Basic Mountain Bike Skills: Mastering The Art Of Biking

“There’s nothing you can’t do, and there’s everything that you may do.”

This phrase is highly relatable when it comes to the concept of skills.

Pursuing something that you intend to pursue depends entirely upon how deeply you are focused on learning the basic skills of the deed.

Hence to become a better mountain biker eventually, initially, all you need is to acquire sufficient knowledge about Basic Mountain Bike Skills.


Mountain biking is often considered to be a challenging sport and equally highly complex. Moreover, many see it as the toughest of sport that requires ample time to master. But honestly, that is not correct.

Mountain biking is far different than general or road biking in terms of speed and technicality.

Hence, it indeed requires some special skills to get perfect with mountain biking over a variety of challenging trails and terrains.

The terrain may be rough, rooty mountains, steep and narrow hill trails, dry or wet surfaces, and even flat yet bumpy paths.

To overcome all the obstacles being faced on such terrains, a specific skill set is required that must be practiced and implemented during the biking expeditions.

Mountain biking may look as if it is a tricky one, but once you would be accompanied by the best suitable mountain bike and the will to learn the basic mountain bike skills, which you would improve and enhance while you ride, you’re all good to go.

This article is highly informative and helpful for the bikers who look forward to embarking on the journey of mountain biking with sheer perfection.

This guide to basic mountain bike skills will help you in setting up the foundation of your vision regarding hitting up the trails.

Besides, it will also help you gain strength and self-confidence, which are obviously much needed to master mountain biking.

Importance Of Basic Mountain Bike Skills

Basic skills are nothing but high expertise regarding something. With a thorough understanding of basic mountain bike skills, mountain bikers may achieve their desired ability to ride a bike on various terrains with perfection and compassion.

Moreover, that perfection would result from their hard work, dedication, extreme practice, flexibility, confidence, and understanding of the flaws and the ways to improve them.

Either you are a beginner in the journey of mountain biking or even a practitioner looking forward to learning pro biking, there are indeed various skills that you ought to learn and improve concerning the level of biking over various types of terrains.

If you are really looking forward to getting comfortable with your biking techniques in time, there are several skills that may help you achieve whatever you desire.

These basic mountain bike skills will help the rider have a longer riding time without getting much harmed and falling off. Hence, these skills lead a biker to the advanced stage of biking more quickly and effortlessly.

The Basic Mountain Bike Skills Set

There are mainly 5 basic mountain bike skills that either an entry-level biker or a practitioner must follow in order to ride safely, efficiently, and perfectly over challenging terrains. Let us give it a good read for maximum benefits to the core.

1. Learn To Position Your Body Correctly

Your body’s correct position and posture while riding the bike is extremely important as it helps you achieve a safe and comfortable riding experience.

That also helps overcome the hurdles and obstacles much smoothly and keeps the bike’s wheels to achieve better contact with the surface.

Hence with the basic skilled learning about the better positioning of your body, it becomes much easier to learn the more advanced skills of mountain biking.

There are basically two types of positions that you need to learn while riding, either uphill, downhill, or even over flat surfaces.

The body’s ideal position over the flat terrains is the sitting position, where you simply sit comfortably over the saddle and apply smooth pedal strokes that helps you save your energy while giving you maximum ease and comfort.

But in the case of the technical terrain that is more bumpy and rocky, it becomes mandatory to get the body to Attack position immediately.

This position lets the biker stand up over the pedals, maintaining the overall weight on both wheels.

While learning the skill of attack position over much challenging terrain, especially while descending, the rider must keep the pedal on the same level and let the bike glide over the ground. This prevents the rider from any crash or snagging.

To absorb the shocks more efficiently, it is important to keep your legs and hands bent from knees and elbows being in this position.

Last but not least, skill learning includes a better grip over the brakes all the time, along with a stiff and clear vision ahead over the terrain that you are following.

2. Learn To Balance The Body Weight While Riding

To master the skill of balancing the body’s overall weight while riding, initially, the rider must practice specific balancing drills on the known terrains nearby.

With better learning about the various positions over the bike, the biker may practice balance and control.

