Mountain biking is an expensive sport and to top it off “coaching” is an additional expense what’s so special about MTB coaching is it really worth your time and money or instead, you should spend that money on good gear, At one time while I was starting out I did consider it myself as well but id decided not to go with it since I was low back then but still I wanted to write an article on it for beginner mountain bikers who are facing the same issue.
Here’s what I will be covering in this article.
- Is MTB coaching worth it
- Better gear or better skills.
- How to score coaching and a new bike
- How to get the most out of coaching if you decide to go that way
- Self-coaching, how and where to start
- Must-have gear
- Losing bad habits
- Tips and tricks and how to master them
- Conclusion: Which is the better route to take.
To start off I think you might be tired of reading about all the gear you need for MTB buy this buy that, by no means those are not necessary gear and not benefit you but if you are a beginner and just starting out the biggest concern would be better gear or better skills while there is an obvious answer “skills” are better than gear any day you can rely on cheap gear but not on bad skills.
Let’s get started.
Is MTB coaching worth it :
Let’s get things straight right away the simple answer to the question would be
MTB Coaching is worth it if you are shooting for the professionals, it is not necessary, and also it is too much expensive usually it may cost the same as your new bike around 500-1000$ per session.
Now I am not saying everyone charges this much but it’s too much of an expense and most of the time coaches just give a brief and off they go really not worth the time if you ask me sure it may be tempting but for an average new rider its far too much expensive or maybe it’s me and some of the people out there.
But if you can afford the training, by all means, try it, it will drastically improve your skills and if they provide what they offer that could be wonderful as well.
Better gear or better skills :
While the answer might be obvious but gear Is sometimes better than skills if you are starting out you might wanna get some gear first since coaching is too expensive starting cheap is good since you might not have the knowledge on what’s all looks and whats quality, you will be just fine skipping the coaching it might seem like a challenge at first but as you advance it gets easier it may take some time but you are not in a hurry as well.
How to score coaching and a new bike :
If you are aiming for coaching and a good cheap mountain bike at the same time you might want to start digging for information here’s a good point on where to start I have written complete articles on What to look for when buying a used mountain bike and also in case you had like to buy a new bike here’s another article that you may wanna look into Best mountain bikes for beginners you can find all the info here hopefully these articles will help you find the best bike you are looking for.
The next step would be finding a good coach that might put in real effort and not just give you the blueprints on how things are done for that I would encourage you to hit the trails you may find different coaches online and different services that offer coaching but I would highly suggest that you check everything out first rather than wasting your money.
How to get the most out of coaching :
There are a lot of good people and services out there who put in some real effort and try to make it worth the money but if you rely too much on coaching it might backfire on you usually they will tell you what to do and what not to do but after that everything falls on your shoulders to get the most out of the coaching you need to start taking steps yourself and start working on yourself.
Nothing will be presented to you on a silver plate grind is a part of the game if you put in just a little bit of effort into things they will turn out great and you will have the success you desire a lot quicker.
Self-coaching, how and where to start :
Self-learning is always hard but it is that hard-earned effort that pushes you to do better and better and turn you into the best out there learning yourself might be hard and sometimes you may even question why did you even take this part but remember everything will be just fine and you may not want to take things too seriously.
You are not aiming for the professionals and you are not learning to shave off some seconds as the pros do so it will be just fine here are some starting steps that you may wanna take that will help you make progress much faster.
Mastering the basic skills :
Mountain biking can be tempting considering if you are a beginner and you see all those people doing awesome things with their bike but taking things slower is better for you, Before thinking too deep or trying to bunny hop there are some basic skills that might help you learn faster and save you more time here’s a list of some of those skills that should be on your priority list.
- Learning to shift gears properly
- learning to know where to go faster and where to go slower
- understanding whats a good line and how to follow it
- Getting better at breaking
- Getting used to trails
- Learning to lean in and out
- Learning to place a foot on the ground
- Learning where to stand up and where to be seated
- Learning not to be glued to your seat post
Skitting, bunny hopping, corner-cutting, jumping are all the skills that come after these skills don’t blindly charge on trails and try learning everything in one go that would slow you down and you will end up learning nothing.
