Mountain Biking Tips Blog

Learn from our Mountain Biking Community

20
September
2017

How Many Bikes Should You Have?

Back in the old days when you went to buy a mountain bike you simply bought a mountain bike and enjoyed your 40 pound, 21 speed, v-brake equipped mountain bike with no suspension out on the trails. Nowadays there are so many types of bikes to choose from with so many categories of riding it's hard to figure out how many bikes you need to make sure you are covered. Are you going to be hitting bike parks for downhill runs? Taking on 50 mile cross country rides? Gearing up for an enduro race? How about a gravel bike that you can ride on the road and the dirt?

Sure you can have one bike and attempt to do everything with it but you won’t get the same results as if you had a bike that was made for that type of riding or particular types of trails. And sure you can combine a couple types of riding with only one type of bike and probably be ok but it depends on how serious you are about getting the most out of riding. But if you want to get the best results and have the most fun (and best Strava times) it's better to have a bike made for the specific kind of riding. Sure you can take an XC bike to the bike park and probably live but it sure won't be any fun!

Categories: General

25
August
2017

Feeding Your Body During Your Rides

Feeding Your Body During Your Rides

Everyone knows that we need to eat to survive and in order for our body to function and correctly and have energy we need to feed it what it needs. And when we say feed it what it needs that doesn't necessarily mean feed it what you happen to be in the mood for at the moment, especially if you plan on exercising afterwards or you are in the middle of your physical activity.

Another thing we all know is that mountain biking takes a lot of energy to do. Even if you are taking a shuttle to the top and riding down it still gets tiring and you need to make sure you have the proper energy or else you are asking for trouble, most likely in the form of a crash! And just because you stuffed your face before your ride doesn't mean it's going to be enough to get you by for the entire ride.

So what do you do to make sure you have the energy you need while out on the trail? The first thing is to plan for how long of a ride you are doing and its physical difficulty level as well as the weather conditions. And you definitely don't want to stuff your face too much right before the ride because then you will be getting cramps or some other kind of stomach ache related issue. And the same goes for liquids. Drinking a gallon of water before a ride won't make it so you don't have to drink on the trail and will probably just hurt you in the long run.

Categories: General

15
July
2017

Renting a Mountain Bike

Renting a Mountain Bike

So you are thinking of getting into mountain biking or maybe you are going on a trip somewhere that has some great trails but don't have a way to bring your bike. What do you do in this type of situation? Well what you can do is rent a mountain bike and take all the worry out of buying a bike before knowing what you are getting yourself into or dealing with trying to get your bike to your destination, especially if you are flying there.

Many bike shops or even the manufactures themselves will rent you a bike for the day or days so you can get out on the trail without any hassles, except for hassling your wallet maybe. Plus the shop will adjust all the settings like the seat height and suspension air pressure and sag to dial it in for your height, weight and riding style. Renting a bike is also a great way to try out a new bike model that you were thinking of buying before you buy it. That way there is no regrets if you buy a bike without really giving it the proper test. Some bike shops will do demo days where you can try out bikes as well but you get a very limited time on them since other people will be waiting to get their chance.

Categories: General

01
April
2017

Mixing Road Biking with Mountain Biking

Mixing Road Biking with Mountain Biking

You may be one of those hard core mountain bikers who have no desire to hit the pavement unless it's to get to the next trailhead entrance. You may also be one of those people who have road biking friends and just don't see the thrill in riding on nice smooth pavement even though your friends tell you how exciting it is to ride 100 miles next to cars flying by you at 60 mph.

Sure road biking doesn't offer the same types of thrills as mountain biking at least when it comes to the terrain but can offer thrills (and spills) thanks to the high speed attained on the downhill road sections you will often encounter and the aerodynamic nature of the bikes... and the tight pants. On the other hand if you are looking for a way to improve your mountain biking endurance to take on those longer rides and more difficult climbs then road biking will definitely help get you there. Plus if the trails are muddy after the rain you can always hit the road to get your riding in and keep those legs from getting weak.

Categories: General

17
February
2017

Taking on new and more difficult features on the trail

Taking on new and more difficult features on the trail

As mountain bikers we all like to improve our skills on a continuous basis, if not for ourselves then at least for our Strava times! But what do you do when you find yourself staring at a feature in the trail that you are not sure that you can handle? Do you just do it and risk breaking something (on your body or your bike) just to avoid looking like a wimp? Or do you simply say "pass" and avoid any potential pain and suffering and deal with the smack talk later?

When it comes to trying something new like a jump, drop or steep decent it's very important to check it out before attempting it. Sometimes this is hard to do if you are already in motion like at a bike park and don't have time to stop or may cause a traffic jam or accident if you do. In that case look for what they call a ride around which lets you bypass the obstacle and sometimes allows you to get a look at what's involved at riding it at the same time. If it is somewhere that you can stop safely without getting run over it's a good idea to watch others ride it and see if you think it's something you want to try yourself.

Categories: General

05
July
2016

6 Bolt vs. Centerlock Brake Rotors

6 Bolt vs. Centerlock Brake Rotors

If you have a mountain bike that was made in the last 8 years or so there is a good chance that it has disk brakes unless you got it somewhere like Target or Walmart. And if your mountain bike has V brakes then it's time for you to get a new bike! Mountain bike brake technology hasn't changed too much over the years except for maybe streamlining designs and making brakes lighter and cool better. And there are still hydraulic and mechanical brakes to choose from with each having their own advantages although hydraulic is the overall winner and is what you should be using.

When it comes to rotors there are 2 main types to choose from, 6 bolt or centerlock. There are other types out there but they are not nearly as common. The rotor part itself that comes in contact with the brake pads works the same way on each but it's how they connect to the hub that makes the difference. In our opinion one is not better than the other but it's more of a choice for you to make or not a choice depending on if you already have your bike or hubs.

Categories: General

20
March
2016

Do You Want a 1x11 Drivetrain?

Do You Want a 1x11 Drivetrain?

So you finally got yourself a mountain bike with an aluminum frame, fixed seatpost, 26 inch wheels (with inner tubes of course) and 2x10 drivetrain and are ready to hit the trail. Then you pick up a mountain bike magazine and realize your bike is not "cool" and is totally out of date and too heavy. Of course it would probably do you just fine but now you are wondering if you can do better and don't want to get funny looks from other riders on the trail.

By now you have probably heard of carbon fiber this and that, 27.5 or 29 inch wheels and dropper seatposts etc. but what about your drivetrain setup? Not too long ago everyone was running a 3x9 setup which means 3 chainrings in the front and 9 in the rear for a total of 27 speeds. Then it switched to a 2x10 setup (20 speeds) which utilized the most often used gears and got rid of one of the front rings. Now many people are switching to 1x11 drivetrains which only have one ring in the front and 11 gears total. Of course the gear spacing has to be spread out a little more to make sure you have a high enough and low enough gear to use. But the question of the day becomes is this right for you?

One of the main benefits of the 1x11 drivetrain is that you get rid of the front derailleur which saves on weight but it's one less thing to worry about or to break on you. On a 1x11 setup the chain stays in on gear up front and just changes on the rear rings on the cassette. Another benefit is that you don't have to worry about the chain coming off in the front on gear changes if you do it at the wrong time or are out of adjustment.

Categories: General

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