Pinkbike Poll: Where Do You Want to Improve?

Jan 13, 2016 at 23:23
by Mike Levy  
If you asked a thousand mountain bikers from all around the world to explain the main reason they ride bicycles in the dirt, you're likely to get a ton of different answers. For some of us, it has to be the feeling of being in the air, be it off of a two-foot drop or over a gap that you could fit a small apartment building in between. It's about all-out speed for others, which is an entirely different test of skills and nerve that's judged with a stopwatch rather than a tape measure. Or maybe you're a person who lives to race against others for a few hours at a time, both up and down the mountain, instead of on your own for just a few minutes. I suspect that the most common reason for riding bikes, however, is just to ride bikes. This is a very, very good reason.

Regardless of your motivation for being on a mountain bike, I'm willing to bet that almost all of you are usually trying to improve in one way or another. Yes, even the people who only ride bikes to ride bikes want to be better. It's how our brains work - if you enjoy doing something, you probably want to do it more often and to do it even better than the last time you did it.

This is not a trait that's seen only in sports, either. People who love to cook will want to make better tasting food; artists practice for hours on end to improve their skills; those who sit on their ass and watch television probably want a more comfortable couch or more Cheetos.
Cannondale Habit Carbon SE review test Photo by Clayton Racicot
Clayton Racicot photo

I know that I'm not alone when I say that applies to me. Not the Cheetos part, but rather just wanting to improve. I love just being on my bike, but I sure as hell want to be better, and I bet that's a familiar feeling for a lot of you. So, with a new year upon us, can you name one aspect of your riding that you would most like to improve in 2016?






240 Comments

  • + 377
 I want to improve in age, I have let myself get far too old.
  • + 49
 Age is state of mind
  • + 196
 Then my knees have a mind of their own!
  • - 41
flag abzillah (Jan 29, 2016 at 2:57) (Below Threshold)
 @Digger70 That's what Viagra was invented for.
  • + 53
 I think, it's for something other than knees.
  • + 42
 Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
  • + 6
 @karoliusz especially if you are over 35
  • + 40
 "honestly darling, I don't have performance issues, I only take it for my knees!".... Could work!
  • + 28
 @szusz come back and let me know if you still feel that way in 16 years.
Everytime I get on my bike the head goes back to 14 year old BMX mode, an hour in the body is screaming and reminding me I'm 49- especially after a crash.
  • + 13
 Crashing as you get older defo hurts more,you just don't bounce as well,and it takes longer to get over it,I can still ride at a decent speed but I don't let it hang out as much
  • + 32
 16 year old me thinks I'm a pussy. 23 year old me knows I can do it and how good it will feel to do it. 35 year old me wants to have an uninjured season. Constant battle in my head, especially on any terrain I've never ridden.
  • + 3
 You CAN improve in age - you just need to believe it. Your head is probably lying to you...that's the old inner voice f###ing with you.
  • + 22
 Yoga helps. Seriously.
  • + 22
 I feel you bro. 48 here. I rode at Whistler for a weekend last year, crashed on my left side Sat, crashed on my right side Sun, 14 year old BMX kid in my head said it's cool just keep riding (and I can't show weekness to my two ripper kids haha) man was I sore at work Mon.
  • + 8
 @sontator speaks the truth. I started doing Yoga last October as partial PT for a broken foot and for winter training. I feel so much better when I get back on the bike. Bikers seem to forget how little we work from the waist up (insert waist-down joke here).
  • + 7
 ^This. I'd throw in some strength training (bodyweight, kettlebells) and making sure you have a bike that fits you very well.
  • + 8
 I forgot to mention the radness of suspension training straps and a pull-up bar. They are every-bit as effective as weight training and much cheaper than gym. Plus you don't have to be around a bunch of d-bag bodybuilders.
  • + 18
 You don't get slow because you're old. You get old because you're slow.
  • - 13
flag mattsavage (Jan 29, 2016 at 10:51) (Below Threshold)
 E-bike...
  • + 2
 @alexsin Damn right!!!
  • + 8
 This past season has been my best ever, at age 33. I look back at some of my years in my early-mid twenties and think what a pussy I was. I feel fitter than ever. Getting the time to ride has become more difficult with a baby and a career though.
  • + 8
 @Triber66 Depends, is it your left knee, your right knee, or your wee-knee?
  • + 8
 A year ago I cracked my pelvis on a bad landing, I can barely get out of bed most mornings. The only time I feel no pain in my lower back is when I'm riding DH! ..apparently the nervous system that conveys pain also conveys survival or self protection, I think the later kicks in when you push limits. ..I'm 50
  • + 7
 This thread is awesome. 37, just recovered from my 5th broken wrist and now visiting a surgeon after an otb tore up my shoulder. Osteoarthritis in the ankles, wrists, both ac's, and spine (mostly from dh), bit over chronic pain. But here's the thing, all I want to do is shred dirt and pull wheelies! And so that's what I shall do. Thanks all for the inspiration.
  • + 21
 Didn't start riding till 42, first race at 46, 51 now and no plans to stop. Ride, stretch, beer, repeat.
  • + 2
 Said perfect
  • + 7
 Age is a state of mind. I feel 34 not 48.

