6 Essential Skills To Ride Any Basic Mountain Bike Trail | MTB Skills

– Alright, I’ve been thinking, yep, it’s a bit worrying, I know, but here me out, right? Us dudes at GMBN tend to show you a number of ways and skills to improve your riding out on the trail. Neil likes to go really fast and he’s a great way of
showing you how to do that, I like to show you how
to get up into the air and do a few tricks and have some fun, but how many skills do you actually really need to take on board to get through this basic trail safely? I’m going to find out. (electronic music) Right, so I’ve ridden the trail, pushed back up, and I’ve come up with six basic skills to get through a basic trail. And that is body positioning, your braking, your cornering, your pumping, your looking ahead, and your linking the whole trail together. Right now I’m going to explain each individual skill and first up, I’m going to talk about body positioning because that’s important. Right, before you get carried
away and you just drop in, you don’t know what to
expect on the trail, there’s a few things you need
to take into consideration and one of them is a very important one and it’s that saddle, getting that saddle down low. If you have a dropper post get
as low as possible you can, but if you don’t have a dropper post, just undo that quick release bolt and bring that saddle and seat post down as low as possible, as
much as you can really, just to get it out of the way. But by doing that, you’re
going to let your body weight venture over the back a little bit especially when you get
into a steep session you can bring that body
weight a little bit back because by having it up you’re just going to have
it all over the front it’s going to buck you in the bum, it’s going to be a little bit
uncomfortable and sketchy. Right, let me run through all the wrongdoings of body position, right, I’ve seen this a lot out there, and there’s people riding
with their cranks like this. That is a recipe for disaster because your foot is
super low to the ground, it’s all well and good doing it out on the streets when
you’re commuting to work, but when you’re out on the trail it’s rougher than it is on the road. So by doing that you’re
essentially going to hit rocks and it’s going to ping you off the trail and it’s going to cause a
little bit of an accident. So the key is to ride like that. Another one is straight legs, straight arms all locked up quite nervous looking,
you’re all a bit stiff, and you can’t really move your body, you want your body to move with your bike as you’re going down the trail. Right, now the correct way, what you want to do is
loosen up a little bit, get your elbows bent, bend your knees. So, you want your pedals to be like that, level pedaled, feet quite nice
and central on the pedals, bend your legs, bend your elbows, get into that press up
position, the attack position. You want to have your elbows
quite high up as well. But when you’re having this all bent, don’t get stiff and get stuck like this, you want to just be supple on your bike, because your body is as much
a suspension as your bike, especially when you’re
riding a Hardtail like this, you’re relying on your
knees by moving up and down, letting your body absorb
all of those rough terrains. Right, whilst you’re here
talking about body positioning, you’re in that attack
position, you’re looking, but you’re looking at your front tire. I’ve seen this a lot of times, people are concentrating on
this little area right here when they’re riding down the trail, but this is not essentially the trail, all of that over there’s
the trail as well. So you want to look ahead, keep your head up high,
see what’s coming up, focus on certain objects that
are going to be in your way so you can make a decision way before you get to it, instead of looking at
that boulder and going, “Oh no, I’ve got a split
second to go around it,” and you hit it. So it’s key to look ahead,
keep your head up high. Right, we spoke about
this in skill number one and that’s braking, what you want to do is brake
before you get into a turn like this berm going left. You want to come in with
a little bit of speed, slow yourself down before
you get into the turn because what you don’t want
to do is brake in the turn. Like, slapping it on, because
that’s going to send you– it’s going to stand you up a little bit, it’s going to slow you down
and you’re going to end up going out the berm or into the rough stuff on the inside of the turn. So, I find I’ve seen a
lot of people riding, berms, turns, whatever corner and their inside foot is down low and their outside foot is quite high. But what you’re doing is you’re
lowering your approach angle when you’re coming into a turn, so essentially this inside foot is going to be quite low to the ground and you could strike a rock
and when you strike a rock it’s going to bump you up and push you out of the
turn, it’s dangerous. What you want to do in a berm is have your feet level, depending on what foot you have forward, as long as your cranks are level, your body weight is set back, your hips are pushed up
