Mountain Biking Tips Blog

Learn from our Mountain Biking Community

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

19
December
2015

Choosing a Handlebar Width

Choosing a Handlebar Width
With so many types of bikes on the market today grouped into different categories such as XC (Cross Country), all mountain, enduro, downhill and so on it makes sense that there are certain components work better with certain bikes and trails. I'm sure you have noticed that wider tires are seen more often on enduro and downhill bikes and lighter components are more sought after for XC bikes. And of course there are all your friends and online forums members that will tell you what the best parts are and what you need to be using!

One important consideration when getting a new bike or setting up your existing bike is handlebar width. There are so many sizes out there ranging from 550 mm to 800 mm and many people like to buy wide handlebars and cut them down to the exact length they need. The width of your handlebars will affect how your bike rides and how easy it is to control in certain situations. Handlebars that are narrower are commonly seen on XC bikes (and older bikes) and wider bars are almost always used for downhill bikes. Narrow bars allow you to turn with less movement of the bars while wider bars offer more leverage with less force but you have to turn them further to get the same amount of turning as a narrower bar would give you. Wider bars also tend to be more stable while narrow bars allow you to maneuver easier through tight spaces like trees.

Categories: General

26
September
2015

Choosing a Bike Shop

Choosing a Bike Shop

Just like cars need to be fixed and maintained, so do mountain bikes. Some people are the do it yourself type that can fix anything and will figure out how to do it themselves before paying someone else to fix it for them. If that's you then you will most likely only make trips to the bike shop for parts and supplies. Then there are the types who either don't want to fix their bike because they don't want to, can't figure it out or just prefer to leave that sort of thing to the professionals to make sure it gets done right. If that's you then you need to find a bike shop that does good work and that you can trust.

Now just because you take your bike to the shop for repairs doesn't mean it will get fixed correctly. Most of us at some point or another have had our bike worked on at a bike shop and got it back either not properly repaired or with something else broken that wasn't broken when you brought it in. Just because it's a bike shop doesn't mean the technicians always know what they are doing. If you feel bold enough you can always ask about the experience level of the people who repair the bikes before leaving yours for service.

If you are lucky enough to have multiple bike shops in your area you can do the trial and error method and take your bike to different ones and see who does the best work. It's also a good idea to talk to the techs and explain you problem and see if they appear to know how to fix it without having to put too much thought into it. One good tip is to bring your bike in for a repairs and service to a place that sells the same brand. That way you know that they have worked on bikes like yours and also have assembled new ones that they put out for sale therefore giving them more experience with your brand. And of course word of mouth and review sites like Yelp can point you in the right direction. Once you find the best shop you will get to know the people who work on your bikes which make for a better experience when you have to take it in.

Categories: General

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