Mind you, cataracts, decreased skin elasticity, farsightedness, fibrous replacement of muscle, greying, poor recall, slowed intestinal transit, prostatic hypertrophy, wrinkling, reduced cardiac reserve, decreased hearing, immunity, and vision, increased weight, liver spots (age spots), osteoporosis, decreased short-term memory and decreased stamina tend to be slightly more independent of our positive attitudes!!!!!!

Yoga and denial rule. And what @skiwenric says!
  • + 9
 @orientdave Well at least you don't have Erectile Dysfunction......haha
  • + 5
 No comment!!
  • + 1
 How about, all of the above?
  • + 3
 look at steve peat .. no way age is an excuse
  • + 4
 Exactly that! I am head to toe in protection, not because I'm rad but because I need to be at work for 9-5 mon-fri. I am having heaps more fun though!
  • + 5
 Folks who don't ride just don't get it. They see the shit we do on bikes and simply think we're crazy. And maybe we are. But when I'm on my bike it's truly the only time I don't feel stressed out physically, mentally or emotionally. Just gimme some gnar and let me at it!! I'm a little kid again in those moments, innocent and totally free. Mtb is a beautiful sport!
  • + 5
 I just keep getting older but refuse to grow up.
  • - 3
 No one thinks we are crazy fattyheadshok. that is how you see yourself.