to the top of the berm you’re looking forward, you
concentrate on your exit and you’re rolling through
without slapping those breaks. But this differs on a different turn. So as you can see, my body weight is quite
central on the bike, my arms are bent, my legs are bent, my cranks are level with the berm, my hips are slightly up to
the top of the berm as well, I’m looking forward at my exit. So this is the incorrect
way of riding your berm. So my inside foot is low down so my approach angle into
a berm is not so great because I’m potentially
going to strike the ground which is going to cause me to
stand the bike up in the turn and send me off course. Okay, so what I’ve found with
my inside foot quite low, my body weight was quite high up, kind of trying to stand my bike up, it kind of didn’t feel right in the turn, so having those level pedals is key when you’re going into a turn because your body weight’s
quite central on the bike, like I’ve explained. But another thing is don’t
be scared of the berm, don’t be scared to go up into here, because the speed you’re going, you’ll stick into that turn
and you’re looking ahead because if you venture off
into the bottom of the berm, it’s going to be a little
bit slippery and greasy with stones with all that
dirt that comes off that berm. So don’t be scared of it, ride the berm. So technique changes
when riding flat turns because there’s no bank there for you to ride and catch grip, what you want to do is
drop that outside foot like I’m doing right here and essentially moving your
body weight to the back wheel, so that wheel can dig
in and get maximum grip. You can actually ride it
flat footed like I am here, but you know I’m going
to get full maximum grip. What you don’t want to do
is drop your inside foot like I’m doing here, that pedal’s going to
be scraping the ground, you’re not going to get your full lean on, you’re not going to get maximum grip and it could potentially
ping you and off the trail and potentially hit that tree. Right, pumping. The trail is never flat, a mountain bike trail is going to be rough and bumpy, lump and jumpy, so you’re going to have to
introduce that pumping technique and what I mean by this is, look at this for example right here, this is what we call a speed bump, a roller as such, so when
you’re coming into it, what you want to do is you’re
in that attack position, you’re in the correct body position, what you want to do when
you’re riding up it, you want to let the bike
rise up into your body, let it come up into
you, bending your kneed, bending your elbows and then when you come into the other side, where you want your bike to roll down, you’re basically pushing down on the bike, letting it drop away from you so you’re keeping the
bike quite low and central and leave it on the ground as
such, then you roll through. But when it comes to a roller, a dip in the ground, it’s the same technique
but I’ll show you that. Right, a little dip in the trail. It’s the same as going
over a little lump as well, but what you want to do
is let your bike push so you’re squashing the
bike into the ground, letting it drift away from you, then when you’re getting
through the whole transition, coming out the other
side, you want to let– essentially do what you
do on the speed bump, so let that bike come up into you again, let it rise up into you, bend your arms, bend your knees, and then
push out and push through, to the next bit of the trail. So, a mountain bike trail’s never flat, never straight and it’s never easy as well because it’s got lumps,
bumps, turns and corners and everything like I’ve said. But bringing all those
skills that I’ve spoken about into one practice by linking
up the trail ahead of you is going to help you conquer that trail. So it’s all about nailing
the skills together, so it’s all about having
the correct position, looking ahead, having the
correct braking technique, in your corners, be
confident in the corners, and it’s all about
linking up the whole thing by pumping through the trail, getting your flow on and just conquering that oh so basic mountain bike trail. (laughs) Good body, looking ahead, brake, (laughs) pumping, going faster, (laughs) so much fun. Mountain biking’s the best, I tell you. Well hopefully this gives you a little bit more of an understanding on how to tackle a basic trail, such like that one. It only takes a few
skills to master to do it, but the thing is, for the first time, like everything for the
first time actually, it’s going to be scary, but the best thing about this is you can just pedal back up to the top and hit that exactly same trail just hone those skills
in a little bit more. If you want to see another video, five essential skills
click just down over here, and if you want to learn
how to jump from basics. Click just there. Smash that globe if you
haven’t subscribed already because you’re missing out, and I’ll see you on the next one.

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