Mountain Biking Explained – EP1

Mountain Biking Explained – EP1


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Any outdoor activity can be really fulfilling, but my activity of choice is mountain biking. A mountain bike can quickly cover any terrain, and take you amazing places inaccessible by many other vehicles. Plus, mountain biking is a great way to get in shape, push yourself, and even make lifelong friends.

The vast majority of mountain bikers went on their first ride with a friend, parent, or coworker who was already experienced. When your experienced friend takes you out on the trails, they can fix your mechanical problems, warn you about obstacles ahead, and even tell you when to shift gears. The thing is, not everyone has that guidance.

Meet Lisa. She’s not an actress and she’s never been mountain biking before, but she wants to learn. Follow along with Lisa as she learns how to ride, how to find trails, and how to perform basic maintenance on her bike. She’ll go through everything you will, and probably have a lot of the same questions. She’s going to have a lot of fun, and probably make a lot of friends, but she sure as hell won’t be doing it on this bike. This is a hybrid, or comfort bike. Surprisingly, it’s sometimes mistaken for a mountain bike. The shocks, the gears, and the fat tires make it look like it’s designed for riding off road, but this sticker states otherwise. So we’ll need to max out Lisa’s credit card and get her set up for the trails.

First she’ll need a bike, a helmet, and some gloves. She’ll also need a floor pump with a gauge, as tire pressure is really important in mountain biking. She’ll also need a hydration backpack, which holds lots of water, and other stuff like her cell phone, supplies, and car keys. Speaking of car keys, Lisa will need a bike rack, unless she’s okay with putting a filthy muddy bike in her back seat. I’d also recommend a multitool. Altogether, this will cost around $1000, but that’s just a guide. You may already have some of this stuff, and often times you can find it used.

Over the course of a year, many people spend over $1000 on coffee, and definitely more than that on ordering in lunch. Do the math. Chances are you could make your own coffee, pack your lunch, or scale back on something else to make room for mountain biking.

With the right beginner gear, Lisa has the headroom she needs to grow and improve without being limited. She has a bike that can be easily maintained, repaired, and upgraded, and gear that will last her many many rides. In the upcoming videos we’ll go over all this stuff, where to get it, and how to use it.

Now that she’s all set up I’m thinking we should shock Lisa’s system with a ride on Porcupine Rim, a 3000 foot descent along the edge of a mountain, followed by a bone jarring ride across miles of Jeep road. Then, a blistering descent along a big friggin cliff…or we could start on some dirt paths and teach Lisa the basics first. That’s the safest way to start mountain biking; getting used to your bike before you try anything crazy.

Lisa is riding through a beginner trail, which is usually just a dirt path with some loose terrain. This isn’t much different from riding in the street, but it does get you used to riding in narrow spaces with tight turns. To find mountain bike trails there are apps, and websites that show listings by area. This listing on singletracks.com shows the difficulty level of these trails. Green dots are for beginners.

Before we start turning Lisa into a mountain biker she’ll need to know some terminology. We’ll do a little of this in every video, but first we’ll start with the most basic terms you’ll hear the most. This is a hardtail, or a mountain bike with front suspension. Some bikes also have suspension in the rear. These are called “Full suspension mountain bikes”. Full suspension, hardtail. Most beginners get hardtails because they’re less costly and easier to maintain. This is singletrack, or a narrow trail designed for one rider at a time. Most mountain bike trails are singletrack, so you’ll hear this term a lot. It usually just means a trail. This is a trailhead, or the entrance to a trail system. This is where you’ll park your car, get set up, and meet with your riding buddies.

So before Lisa goes to the trailhead to ride some singletrack on her hardtail, she’ll need to learn how to use all this gear, install a bike rack, and master a few techniques that make riding singletrack different from riding pavement. If you’re an experienced mountain biker who follows this channel, now’s the time to get your friends started by turning them on to this series. We’ll still be doing the normal stuff in between, but every couple of weeks I’ll be releasing another episode with lessons for beginners. Try to be helpful and answer questions in the comment section.

100 Comments on "Mountain Biking Explained – EP1"


  1. Helpfulness is at its best……thank you from the bottom..whoever made please feel great about yourself for helping to achieve a dream of looser..you are an ideal human being.godbless you man

    Reply

  2. so true mate …. i sold my ps4 and xbox got my self a hardtail and got my arse out there 🙂 besd choice i ever made

    Reply

  3. I took my best friend mountain biking for the first time, it went……. actually pretty good, he's a road biker so he can kinda ride pretty well

    Reply

  4. What if your 13, live in a mud puddle sludge hole, and never have time t go on a ride because…

    A: your dad won’t take you.

    B: sports get in the way.

    C: your mom will take you but the won’t ride, she’ll run, and she’ll make you wait for her at every turn.

    Reply

  5. I watched many your videos, I bought a Kona entry level mountain bike,im 55 cancer survivor, I can get short of breath but then again I'm only going be jumping twigs on rr trails, I wish I discovered mountain biking years a go,i live in pennsylavannia and we have many trails ,thatnk you for your videos and keep them coming,very helpful to novice people like me,im 6.2 and as can imagine nothing comes easy.

