Basic Techniques

Mountain Biking: Basic Techniques


You don’t need mountains to go mountain biking. Just about any off-pavement riding will reward you with fresh air and great exercise and—if hills or mountains are present—the exhilaration of scenic views and long downhill stretches.

Mountain biking does require some different skills than road cycling. This article shares basic techniques to help you get started.
When you’re riding non-technical sections of trail, you want to be in a neutral position on the bike. This keeps you rolling along efficiently and comfortably while allowing you to easily transition into the ready position for technical terrain.

Falling Off

No one likes to fall off a bike, but if you’re mountain biking, it’ll probably happen at some point.

When you fall off your bike, try to keep your arms in. Your instinct may be to reach out to brace your fall, but this can result in a broken wrist or collarbone.

During a fall, most damage is limited to personal pride. Pick yourself up, dust off and check to make sure you’re not injured. Then check your bike. The seat or handlebar may have twisted and the chain may have come off.

Check your brakes and gears, too, before charging on. A trailside repair or adjustment may be needed, so it’s wise to carry a multi-tool and a small first-aid kit to patch any personal scrapes.