Dragon: There is a guy here who is 63 years old and just about all of you would have a hard time keeping up. He doesnt go big anymore but he came shuttling last year on a single crown and kept up. He is currently out because he broke his leg trail building. My advice is suck it up, rub dirt in it and get back on. its going to take you twice as long to heal but a life without scabs is a life not worth living. BTW: I'm old than you and a lot of you would have a hard time keeping up.
  • + 0
 Im out of here… going for a "real" ride on my lovely NMand C. Life is grand!
  • + 1
 I'd like to get better at crashing. So that it doesn't hurt so much or break crap.
  • + 1
 Just keep it pinned til you die... ageless
  • + 140
 I'd just like to ride more often because that makes me fitter, and allows me to practice becoming better at jumps while improving my handling.
  • + 5
 Definitely here. Just riding lets me improve the sketchy sections and my climbing abilities. Hell, being able to get out and ride reliably for more than an hour would be killer in and of itself.
  • + 1
 Riding more is the best way to improve, how can you get better skills without practice?luckily I get my drivers license summer so hopefully once or twice a week will become once a day.
  • + 3
 Yes, @diego-b summed it up all nicely! Smile
  • + 3
 diego-b nailed it...well said. Sign up for a couple races too, you'll be surprised how fast you really can go when your pushed.
  • + 2
 I ride almost every day, I dh 3 days a week 6 hours a day in the summer. Riding more doesn't make you better, concentrating on a certain aspect of your ride ( technical climbs, switchbacks, manuals, ect ) is the way to go. This requires intense and repetitive drills to produce results.
  • + 7
 @enduroelite ....and allows me to practice....
  • + 4
 use flats and no sit, diego!
  • + 3
 @fullbug you bring flats this weekend yes?
  • + 8
 The logic behind "just riding more makes you better" will only take you so far and I'm as guilty as anyone else. This year I'm going to attend some skills clinics because even pros admit they can improve on something. I'm very, very far from a pro BTW...
  • + 107
 I'd be like to be less of a pussy
  • + 8
 me too man, me too. Only gets worse with age, though.
  • + 6
 me too, there are some guys that I just cant ride with. One corner, two corners and they are out of sight...
  • + 24
 I'd like more pussy.. wait, ??
  • + 6
 Well that's a given !
  • - 1
 Well...just brake before the corner not inside the corner... you want to carry as much speed as possible thru the corner
  • + 62
 I want to stop checking for the news about Gwin's new team like 20 times a day.
  • + 8
 You are not alone... Big Grin
  • + 17
 Fuck that, it all looks like a marketing strategy...It's getting ridicolous.
  • + 16
 Why do you care that much? Not that I'm not curious, but I'll find out when I find out, and it won't affect my day either now or then.
  • + 3
 i honestly dont care because whatever team he gets signed to wont affect us in any way...other than our opinions
  • + 4
 I dont care and im checking just as much, it's like when someone tells you they know a secret...
  • + 5
 Come on, we all know he's going to ride for Mongoose. Obviously.
  • - 1
 Haha, yes. And he would probably still continue gwinning.
  • + 35
 I would like to be more colour-coordinated.
  • + 3
 Would of thought some one in your trade would have matching clothing dialed !
  • + 0
 I'm not a model. It is a quote from Kelly Bundy.
  • + 22
 I'd love to get better all-around, but jumps and drops scare me the most despite finding them the most fun. Time's likely running out for me to keep trying to hit the extremes. So jumps and drops it is!
  • + 20
 Jumps and drops are what give us all that rush we crave, time is just a number. Send it!
  • + 29
 Times not running out. I'm 42 this year an hitting the biggest stuff in my life challenging myself with bigger stuff. Conquering that drop or double that gives me the fear is the best
  • + 4
 Go attend a clinic. Probably learn some good tips and skip a ton of trial and error.
  • + 3
 Agreed. Best thing I did last year. Helped with everything, not just jumps and drops, as the first part of the course involved how not to jump when you didnt want to - ie how to keep the wheels on the ground and in control
  • + 4
 Use to spend all day at the jumps and had no problem hitting 30-40ft jumps on a dh track, but after suffering a few broken bones in albeit stupid crashes and now having family responsibility when it comes to income, I find jumps the hardest thing to ride, mote frustrating knowing I have the ability to hit them with ease, just haven't got the nerve any more... Jumps are my goal (again) this year!
  • + 1
 If you have good basic technique then the rest mainly comes down to judging the speed and having the confidence. The thing that helps me most is talking to riders that know the trail. Is the trail speed good for the features, anything that needs a brake check or a pedal stroke, do you need to squash or boost a specific jump. Even better still is to follow them in to the trail so you can use their lines and speed. Confidence is a lot higher when you know your speed is right. Do this until your confident of judging the speed on your own and you can remember the lines and features and your good to go Smile
  • + 1
 Thanks for all the advice for an old man trying to stay young. I'll try and apply what I can. Happy shreddin'.
  • + 1
 I'm 46 years old and I used to hit jumps and doubles all the time -- nothing massive but good sized. A couple years back I had some very-near bad crashes landing hard on my front tire and nearly going over. Now I'm too chicken to try! I've also had a couple really bad crashes and my nerve has dwindled. My goal this year is hitting those doubles again. NO crashes!!
  • + 24
 Wheelies. Bike gods, grant me the power of WHEELIES!!!!
  • + 3
 Yeees!! If we all pray together it may come! Gonna bust it this year though!
  • + 1
 Pretty easy actually, just needs some practice. Once you find that balance point, to stay in it: if you tend to fall forward; pedal a bit harder and lean back more until you get back to that balance point, and if you tend to fall backwards, start scrubbing your rear brake lightly so it puts you back forwards into your balance point again. Once you can do 15m, going to 100 is easy. And from 100m to 2km isn't a big step anymore either. The hardest part is finding that balance point and getting the feel how to stay in it. Once you found the feel of that, you can pretty much wheelie endlessly.
  • + 3
 Practice 15 minutes per time for 2 or 3 times a week and you'll be able to stay in that balance point after 2 months. Stay seated though in the wheelie. And if you tend to fall backwards and it is too late to brake, just put your feet down behind you and simply step off, like I do in this video at 0:23: www.pinkbike.com/video/201987

