Things to Know Before You Go on a Mountain Biking Expedition

Mountain Biking Expedition

The thrill of riding over rough terrain, by the path across the stream gives you all the adrenaline rush. Riding on the edges around sharp bends can be nerve-wracking, but those trails that do not get any easier is what the enthusiast in you seeks. The type of bike that you choose is extremely important, and you could check out some of them at the Hix Magazine site. Whether you are a professional or a newbie, there are basics that you should never overlook before you go on your next expedition.

Get to know your bike
Off-the-grid travel is exciting, but the terrain is unknown, and you should be comfortable navigating the course. Your bicycle is the most important gear, select a road bike and you should be safe riding it. It is important to get a feel for the ride before you undertake it. Check that the bike fits your style. Is the saddle comfortable? Adjust the saddle height such that your legs are straight when the pedal is parallel to the ground. This would help you avoid knee strain and fatigue. Having a comfortable saddle would also help you balance on the uneven sections.

Check your tires
Check the tire pressures of your bike. People tend to use a lot more pressure than is recommended. Do check out the specifications that came with your cycle. If your ride involves mostly roads and beginner trails, the recommended maximum pressure should help. But if your ride involves muddy routes or snow, it is advisable to have lower pressures as that would allow your cycle tires to have a better grip on the ground. Note also that too high pressure causes wheels to bounce, which might lead to safety problems.

Mountain Biking Expedition

On the other hand, low pressures could lead to flat tires or dented rims. The wheels should be rotating freely, else when it tends to wobble, the gingerly ride quality would spoil the fun and ride stability would be questionable. If you aren’t sure, get your cycle tuned at the local bike shop.

Check braking
Brakes that work effectively is extremely important, especially when you are riding downhill. It is essential to understand how brakes work and how to use them effectively. Both the front and the rear brakes should be working efficiently. See whether the brakes pull against the handlebar. If they do, then the brake cable needs adjustment, which can be done by adjusting the brake cables. Again, note that the brake should be working equally well on both sides. Check all the adjustment screws and do the necessary adjustments.

Check your handlebar
The handlebars are the steering mechanism for your bike and their position should help you to adequately balance your cycle. See that the alignment is straight and in-line with your wheel position, which should help you in guiding your bike correctly. Also, adjust them to your height so that you feel comfortable. You should not have to lean too far down or stretch up to get a hold of your handle bars. The handlebar position is best kept as low as possible so that the center of gravity stays down and the traction with the ground improves.

Practice adequately
It is best to give your bike a test ride. This helps you to find out minor problems, if any and adjust your gears for a comfortable experience. Try doing a test ride uphill on lower gears, while you lean forward onto your handlebars. Check all positions on your saddle, moving towards the front edge and see that the front tire doesn’t pop up. While riding downhill, you should get into higher gears and move towards the rear edge of your saddle. The more you practice, the more you are adequately prepared for your trip. It is also a good practice to do test-runs on different surfaces.

Pick up basic repair skills
On the trails, you are on your own. Any mechanical failure could leave you either stranded or with the not-so-fun task of pushing your bike on the problematic terrains. Hence, it is good to pick up some basic skills that can at least see you out of a messy situation if something fails. At a minimum, know how to fix a flat tire. Broken chains and wheel alignments that go awry are frequent complaints. Know how to fix these. A right way would be to talk to the mechanic at the local bike shop. They are best placed to show you how to fix things. If that’s not possible, you could read up on the Internet. There are many do-it-yourself guides that adequately address all possible scenarios.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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