Mountain Bike Skills


Most riders are out to improve their skills all the time. If you are finding it hard see the changes you would like in your riding style, it might be worth getting back to the basics. Sometimes, we slip into habits without realising, and it is those habits which are hindering our progress.


There are times where you will move your body towards the front and other times to the rear, but most of the time your body should be centred over your bike. This means your body weight puts even distribution of your weight and the bike into contact with the ground through both tyres. With that in mind, your body will constantly be on the move back and forwards, however, you will be keeping your body centred.

Leaning backwards, or shifting your weight towards the back is an easy habit to slip into and often results in scary things happening. Keep more control over your bike by keeping your body centred over your bike to suit the terrain.


Having bent elbows allows the bike to move around underneath you while also putting you and your arms in a more powerful position to control the handlebars as you need to.


Having your pointing slightly outwards allows the bike to move around beneath you much in the same way bent elbows absorb handlebar movement. A bike that is free to move around enhances your stability.


Despite the fact we are talking about maintaining the right position, it is extremely important to remember that we are riding a bike, the whole situation is dynamic, and we need to roll with that dynamic. That means moving your body at all times to suit the terrain you are tackling at the time. For example, when you are cornering, your bodyweight still needs to be centred, which will mean that you are leaning the bike and not your body.

This kind of riding style will lead to more advanced skills where you can position the bike to give you a more powerful stance and therefore a more powerful riding style.


Do you have any more suggestions? Share your knowledge below please.

Peter Williams

Peter loves bikes of all kinds. He has a passion for mountain biking right through to cycling long distance. He is sharing his experience here OnDECK.