2/08/2024

Mountain Biking Essentials: Your Ultimate Starter Kit Guide

Embarking on your mountain biking journey is an exciting adventure, but having the right gear is crucial for a safe and enjoyable ride. Today we'll explore the must-have basic kit for beginners. One of the most asked questions I get from beginners is what kit I need to start out. So let's talk about it. We will take for granted you already have the bike as that is a very big part of this. 

When you start out you do not need to spend a fortune on kit yes you can if you want to but I am going to share my pick with you on what I would buy if I was starting out. 

Helmet
Safety first! A properly fitting helmet is essential for protecting your head in case of falls. Endura is my brand of choice and has an extensive range of mountain bike helmets something to suit all budgets. They offers a range of lightweight and durable helmets with adjustable fittings for maximum comfort and protection on the trails. They also look great good too. 


Jersey and Shorts
Investing in moisture-wicking jerseys and padded shorts is key for comfort during long rides. Endura's cycling jerseys feature breathable fabrics and strategic ventilation to keep you cool and dry, while their padded shorts provide cushioning and support for extended hours in the saddle.


Gloves 
Protect your hands from vibrations, cold and blisters with a pair of cycling gloves. A good set of mountain biking gloves offers excellent grip and shock absorption, enhancing your control and confidence on rough terrain while providing added protection in case of falls. At this time of year, the right pair of gloves will make or break a ride, You have to invest in good winter gloves to keep your hands warm. 

Shoes 
Proper footwear is essential for getting the most efficient pedalling and optimal power transfer. I know that should a bit much at this stage but belive me you will care about this when you are on the trail.

Invest in a pair of mountain biking shoes with stiff soles for stability and traction, and choose compatible pedals that suit your riding style. Whether you start out on flat pedals or clips you need a good pair of shoes which will keep you in contact with the pedals.

Knee Pads
You should Invest in quality knee pads they are in my opinion essential for any mountain biker, providing crucial protection against impacts and abrasions during rides. Whether you're tackling technical trails or enjoying leisurely rides, knee pads offer peace of mind and confidence to push your limits. With innovative designs and advanced materials, knee pads provide optimal comfort, flexibility, and breathability without compromising on safety. 

Hydration 
Stay hydrated on the go with a water bottle or backpack. We all know the benefit of drinking when out doing exercise mountain biking is no different to any form of exercise. 


Tools and Repair Kit
Be prepared for mechanical issues with a basic toolkit and repair kit. Pack essentials such as a multi-tool, tire levers, spare tubes, and a mini-pump to handle common maintenance tasks and minor repairs on the trail.

Equipping yourself with the right gear is essential for a safe and enjoyable mountain biking ride.  So gear up, hit the trails, and let the adventure begin! But if you are on a budget don't forget to check out places like Vinted for second and new bargains. Vinted can be a complete gold mind for kit. 





2/01/2024

Mastering Mountain Biking: A Beginner's Guide to Level Up Your Trail Skills

Fancy starting mountain biking? Its an exciting journey. Welcome to a world of adrenaline, scenic trails, and the thrill of conquering nature on two wheels. Whether you're a complete newbie or looking to up your game, this guide is packed with useful tips to help you master the art of mountain biking and take your skills to new heights.

1. Gear Up for Success:

Investing in the right gear is like having a trusty sidekick on the trails. Start with a well-fitted helmet, a reliable bike, and sturdy footwear. As you progress, consider upgrades to enhance your biking experience. You don't have to start out with the most expansive or gnarly gear. As long as you can hit the trails safely then you are good to go. 

2. Embrace the Learning Curve:

Every trail is a classroom, and every ride is a lesson. Don't be discouraged by initial challenges. Embrace the learning curve, knowing that each obstacle is an opportunity to improve. There will be up and down and I don't just mean the trails themself. Learning any new skill has peaks and troffs and it is perfectly normal to struggle during your learning curve. 

3. Develop Proper Riding Posture:

Maintaining the correct riding posture is key to stability and control. Keep your elbows slightly bent, knees flexed, and eyes focused on the trail ahead. This position allows for better manoeuvrability and absorbs shocks from uneven terrain. It is always good to get the basics honed in right from the start. 

4. Master the Basics:

Start with fundamental techniques like braking, shifting gears, and balancing. Practice these skills in a controlled environment before hitting more challenging trails. Building a strong foundation will boost your confidence. It is ok to take it slow and really get to know your bike before hitting hard trails. You need to feel confident and relaxed on your bike. 

