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Mountain biking asks you to react quickly to the obstacles that arise on the trail. When we are beginners, or we have been on this adventure for a short time, some questions are hard for us or even scary. That’s when we all wish we had someone to give us some basic mountain bike riding tips and guide us. 

Fortunately, even if none of your buddies are riders, you can still find other fellow riders to help. Mountain bikers are a big, and ever growing, community. And we all are happy to help others enjoy this marvelous sport.

Here you will find 5 fundamental secrets to help you lose the fear of the mountain.

mountain biker looking forward in descent

Focus your view forward

The first, and one of the most important basic mountain bike riding tips is where you look. When we go up and down the mountain, many times, our eyes stay right on the front tire. Therefore, only seeing the first obstacle that comes along the way. And what’s up? Well, we just passed that obstacle but not the one that followed. Maybe we fall, or maybe we get off the path. This happens because our mind did not record what came next. 


That is why one of the best recommendations is to fix your gaze 5 to 10 meters ahead of your front tire. In this way, if you see a stone first, you will perceive what follows. And this is how you’ll know what you should do after the first obstacle.

position your feet well

Position your feet well

When we start cycling, it is essential to look closely at the position of our feet on the pedals. Remember that the metatarsal must rest on the axis of the pedal. That is, the fleshy part of the foot that follows the toes: not the heel, nor the arch of the foot. In this way, when pedaling, we correctly transmit the energy to push the bike pedal in a perfect joint alignment. This to avoid injuries and make the most of our body mechanics. Also remember that your feet on the descent should be horizontal. That is to say, one foot forward and the other behind. In this way, your position is fully balanced to attack the obstacles ahead.

If you are also a road rider, you probably are accustomed to the clipless pedals (automatic pedals or contact pedals). Indeed, these will ensure the feet go in the position they should go to be able to pedal without problems. If you are comfortable with them, you can have clipless pedals on your mountain bike too. A lot of bikers do. However, this is not ideal for big jumpers and freeriders. But it’s really a question of your own comfort.

basic mountain bike riding tips position of elbows

Take out the elbows

When we are afraid, we have a usual and natural tendency to put our elbows towards our ribs. And, unfortunately, this is a mistake we see a lot with beginners. As a result, this will make us unable to maneuver correctly and will cause us more nervous handling. 

As a great basic mountain bike riding tips, it’s necessary to “take out” the elbows, even in an exaggerated way. Consequently, this will make you almost automatically correct the position of your back and arms. In addition to having better control of the handlebar. Therefore, you can better attack the obstacles that arise in the route. 

mountain biker in sunset

Loose and cooperating

Remember that our body works like a suspension. If your bike is double suspension, you have to worry less. As the bike is already articulating for you. However, you still have to be loose enough to let the bike move under you and do his job. 

But if your bike is only front suspension, that’s when you must “support” with your relaxed body. Since all the vibrations and blows that the front suspension takes will travel your hands, arms, shoulders. And if they are hard it will start to hurt everything, if you’re not loose enough. However, loose doesn’t mean barely holding. Indeed, you still need to hold on hard enough to have control.


Riding tense will make your control more clumsy, and more painful in the long run. That is why it is important to loosen the tension of the arms. Of course, without losing the grip of your handlebar or strength. In the same way it happens with the legs. Remember that you should bring your legs slightly bent in the descent and accompany the bicycle. So that way, you’ll have a better cooperation with the inertia and movements of the bike.

basic mountain bike riding tips - practice

Practice, practice, and practice

The most basic mountain bike riding tips is to practice as often as you can. Indeed, when we do mountain biking, on every trip, we learn something new. Be it a better pedaling position or an obstacle to overcome. Practice makes a master! And, it’s not the places to practice that are missing.

The more repetitions you do in mountain biking, the sooner how to act on the bike will be recorded in your memory. At first, it will cost you a little work. But with practice, you will see that what was impossible for you not long ago now is easier. In fact, with practice comes progress.

What other tips would you consider necessary for a good start in mountain biking? Let me know.

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