettes are the most recommended.
4. The frame size
Most manufactures provide frame designation such as medium or large in relation to the rider's height and seat tube length in inches. You need to visit a local bike shop to try your bike fit instead of buying online and asking questions. You should go for a large frame but maintain enough standover because this will affect your dismounts.
Further, a large bike will give you an uncomfortable stretch out when riding while a small one will make you feel nervous, cramped when riding, and deny you an efficient pedaling position.
5. Wheel Sizes
In the previous years, all-mountain bikes had 26" wheels, and the tire diameter was between 2.0 and 2.5" diameters. Later came 29" wheels, which offers a higher ability to smooth out bumps was introduced because the tire can't fit into small holes; thus, it's able to maintain the momentum over rougher ground. However, the wheel and tire are heavier, which led to the development of 27.5" wheels that created a balance between the heavier 29er and inferior 26" wheels. Thus, 26” is rarely available, while 27.5” is the most popular because 29” wheel is reported to be heavier and dull.
Mountain Biking Tips for Beginners
Every mountain biker can recall their first time experience on a bicycle. It involved riding across streams, over rocks, and all manner of terrain. That memorable experience was both fun and exciting, as well as terrifying and nerve-wracking at the same time. However, things changed with time and experience.
The following are beginner mountain biking tips.
1. Relax on the Brakes
At times you will be tempted to grab both brakes and bring them to the bars; however, try to resist the temptation. The reason is that mountain bike brakes are strong, and a slight movement is enough to modulate the speed.
Thus, you can adjust your speed before entering a tricky part such as corners and rock gardens, then maintain it there. In case you encounter a steep turn, keep off the front left brake because touching them will stop the front tire and send it into a slide that will throw you over the bar and direct it to the ground.
Instead, use the rear right brakes because although the bike will skid, you will stay upright.
2. Keep Your Body Loose
Bikes can roll over technical terrain; thus, your job is to allow it to maneuver over that surface. You can allow the bike to do so by keeping the body loose. Move your body as it rides over rocks and roots instead of being ridged. Don't fight the bike as it rips down a descent; instead, stay loose to let it flow.
3. Maintain the Bike’s Momentum
Although this might appear counterintuitive, allowing your bike to speed up in challenging terrain instead of holding speed can help you clear tough sections easily. Momentum is what the bike needs to keep moving forward. For that reason, don't fight momentum; instead, make it your friend and maintain it whenever possible.
4. Move Your Weight
During your riding adventure, you will encounter extreme terrains like steep declines and inclines. Lean forward to move your forward when ascending a tough pitch. This will maintain traction because the center of gravity is over the rear wheel.
The opposite is true when the trail tilts downward. In this case, you have to shift the weight over the rear wheel and behind the saddle to prevent you from going over the bars.
5. Make Use of All Gears
Mountain bikes are made in a way that it can cover undulating terrain. Thus you should anticipate a change in terrain and prepare beforehand to maintain the momentum.
6. Focus on Where You’re Going
Target fixation causes you to hit a rock you intended to avoid because the bike will definitely move to the direction of your eyes.
Thus rather than staring directly at the obstacles, direct your eyes beyond that while you use the peripheral vision to negotiate what is in front of you.
Use a trail-specific helmet to protect the head if you hit the obstacle, and you trip up.
7. Activate the Suspension
The modern mountain bikes have a rear shock absorber and a front suspension fork. You can navigate through big bumps with these magical inventions. Still, you have to activate them and learn how to lockout and open up the suspension. Failure to understand how these elements work will cause you to embark on a technical trail with a rigid bike.
8. Acquire Basic Repair Skills
Mountain bikes are used on rugged terrain, and as a result, you're likely to experience mechanical issues. Although the introduction of tubeless tire technology has immensely helped reduce flats, it didn't eliminate them altogether.
Thus, having basic repair skills will help you when something breaks while in the mountain. For instance, you should understand how to fix a flat tire, replace a cracked or bent derailleur hanger, and repair a broken chain.
9. Prepare For an Emergency
Some mountain bike rides may extend more than anticipated or planned, yet most deserts or forests don't have convenience stores. To take care of these inconveniences, you can pack extra food and water, spare tube, pump in addition to multitool.
The reason is that sometimes you may lack someone to pick you up when you experience mechanical issues or get lost. However, having these extras will leave you more relaxed. The option is better than carrying a credit card only.
Dangers of Mountain Biking
Physical activities have a certain degree of inherent dangers, and the same applies to mountain biking. Although some individuals mistake the sport for merely taking a scenic ride through the wilderness as casual cyclists do, mountain riders slice through the debris, loose gravel, rocks, stone, tight curves, steep slopes, and intimidating heights. Thus, the sport has more risks and is only left to the ultimate thrill-seekers.