5. Choose the Right Trail:

Opt for beginner-friendly trails initially. Green trails often provide a smoother introduction, allowing you to gradually build your skills and progress to more challenging routes as you gain experience. 

6. Conquer Climbs with Confidence:

Climbing hills is an inevitable part of mountain biking. Shift to a lower gear, maintain a steady pace, and distribute your weight evenly to the front and rear wheels. Celebrate each successful climb as a personal victory. But you don't have to stay on the bike it is more than ok if you need to get off your bike and push uphill we all did this when starting out. Dame we all do this now and again now. There is no shame you only do the uphill for the fun of the down anyway. 

7. Descend Like a Pro:

Descending can be thrilling but requires skill. Shift your weight to the back of the bike, keep a loose grip on the handlebars, and let the bike move beneath you. Choose your line wisely, and gradually increase your speed as confidence grows. You got this. 

8. Brake Smartly:

Effective braking is crucial. Use both front and rear brakes, but be cautious not to lock them up. Practice controlled braking to maintain stability, especially on downhill sections.

9. Look Where You Want to Go:

Maintain an active gaze on the trail ahead. Head up elbows out eyes on the trail.  Your bike follows your eyes, so focus on the path you want to take, not the obstacles you want to avoid. This simple technique enhances your control and helps you navigate with precision.

10. Join a Community:

Connect with fellow mountain bikers through local clubs or online communities. Shared experiences, advice, and group rides can accelerate your learning and introduce you to new trails. Making friends that bike will help you improve and learn new skills. 

Embarking on the mountain biking journey can be scary at first and there is a lot of learning to be done but with practice and a smile on your face you will have fun and enjoy the outdoors from a new perspective. 



1/26/2024

Navigating the Trails: A Brit's Guide to Mountain Biking Etiquette

As mountain bikers, we are all out on the trails for one thing to ride our bikes and have fun right? But if you are new to mountain biking or just need a refresher there are unwritten rules of the tails. We are fortunate to live in a country littered with the world's best mountain biking. However, some trails are shared with other outdoor enthusiasts or other bikers. Everyone rides at their own speed and not everyone cares about a PR or Strava segmement. There are easy-to-follow basic trail etiquette that mountain bikers should follow for safe and happy riding. 



1. Greetings Are Essential
Start your trail experience with a smile and a friendly "hello" to fellow bikers and hikers. A warm greeting sets a positive tone for the ride. There is nothing wrong with saying Hi and being friendly we all have the same hobby. 

2. Overtaking 
When overtaking pedestrians or fellow cyclists, announce your presence with a polite "on your left." It's a simple and easy courtesy that goes a long way. Letting people know you are there is key. 

3. Hikers are allowed to be there
Uphill or downhill, hikers have the right to use the path. Slow down, give a friendly nod, and ensure they feel comfortable as you pass. Or get off and walk we share the outdoors. 

4. Horses 
 Horse riders often use fire roads and can't always see you coming. Be patient and let the rider know you are there. It is not safe for you or them to scare a horse. 

5. Leave No Trace
Mother Nature deserves our utmost respect. Do not leave a trace if you took it with you take it back. 

6. Mind Your Speed
It's not a race, well, not always. Adjust your speed to the trail conditions and fellow riders. A friendly 'Rider may be helpful if someone doesn't know you are coming up behind them. 

7. Traildog and dogs in general
Trail dog are the best. But make sure you are respectful when out with your furry friend. making sure they have good recall and listen to you is a must. 
Also when exiting trails remember there may be dog walks and dogs of lead. 

8. Repair and Prepare
Be self-sufficient. Carry essentials like a pump, tools, and a spare tube. If you see a fellow biker in distress, offer a hand. Trail camaraderie is a beautiful thing.

9. Maps
Always have access to the map if you don't know the trail. Trailfork and Strava are good for navigating your way around trails. 

10. Respect Trail Closures
Sometimes trails need a breather too. Respect closures and diversions – it's a small sacrifice for the greater good of the trail system. You don't know why they are closed there could be a tree down or an unsafe feature. The trial builders put in a lot of work so respect them. 

11. Embrace Group Harmony
Riding in a group? Ensure everyone is on board with the chosen route and pace. Communication is key to a fun group ride. ride at a good pace for everyone,. No one wants beasted up a hill. 

12. Celebrate Achievements
 Congratulate fellow riders on conquering a tough climb, a hard feature or a new route. 


We are so lucky to have a great network of trails and bike parks in the UK being nice to fellow riders out enjoying them is just a good thing to do for the bigger mountain biking communities.