Mountainbike Basics - Tipps and Tricks (EN)

woom is going OFF. Off-road to be precise. After all, that is where our brand new mountain bike feels most at home. In our latest blog we are therefore looking at why mountain biking is such a great sport. What's more, we will also be giving you some great exercises for riding on rough terrain as well as a few tips on improving bike-handling skills. So, OFF we go!


Why ride a mountain bike?

Mountain biking is a great sport. It trains both balance and reaction speed as well as teaching riders to pay attention to their surroundings and make decisions quickly. What's more, mountain biking is great for improving strength and stamina. And, last but certainly not least, it is the perfect way to get out and explore the diversity of nature together. Of course it is possible to experience mountains and valleys, flora and fauna, exercise and fatigue, summit moments and shared camp fires without a bike, but all these things are simply more fun on two wheels. That's a fact!


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Training and improving mountain bike skills
A good sense of balance is a key component of riding a mountain bike, which is why the following exercises focus mainly on training balance on the bike.
The best way to do this is by riding the bike as slowly as possible while at the same time completing certain tasks.


●     For example, have your children ride along a straight line or around a narrow figure-of-eight. 

You can start off with a larger figure-of-eight and let them practise for a bit. Once they feel comfortable, make the figure-of-eight smaller step by step. 


●     Another exercise is to make children brake, come to a stop for a moment, and then continue riding without putting their feet down. This challenge can be made more difficult by adding extra elements.


●     Who can balance on the spot the longest? Wait at the traffic lights without putting your feet down? It's a tricky skill that can't be learned overnight and requires a fair bit of practice. The aim of this exercise is to have children stand with both feet on the pedals and keep the bike as steady as possible with their body upright. This is the ideal exercise to optimise balance and improve starting and stopping skills. To prepare, we have another great exercise. Place the front tyre against a post, either from the front or from the side. Depending on how much of the tyre is resting against the post, this provides more or less support. You can vary this element to increase or decrease the difficulty level for your child.

●     It's also fun to train emergency stops. Take a rope or draw a line on the ground using chalk. Riders must then try to brake so that they stop exactly on the line. Who can approach the fastest and still manage to stop on the line?



    MTB skills school: basics & tips

    With balance on the bike and fast reactions dialled in, it's now time to get out and explore. There are a few things to    keep in mind when mountain biking, especially on descents.


●     The rider's centre of gravity should be over the bottom bracket while descending, which means riders should lean back slightly more than normal. This position is ideal for effective and energy-efficient descending. The cranks should be parallel to the ground and the rider's legs should be slightly bent. Riders should also keep their arms slightly bent. This makes it possible to react as quickly as possible to obstacles and uneven terrain.


●     The saddle should also be moved down slightly. This shifts the centre of gravity downwards and therefore improves balance on the bike. It also makes it easier for riders to put their feet down quickly and safely if needed.


●     On really steep descents it is a good idea to move weight back even a bit further and use both the front and the rear brake when braking. Especially when braking on gravel or other slippery terrain, it is important to apply the brakes gently and evenly.


    Right, now it's time to get out and explore! Have fun practising and training your skills!