Mountain biking is different from cycling on the road. It is tougher, has difficult obstacles, and requires a different physical level. When road cyclists try mountain biking for the first time, they get discouraged by the difficulty level and some of them decide never to try mountain biking again.
This is a wrong attitude.
Mountain biking is a great adventure sport; it not only gives you a change in scenery. It also helps in building up core muscles and stamina. All this training is going to improve your road cycling performance.
If you are a road cyclist, check out this mountain bike buyer’s guide, get the right bike and then follow these tips to make the transitions from road to pavement a lot of easier.
Tip 1: Get to know your mountain bike and become comfortable moving around in it
Road cyclists sit on the saddle of their bike for most time of the race. They may sometimes stand on the pedals for some time to do a climb or a sprint, but for majority of the time they remain seated. Mountain riders are different from roadies in this respect. They stand on the pedals for most of the technical portions of the climb. So, to be good at mountain biking, you have to learn how to ride the bike without being seated.
Tip 2: Learn to do steep climbs by pushing your body weight forward
When you reach a steep climb or a road where sand is loose, and there are rocks and dirt everywhere, you must move your body weight forward. This ensures that the read end of your bike remains in contact with the ground at all times and your bike doesn’t skid. But don’t go too far in the front, maintain a balance. This balance point will vary from bike to bike and from trail to trail, so you will have to find it by hit and trial. See, the science is simple. If you will move your body too far ahead, the rear tire of your bike will lose traction, and if you will push it too far at the back, the front wheel of your bike will get lifted in the air and you risk falling. So, you should try to find the balance point and stay at it.
Tip 3: Never stop pedalling
A common mistake that newbie riders do is that they stop dead in the track when they approach a climb that they are not sure about. This is the wrong approach. Mountain biking is a split second sport where you are required to make decisions in a second and that can prove to be a different between success and failure. So, when you reach a technical section of the trail, never stop, make the choice of the gear that you will need to cross the section and pedal like a maniac. Pedalling strong and hard will probably get you to the other end. This approach doesn’t work while downhill however, going downhill, gravity is working to accelerate you, so instead learning to pedal properly, you should learn how to brake properly.
Combining your mountain bike rides with some time on the roads can help keep up the rhythm and build stamina and riding strength. For your road ride read about the best road bikes under $1000 before you get one.