For that reason, when beginners embark on this sport, they need to understand that it's not only risky, but it has life-threatening injuries.
The following are some of the risk factors that organizers and experts of mountain cycling point out.
The Cyclist’s Mistake
Mistakes are inevitable, and in mountain biking, a single error can be catastrophic. Imagine taking a wrong track or losing concentration when riding, which can lead you to deadly collisions or plunges. This means that you need extra caution when riding.
Misjudging vertical falls, loss of control, drunken cycling, poor balancing, wrong maneuvers, low concentration, and unintended braking are additional mistakes that you're likely to make when cycling.
Technical Bike’s Hitches
There are several technical hitches or equipment mishaps that are the primary cause of injuries and accidents in the biking realm. Even the best and most expensive mountain bike in the market is not hitch proof. Thus, you should have regular bike inspections to establish if it’s safe to embark on mountain biking.
Component failures contribute to a certain degree of fatalities, and some of these are flat tires, failed handlebars, brakes, forks, chains, cranks, and suspension elements.
Nature of the Terrain
A downhill rider is exposed to several risky conditions such as taking sharp turns, accelerating downhill, dangerous loose mountainside terrain. For that reason, a rider has to remain focused while engaging in MTB. The smooth terrain you start your ride on will not last long before you come across some obstructions, and then the trail will get bumpy midway.
You will also experience cycling mishaps as you maneuver around obstacles, and the ride can get risky, especially when you're not familiar with the trail. Gravel surfaces minimize traction as well as make it hard to gain control.
Further, riding downhill, particularly on rough terrain, can lead you to unfamiliar bends. Thus terrain can make it either easy or difficult to control your bike. Another challenge is the gravitational force when riding downhill, for it can leave you hanging in the air.
Therefore terrain plays a vital role in mountain biking, and things can get worse if you're a beginner. Thus it's essential to ride as a group or with an experienced mountain bike rider who is conversant with the terrain.
Type of Riding
The type of cycling is another predisposing factor to bike injuries. For instance, some trails are dangerous and demanding, thus the need to extra cautious when riding. Further, some races require higher endurance and commitment levels than others, yet they pose a higher risk. More so, cross-country mountain bike riders sustain fewer injuries than the downhill counterparts. Thus, the more hours per week you spend on these trails, the higher the chances of getting injured.
Experience is another vital factor in mountain biker's success, particularly in locations or grounds that need more focus, agility, and advanced riding skills. Gaining professional riding ratings doesn't come after a day's training as admitted by experienced mountain bikers. However, you can learn the ropes of this sport very fast. Experience is one of the ways of differentiating expert and novice riders. Experienced riders are less likely to be involved in accidents than beginners.
Types of Mountain Biking Injuries
There are different injuries that you are likely to sustain when engaging in mountain biking. Some injuries might be trivial, while others are traumatic. Thus, as the number of mountain biking enthusiasts increases, the number of reported accidents also increases.
Abdominal and Chest Injuries: The main culprits of the chest and abdominal injuries are children. It's possible to get severe internal organs damages when they knock themselves on the handlebars. These injuries have caused some governments to come up with legislation that bars straight unpadded handlebars. As a result of the ban, Australia experienced reduced incidences of liver injuries. Thus this outcome shows that there is an increased need to prioritize bicycles' safety.
Skin and Soft Tissues Injuries: Some common skin and soft tissue injuries are abrasions, contusions, and lacerations. You're likely to sustain wounds and deep cuts, which heals faster with quality medication. Other common injuries are neck and joints sprains as well as back strains. You can get back on track very soon when the injuries are not severe.
Bone Fractures: The upper body of a rider is likely to sustain a fracture in cases where you’re involved in an accident. Other parts are the proximal femur, thoracic, and tibia, lumbar spine, distal radius cervical, and pelvis. You may also get scapular and Rib fractures.
Joints injuries: Skids, falls, and poor control may contribute to injuries to the joints. Some of the common are acromioclavicular injuries, sprains on the wrist, ankles, fingers, and knees. Bikers that engage in competitive downhill cycling have reported many cases of injuries on lateral menisci and cruciate ligaments.
Further, the majority of the acromioclavicular separation happens on the shoulders. Other joint injuries that result from biking mishaps are knees and elbows dislocation.
Head and Facial Injuries: These are common mountain bike injuries, and the magnitude depends on the impact. These accidents can cause severe brain damage, such as cerebral concussions. Another incident is intracranial bleeding.
