You bought your first MTB bike, helmet and you wonder what steps you should take next? Don't worry, a lot of people have been through this, even our best cyclists from the KROSS Orlen Cycling Team. Of course, you will not immediately become a pro like Bartek Wawak or Ondrei Cink, but with a bit of will, you can derive great pleasure from riding up steep climbs on a wide tire, and not worry that your technique of cycling will damage the bike.
First of all - bicycle helmet
Every successful ride starts with wearing a helmet. I know a lot of people are still giving up this head protection, but there is not place for jokes when it comes to safety! Riding an MTB bike does not require any specialized helmet - you can use the one you already have. However, if you want to take full pleasure in riding and take full care of your safety, it is worth choosing the one that is dedicated to the discipline you practice.
The MTB helmet has a much stronger built-in rear part compared to, for example, a road helmet. Thanks to this, it effectively protects the most exposed parts of the head when riding an MTB. A very common feature of the helmet is also the visor, which protects the eyes from the sun piercing through the thick leaves while riding in forest terrain. An example of a helmet that will work perfectly when riding an MTB is the KROSS Sentiero DLX.
MTB bikes for beginners
If you don't have an MTB yet, you may be asking yourself how to start your MTB adventure. And against many opinions that you can find on the Internet and on newsgroups, you do not need a bike equipped with a full Shimano XTR or SRAM Eagle drive. And these power units can sometimes cost as much as one more expensive bike.
MTB bikes for beginners should primarily be equipped with disc brakes - this is currently one of the applicable standards that enabler full control of the bike in rough terrain. You don't need a twelve-speed derailleur or a frame made of the lightest carbon to enjoy riding along mountain paths. All you need is an aluminium bike, which you will be able to improve with new components that will fit your riding style best, along with the development of your skills. Our recommendation when it comes to the perfect starting point for an adventure with more competitive mountain biking is the KROSS Level 6.0, however, if you want to enjoy the more casual aspects of MTB cycling, the KROSS Hexagon or Lea bike line may be a better solution.
Basic mountain biking techniques
The technique of mountain biking covers a very wide range of skills that you will master gradually and over time. A lot also depends on which type of MTB you choose in the end. Below, however, I would like to share some of the most important tips that I have managed to collect from our competitors from the KROSS Orlen Cycling Team:
- Relax - there's nothing worse than being terrified before every obstacle or downhill. The fear that you may not be able to handle a particular element of the route during your trip will effectively deprive you of the pleasure of riding.
- Remember about brakes - hydraulic disc brakes on the MTB bike are a great invention. Thanks to such brakes, you can easily control the bike in any conditions and at any time. However, keep in mind that they offer very high braking power, so you have to master their proper use. Do not clench your fingers on the brake handle - this can lead to dangerous situations. Remember what I said above - just take it easy! Being relaxed on a bike will make it easier for you to ride.
- Choose the right tyre pressure - Mountain bike tyres do not have to be hard. It's one of the old myths that a tire has to be rock-hard. With less tyre pressure, it will be easier to overcome obstacles and you will also have better grip when riding. And better grip is safer.
- Take care of the correct position on the bike - When riding a mountain bike, a lot depends on the position you take on the bike. That's why you have to make sure that you take the best position possible. Adjust the height of the seat and its position in the front-back axis accordingly. This will make it easier for you to manoeuvre your bike.
- Breathe! - Never forget to breathe while riding. This advice may seem a little funny to you, but when you start your adventure with an MTB, many things can overwhelm you. Taking care of proper breathing will make it easier for you to relax.
What about SPD pedals?
Mountain biking is very often associated with SPD pedals. It is a great addition to any bike, but if you are just starting your adventure with this sport, it is worth waiting a while to install them. Get used to your new acquisition first and gain a little confidence in rough terrain on standard platform pedals. You still have time for clips on pedals.
[H2] Discover the most beautiful aspects of our world
Mountain biking allows you to explore the world from a completely different perspective. It allows you to go where no other bike can. The charms of forests and mountain peaks are just waiting for you to discover them. But you don't have to do that right here and right now. The most beautiful places will wait for you to acquire the right skills and you will be able to see them. Also get on your MTB bike and practice the most necessary elements of your riding technique now!