6 Ways To Improve Your Mountain Bike Skills

improve your mountain bike skills, mountain bike tips, mountain bike training, Mountain biking tips
May 25th, 2016

Have you reached a mountain biking plateau? If you’re ready to take your mountain bike skills to the next level, focus on these six ways to improve your skills.

1. ride on different terrain

Improving your mountain bike skills will happen when you diversify your riding and the types of terrain you ride on. You might have a local trail you could ride with your eyes closed, but real skills improvement happens when you challenge yourself on new trails and varying terrain. If you’re used to the slick rock of Utah, try heading north to the roots and rocky trails of British Columbia, or west to sandy California. Riding on different terrain will test your bike handling skills, balance and ability to adapt.

2. ride with more advanced riders

Join a group of riders that will make you push your limits and challenge yourself. Check out your local mountain bike club for weekly rides based on skill level. Start off on the beginner or intermediate rides and gradually push yourself to try the more advanced rides. Learning from other riders will increase your skill set and increase your cardio. Don’t get down on yourself if you’re the last one in the pack, think of it as a learning experience!

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3. trust yourself

If you want to improve your mountain bike skills, now is the time to trust yourself. If you continually take the same route on your rides, gradually test your limits by facing new obstacles. Trust yourself, follow through and don’t hesitate at roots, rocks, bridges or small jumps. Use your judgement and ask for advice from your mountain biking peers on how to conquer obstacles.

Check out this article for a little inspiration to step out of your comfort zone!

4. practice tricks

Spend one night a week in an empty parking lot with your mountain biking friends and try out new tricks! Learning to do bunny hops and wheelie drops will enhance your mountain bike handling skills and increase your comfort on the trail when facing obstacles. Interested in learning new mountain bike tricks? Check out 10 Mountain Bike Tricks You Can Do Anywhere.

5. focus on the off-season

Becoming a better mountain biker doesn’t just happen on the trail. Focus on enhancing your fitness level and skill level at the same time. When the trails are muddy, snowy or when the temperature drops, hit the gym and focus on strengthening, conditioning and cardio exercises. Doing an entire body work-out will ensure you’re ready to spin when the Spring hits. If you decide to sit on the couch during the off-season, don’t be surprised if you’re body goes into shock during your first Spring ride! Check out 10 Training Tips for Mountain Bikers.

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6. learn about bike maintenance

If you want to improve your mountain bike skills, it’s important to know basic mountain bike maintenance. Take some time to understand the mechanics of your bike, how it works, how to do a pre-ride inspection and how to recognize when something isn’t right. It's hard to improve your skills, if you're bike isn't tuned up properly! Check out your local bike shop for bike maintenance courses.