Actually while talking about stepping off backwards, I recommend to start practicing that first. Pedal just a tiny bit to hard while pulling up your front wheel at slow speed (in a 1:1 gear ratio) and let your bike slide away underneath you and simply step off backwards. Once you get the feeling of this, it will make you so much more confident practicing the wheelie as you won't be scared to fall backwards, since your brain knows you can simply step off. you can keep holding on to your handlebars though, unlike I did (because my bars were still spinning) to prevent damage to your bike.
  • + 2
 One more piece of general riding advise, related to stepping off backwards: ALWAYS save yourself first and don't worry about your bike. Every beginner seems to care about not damaging their bike when they crash since it has so much emotional value. I had the same. But after 11 years of street riding I've learned that parts can be replaced, but your body can't. You have to do the rest of your life with your same body so always care more about your body than your bike. Even when it only comes to scars or just some broken bones, the impacts your body receives will be a noticeable difference after a decade of riding. Not saying this to scare you or slow you down, because cycling is totally worth it. Just saying that when you loose control, forget about your bike and save yourself, because your body is much more important.
  • + 1
 2 more wheelie tips. Lower your seat. Not too low that it's tough to pedal, just like half way.

I agree with Mattin about getting used to hopping off the back onto your feet. But I think the better save comes from mastering the rear brake.

Get used to looping past the balance point and bringing it back down with the rear brake. To get the timing correct you don't have to start right off with looping intentionally. You can lift the front wheel higher and higher, each time tapping the brake. You'll soon be able to brake tap out of any over rotation situation. When you have total control over the rear brake safety lever you will have total confidence.

Then you can really start mastering the balancing - both side to side and fore/aft.

Now if only I could manual...
  • + 1
 True @endurahbrah. But when you're going to find how much you exactly need to use your rear brake, you will push both limits (as in pushing it too hard until not hard enough to get you back). Because of this I recommend learning to loop out first, because you will need to use that loop out at least once for sure when trying to find how much you need to use that rear brake.
  • + 2
 Just put SPDs on my trail bike. Absolutely love the new trail control. Problem is I am still regularly attempting wheelie's, only a matter of time before that doesn't ends well! Advice appreciated...
  • + 1
 Hey fellas, thanks for tips. After years of trying I've finally found the sweet spot for a few metres practising on the hardtail over the winter. Problem I have is I always fall to the left which ruins it. Do I just have shit balance?
  • + 4
 Manuals please - nice long curvy manuals
  • + 1
 If you always fall left you might be pulling your bars unevenly when pulling up. Balancing sideways can be done by turning your handlebars and/or pushing your knees to the right (while pedaling) in your case.
  • + 1
 I learned to 'wheelie' about 40 years ago (literally!!) and can go for 100 yards or more as long as I'm sitting on the saddle. I want to learn to manual with my butt off the back of my bike through the pump track, stutter bumps, etc. -- like you see on all the bike videos. I either go over backwards or just drop my front wheel after 10 feet!! This year....
  • + 1
 The best tip when it comes to manuals is to point your heels forward when leaning back. This will push the bike into the manual position without having to jerk on the bars.
  • + 1
 Good advice above ! But I have a story that completes it well and may save anyone from serious injury pulling wheelies.
I have been mastering wheelies , trial, street riding, for many years so learning to " loop out" from them is something I have learned at a very young age.

