Dirt gloves aren’t just for experienced riders. Far from it, in fact. We’ve engineered our gloves to be perfect for riders of all experience levels. So, in that vein, we’ve put together a list of some key tips for the less-experienced riders out there.
There’s a reason this is our first tip. It’s more than just a little crucial to keep loose on the trail. We get it -- when you’re new to mountain bike riding, or when you’re riding a new trail, it’s easy to let your mind spiral. Keeping loose on a mountain bike falls squarely in the ‘easier said than done’ category. But, you need to let your mountain bike do the work for you. By keeping loosey-goosey, you’re going to severely lessen the chance of dangerous impacts and falls.
Lay off the Brakes
If you’re going at a speed that feels a little much, it’s easy to want to slam on the brakes. But really, your brakes should be used to adjust speed, not as an ‘abort mission’ button! Mountain biking brakes are extremely sensitive, and it doesn’t take much to send you flying over the handlebars. Brake slowly and with purpose. Be sure to use your back wheel brake first, too -- skidding for a bit is a whole lot better than chucking yourself face-first over the bars. Trust us. We know.
Use Your Gears
If you’re new to mountain biking, just the idea of shifting gears can seem a little daunting. But, your gears are there for a reason. Like many other features on your bike, they’re designed to make your life easier and safer. Always practice shifting gears before you go too hard on a trail, and remember: shift in anticipation, not as a reaction.
Avoid Target Fixation
As obvious as this one sounds, it’s a little more nuanced than ‘watch where you’re going’. Don’t look at the obstacles, instead, look past them. This gives you time to naturally react to what’s coming on the trail, instead of making rash, last-ditch maneuvers. By looking past the next obstacle, and staying loose on your bike, you’ll be able to glide (almost) effortlessly down the trail.
Rest and Rehydrate.
Resting between rides is key. It’s another one of the most-simple, most-useful tips we can possibly give you. If you go into a trail with muscle fatigue, you’re making things much more dangerous than they need to be. Don’t give in to any machismo the next guy may be throwing your way. Take your time. Rest. Hydrate. Stay alert.
Don’t Stay Seated.
We know -- you’re exhausted, and you’ve got a nice seat right under your butt. It’s tempting to spend your whole day sitting down on the saddle, but don’t do it. Your legs are the most efficient, well-designed shock absorbers on the planet. Standing on the pedals makes you more alert and more agile, which in turn makes you quicker (and safer!).
Do Some Wheelies.
Besides being a cool trick, doing a wheelie (or nose wheelie!) can get you out of some tough spots. Wheelies can lift the front tire up over those pesky, just-too-big rocks. Nose wheelies, on the other hand, can safely be that ‘last-ditch effort’ to get your mountain bike past large branches and stones. We suggest mastering both before riding too aggressively!
Learn Some Repairs
This is pretty crucial. Mountain biking terrain is rough, and not easy on your bike. We suggest learning some basic bike repair before going out. Although many tires are now tubeless, flats are definitely still a looming possibility. Learn how to fix those, learn how to replace/fix a chain, and learn a thing or two about derailleurs. The last thing you wanna do is be stranded on a trail, with a broken bike to lug back to your car.
Gloves and Glasses
Sunglasses and mountain biking gloves look very cool, yes. We’re the first to admit that. But, they’re gonna do more than impress other riders. These two pieces of equipment can be the difference between eating it and killing it on the trail. You’ll need rugged, comfortable glasses to keep dirt and pebbles out of your eyes. If you can’t see, you can’t ride.And of course, you need the proper pair of gloves to keep yourself upright. Your grip on the bike is, basically, the one thing keeping you upright. That point of contact for you on your bike is crucial. Dirt gloves have you covered. With a breathable, four-way stretch material, Dirt mountain biking gloves are sure to keep you riding hard.