Mountain Bikes

Mountain Bikes

How I Got Into Mountain Biking

Posted on February 16, 2018 in Uncategorized

It was a humid Saturday morning as I had one foot clipped into my mountain bike while there must have been thirty of us lined up onto the starting line of this 15 mile mountain bike race. As I stood there I glanced over at the other competitors, some of whom had what looked like a ball of fire in their eyes while others had ripped leg muscles. They all sat onto their bikes, some of witch were carbon fiber bikes, hard tail and full suspension bikes and even a few 29ers. Here I am with only a year of experience riding on single track trails with my Trek full suspension mountain bike as I tried to keep myself pumped up for what could potentially be a very grueling race. Before the gunshot was heard, I kept my hands relaxed on the handle bar grips, only letting go to make sure my gloves were on tight, my helmet was adjusted properly and I took a few sips from the Camelbak hydration system that was strapped to me. Once the gun went off and was heard all over the mountain bike park, we were all in a dash to leave the starting line while clipping in and jockeying for position like a herd of wild animals as we made our way from the open field and into the single track trails. As I kept changing gears, looking around at the riders in front of me and thinking about what I would encounter during the race, I had a thought in the back of my mind.

I thought about what led me to buy a mountain bike, how long would it take before I would become confident enough to ride through rugged terrain, switchback trails and steep hills. Could this new sport help me out in the other endurance sports that I compete in?

With the background of a distance runner, and a triathlete, mountain biking would definitely benefit me. A little more than a year and a half before this race, a friend convinced me to buy an inexpensive hard tail mountain bike to participate in group rides in the winter time where we would be doing a lot hill repeats on a twenty mile loop on pavement. These workouts would keep us in shape through the winter so we would all be better off for the upcoming triathlon season. Once springtime rolled around and I wanted to get into ridding on single track trails that offer switchbacks, rugged terrain and steep hills, I realized that the bike that I currently had was inadequate for this type of ridding. So then I found myself buying a Trek full suspension mountain bike. The more I rode my new bike at the local mountain bike parks, the more I appreciated having an intermediate level bike. He way the dual suspension was forgiving on the terrain of the trails along with how well the tires gave me enough traction through the different trail conditions were just a couple of key features that I began to appreciate about this bike. As I rode my mountain bike on the easy and intermediate trails, I not only realized that I was turning into a better mountain biker, I noticed something else along the way. When I was not making my way though the local mountain bike parks, I was out on the road on my triathlon bike. What I found out about mountain biking is that it forces you to become very good at being able to handle your bike in all different situations. It is that same requirement in mountain biking that made me more confident when riding on road, especially through a village where there are a lot of cars, traffic lights, potholes and other various problems that a cyclist has to be aware of. At the time, while I was still becoming acclimated to this bike that I had bought, I knew that sometime in the future I would like to try a mountain bike race. I also knew that I would have to become a much better mountain biker at this new discipline before I try to do it at a competitive level. I soon found myself waking up very early on a September morning to join a of friends on what was going to be a sixty mile ride on our bikes. We would ride the first thirty five miles on a flat trail and then stop for breakfast and then the fun would really begin. Then twenty five miles of singe track trails and see who could endure the most pain. As the leaves fell off the trees and the snow blanketed the ground, there was yet another opportunity for me. Mountain biking on the snow packed trails while breathing the dry air and trying not to let my tires lose their grip in the snow. Eventually in the middle of the summer, I found myself on vacation visiting a friend in Massachusetts near the New Hampshire border and we mountain biked at various parks in the area. My friend and I rode in parks that offered an endless amount of rocks, boulders, roots, logs, man made bridges over creeks and even a few mosquitoes! At this time I was confident enough in my bike handling that I had registered for my first mountain bike race.

Now here I was in the first of four laps in this grueling mountain bike race while I was thinking about how I got into the sport instead of thinking about the race itself. I was quickly getting exhausted while I tried to keep up with the more experienced athletes in this race. With beads of sweat already dripping down my face and realizing that my mental toughness was slowly fading away, this discipline was beginning to feel a lot harder than distance running and competing in triathlons. I found myself on trails that meandered through the park as well as steep climbs, a few rollers, roots, logs, some rocks and then an open field to have a chance to gain speed. Overall I didn’t finish as well as I wanted to, but I plan to compete in more mountain bike races in the future. With the various mountain bike parks around the country, this is a very rewarding sport for a beginner to get into as well as an experienced mountain biker. Both types of mountain bikers will still reap the benefits and enjoyment, while continuously trying to push themselves past their comfort zone.

This is how I got into the sport of mountain biking. This is a sport where I have not only learned a lot about the sport itself, but also about myself as an athlete. I’m sure after reading this you are ready to go out and buy a bike or if you already have a mountain bike, dust it off and take it out to the trails.

