Better Mountain Bike Rider Part III – Troubleshooting

In part III of this three-part series, we will discuss some common pitfalls rider have and how to overcome them.  Following is five common issues, and what to do about them.

1)   Problem: You feel like you are going to die on a climb.

Solution: Tweak your form.  Lighten your grip on the bars. Open your upper body, for better breathing.  Spin in smooth circles, utilizing the top of the stroke (throwing forward) if wearing clipless, and avoid the jerky train chugging type of movements. Smooth!  Get in better shape.  5 lbs off of your belly is better than that 20 gm on your chainring.

2)   Problem: Your rear tire skids too easily.

Solution: Shift your weight back to the rear tire.  Use less rear brake.  Get a more aggressive tire.

3)   Problem: Your suspension feels great over the first bump, but gets unforgiving over subsequent bumps.

Solution: Decrease the rebound dampening of your shock.

4)   Problem: You get hung-up on certain obstacles on an otherwise flowing trail.

Solution: Keep looking forward as you ride.  Getting caught on an obstacle is typically a result of focusing on it, and thus getting nervous and twitchy.  Look ahead and keep your eyes flowing along the path and let your instincts carry you through.

5)   Problem: You feel like your fillings might come out over rough trails and you are getting stuck (maybe even having to unclip).

Solution: Go faster to prevent stop and loosen your grip and relax your upper body.  Also, lift off the seat a little bit and absorb the impact with your legs.

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