Ugly Motorcycle

Ugly Motorcycle

Mountain Bike Guide – Simple Beginner Skills To Learn

Posted on October 8, 2018 in Uncategorized

As a beginner you will be raring to get on your bike and take it for a spin which is fair enough however you might want to learn a few skills that will be able to teach you how to ride it properly. Riding a mountain bike is different to riding a normal bike in various ways, it’s like martial arts, different styles have similar techniques but some things have to be done differently to make sure that they help you properly. So even though you may be able to ride a bike there are skills you’ll need to change for when you convert to a mountain bike.

Where can I practice?

Anywhere you can find space, whether it be your garden, a park or if there is one nearby maybe even a hill to make it slightly more realistic for yourself for when it comes down to mountain biking.

The skills

So what skills will you have to learn and master to make sure you are ready for mountain biking?

Understanding the pedals

You may find that your mountain bike pedals are different to what you have on your bike. Some of you may have clipping pedals to make sure your foot doesn’t slip off when you’re travelling at high speeds up and down hills. You’re going to want to make sure that you get a feel for the pedals if this is a change. Practice taking your feet in and out and pedalling as this is going to help you learn understand them.

Coasting stance

With normal biking when you coast you usually sit down on the seat and enjoy it, however when it comes down to mountain biking the art of coasting requires you to stay standing on your pedals and not sitting down as this will give you more control of your bike. When coasting you need to make sure that you keep your body relaxed and that your arms and knees are slightly bent so that they can absorb any shock that you may encounter on your trail.

Gear Changes

You need to make sure that you understand how the gears work and which ones that you will have preference to. In biking the lower the gear the easier it is for you to pedal and this is normally used for when you are going up hills as it makes it easier for you to make quick pedals to push you up. The higher the gear you will find is slightly harder but you will gain more speed from less energy, this range of gears is used when going down hill so it this is something you are going to be doing make sure that you can use them properly.

Standing up and pedalling

We all used to stand up while pedalling on bikes but for some this might feel weird after having rode sitting down for a while. As mentioned above if you are standing up you have a lot more control of your bike especially for mountain biking so practice standing up and riding up and down hill.

Ride it around

The best way to practice is to just go around riding your bike and getting a feel for everything, if you have the chance practice on raised ground such as bridges and hills as you are going to have to get used to the incline and decline of the terrain.

As long as you learn a few skills before and get an understanding for your bike you will find yourself more than prepared to start going on trails to put what you have learned into play.

Mountain Bike Clipless Tips

Posted on September 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

Why ride clipless Mountain pedals? Clipless pedals I believe are one of the greatest additions to Mountain Biking. Many experts claim about a 5% increase in power transmitted to the bike. I would agree with that. The main advantage for me is I feel way more in control of the bike. I am connected to the bicycle at the hands and the feet until I decide to separate. Unexpected bumps, intentional jumps, washboard trail, and many other situations, my feet do not come off the pedals until I make the decision to Bail. Then my feet are instantly disconnected. Starting up a steep hill it is much easier to get into one pedal and then the other while you are pedaling than it is to get into the second toe clip if you are riding with toe clips.

How do I get into the Clipless Mountain Pedals? Most pedals you use a slightly toe down forward push on the pedal and then you put your weight on that foot and you will get a Click. You are in. Most people start by putting the same foot either right or left in the pedal first all the time. Then they start riding and slip the second one in.

How Do I get Out of Clipless Pedals? To release from clipless pedals you pivot your heels away from the bike. To learn this motion you can lean against a wall and click in, click out, click in, click out ,click in, click out. This can take a little bit of time to get used to. I recommend if you have a bike trainer to use trainer and work out with them for a while. Then before you go out in traffic practice in a park or somewhere with a soft landing place so if you fall you do not end up with road rash. If you do not have a trainer you can just put your bike in the living room and practice clicking in and out while watching TV. Most people get it down in a couple of days. Warning: If you have ridden toe clips for a long time and get used to clipless but try to go back to toe clips you will have to learn how to get out of toe clips all over again. And then relearn clipless.

What happens if I cannot get out? When you stop your bike You will fall. This can be very dangerous on steep trails and city streets.

Learn to use Mountain Bike Clipless Pedals Carefully I have been with several riders when they were learning to ride clipless. Most people learn quickly. I do not recommend going on an epic ride right after installing your new pedals. I have seen some painfully slow falls from riders not knowing how to get out.

Practice, Practice. My recommendation is to put your bike in front of the TV and practice getting in and out, over and over for an evening. If you have a trainer put your bike on it and get a workout while you are learning. Then stick to the easy trail—NO STEEP SIDE HILLS OR DOWN HILLS.

How Tight do I want my Clipless Pedals? Many pedals are adjustable as to the spring tension holding the cleat in the pedal. I believe for learning you should loosen the spring to the easiest setting. Only when you start to come out of the pedal accidentally should you tighten the springs. All of my pedals are set on the softest setting and I have been riding clipless since about 1991.

Who makes Clipless Pedals? There are Several manufacturers of Clipless Mountain pedals. Shimano was the first to build and promote them heavily. Many of the Mountain bike cleats are Shimano pedal compatible. The cleats will work in Shimano pedals. I always try to uses the cleats that came with the pedal I am using. Crank Brothers is another major manufacturer of pedals. The Crank Brothers cleats will only work on Crank Brothers Pedals.

Will I come out of my pedals when I crash? Usually if you have spent a bit of time getting used to Clipless you will react naturally and click out in a crash without even thinking about it.