If you are a beginner sticking with this routine will make you progress much faster here’s a little overview of what you need to accomplish.
Learning to shift gears properly :
Learning to shift gears is the one thing that people usually don’t think about at first and later on, it becomes a major drawback for them.
Learn when to shift gears when to keep the gear and when it’s time to get off the bike before breaking your chain, The most important part here is to observe the trail before driving on it and try planning how you are going to do it, if the trail is uphill you might wanna be on the upper gears for smooth climbing and if it’s downhill you might need to be on lower gears to catch up the speed and paddle less if you are commuting you should try being in the middle gear or lower to pick up speed.
if the uphill trail is too steep try to go in a higher gear if it’s not helping and you are crunching your gears it’s time to get off the bike and climb there’s no shame in it people do it all the time and it’s certainly nothing to be embarrassed about.
learning to know where to go faster and where to go slower :
Trails can be tempting a lot of the time you may want to follow others and speed up like they are doing only to end up on a difficult cut breaking wrong and falling down, as a beginner it will certainly happen a lot but it’s just part of the sport as well mistakes are part of the sport learning to get better at them depends on you.
Learning what skills are more important :
As I said earlier mountain biking is a tempting sport and sometimes as a beginner you may ignore essential
- Courage to take on challenges
- listening is better than speaking
- watch to learn
- Slower is Better
- Trust your instincts
- Trust your bike
- Know your limits
Courage to take on challenges :
While you start or maybe you already have started courage is the most important thing taking on the challenges is the path to improvement if you are going downhill or grinding uphill sometimes you may think it impossible but if you take it as a challenge you will take the plunge and there’s no greater happiness than beating a challenge so the next time you feel like it is impossible, think of it as a challenge and be all over it rather than getting hopeless.
listening is better than speaking :
You have heard this before or you may have not but listening is always better than speaking if your friends or some people you met on trails ask for advice rather than speaking what you think might be right it’s the best.
watch to learn :
If you are a shy person or even in general if you had trouble doing something like sitting or bunny hopping or cutting the corner at some point you can just stand on the side of the trails and observe others who are doing it right see how they move their body and mimic them if you are comfortable talking to people than ask them for advice that can be a bonus, usually people are really friendly and they do tend to help out so never be shy asking for advice or help.
If all you are doing is listening to the people and not doing something yourself you may or may not learn something or even anything also as the saying goes
Practice make one perfect
Utilize the knowledge you gain you may be slow but you will make progress and it will take you a lot less time to actually master the skills.
Slower is Better :
If you feel like you are much slower than others and you are left out of the circle, it is okay you may be taking longer than others and sometimes it may seem overwhelming but at the end of the day it would pay off you will be better than them, progress doesn’t mean mastery if you are taking things slow means you are just learning that much faster.
Trust your instincts :
There will be a lot of times on trails you might think I cant do it or I am going too fast or going too slow at times like that its best that you leave it to your instincts and don’t really think anything before you know it you will be out of it but try remembering that experience and improvise it over time.
Trust your bike :
If you are a mountain biker trusting your bike is really important unless it’s too cheap or too much worn out, trust your bike on difficult trails at least it is a lot tougher than you are, Trust your bike it’s not going to fail if it does its most probably your own thoughts that are holding you back not your bike so always trust your bike its capable of more than what you think.
Mountain bikes are specially made for trails and rough roads a lot more goes into their making than just aluminum and steel.
Mountain bikes geometry is made in a way that stress is evenly applied or at least one part doesn’t take all the toll that makes them much more stress sustainable and able to freely ride rough terrains, it may get bumpy but it’s not going to fail you considering you yourself not push your luck.
Know your limits :
Knowing one’s limit is the best thing, If you are having trouble climbing or it’s too steep for you to ride skip the section get off of your bike theirs no shame in walking it just shows more consideration for your and your bike’s safety.
Challenges are okay but your physique might not be up to the task or your bike it’s best that you not take it on as a challenge for now
Theres always another day but you
Don’t compromise your health or your future on a stupid challenge also know when it’s too hot or too cold to ride going with nature is better than going against it!.