Despite of my wheeling experience and confidence, I still managed to broke my back last summer... A combination of simple things that went wrong on that day, as I pulled to hard on that simple wheelie on a casual city bike path:

1- Bad rear brake adjustement, lead to failure to balance back foward ( Make sure your rear brake works really well and ajusted properly, mechanical stuff sometimes just happens to fail, no matter how expensive)

2-Failure to remove my feet from the CLIPLESS pedals ( Cliped in
pedals can be very difficult or impossible unclip once falling backwards, since falling backwards can take only fraction of a second, I do NOT recommend using clipless pedals for praticing wheelies, even if your good at it I think it's still risky business)

3-Failure to land of my feet and poor spine protection. ( Wear a back protector! your spine is worthy! Sharp and hard items carryed in a back pack is also to be a AVOIDED)

Luckily, I was able to fully
recover from a T9 fracture after about 5 long months of convalescence. I was very happy and grateful to ride again. First thing I did back on my bike...pulled wheelie! This time with good brakes, plateform pedals , a back protector and of course, a Helmet!
  • + 15
 My bike handling skills are not bad, my fitness is neither to be ashamed for nor to brag about, but I'm a terrible jumper if I have to go higher than 50cm off the ground. I do understand that practicing for jumps and drops means crashing and I'm not willing to cope with the potential for injury. A broken arm would leave me unable to work untill it heals and I can't afford that at the moment. Of course you can get injured just riding along with a bit of bad luck, but I don't feel the need to push myself a lot out of my comfort zone. Slow-medium speed tech is probably my forte, it's higher speed that I need to build more confindence in. I also need more multi hour rides, last year my average was about 1-2.30 hrs. So yeah, need to improve both handling and fitness.
  • + 4
 I get where you're coming from, but don't start thinking about breakings bones it'll make you nervous and that's the worst thing for hitting jumps as you'll be tense!!! you're right you can break bones with any type of riding. Best thing to do is practice practice practice! Start small and gradually get bigger over the years! Seriously it takes along time to get used to jumping - just don't rush it. Also just hit tables, move onto gaps much later
  • + 13
 I used to hit 100ft jumps on my motocross bike during the years I was racing. I got on a bicycle a few years later and was nervous about hitting jumps that were 1 bike length. You just have to start small and work your way up. Also, whenever I build my own jumps on trails I have almost no fear of hitting them.
  • + 6
 Hitting gradually bigger jumps makes sense, as well as tables vs gaps. Problem is we have very few of these features where I live, I've actually never seen a table. 95% of trails are fully natural, with loose rocks over bigger rocks and off camber or flat turns. There are drops though, again shaped b nature. I enjoy such terrain, it makes you grow specific skills to cope, but I wouldn't mind a bit of variety. Big jumps were never one of my goals anyway, so I never pursued this direction. Navigating through trails on a ht is more of my thing.

