In keeping with a partial adage from the Navy SEALs – “smooth is fast”. Carefully lean back and then bring the bike to a stop. While a little bit of bend is ok, it becomes a problem once the rotor starts rubbing against the brake pads. If you are geared too high, it will be difficult to power over things, and if you are geared too low, you'll spin out and jerk the bike around. With a fresh and well-oiled chain, you will also want to ensure that your derailleur(s) and cable tension are properly configured to allow for smooth shifting. The suspensions are around 140-170mm and frames are lowered to enhance the speed and stability. When it comes to going faster in mountain biking, one of the first places that I’d recommend taking a look at is your tires. While spending less time fixing flats isn’t the ONLY speed-related reason to switch, it’s certainly still a good one , eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'mountaintreads_com-leader-1','ezslot_6',131,'0','0']));In addition to fewer flats, a tubeless tire setup can also help you ride faster! Take a look at the o-ring on the fork to see how far it has traveled. More power = more distance traveled = faster. A good rule of thumb is that a cassette should last through two to three chains on the bike before needing to be replaced. Always carry a decent mini or floor pump with you to ensure that you’re able to get your tires perfectly inflated before each ride. lightest mountain bike pedals on the market, dry and wet lubricant that I recommend here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkZxPIZ1ngY, How to Adjust a Rear Derailleur – Limit Screws & Indexing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkZxPIZ1ngY), instructions for replacing a cassette in my article here, How Electric Mountain Bikes Work: An Interactive Guide, The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Mountain Bike Gears. There is a complicated explanation as to why this works, but don't worry about that—it just does. It could be that the caliper was knocked to one side and that is the source of the rubbing. Look up the sizing chart for the brand of bike you wish to buy and do your research. The importance of breaks is pretty obvious. Carefully stand up in the pedals in a balanced attack position. >>> 10 best ways to make your bike more comfortable. However, once they’ve pushed past the beginner phases and are trying to eke out every ounce of speed, it may be time for a less aggressive tread. Virtually all mountain bikes these days use disc brakes. Having someone assess your riding and give advice specific to your needs will go miles toward making you a better rider. They slow you down and keep you from riding off the edge of the mountain! Mastering the skill of momentum takes time and experience. I have gone over some key things to keep in mind and do if you want to improve. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'mountaintreads_com-netboard-2','ezslot_20',145,'0','0'])); Start by lowering your seat down so that your feet can easily reach the ground. A better method for handling steep technical is to carry your momentum in a lower gear. As you go through this builder, any incompatible parts will automatically be ruled out – that gives you peace of mind, and you can be assured that you aren't selecting parts that won't jive with each other. Blake shares his essential mountain bike skills that will make you a better rider. This type of design creates the most traction, but also slows you down the most. Footwear | Fitness Apparel | Outdoor Gear. Conclusion. It all comes down to finding the perfect middle-ground. Keep in mind you that you don’t necessarily need a narrower tire, just one with a little less tread. You may find that not all of the sprockets are worn, but just the most heavily used gears. Another note on drivetrain lubrication is to use an appropriate lubricant for your riding conditions. A fork that returns too slow will create a very bouncy sensation while riding. In the process of lubricating your drivetrain, you may very well notice that your chain has stretched. Mud, dirt, gunk, and grime, will work their way into every crevice of your bike from rides. Consider looking into tires that have smaller knobs with closer spacing. Have you ever heard the saying “runs like a well-oiled machine”? This is simply part of normal wear and tear from use. software for managing & marketing your events. Bounce and push down as hard as you can to check the travel under the applied force. When doing your tests, try out pressures as little as one psi difference to really fine-tune the perfect setting. There are plenty of bike sizing guides online, but really the feel of … Actually take two brakes. Since your foot is not physically connected to the bike with flats, it forces you to find the best positioning and not rely on being connected. Instead of a symmetrical triangle appearance, one edge will be worn in towards the middle creating an inward curve. You’ll need to push hard for a few strokes to get through it but you better off than having to get off your bike and walk. In one motion, lean a little forward, push forward on the bars and pull up with your feet. Yea, I know… this one seems obvious if you’re an MTB veteran! Careers To do this, you need the right cleaning and mechanical tools. To conclude, if you want to be a better mountain bike rider, you’re going to have to put in the work. If the teeth don’t have this worn appearance than you can move on. If you pedal in squares, or with jerky downward strokes, you are actually throwing yourself off balance and working harder. You can loosen the saddle bolts and slide the seat forward as far as it will go in the rails. If you’re concerned about speed and time this will be precious seconds and effort that are needlessly lost. Ideally, you should be able to get it to 80-90%. Start by sliding the 0-ring on the fork all the way down, then hop on your bike and slowly ride ahead. You want to ride like the wind. The perfect amount of rebound is the point where the wheel almost lifts off the ground. