Downhill mountain biking is one of those techniques that is becoming even more prevalent as bikes start getting more capable. More riders than ever are looking for ways to get faster while riding downhill in technical trail conditions, but they are conditioned to riding shorter travel bikes and hardtails. So how do we get faster going downhill and really use the bike’s capabilities? It all starts with keeping some core techniques in mind as you hit the trail and always remember…your bike has far more ability than you do…you are really just catching up. Trust your abilities, grow your skill set and trust your equipment.
Tips For Mountain Biking Downhill
The #1 mistake most riders make when experimenting with more technical downhill trails is looking directly in front of their tire. It is essential that you look down the trail, and the faster you are riding…the farther down the trail you should be looking.
Positioning your weight is your key to stability. By moving your weight lower and more rearward, you can traction on the rear end of the bike and increase your on trail stability. By keeping your legs and arms bent, you can soak up unexpected trail features by using the most travel you have on your bike…your body.
Try to stay off the brakes as much as possible. Knee jerk reactions with your brakes can blow you offline or even worse. Controlled smooth braking while keeping your speed at a level you are comfortable with will prevent most of your wrecks.
Pad up if you need to. A lot of downhilling is confidence. If it helps you out to protect your body in case the worst happens, then do it. You can never have too much on and you can always have too little. Wear whatever makes you comfortable on the trail as you try new ways to increase your speed and control on technical downhills.
In this video from Bike Skills, Greg Minnaar takes you through the downhilling basics.
I founded Bike198 back in 2007 and started riding bikes seriously in 1994. A lot has changed since that time and one of the greatest releases is still getting out on the bike and shredding trail or tearing up the road.