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5 Mountain Biking Mistakes that Beginners should Avoid

By Ryan | Misc

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​Mountain biking is a very popular sport and something that is enjoyed by people of all ages all over the world. It is a great way to keep fit as well as an enjoyable activity for all of the family.

However, there are many mistakes that people make when starting out with mountain bikes. Here are five things that all beginners will want to avoid.

​#1 - ​Always wear your bicycle helmet

​It goes without saying that your helmet could be the difference between a small knock or an unfortunate injury. It offers you protection around the most fragile and important part of your body, and in the event of a crash, it can take the brunt of the force and stop you from suffering a potentially serious injury. Helmets are functional, and not just an accessory and should be respected and treated as such.

When you are driving a car, you will always wear your seatbelt without even thinking. The same train of thought must apply to your helmet when you go out mountain biking. Your helmet has the same importance as your seat belt.

​#2 - Wear appropriate clothing and footwear

​You should always make sure that you are wearing appropriate clothing when you go mountain biking. Good footwear is essential so that you can properly grip on the pedals. Wearing flip-flops or sandals is just asking for trouble.

You will want to wear something comfortable and not too restricting, yet something that suit the weather when you go out, as well as the duration of your excursions. It’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast and dress appropriately.

You will always want to invest in a pair of padded cycling shorts. Many beginners are under the belief that their regular shorts will be fine, but after a few days of biking, you will quickly discover that special shorts are a necessity, and something that will reduce pain in your sensitive areas.

​#3 -  ​Remember good posture

​One complaint that many mountain bikers have is lower back pains. The issue of zero core strength and a weak lower back has been discovered to be a result of mountain biking. 

Though customization of your bike can help in some ways with reducing the potential pain in your lower back, it is not the real solution. 

The main cause of lower backache and zero strength is the hunching of your shoulders, the constant lifting of your chin and the rounding of your back. It is advised that you should always be aware of these three things, so that when you are out mountain biking, you can bring into your routine some exercises to help with increasing your core and lower back strength.

​#​4 - Don’t grip the handle bar as though your life depends on it

​The tight gripping of the handle bar is something that should be avoided, as it only causes tightness in your chest. There is no real benefit to holding the handle bar so tightly.

Unfortunately, it is something that occasionally creeps up into people’s biking routines. Try to be aware of how you are gripping the handle bar, and if you notice you are holding it very tightly, just ease up a little.

By loosening up on your grip, you will be forcing other muscles in your body to start working, and these include the lower back muscles, which you want to work on to avoid any back ache issues due to biking.

​#5 - Walk before you can run

Or in this case, gain the necessary experience before you start trying to go on more advanced and difficult courses or routes. Mountain biking is a sport with many levels of experience, and it is never a good idea to jump right in at the deep end. Spend some time building up your confidence and abilities, and then look to expand your biking routines by taking in different tracks or terrains.

Try to work out which aspects of mountain biking you feel less sure and confident about and spend some time working on those aspects, rather than solely sticking to something, you are confident about. Without tackling the difficult aspects of mountain biking, you will never be able to improve your skills, and will forever be stuck at the same level.

​There are many things that beginners will want to avoid when mountain biking. Regardless of whether you have a standard mountain bike or one with a folding mechanism, which itself has various advantages, you will want to make sure that you follow some basic practices. Mountain biking is something to be enjoyed, and by taking a few safety measures and being aware of your surroundings and your own body, you can really enjoy what this unique sport has to offer.

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Ryan Smith, a solo traveler, and founder of MrAbroad.com with a bunch of friends. I love going outside, reading books and talking to people.