tips to help you progress in mountain biking.

Long-suspension trail bike (120 mm and above) designed with geometry which allows cross-country biking is the most popular mountain bikes today. Trail bike adjustment, riding style, use of brakes and pedalling, are different from short-suspension bikes. In this article, you will find some tips to take advantage of the trail bikes.

Comfortable Suspension
Calibrate the shock absorbers to the soft side of the range. A common mistake of most riders is to inflate the shocks in order to simulate an old bike. This common mistake has serious consequences like the suspension isn’t fully used, bike centre of gravity and rider position is higher, which causes an unstable ride. Shocks are designed for spring preload of 25 per cent since it is the point at which the rider spends most of the time.

Use the Gadgets
All the mountain bike special features are designed for use and aren’t just gimmicks. Compression damping, rebound damping, suspension travel adjustments are effective and efficient mechanisms that can improve your cycling performance. Switching between different modes can change bicycle angle, improve pedalling efficiency and raise/lower the centre of gravity. Dials and buttons are not your enemies, "play" with them and experience their effect during the ride.

Wide Tires
Wide tires let you move fast, ride aggressively in technical sections, stop hard, and all of them under full control. You can balance the weight you have added to the tires by converting the rim to run tubeless.

Low Air Pressure
Large volume tires can be inflated with low air pressure. 1.9/2.1 wide tire inflated to 50 PSI, will lose about 10 PSI if the width is increased to 2.35. Cross country bike with a tire width of 2.35 inches does not require more than 28 PSI front and 30 PSI rear if the rider weighs about 75 kilograms. Cycling with high air pressure in wide tires will become a bumpy and unpleasant nightmare, and decrease bike's overall performance.

Ride Fast
Long suspension forks have high energy absorption capability. So they can bring you to a complete stop when encountering an obstacle. You should arrive with momentum to allow the bike to absorb the obstacle and move forward. 

You do not have to climb with the small gear up front, but trail bike with thick tires climbs best while you seating. Climb effectiveness depends on bike capability to keep momentum, and this by "swallowing" bumps and advance on selected line. Let your bike and suspension do the work for you.

Break Late
When you equipped with 5 to 6 inches of travel in the back and wide tires, you are not supposed to lock the wheels during braking. Versus short suspension bikes, the front brakes in trail bike are more effective. Fork and front tire let the rider to brake later and deeper into the turn.  Release the brakes gradually when entering into the turn and stick to the selected line.

Right is in the Middle
The more suspension travel the bike has, the more they are sensitive to the rider’s weight transfer forward and back. It is better to ride in the middle of the bike. Two situations in which the body shouldn’t be centred are standing acceleration and technical downhill. In standing acceleration, the body should be shifted forward, and in technical downhill, body weight should be on the back to reduce the load on the fork.

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