Of course I don't go riding thinking about broken bones, we all know where this leads (actual broken bones).
  • + 4
 My transition from oh lets get a bike I remember when I had it as a teen , to let s ride Downhill was very fast , because of lack of experience and technical skills I broke lot of stuff.
Now I just ride with 40-50 crazy year old guys that have crazy skills but they deep inside know that have to go work monday morning, and they feel their limits and help me to feel them as well.
Everybody here has to work monday morning, unless your work partner is Gwin Razz
So yeah @justwan-naride , same words as @somismtb got get used to the height and jumps step by step... and never jump something you didnt inspect the landing line.... sounds boring but those fukin rocks are hidden in the grass
  • + 1
 Check those crazy dudes !

www.pinkbike.com/photo/12986387
  • + 4
 Progression is the key, but that can be very hard with jumps. In my area I can't really build my own, and the local jump spots only have two levels of difficulty; too easy and INSANE. I can nail the 4ft tables no problem, but the next step is about a 30ft gap...
  • + 3
 Pump track learnt me to be a better jumperer. You can learn how to pull the bike into landings even when you're going a bit too slow, also works the same the other way if you're going too fast. I found the very same skills transfer no matter how big the jump and feeling like I can scrape some kind of landing together even if I misjudge my speed made me loads more confident on jumps.
  • + 2
 @justwan-naride dont be scared of breaking bones, that comes once you're clearing over 15ft-20ft jumps, you've very little chance of anything but scrapes and bruises for anything smaller, and you will be able to develop more than enough technique on smaller jumps too. If everyone broke bones doing starter jumps slopestyle probly wouldn't exist
  • + 1
 Τhaks for the advice and encouragement guys!
  • + 1
 Don't get me wrong - I am still shit! But id be even more shit if not for a bit (a lot) of pump track practice. I also discovered you can case jumps and it won't kill you! Even on a harsh DJ bike, on a trail bike there's no excuse - get out there and start casing those landings lad
  • + 1
 @thrasher2 I'm in the same boat! Our local jump trail has a couple 4ft tables and smallish drops on the B line and a 30ft gap jump in tight trees with a landing made of logs on the A line. It looks like the great wall of China and I wouldn't hit it even on my MX bike! Fortunately there's some DH trails at ski resorts not too far away with reasonable jumps, I'm definitely going to get myself a lesson next season.
  • + 2
 @ryetoast If you ever get the chance, go to Whistler. 1/2 a day on Crank it Up progressed me more for jumping than 5 years of trail riding. Doesn't solve the local lack of intermediate lines issue though.
  • + 1
 Hard to find decent beginner tables. Anyone ever heard of an adult jumping clinic before? Whistler has lots of clinics but I always get the feeling that they are either for young kids or rippers (no for 46 year old dads that are scared of crashing their brains out!!)
  • + 1
 @DaleHauff If anybody offers an "over 30" jumping clinic, sign me up!
  • + 1
 I have a bunch of buddies that would definitely sign up. I'm sure it's 90% confidence but I've lost my nerve! I used to hit jumps with gaps up to about 15 feet or so. Now, I'm too worried about breaking my neck.
  • + 14
 All of the above ????????????
  • + 2
 same here. but specially on jumps and drops.
  • + 1
 Thats what I said.
  • + 12
 I'm an OK rider - not a competitor - an EXPLORER - have shown good riders many great trails I've discovered! - really want more riding time!
  • + 15
 Exloring is certainly one of the most fun things to do on a bike.
  • + 13
 Fitter and Riding more... Guess my job and my bike don't get along too well Frown
  • + 5
 For most people it's free time or money, you can't have both....
  • + 4
 That's why I am still working... There is no way I could quit my job and get to ride for a while. Bills and stuff :/
  • + 8
 Until summer when it is light until 9 at night then there is time for both!
  • + 5
 Lights = ticket to ride anytime.
  • + 2
 Thank God for (cheap) lights!
  • + 12
 Where do I want to improve? I wouldn't mind Whistler.
  • + 11
 Abi is helping me ride nude with complete confidence
  • + 8
 Id like to be able to corner better. I didnt select any of the items because i think they don't quite fit....maybe handling...
  • + 3
 fully agree!!
  • + 4
 reviews.mtbr.com/3-key-bike-practice-drills. These are always helpful, to the layman and the pro alike ...
  • + 6
 For me it's the first 4, it s not just one thing. But skills are whats more importante. With it you can be faster and enjoy more and as you know how to keep speed you get tired less. So you ride faster and enjoy more!
  • + 4
 My economic situation. At over 50 and unemployed, I may have to start selling off and dropping my mountain biking habit of the last 27 years. Other than that, get rid of my mental blocks on jumps and drops I use to do - and never crashed on. Both are getting more difficult.
  • + 8
 High speed cornering and general fitness
  • + 5
 Ride the Broekpolder during the summer (i.e. hard baked ground with loose gravel and rocks on top) and you will be able to corner like Sam Hill on an Iron Horse Wink
  • + 2
 I thought this year bergschenhoek was the shit with all the superloose stuff and the new hill with rough gravel!
  • + 2
 Bergschenhoek can be pretty challenging too indeed. This might sound odd but I find gravel tracks scarier than proper mtb trails because of their unpredictabity..
  • + 1
 Definitely sounds like a plan! I'm motivated to ride much more off road, as it is so much more fun, aswell as I notice how much more intensive it is as a work out. Also much much better for bike control obviously. This month I have already ridden Zoetermeer twice in very muddy conditions and Schoorl once on my single speed. Muddy Zoetermeer was good for bike control. Even though I loved Schoorl, such a fun trail, I do feel like to put fast lap times there you don't need much bike handling skill, rather a lot of leg power roadie style. Except for the last part just before the end, there were a couple of great techy descents for being a Dutch trail. Hope to be able to ride some trails again next week in the weekend, I'll message you about that Bonky.
  • + 1
 The descent about halfway down the track is pretty cool as well with those little drops into loose sand.Other than that it is a bit too straight forward indeed.
  • + 2
 Keep me in the loop guys, im also in rotterdam. Sunday afternoons work best for me.
  • + 1
 @Sontator - sure. Is this Mat by the way?
  • + 1
 Not Mat ????
  • + 1
 Sorry I thought you might have been my mate from the UK, who's a product designer by day as well.
  • + 5
 I want to get more intense about minute differences in bike design, wheel size and new products. Then spend more time on internet forums arguing with people rather than riding my bike....... ;-)
  • + 4
 Hey, I want to share a little insight(it might have been provided already). There are a long list of benefits to improving your fitness, if you put some time into some smart cross-training ie gym, other sport, yoga etc it will benefit your riding in a myriad of ways. But here a couple benefits related to the survey and that may not be so obvious to some MTBers....

