Mountain biking is one of the most popular outdoor activities in western Colorado and if you are joining in on the fun for the first time, check out these five great tips for beginning mountain bikers.

Mountain biking is not for everyone, but the people that do it love the challenge and the thrill of getting off the road and experiencing Colorado's beauty in a new and exciting.

Obviously, mountain biking is significantly different than riding along on a paved highway, so it's important to know what you're in for and how to handle your machine.

We have some great trails for mountain bike enthusiasts here in western Colorado. But, before you hit the trails, here are five great tips for beginning Colorado mountain bikers.

  • Know Repair Basics

    While today's bike technology is pretty amazing, it's inevitable that when you get off the road you are going to run into trouble sooner or later. At the very least,  you need to know how to fix a flat. It's also a good idea to have some other skills like repairing a broken chain. With that being said, be sure and carry with you the tools you may need like a spare tube, a pump, and maybe a multi-tool.

  • Careful with the Brakes

    The brakes are there for a good reason, but overuse or incorrect use can lead to disaster.  You should try to adjust your speed as needed well ahead of time, but if you need to slow quickly going into a turn, hit the rear brake, not the front. You may skid a little, but you are less likely to crash.

  • Keep Your Body Loose

    Staying loose can be a real challenge for a new mountain biker, especially when encountering some tricky and challenging terrain. But, staying relaxed will give your bike the best chance of doing what it was made to do. The rougher the terrain, the more your bike needs to move, so let it.

  • Low Tire Pressure is Good

    Having the right tire pressure is the key to a happy and reasonably comfortable ride. Your ride will be most uncomfortable if you pump in the maximum amount of air. Generally, lighter riders will want a lower tire pressure, but you will want to experiment on different types of terrain to see what works best for you.

  • Keep Your Bike Clean

    Keeping your bike clean will help minimize problems. You should scrub your chain and cogset with a degreaser that is made specifically for bicycles. For other moving parts you can use a mild dish detergent diluted with water. The longer you go without cleaning your bike, the more likely it is you are going to have trouble.

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