5 Proven Methods to Progress Fast on a Mountain Bike
Mountain biking can take a lifetime to master. Whether you're looking to improve your speed, style, tricks, or stamina, these are the top tips to help progress fast on two wheels.
1. Don't Overlook the Basics
Having bad fundamentals will hurt your progression before it even starts. Learning a skill improperly can be dangerous and bad habits are hard to change once they are established.
The best resources to learn the basic skills is through coaching from professionals or experienced riders, or by watching tutorials online. One of my favourite resources is SkillswithPhill and GMBN, who both have hundreds of tutorial videos combined.
2. Ride Trails That Scare You
Riding trails that scare you or that are above your paygrade does 3 things:
1. Gives a benchmark to see your improvement.
2. Shows what the next level of your riding looks like
3. Provides an opportunity for progression mellow trails cannot
Don't let hard trails ruin your confidence. Be comfortable with getting off and walking your bike. Also, be excited to see what your next step of riding is!
To discover appropriate new trails to challenge yourself, check out Trailforks, an MTB Trail Database.
3. Experiment with Different Riding Disciplines
Different disciplines all have skills to offer to one another. Cross country can provide better fitness for enduro riders on long descents, just as easily as dirt jumping can help downhill riders to better pump the course. Specific skill sets gained from one discipline can be easily applied to whatever style of riding you specialize in.
4. Ride Often and In Various Conditions
Time on the bike is the most tried and true method for helping you improve. Though it might not be your style, spending time at bike parks or shuttling can provide you with extra hours of practice that is impossible otherwise.
Don't let weather conditions stop you! Riding in the wet, dry, or snow will help you become a more well-rounded rider. Note: this is only if you have trails that are suitable in all weather.
5. Ride With People Who Are Better Than You
In my opinion, this is the best method of improving that no one seems to be doing. Most of the time, riders form groups with people of equal skill level. However, if you are truly looking to improve, you need to ride with people who push you. Riding with better riders is intimidating, but it develops quick results. By chasing down the wheel of a talented rider, following their lines, and copying their movements, you are soaking up invaluable knowledge and experience.