5 riding mistakes beginner mountain bikers make

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Find out how to get better, quicker by avoiding these classic rookie riding faux pas.

There’s plenty to learn when you first start mountain biking, and just like any sport, it’s easy to pick up bad habits. But fear not, as we’ve compiled a list of five classic beginner mistakes and how to remedy them.

1. Toes on the end of the pedals

Whether on flats or clipped in, the position of your feet on the pedals can have a big impact on your riding ability.

It may seem natural to balance on your toes, or with the ball of you foot directly over the pedal axle, but this can put unnecessary forces on your leg muscles.

Try moving your forefoot forward and positioning the ball of your foot just in front of (but not drastically so) the pedal axle. This will help recruit the right muscles for a stronger and more stable position, especially when it comes to gravity riding.

2. Pedalling through technical sections

When you’re first starting out and speeds are slow, you may need to pedal through technical sections like rocky gardens or narrow rooty trails. This obviously increases the chance of a pedal strike, and whilst sometimes it can’t be avoided, you can mitigate the risk by choosing the right gear.

A lighter gear with a higher cadence may seem natural, but try changing down into a slightly harder gear than you’re used to before hitting the technical section. This does put some more strain on your muscles, but it will also lower your cadence and lessen the risk of a pedal strike.

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