Mountain bike skills tips with H&I Adventures
On our mountain bike tours this year our customers highlighted how helpful our impromptu, on-the-trail skills training sessions were, so we thought we’d share them with you in a series of blog posts!
We’re not claiming to be an alternative to professional mountain bike tuition, we just want to give you an insight into what we consider to be essential mountain bike skills, that will benefit your riding and leave your friends in the dust! Also when you arrive on tour with us we can continue your training and offer tips on how to improve your technique and get the most out of your mountain bike holiday.
Key mountain bike skill 1: how to lift your front wheel
Useful for: riding over trail obstacles, such as roots or rocks, and drainage ditches on trails in Scotland, which you will experience on our all-mountain coast-to-coast.
Looking at the image above, from right to left, we’ll talk you through how to master this key mountain bike skill.
Pick a flat surface with enough distance to allow you to practise comfortably, without running into things. Always cover the back brake when practising this skill; if you feel you are going too far back, pull the back brake and your front wheel will come straight back down to earth!
Frame 1: Roll along at a steady, jogging pace, and compress the front suspension. This will help when it comes to lifting the front wheel off the ground.
Frame 2: As your front suspension starts to return, move your body weight backwards and push forward with your feet. Your arms are doing no pulling or lifting, they are straightening to allow you to move your body backwards.
Frame 3: Your front wheel will leave the ground as your weight goes further backwards and your front suspension extends fully. You will notice in the image that the rider’s arms are still straight and his back-side is behind the back wheel.
Frame 4: Once you have cleared the obstacle and you need your front wheel to come down, start to bring your weight forward. You will see the rider’s arms are starting to bend. This is enough to start dropping the front wheel. Alternatively, you can scrub some speed by feathering the back brake, which in turn will lower the front wheel.
Frame 5: Your front wheel will continue to drop further. You will see the rider’s arms are still bending further and his body is moving further forward, in turn putting more weight over the front of the bike bringing the front wheel down.
Frame 6: Your front wheel will land and you will be in the perfect riding position to tackle the next trail feature or pedal out!
And that’s it – simple! You’ll find the front wheel lift invaluable in your riding, and it will come in handy on all of our mountain bike adventures, whether in Mexico, Ecuador, Scotland, Nepal, or Spain. Practice makes perfect, so get practising and we’ll see you on the trails!