Types of Mountain Bike Clipless Pedals. There are basically 3 types of clipless Mountain pedals.

Double sided pedals which will grip the cleat on either side.

Half and Half pedals with clipless on one side and what looks like a regular pedal on the other side.

Platform clipless pedals which grip the cleat in the middle of a large pedal.

I believe if you are going to ride clipless you need to at least learn to ride with double sided pedals. The half and half are OK for around town but if you do not get used to getting out of your clipless under stress you are headed for more falls.

Are Mountain Bike Clipless the same as Road Clipless Pedals? No Road pedals are normally one sided, the other side is minimized to increase the lean angle of the bike. This allows you to pedal as far as possible into the corner before your pedal hit’s the road.

Most Road cleats have a different screw mounting system. They do not mount to the same screws as the mountain cleats.

Mountain Bike Shoes have the cleat recessed into the sole so you can walk without walking on the cleat. Road shoes are much less comfortable to walk in and you walk on the cleat.

Unless you are a very serious Road Racer, Mountain bike shoes and pedals will work better than Road bike pedals and shoes. Many riders use one pair of shoes and get matching pedals for their road bike and mountain bike.

Types of Mountain Bike Clipless Shoes. There are two general types of mountain bike Clipless shoes. I classify them as Comfort shoes and Race Shoes.

Comfort shoes are usually designed to look like lightweight hiking shoes or cross training shoes and will have laces to hold your feet.

Race shoes will usually use 2, 3, or4 Velcro closures to hold your feet. All Clipless shoes will have stiff soles which make it uncomfortable to walk or stand all day but are good at converting your leg energy into pedal revolutions.

The Comfort shoes usually have a little bit more flexible sole than the race shoes. Many people want to use their shoes as both biking and hiking shoes. This does not work well. If the shoe performs even reasonably well on the bike, the sole will be way too stiff to work well hiking.

I normally recommend that Most Cyclists should buy Mountain Bike Race shoes. The recreational walking type of bike shoes still aren’t good for walking in. The race shoes tend to be more durable and they give you more support while riding.

Road Shoes VS Mountain Bike Shoes Many companies make the same shoe for both Mountain and Road but they use a built up sole on their Mountain shoe.

Where do I mount the Cleats? Most Mountain shoes have 4 holes in the plate on the bottom of the shoe but most cleats only have 2 screws. This allows you to mount your cleats further forward or further back on the shoe. The plate will usually slide front to back and pivot to allow you to adjust your heel so it feels natural during the pedal stroke. Look at the position of your feet as you pedal on your old pedals and try to replicate that.

Do the cleats come with the Pedals or the Shoes? The Cleats come with the pedals and are pedal specific. Many cleats will work with the Shimano SPD pedals but I like to use the cleats that match the pedals that came with the pedals from the same manufacturer.

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Mountain Bike Reviews – Finding a Trustworthy Source

Posted on September 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

When you are ready to purchase a mountain bike, if you are like most mountain bikers, you start reading mountain bike reviews. You may have found, however, that not all mountain bike reviews are accurate – or even honest! The fact of the matter is that some dealers and even manufacturers actually pay people to write good reviews – of bikes that the reviewer has never even had the opportunity to ride!

There are countless sites that carry reviews of various mountain bikes. Some of the sites are very dependable and others simply cannot be counted on. It’s hard for the average mountain biker to know who to believe – beginner bikers who have yet to make their first mountain bike purchase don’t stand a chance!

If you are looking for reviews, stick to the sites and publications that can be counted on for accurate and valuable information. Most print publications have accurate reviews. When reading one of these reviews, it is important to look on the edges of the page for very tiny print that says ‘advertisement.’ If you see that, you can be sure that this is not a real review you are reading. It is an advertisement disguised as a review. Its purpose is to get you to buy the bike – not to point out both the pros and the cons! Move on!

When looking for reviews online, stick to the better known online magazines such as Singletrack, GearHead, Mountain Bike Review, and Mountain Bike. These are the online magazines that will give you the most accurate information in terms of reviews. You will also find the latest mountain biking news, as well as quite a bit of information on races and trails. These four websites are vitally important to serious bikers.

Of course the best reviews are the ones that you get from other bikers, in person. When you see a mountain biker on the trail riding a bike that you are interested in, take the time to talk to them. Tell them that you are planning to purchase that particular bike, and ask them what they like about it, and what they don’t like. Find groups of mountain bikers in the parks, and try to talk to them when they are taking a break. This way, you won’t be interfering with their ride, and you can get several different ‘in person’ reviews.

Ask as many questions as you possibly can – but try not to keep irritate them by keeping them from enjoying their ride. After speaking with them – or before – sit back and watch them ride. You aren’t watching their technique – although that may be interesting – what you want to watch for is how well the bike handles. Seeing the bike in action is the second best review that you can possibly have – the first best review you can get is your very own review!

As your interest in a particular bike grows, you will want to try one out for yourself. You can test ride bikes that are for sale in bike shops, but you can’t really put them through the motions well enough in a ‘test ride’ situation to learn what you need to know. Your best option is to test ride a friend’s bike. Take it out for a day, and see what it can do in relation to what you can do with it. Give it a great workout, and by the end of the day, you will know enough about the bike to write your very own review.

Do your part in the mountain biking community by contributing your own reviews to the websites that allow consumers to submit mountain bike reviews. Be clear in your writing, and honest in your opinions. Make sure that you have your facts straight, and be sure that you distinguish between opinion and fact! You will be doing many other mountain bikers a huge favor by submitting your honest – and accurate – mountain bike review!

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