New to Mountain Biking?

New to Mountain Biking?

Getting started is often the hardest part. Maybe you’re a road cyclist, or maybe you’re a complete novice on bikes, and you’re interested in beginning mountain biking. This means getting occasionally wet and muddy riding through forests, on dirt trails, gravel and across streams. This takes some getting used to as your bike handling skills will improve over time. As exciting and nerve-wracking as mountain biking can be, you have to start with the basics. Here’s a guide to those who are new at it:


First you need a bike. You can get a hardtail MTB, which means only front suspension, or pay more for a full-suspension mountain bike. Hardtails can easily deal with trail riding, but the more technical and rugged your rides the more suited a full suspension MTB will be. You’ll also want some protective gear in the form of a helmet, appropriate MTB shoes and elbow and knee pads.


Christchurch is a fantastic hub for mountain biking (MTB) which dozens of easy, moderate and expert trails to work your way through. It is important to start easy, even if you’ve been a keen road cyclist for years. Well known MTB routes will be graded. Find a grade 1-2 MTB trail to hit with your brand new MTB.


Over time you’ll develop a confident riding technique. To begin, make sure to stay loose and don’t tense up. Keep your bum off the saddle when riding over obstacles and shift your weight appropriately. When climbing a steep hill, shift your weight forward. When the trail tilts downhill, shift your weight behind the saddle) to avoid going over the bars.


Most beginners forget, or are tentative, changing gears. Gears are your lifeline in MTBing. You’ll need them all for steep climbs and downhill sections. Change gears early. For example, change down a few gears just before you hit a hit so you don’t get stuck in a high gear and grind to a halt.

Learn basic repairs

Mechanical issues will occur on rough and rugged terrain. Before you head out for a big ride, practise the basic repairs. You’ll need to know what to do if you get a puncture or your chain comes off. There are hundreds of great ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube to learn.

With this easy to follow beginner guide, you’re now on your way to becoming a mountain biking pro. Saddle up and hit the trails - you’ll have the time of your life. For any more information, get in touch.

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