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Mountain Biking: Skills, techniques, training

Mountain Biking: Skills, techniques, training

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Mountain Biking: Skills, techniques, training

262 pagine
2 ore
Jun 30, 2014


Crowood Sports Guides provide sound, practical advice that will make you into a better sportsperson, whether you are learning the basic skills, discovering more advanced techniques or reviewing the fundamentals of your sport. Contents include; choosing a bike and getting started in the sport; clothing, shoes and equipment; detailed coverage of core techniques for all forms of mountain biking, including body positioning, climbing, cornering and braking; techniques specific to trail riding and sections on improving your skills; tips for training and how to solve common riding problems; guide to maintaining your bike to prolong its life and keep the rider safe; trail-side repair techniques; nutrition and fitness, including hydration requirements; guide to the main race events, starting out in racing and what happens on a race day. Superbly illustrated with over 200 colour photographs.
Jun 30, 2014

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Mountain Biking - James McKnight



Introduction to Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is the off-road form of cycling that has become widespread over the last two decades and is fast becoming the most popular two-wheeled sport. Accessible to all ages, fitness and skill levels, a year-round sport and applicable to any location – hillside or plateau – mountain biking is perhaps the most versatile sport of the moment.


Bicycles have been ridden off-road ever since their invention; however, the first recordings of ‘mountain biking’ are hazily recounted from somewhere in the late 1970s when a group of hippies in Marin County, USA, began to take their ‘klunkerz’ (beach cruisers) to the hills and race down dirt tracks.

During the 1980s, the term ‘mountain bike’ was coined and Gary Fisher started to produce geared off-road bicycles. From what started so humbly, the sport soon became a craze and by the early 1990s there were televised events, professional riders and a global race series.

Mountain biking is for everyone; it’s fun, healthy and environmentally friendly.

The sport’s founders pushed and carried their basic bikes up mountains in the USA.

That craze died off somewhat around the middle of the decade. However, the sport continued to thrive and progress, with new technologies constantly developing the sport and feeding a hungry consumer market. Currently the sport is having a rebirth as adventurers and families alike begin to realize the potential of the modern mountain bike, with an increasing number of trail centres and summer resorts creating an ever-growing abundance of biking terrain, and paving the way for future generations of mountain bikers.

Early Competitions

Mountain biking was born as a competition sport and yet only considered mildly competitively natured. The majority of riders were hippies and the race meeting was considered more important than the racing itself. However, with the increase in popularity and the invention of the saleable mountain bike, the sport sprouted many high-profile competitions, some of which continue to run to this day:

Mountain biking is a world-wide sport.

Names and Nations

Mountain biking was invented in the USA and the country has always had a strong presence on the mountain bike scene, but these days there are other nations who dominate the sport with higher participation figures and champions across the sport’s disciplines.

The Alps hold some of the best mountain bike terrain in the world.

Progression of Technology

Mountain bikes have been at the cutting-edge of bicycle design ever since their invention, and their constant development continues to forge new technologies to this day. Where once, in the early 1990s, it was considered state-of-the-art, even unnecessary by some, to have full-suspension on a mountain bike, today manufacturers are playing with space-age materials and experimenting with weight-saving, even aerodynamic, frame qualities. Modern suspension can be fine-tuned or locked-out at the flick of a switch, tyres are tubeless and nearly all bikes have hydraulic disc-brake systems.

Manufacturers are still experimenting though, with the latest trend being toward wheel sizes. Current theories state that bigger wheels will roll over rough ground more easily, and some manufacturers have almost entirely switched their range of bikes to bigger wheels. Whether this wheel size – 29in – will stay is an on-going debate in the sport and both conventional (26in) and large ‘wagon-wheels’ certainly do have their advantages and disadvantages.

Technology is always advancing.




Starting out in any new sport can be daunting, and with the range of equipment available, the places to ride and the techniques in mountain biking being numerous, it could seem like one of the hardest sports to learn. However, people who ride bikes are friendly and bike shops will always take the time to explain, so the first rule to remember is to never fear to ask questions.

There are many subcategories within mountain biking, all of which are specialized factions of the sport’s original concept, which was to be able to pedal up and ride down any trail, anywhere. General mountain biking – riding around cross-country circuits – is participant friendly and attracts the majority of the sport’s riders. However, downhill riding and racing are most popular with the younger, adrenalineseeking crowd and are also regarded at the forefront of the sport – the Formula One of cycling.

It is important to know the components of your bike.

Mountain biking takes on many different guises.

Types of Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking can be subdivided into many different categories, namely cross-country, downhill, trials and all-mountain riding. These divisions within the sport have become very specialist with most riders focusing their efforts on only one of the disciplines.

Cross-Country. This is how most people envisage mountain biking – riding on a range of terrain from tarmac to rock-fest, on lightweight and versatile bikes with a wide range of gears to take the rider up hill and down dale.

Downhill. The gravity-fed, adrenaline-fuelled side of mountain biking comprises a younger crowd yet appeals visually to all. Tracks include daring leaps, daunting drops and high speeds.

Trials. Bicycle trials came about when the Spanish motor-cycle trials team were looking for another way to train and improve their skills. A small following soon developed, exploded in popularity and then crossed over into mountain biking, with riders such as Danny MacAskill now becoming household names.

All-Mountain. More recently coined, the term ‘all-mountain’ is used with reference to riding in more severe mountains, such as the Alps, where stronger bikes with front and rear suspension are needed to cope with the unforgiving terrain.

The Bikes

As much as the sport itself is diverse and varied, so too are the bikes. For each discipline there is a differing style of bike, and within each discipline’s style of machine, each manufacturer has their own take on the design.

Understanding each and every brand within the sport is not necessary; however, it is important to understand the difference between each style of bike and to be able to gauge its designated purpose or discipline.

Trail/All-Mountain Bike

Trail bikes, also referred to as ‘all-mountain’ or ‘enduro’ bikes, are the most practical and all-encompassing mountain bikes on the market. These are designed to be able to cope with all conditions and to climb efficiently, whilst descending with the best – only a downhill-specific bike will descend better. Trail bikes are made for those who like to be out in the mountains riding technical trails or racing in endurance downhill competitions, but they are also suitable for UK Trail Centre riding and the bike of choice for most British riders.

Key features: single-crown forks; 2×10 gearing; 140–170mm suspension travel; height-adjust seatpost; robust tyres (2.35in width is generally preferred).

Purpose: all-day riding. General mountain biking. Enduro downhill racing.

Price range: £800+.

All-mountain/trail bike.

Cross-Country Bike

Cross-country bikes are the machines that push the boundaries of weight, rolling resistance and materials. Designed with

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