Therefore, it's essential to wear a sturdy mountain biking helmets because it’s designed to protect your head from the severe impact of an accident.
Fatal Injuries: Mountain biking accidents can be severe to the extent of causing a severe fatality. For instance, they cause intracranial hemorrhage, brain damage, pulmonary contusion, ruptured diaphragm, chest trauma, and transected coronary, among others. These types of injuries may lead to death. Bjorg Lambretcht died a result of a crash in August 2019, while Jordie Lunn died during a trail-riding crash in October 2019.
Best Mountain Biking Destination in the World
The world has several amazing trails that can allow you to enjoy your two-wheeled adventures. The following are some of the dream mountain biking destinations you should try.
The 85km trail based in New Zealand allows you to spend the day climbing the temperate rainforest, riding between tree lines adjacent to rolling hills one after the other. You can spend the night at Ghost Lake Hut and enjoy watching the stars, and when the sun bursts, you continue discovering the rainforest.
The trail has long and thrilling descents that line the track taking you into and out of the jungle. You can conclude the ride at a quirky village pub where you can enjoy a refreshing cold beer.
2. Lupra Pass, Nepal
Riding deep in the Himalayas surrounds you with the tallest mountains in the world, which is an incredible experience. Although you will reach the mountain's roof, the high attitudes will not spare you, for you will be left gasping for air.
Next, the Lupra Pass trail will take you a fast, flowing descending singletrack filled with dusty. Your day will be spent riding in steeper switchbacks, traverse across dried-up river bed and farmland.
3. Achnashellach, Scotland
Scotland is a wild place characterized by the rugged west coast. The destination has dramatic scenery and weather that offers plenty of challenging trails that are technical and tough. The trail has a lot of rocks, and the best sight is Achnashellach, which is in the middle of the Torridon Mountains.
The Scottish MTB trail gives you a tough climb for it's a brutal rock ride over teeth-chattering rock gardens and smooth glacier-shaved slabs. Thus, the descent will keep you glued on the edge of your saddle the entire day.
The region is a beautiful mountain biking destination in Italy, for it has rolling hills embracing the coastline. The trail narrows, twists, and turns at certain portions of the hills, making it an excellent place as an experienced mountain biker for it requires advanced maneuvering skills. Thus, the peaceful trails are the perfect scenery for your biking escapades.
5. 401 Trail, Colorado
The crested Butte is an old mountain town that offers you a chilled and relaxed atmosphere. This destination was used to host EWS, which is an indication that Crested Butte's trail is of another caliber.
Silence and remoteness are the characteristics of this trail for it take you down to the valley floor, winding your way among trees, before popping into flower meadows which are an explosion of color.
6. Whistler, Canada
The British Columbia province-based destination is a hub of different types of outdoor sports. Its two mountains are covered with snow during the winter months, making it ideal for snowboarders and skiers. As the weather begins to get warmer, the mountain bikers and hikers start exploring the paradise through the 70 biking tracks.
The destination will allow you to enjoy the peaks of Mefjellet and the fjord's turquoise waters, as seen from your luxuriant, breathtaking floating hotel, Gassten. Riding skyward will lead you to the glacier-carved ridge line encircled by snowcapped peaks. You will enjoy descending the mountainside with the help of gravity as you pedal over the rock slabs and changing singletrack that leads you to the water edge and back to the Gassten.
8. Vermont, United States
The American-based destination is a nature lover's paradise. It focuses on local consumption and environmental preservation; thus, you will find several resident shops rather than distribution supermarkets. While winter's heavy snowfalls make snowboarding and skiing ideal, the autumn is perfect for mountain biking due to its colorful foliage. You can end the trip at a craft beer brewery or a syrup farm.
9. Tizi Mezzik Pass, Morocco
The trail begins at Imlil and runs through Ouirgane, which is approximately 2280m. The Tizi Mezzik Pass trail is characterized by steep, loose, and rocky terrain. It's more efficient to climb on foot due to the attitude, enjoy the immense views, and start the descent again.
The singletrack is a pencil-thin line cutting across the hillside, and passing through villages built on the mountainside. Further, the track will lead you into a jungle-type trail beside a river and into High Atlas where you can spend the night.
10. Alps, France
It's a popular destination for European mountain bikers because it's an easily accessible scenic vista. The diverse network of trails can extend Switzerland and back to France. You can use the Morzine's system of chairlifts to avoid uphill climbs and begin the Alps' downhill ride.
The ultimate beginner’s guide is not exhaustive because there is a lot to learn about mountain biking. However, the above information will help you begin your mountain biking journey. Helpful tips will help you improve your skills.