Tips for Mountain Biking Downhill or Incline
Conquering a steep hill on your mountain bike can be extremely dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. If you come across a hill that appears to have a larger incline than 45-percent, you will need to use special riding positions to stay upright. This article serves to give you a few tips for making it down safely, learning from my bruises and damaged skin.
Riding The Decline
- As you approach the incline, you should aim for a fall line. Simply put, you should be headed straight down the hill instead of at an angle. This will make it easier for you to center your balance on your mountain bike while attacking the incline. Heading straight downhill will also help keep your tires from slipping.
- Relax, stay calm, and stay focused. You need to relax and not stiffen up when you are headed down a steep hill. You want your arms and legs to be loose, actually as loose as possible — without losing grip for the fact you are conquering the greatest incline you have likely attempted. Remember to say loose! This will help you absorb bumps and impacts your suspension does not take on for you. You will need to focus on your intended path and keep your eyes about thirty feet in front of you front tire. This is to make sure you find the best path around rocks, bumps, dips, logs and other unexpected obstacles. You should avoid fixating on any specific objects, because you will increase your chances of running into them.
- As you approach the edge of your newly found hill, use your arms to push the handlebars away from your body. This will assist in preventing your momentum from throwing you over the bars and into the dirt. You want to keep your teeth remember. You should place your butt over the rear tire and and chest directly above your seat.
Braking On The Decline
- You will also need to know how to effectively brake when mountain biking down a steep incline. If you ride the front brake too hard, you will likely go over the handlebars. It is best to apply more force to your rear brake and allow your front tire and fork to do all the tracking. In steeper spots, you may want to flutter your front and rear brakes, this refers to the oscillating increased pressure on the brake versus slamming them forcefully.
- Your front brake is definitely your greatest ally in stopping or slowing down, but keep the bike neutral; your arms and legs loose; body and chest aligned properly; and stay focused on your mental track down the hill and you will realize it is easier than people make it look.
As you make your approach to ground level after the hill, you should return to your normal riding position. You should pull the bike back under you as you level out. You may also want to pull up on the handlebars as you approach the bottom of the hill. This will help prevent an accident caused by your front tire slamming into the change in incline, forcing your face to the hardened substrate below you.. trust me.. it hurts!
What do you think?