    Reply

  6. ive been given 1000 dollars towards getting an entry level mountain bike. but I don't know where to get one, theres not that many shops where I live

    Reply

  7. My first mountain bike was a mongoose trailblazer and I ride a bmx for a living and the shocks were crap the shifting was crap and the whole bike sucked. I only had that thing for a month until I got a trek marlin 5 with hydraulics, inner cable housing, and it was under 500 dollars and I love it.

    Reply

  8. I have a mountain bike but I am not very experienced. I want to get a dirt jumper and I live in Australia. Would you recommend any bikes

    Reply

  9. whats a good bike to start off with? im wanting to get into mountain biking and can only afford something around $400-500, suggestions?

    Reply

  10. I had to learn from trial and error and destroyed my ebike saddle and a year of training and plenty of crashes and repairs. I am riding extrem trails

    Reply

  11. hydration packs not needed no water bottles either, unless you are into warm liquids when you are hot & thirsty.

    Reply

  12. also, you can be on a bike for way less than $1000…many newbies will waist a grand in a bike shop on modern junk…GREAT bikes can be found on craigslist well built chromoly triple butted fully lugged steel,
    often for under $200.

    Reply

  13. I went on my first ride on a hybrid and ended up riding some blue trails even though the bike was not right for the job o still had a tone of fun

    Reply

  14. A month ago I watch this clip. And yesterday I bought my first bike after 15 years, and tanks to your county on you tube i bought a trail worthy bike an x caliber 8. My idea was that 100 bucks will give me a good bike from Facebook market place 😒. Thank you again

    Reply

  15. I'm very new to mountain biking and barely know other terminology. My main question is what do people mean when they say "140mm on the front suspension"??

    Reply

  16. I'm trying to get my girl into mountain biking , she is a fighter and an overachiever so I hope your videos motivate her and she will star a healthy lifestyle she is in need of .

    Reply

  17. As soon as Lisa gets off the saddle and learn how to balance the bike by shifting her weight around , she will be unstoppable .

    Reply

  18. My first trail was with a mate. It was a techy black downhill on a 17kg hardtail. I didn't stack, and since then I haven't stopped riding my bike.

    Reply

  19. Let's start MTB on Pourcupine Rim with blistering descent along a big F***ing cliff… Priceless.

    Reply

  20. Give up a few things to pay for your mountain biking, like make your own coffee, make your own lunch, grow your own food, sell plasma, move in with your parents, get a second job…
    😂

    Reply

  21. Ive wanted to switch up from BMX to Dirt jump bikes for some time now, but Unfortunately, where i live, All the mountain bikers I have met are pretentious "im better than you" acting jerks. So I just Trail ride BMX by myself. I ride pretty much all the same trails they do locally, and I do it on my 23/9T geared wethepeople. Id love to meet others I could ride with, but Can never seem to meet anyone whos not trying to act better than everyone else.

    Reply

  22. yeah here on México aren't mtb parks and trails, so you have to go whit groups and that make you a little better ( in my opinion)

    Reply

  23. My first MTB cost £20, got it from a neighbor with a lazy ass kid. Then again it was covered in rust and never went into the right gear, also the back brake only worked and that was if you put lots of force on it.

    Reply

  24. How to get set up mtb-ing kid style (yours truly)
    -Bike
    Full suspention bike that your dad uhm got somehow
    -Equipment
    Hydration pack:
    Bottle in a backpack
    No helmet
    We die like men
    Floor Pump is your nearest mechanic
    -Trails
    Everywhere is a trail,wherever you go any descend is a trail

    Reply

  25. Kids mountain bikes: Since watching your channel and hearing about dimondback bikes so much I've gone to their website and can't believe how nice their kids Mountain bikes are.

    I'm now budgeting for 5 kids mountain bikes and two sync'r carbon adult bikes.

    Thanks for the awesome channel!!!

    Reply

  26. Make your own coffee, make your own lunch 🤣🤣🤣 and save over 100000000s of £s and get good gears for your bike that shall last a while.

    Reply

  27. Buy coffee and lunch and turn your pee /shit expensive, or else spend it on something you don’t flush it down the drain.

    Reply

  28. I didn't think there was anything wrong with shocking the system and hitting Porcupine Ridge right off the bat!
    Who am I to question Seth?

    Reply

  29. I love mountian biking but ive goten a Walmart bike but it justs breaks and i dont have money for a good one im only 13 and my perants wont want to buy me one

    Reply

  30. I'm glad I found this channel. I'm 40 years old and have ridden a road bike casually for 10 years. I want to dip my toe into mountain biking. Looking forward to the other videos in the series.

    Reply

  31. LMAO – I haven't laughed that hard in a long time…. " Let's take Lisa on her first ride over mountain tops and beside 200 foot drop cliff edges while speeding downhill …. or we can just go along a trail in some trees… LOL Sorry if I ruined that for anyone else. But that was funny.

    Reply

  32. What do you recommend as a starter bike for those who don't have the $500 or more to initially invest into a decent bike

    Reply

  33. Seth please tell us were I can by that same hook bike I already checked diamondback website store???
    thank you

    Reply

  34. Some time I need a full squish because my hard tail bent a wheel my front derailer snapped in half good thing ther all fixed😅

    Reply

  35. Is a bike with suspension necessary for mountain biking? I have an off-road bike and was wondering if it would still work ok

    Reply

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