Biking technique: the key basic exercises

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Most mountain bikers find that the fun really only starts once they’ve left paved streets well behind. Unlike a normal road bike, a full-suspension bike will take care of a lot of the chal­lenges that trails present. However, to be truly safe, it is essential to have a good biking technique.

Balance is key to biking

Bikers who like riding forest paths and mountain bike trails need one thing in particular - good balance. Important aspects include ensuring the correct body position on the bike, alignment of the pedals and posture of the arms. This au­to­mat­i­cal­ly provides more stability and security.

You should also look as far ahead as possible, towards the point to which you are riding. Depending on the terrain, shift your weight to the front (when seated, riding uphill) or to the back (when standing, riding downhill).

Biking technique: the key basics

Daniel Schefer from the Swiss Bike School pre­sents three simple biking exercises designed to train your balance and improve your biking technique (in german).

Practice makes perfect

Even experienced bikers benefit from honing their technique on a regular basis as it will make them feel safer on their bike and ul­ti­mate­ly lead to more fun on the trails. Good mountain bike control also provides the basis from which to venture on to other biking tricks.

The right braking technique

Besides balance and optimal weight distribution, braking technique also plays a key role. Each brake lever is operated by one finger. To achieve the best braking performance, it’s important to pull both brakes steadi­ly and at the same time. De­cel­er­a­tion is greatest just before the wheels lock.

To avoid a roll-over, shift your weight downwards and backwards.

Much is in the head

Even though the exercises may have worked well on dry terrain, it is on unfamiliar trails that difficulties can suddenly loom so large. A new obstacle, a worrying thought and a moment’s hesitation too many – all this is enough to make us lose the speed we need to continue. Many things look harder at first glance than they actually turn out to be. This is why mental training is es­sen­tial for a good biking technique too.

Tip: Look at the spot again, choose the best line, and go back to try again.

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