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'mountaintreads_com-portrait-2','ezslot_22',139,'0','0']));Finding the perfect suspension setup is a tradeoff between comfort and performance. Focus on keeping your inhaling and exhaling at a good pace when you are exerting yourself during the climb. All it takes is a little bend to the brake rotor for it to rub against the pads even when the brakes are not engaged. Mountain-bikes are usually lightweight. This once again lowers your drag so that you’re riding as efficiently as possible. This helps the tire roll quicker and feel better when you stand up. A well-lubricated drivetrain will allow it to function more efficiently. Be sure to hang on firmly but not too tightly. Remove volume spacers if the travel didn’t reach the proper range. If the rotor is in really bad shape, you may even need to replace it. With all of the potential drivetrain inefficiencies cleaned up, it’s now time to consider your brakes. Road racers live in fitted gear for a good reason. You should build a habit of always checking your bike before you ride. Every bit of energy saved from friction is instead translated into the wheels allowing you to travel further. Really aggressive tire tread usually has large square knobs that are widely spaced. This includes the chain, front chainring, cassette, and derailleurs. While I’m on the topic of tires – tire pressure is another critical element for maximizing your riding efficiency. Many beginners start off with pretty aggressive tires so that they have maximum traction when first getting into mountain biking. That width is still important for creating enough surface area to stay in contact with the ground. When you are on the trail, look where you want to go, especially on trails with plenty of roots and rocks. Take a look at my dedicated article on how to clean a mountain bike chain if this is a new concept for you. It is all about moderation and modulation. Everything else is … Some cheap – and free – things you can do your bike to make it even better. Support & Feedback Before each ride, make sure to check that your tire pressure is at the right setting. These are both done while standing still, though you can lunge with the bike while you are hopping to go up and over stuff (stairs, rocks, people, etc). This step optimizes the “spring rate” for your fork. After moving to Colorado I got hooked on mountain biking, and I now spend the weekends cruising around on my Commencal TR 29. Starting with one pedal up and one down, a basic wheelie is a combination of pulling up on the handlebars, shifting your weight over the back wheel and pushing down on the up pedal. This is very easy to tell using a quick and handy chain checker tool if you don’t already have one. This is clearly one area that will cost you those when neglected. This could be a chance for you to both get a more efficient pedal and shave off some weight. However, don’t just throw out your flat pedals if you do make the switch. Once you’ve gone through the limit screw adjustment process, you’ll need to use the barrel adjusters to tweak the cable tension. This is called target fixation. A good starting point for most forks is 25% sag. At a bare minimum, use some hot water and soap to wash away the worst of the grime. While they’ve gotten very popular in recent years, not everyone is using a tubeless setup on their mountain bike at this point. Even if you are using platform pedals, you can hook your feet and still lift the back of the bike up. If you look at the rock or tree that you are trying to avoid, you will probably hit it. Perhaps the biggest key to successful mountain biking is your body position. Look for this banner for recommended activities. Which is powerful, water, solvent liquid, used to dissolve all the build-up grease and grime from your chain and gears. Fitness Training 5 exercises to make you stronger on your bike… eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'mountaintreads_com-narrow-sky-2','ezslot_18',140,'0','0']));If your sag was more than 25%, use a shock pump to add additional air and increase its resistance. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'mountaintreads_com-large-mobile-banner-1','ezslot_8',135,'0','0']));Secondarily, a stretched chain just doesn’t transfer power to the wheels as efficiently. As you might have guessed, “H” is short for high and “L” is short for low. If you are, lower your saddle. The first thing that you’ll want to get correctly set is the fork’s sag. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'mountaintreads_com-portrait-1','ezslot_21',147,'0','0'])); This should ensure that when you’re actually pedaling with a normal foot placement there is a slight bend in the knee at the bottom of your stroke. For those that do not have markings, you can make an eyeball estimate to see that the ring is one-third the way down the barrel. You'll not only have more control, but you'll save the trail from excessive erosion. Training Articles/Coach Blog. rolling resistance with the ground. It’s ok if the front fork returns slightly faster, but it should not be slower than the rear shock. Carefully set your feet back down and stand up. Soon you'll be able to balance without going anywhere by shifting your weight and moving the bike beneath you. It should have approximately 90% travel. Basic bike maintenance only takes a few minutes and it can save you from a long walk, or worse, a trip to the emergency room. Somewhere in the range of 25 – 35 psi is a good range to start. What you don’t want is them slowing you down when you don’t need them to. This will help to reinforce your riding skills as you ride up and down curbs, dodge potholes and outpace angry chihuahuas. 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