Long-suspension trail bike (120 mm and
above) designed with geometry which allows cross-country
biking are the most popular mountain bikes today.
Trail bike adjustment, riding style, use of brakes
and pedaling, are different from short-suspension bikes. In this
article, you will find some tips to take advantage of the trail bikes
like: Trek FUEL EX, Merida TRANS MISSION and Giant TRANCE.
Calibrate the shock absorbers to
the soft side of the range. Common mistake of most riders is to inflate
the shocks in order to simulate old bike. This common mistake has serious
consequences like: suspension isnt fully used, bike center of gravity and thus
rider position is higher, what cause an unstable ride. Shocks are designed
for spring preload of 25 percent since it is the point at which the rider
spends most of the time.
Use the Gadgets
All the mountain bike special
features are designed for use and arent just gimmicks. Compression
damping, rebound damping, suspension travel adjustments are effective and
efficient mechanisms that can improve your cycling performance. Switching
between different modes can change bicycle angle, improve pedaling efficiency
and raise/lower the center of gravity. Dials and buttons are not your
enemies, “play” with them and experience their effect during the ride.
Wide tires let you move fast, ride
aggressively in technical sections, stop hard, and all of them under full control. You
can balance the weight you have added to the tires by converting the rim to
Low Air Pressure
Large volume tires can be
inflated with low air pressure. 1.9/2.1 wide tire inflated to 50 PSI, will lose
about 10 PSI if the width is increased to 2.35. Cross country bike with a
tire width of 2.35 inches does not require more than 28 PSI front and 30 PSI
rear if the rider weighs about 75 kilograms. Cycling with high air
pressure in wide tires will become bumpy and unpleasant nightmare, and decrease
bike’s overall performance.
Long suspension forks have high
energy absorption capability, so they can bring you to a complete stop when
encountering an obstacle. You should arrive with momentum to allow the
bike to absorb the obstacle and move forward.
You do not have to climb with the
small gear up front, but trail bike with thick tires climbs best while you
seating. Climb effectiveness depends on bike capability to keep momentum,
and this by “swallowing” bumps and advance on selected line. Let
your bike and suspension do the work for you.
When you equipped with 5 to 6
inches of travel in the back and wide tires, you are not supposed to lock the
wheels during braking. Versus short suspension bikes, the front brakes in
trail bike are more effective. Fork and front tire let the rider to brake
later and deeper into the turn. Release the brakes gradually when entering
into the turn and stick to the selected line.
Right is in the Middle
The more suspension travel the
bike has, the more they are sensitive to riders weight transfer forward and
back. It is better to ride in the middle of the bike. Two situations in
which the body shouldnt be centered are standing acceleration and technical
downhill. In standing acceleration the body should be shifted forward, and
in technical downhill, body weight should be on the back to reduce the load on
For more information regarding
mountain biking and specially mountain biking clothing, refer to Mountain Biking Clothing