Riding your bike across a paved path to and from the store is one thing, but navigating complicated trails is another. Often rough and sometimes single lane, trails may weave around trees and have steep inclines filled with rocks. Up for the challenge? Trail bike riding is a rewarding pastime that allows you to see the world through new eyes and plug into nature. Here are some tips for people new to trails:
You should never be saddling up to a bike that hurts or can’t accommodate your body weight. But that’s never more important than when you’re biking on trails. Rocky and uneven terrain can wreak havoc on your joints if you don’t have the right tires or a frame that fits. Use the sixthreezero Body Fit tool to find a bike that works for your height and weight.
If you’re a beginner in trail riding, a helmet is a no-brainer. But don’t rule out elbow and knee pads. You might feel silly for gearing up so heavily, but trail riding falls can be especially harsh. Also, bring a headlamp and plenty of water in case you get lost and don’t find your way back to a main road until after dark.
Even though bikes for trails are built to last, a tire can always get torn unexpectedly or a chain could break on a particularly tough hill. Bring a small repair kit on every trail ride so you can make it back to civilization without walking your bike the entire way.
You’re probably used to riding your brakes while you cycle in the city because you have to be on alert for cars and wait at stop lights. Out in the wild of a nature trail, you actually want to maintain momentum. Speed will not only help you make it over hills and steep inclines, but it will help you sail over potholes without tipping over. Go only as fast as you can do so safely, but remember to lay off the brakes.
There is something called “target fixation” that happens during trail riding – where your eyes go, so goes your bike. In other words, if you stare at a branch on one side of the trail, you’re likely to steer right toward it. Always look toward the distance where you want to go rather than the space 2 feet in front of you; obstacles will still reveal themselves but you’ll have more time to choose a new line of sight to point to.
Sixthreezero has plenty of bikes for trails that are ideal for beginners. Our women’s and men's trail bikes are built to handle rough trail terrain and the tires prove it. You can also customize any of our mountain bikes until they’re just right.
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