- Getting Started
- On the Trail KitEssentials to wear and carry when heading off-road
- Eat Drink Go FastKeeping yourself fed and watered
- Tell Me MoreClubs, web sites and magazines
- Tools of the TradeEssential tools for fixing your bike and body
- Emergency RepairsTricks to avoid walking home when crap happens
- MaintenanceKeeping your bike running sweetly
- Basic Mtb Skills
- Lesson One: You And Your BikeFine tuning your bike to match your body
- Lesson Two: Braking And DescendingClimbing and plunging technique
- Lesson Three: Around the BendCornering technique
- Lesson Four: Climb Like A Billy GoatThe art and science of pedalling smoothly uphill
- Lesson Five: Lifting The Front WheelGetting over and around obstacles
- Lesson Six: The Flashy Stuff... lifting the back wheel and bunny hoppingLifting the back wheel and bunny hopping
- Advanced Mtb Skills
- Jack and Jill - Traversing
- The Hills are Alive - climbing
- Going down on your bike - downhilling
- Brakes Maketh the Mountain Biker
- Power to the Pedals
- As Easy as Riding a BikeOptions for staying fit and furious over winter
- Full Suspension Skills
- Stand up and be counted - rough ridingClearing obstacles like tree roots and rocks
- AirpointsTips to launch obstacles rather than rolling over them
- Rough and ReadySecrets to tackle very technical trails
- Knight RiderTechniques for mtbing at night
- Seeing the LightBicycle lights
- Bike GroomingMaintaining your bike to ensure it runs sweetly
- Well Hung and Double SprungLightweight dual suspension bikes
- Single Speed all the wayTips to temporarily convert your mtb into a singlespeed
- Buying Your First Mountain BikeThings to look for and avoid
- NZ New, One Careful OwnerWhat to look out for when buying a second hand mountain bike
- Disco InfernoDisc brakes
- No-tubes, no-ideaThe low down on tubeless wheels
- Other Stuff
- The Trail Builders' Rough Guide
- Life as an Urban Warrior
- The Art of Food and Bikes
- The Mountain Bikers' Code
- On the RoadSkills to survive swimming with sharks and riding among cars
- A Women's WorldCycle Tips for Women
- Flying HighTravelling with your bike and dealing with public transport
- Weight Watcher's Equipment GuideWisdom on appropriate gear for multiday mtb trips
- Cycle Touring KitThe essentials of cycle touring
- First Aid for Your Bike
Stand up and be counted - rough riding
Updated 25 February 2013Too often we leap on our trusty stead to exercise our legs and duly switch off everything above the waist. This high-level inactivity is fine for cruising 'the smooth' but gets you in all sorts of bother as the terrain becomes more technical. There are different ways to attack obstacles on the trail but the principle remains unchanged - to ride smoothly over these gnarly bits. The answer lies partially in the maths. You are around six times heavier than your featherweight scandium bike so it is inherently sensible to throw it around rather than your body (carefully of course - it's expensive and sleeps inside). Correct bike set-up is essential to allow you to control the beast. The general aim is when in the just-riding-along position for your arms to be slightly bent and taking some of your weight. If this isn't the case then visit your local bike emporium. Once this is sorted, think about dialling up one of three 'riding modes' when out on the trails.
Mode 1: PassiveOften deployed on a Sunday after a hearty breakfast of french toast, bacon and maple syrup. This technique is quite natural - make yourself like a dead weight perched on your seat getting bounced around by the bike. It is used by too many riders too often, but is appropriate on small bumps and corrugations. Even in this passive mode it is important to get off your seat and keep your arms and legs relaxed so they can absorb the bumps.
Mode 2: Active... to be used when the terrain is tricky but the wheels can still freely roll over the obstacle. The trick is to anticipate how your front wheel is likely to behave and help it through the movement. As you zoom towards a speed hump:
1. Let the wheel rise up by pulling the handlebars towards you.
2. Then as you head down the other side push the handlebars down to let the bike drop with the front wheel.
3. As the front wheel bottoms out, bend your arms to lower your body over the front wheel and absorb the drop. To avoid taking a soil sample with your front teeth, keep your head up and stay relaxed.
Timing is everything. You'll dial up this mode 90% of the time and it will result in you riding as smooth and fast as peanut butter.
Mode 3: Pro active... for when you need to initiate an action that would not otherwise have happened. These gravity defying moves are used when wheels cannot freely roll over an obstacle - like bunny hopping over a drain at speed or tackling a super steep drop-off with a stiff power stroke to launch you off the edge. But that's another story.
Bon courage mes amis.