With that, it is also important to learn the tricks about shifting the bodyweight according to the direction you are riding.

For example, in the case of steep uphill climbing, the rider must shift his weight forward towards the front wheel so that the center of gravity would be over the rear wheel, and it would provide better traction.

In another case, while riding downhill, the rider must keep his body weight over the rear wheel and not leaning over the handlebars. 

3. Learn To Be Easy With The Braking System

A piece of general knowledge about the braking system is far different from learning the skill of how to apply the brakes often while riding.

Moreover, there are many things that you must learn regarding your bike’s brakes to master the basic mountain bike skills in a go.

The most basic yet eminent one is that you must always be gentle on your brakes and never pull the brakes harder.

The front and rear brakes are different, and you must learn and practice the working of both separately.

It is always suggested to use both the brakes together at the initial stages of the skill training sessions.

However, the front brake is the most powerful and does most of the stopping over the tough terrains.

Most importantly, it is always better not to apply brakes while riding over technical terrain.

The wheels provide better traction while rolling at a higher speed rather than when applied brakes over them.

Precisely, always apply the brakes before you start rolling over these types of terrains and after you have crossed that specific rough patch.

4. Learn The Tricks Of Climbing Safely

While learning the basic skills about climbing over technical terrains, the rider must practice keeping the body’s weight in the center. This is ideally possible in the attack position while riding.

Hence for a better understanding of climbing, you must be aware of the positioning of the body over the saddle, the pedal stroke, and the bike’s gearing system.

While climbing, always begin with easy gear and a straight vision of the path that you’re going to hit.

Do not stop pedaling and stay leaned towards the front wheel, maintaining the grip for the action. In case of challenging terrains, like steep uphill climbing, keep a note that the front wheel must be in contact with the surface every time and must not lift.

Following this, you may easily achieve the skill of climbing faster safely without big gaps, fall-offs, and crashing.

5. Learning About Faster And Safer Descending

The major skills of mountain biking include descending or downhill riding, as it requires more control and safety training.

In order to stay safe with a faster speed while descending over the trails, it becomes most important to position your body accordingly. Also, the brakes must be applied very gently to slow the speed.

The body weight must be on the rear wheel while riding downwards. But that must completely be in accordance with how steep the slope is.

Most importantly, in case of extremely steep trails, the rider must be in a position where he looks ahead and stands against the saddle over the pedals leveled, hips lose, arms stretched out fullest, and having a secured grip over the brakes.

Hence learning and practicing these tips would help the rider achieving a safer and faster descend.

6. Cornering

Cornering or making a turn while riding may sound much easier and simple in basic terms. But it is one of the major skills that a rider must learn before hitting the trails.

The reason being, most of the crashes, dirt naps, and mishaps happen while making sudden turns over the terrains.

Also, a better practice of sharp cornering would save time without affecting the fast speed.

The basic mountain bike skills for cornering majorly cover the practice of making sudden turns over challenging surfaces like dirt, mud, sand, and even snow.

To master the skill, all you need to know is cornering along with efficient braking and balancing the bodyweight for a safer turn.

The most accurate way to safely and correctly corner the bike without affecting the speed is to push down a little harder with the pedal outside the turn while keeping the inside pedal swiftly at the top of the pedal stroke.

The rider must also stay focused over the path and look ahead instead of looking around, moving the head and shoulders.


Besides a strong will to pursue something, a rider equally needs constant guidance and knowledge regarding the tips and tricks of gaining expertise in it.

In the case of Mountain biking, the complete knowledge regarding the basic mountain bike skills can eventually help the mountain bikers to master the art of mountain biking within a decent time duration.

Besides these core and essential sets of basic mountain bike skills, there are few more points to be kept in mind to master the art of mountain biking.

That generally includes knowing and recognizing the terrain you are about to hit well.

You must always be focused on the overall path keeping your eyes on the turns and exits.

This would help you in overcoming the obstacles unharmed and riding faster and efficiently.

Furthermore, to mention, better practice and dedication would be the finest help.

Rest for your help to master and win over the eternal heights of the mountains, this guide will indeed serve you with all that you need.

You can refer to this page as well for more understanding.

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