7 Clever Points to Consider When Doing Downhill Mountain Biking

By Liam Neeson | Tips and Tricks

Jun 13

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Typically associated with traversing on downhill trails, long slopes, hills and rough terrains, downhill mountain biking is truly an adventurous outdoor activity that only the bold riders try. Basically, it requires the riders to get past certain obstacles on their way in order to flaunt their mountain biking skills. Speed is of the essence in riding downhill, and this takes a lot of practice to master. What’s more, there are certain body positions for you to follow in order for you to be able to execute the mountain biking techniques properly and to avoid any serious accidents or even the minor ones.

There is no doubt that downhill biking can be really exciting and a lot of fun, especially when you already have the right skills. However, when you are just starting out to learn how to ride downhill, you must know that there are a lot of things to learn. It takes practice and the right skills to become really good at downhill biking, but you can certainly feel too much exhilaration once you can do it successfully. It is also best that you take note of various points when riding downhill so that you can speed up your learning and feel more confident that you are executing the right moves while enjoying this sport. Read on to know more about these points that you should take into consideration.

Use only the right equipment and clothing


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You should remember that using the appropriate gear and donning the right outfit can make you feel more at ease as you do this activity. It is necessary that you use a downhill mountain bike for this type of sport since it is created for such purpose and it also has strong disc brakes and chain guards. Of course, it is also advisable to use proper clothing such as a clear eyewear, a pair of shoes suitable for this sport, a thick shirt, a pair of shorts, elbow pads and knee pads, a good pair of gloves, a helmet and other protective clothing. Using a daypack or a hydration pack instead of other bags is a wise choice as well.

Try to stay calm all the time as best as you can



Riding downhill can possibly give you cold feet, which you must overcome if you really want to get very good at downhill riding. You should be aware that staying calm can help you relax your entire body the whole time while you are riding your mountain bike. It is quite essential for you to be able to let go of your fears. Instead, try to replace those with observing some precautions while you are riding downhill so that you can carefully watch out for any hurdles during your ride, preventing yourself from getting any injury that could be avoided when you are more careful. Therefore, be sure to relax your entire body, from head to toe.

Be prepared before approaching a corner

Advanced-level riders try to anticipate and prepare long before they actually approach a corner by altering their speed and making use of the brakes. On the other hand, beginner-level riders do not prepare for it; instead, they only resort to using the brakes once they notice how fast they are going and not prior to approaching any corner. The thing is you must apply the brakes and check your speed to your advantage. It is also a wise idea to apply the rear and front brakes at the same time. Moreover, it is necessary for you to know when you should apply the brakes or not and when you should ride fast or slow down.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times

Yes. It is really important to look out for any obstacles that may be blocking your way. This will give you a great chance to execute the most appropriate moves and avoid any unnecessary mishaps. You must not concern yourself too much with what you see right in front of you; instead, make sure to look ahead. This will give you ample time to plan your next move strategically aside from the fact that this prevents you from suddenly employing the brakes, which can overheat the rims of the wheels and cause them to burst without warning.

Go where the smoothest trail is

One of the secrets to riding downhill more effectively is to traverse on the smoothest area. Although the trail can be rough when you go downhill, you will often notice a smooth part. Look for the section of the trail where the area is smooth enough for you to go downhill. Also, it is vitally important to note that you have to find a way in order for you to be able to go downhill with as much ease as possible since this will be helpful for you.

Anticipate any type of surface


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You should keep in mind that not all surfaces are smooth, so you should deal with them as best as you can. When you do so, you can still ride your bike as skillfully and as smoothly as possible whether or not the surfaces are rough, bumpy or wet. When riding on wet surfaces, think ahead in terms of your change in direction. Make sure that the wheels of your bike must point downhill as you should only expect your wheels to run downhill.  Never turn them right or left as this will only lead to sliding. In addition, make sure that you do not employ the brakes suddenly as this can cause your bike to slide as well.

Take some rest from time to time

You should bear in mind that downhill biking takes a lot of effort, and you should consider it natural when you start to feel some tiredness in your hands at some point while riding your bike. That is why you must try to take several breaks so that you can rest your hands and body before you proceed further.

Indeed, downhill mountain biking can be difficult at first, but you will find this sport more exciting once you get the hang of it. Do not just limit yourself to the points mentioned above, read as much as you can so that you can learn more about this sport and improve your techniques more.

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