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Specialized Mountain Bikes – A Little Customization Goes a Long Way

Posted on February 15, 2018 in Uncategorized

There are many makes and models of mountain bikes on the market today. In fact, you can usually find exactly what you want – right off the showroom floor – without ordering specialized mountain bikes. However, sometimes specialized mountain bikes can offer more of what you want in a ride!

Bikes can be specialized in a variety of ways – depending on what type of performance you want from the bike. Some bikes are even specialized simply to look a certain way, and the specialization has little or nothing to do with performance. Again, it all just depends on what you want and what you need – and how much you are willing to pay for it.

Many people request or make very small changes to the bike – but certain changes turn an ordinary mountain bike into a specialized mountain bike – no doubt about it! For instance, many people want specialized frames, but everything else about the bike is factory standard. A large majority of people want specialized ultra-smooth suspension seat posts or fully adjustable handlebars made of alloy.

Specialized suspensions are common requests and modifications that a large number of mountain bikers make. Specialized tires, which are suited to specific types of terrain, are popular as well. Of course, specialized paint jobs or designs are the top requests and modifications made by those who place a great deal of importance on the look of the bike as well.

Specialized parts and components cost a lot of money in most cases, but some specialization and customization can be done affordably, if you are willing to do the work yourself and only pay for the needed parts. Having to pay a shop to do the work starts driving the costs up quickly! So, if you want to customize your bike in anyway, try to learn what you need to know to do the work yourself to keep costs down.

Some people have major specialization work done, and by the time the work is complete – the bike rides and looks like a totally different bike! Of course this type of specialization should be reserved for expert riders who know exactly what they want, and how those customizations will affect their ride or their techniques. This type of specialization runs into the thousands of dollars – over the cost of the bike without the specialization!

Beware of the word specialized! It doesn’t always mean what you think it means. For instance, many bike shops use the word ‘specialized’ in their business name – this doesn’t necessarily mean that they sell specialized bikes. It is also important to note that a specialized bike, in most cases, does not mean that you are the only person in the world with that type of bike – unless you’ve ordered a specialized bike that is guaranteed to be one-a-kind (most bike shops will not make this guarantee, but you could get such a guarantee from a major manufacturer).

Beginners do not need specialized bikes. Again, the average rider can find exactly what they want and need in a bike shop, or at an Internet bike store. Some bikes arrive at the store for resale already specialized – in almost every case you have the option of getting a bike that you see in a store customized to suite your needs, but it usually costs quite a bit, and you have to wait for the parts to come in and the work to be done before you can take the bike out of the store and onto the trails.

The best way to get a specialized mountain bike is to order one at an online bike store, or directly through the manufacturer. This is the best way to ensure that you are getting the right specialization to suit your needs and desires. Just make sure that you have enough experience with mountain bikes to know what kind of specialization you want before you just start adding or changing components without fully planning or thinking things through – sometimes specialization can ruin your ride, as opposed to improving it – which is what specialized mountain bikes are supposed to be all about!


Mountain Biking Forums – Global Gathering Places

Posted on February 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

One of the underlying factors accounting for the rapidly growing popularity of mountain biking is, undoubtedly, the wide availability of mountain biking forums.

Mountain biking forums allow mountain bikers, of all ages and level of experience from all over the globe, to gather and share their enthusiasm for their sport. Every biker with Internet access has a huge community of fellow biking lovers waiting to share tips and stories of biking adventures available with a couple of mouse clicks.

Thanks to the Internet, the world is smaller than ever, and those who have shared interests can communicate regardless of their geographical locations. Mountain biking forums have sprung up as cyberspace meeting places where mountain bikers can discuss whatever they like, but what they usually want to discuss is their sport. Mountain biking forums are the best places to find information everything from the latest riding techniques to information on local mountain biking events.

What Moutaing Biking Forums Offer

Mountain biking forums allow people who may never meet personally to share advice, secrets to competing successfully, and photographs of themselves and their favorite mountain biking terrain. After a short time communicating in forums, many mountain bikers feel as if they were lifelong friends with people whom they are never likely to encounter face-to-face.

Mountain biking forums offer biking novices the ideal way to get advice on how to improve their biking skills as quickly as they can, and the best equipment and biking trails for their skill levels. The forums are also great bulletin boards for those wishing to find, or post, the latest news or information about mountain biking events in their areas.

Most mountain biking forums allow their members to enter into discussions on various topics, just as they would if they were having conversations in person. You don’t have to spend much time viewing any of these forums to get an idea of the sense of community they create among bikers.

There are currently more than one hundred online mountain biking forums which you can visit, and while they are occasionally invaded by those who do not like bikers or biking, most of those posting in them are truly enthusiastic about the sport. Most of the time you will be greeted warmly, and invited to share your mountain biking experiences.

Having the Internet mountain biking forums available to the mountain biking community the world over has given the sport an enormous boost, and it’s all because of the bikers being able to share their passion!