Being 'more fit' will contribute to improving your skills - being stronger and able to ride longer(b4 you get tired, it's generally not a good idea to try to acquire a new skill when you're tired) will let you spend more time on the bike improving your skill. It will let you move your body faster, higher, with more control etc.

You will be more resilient to injury and illness compared to someone less fit and less strong - trying to improve your skill( jumping is a skill) if your on the sidelines with an injury is pretty hard to do.
.
Improving your fitness, as part of a consistent routine, will add time to your rides AND years to your riding - the riders that invest a little time in their fitness, off the bike, are able to ride at a higher level and for longer than their less fit peers. But you already know this stuff!

That is all, Thanks for reading!
  • + 1
 Totally agree with the fitness side of things. Its a huge part of overall quality of riding, the fitter I am the more I enjoy my riding, Ive trained pretty well this winter because i want to have a solid season with a good few races and I dont want to cheat myself by not being in at least a half decent shape. However, going back to my previous post regarding Suspension upgrades, I do think that upgrading my suspension on my current bike would make me faster, im no stranger to the insode of a fork and im happy tinkering away and messing with settings, ( this as well as the fitness side of things!)

Perhaps a better example would be my trail bike, Its a 2008 specialized SxTrail, weighing around 37lb. 9 speed, older coil suspension front and rear and although I really do still love it, I'm racing a few enduro's on it this this year, I know that regardless of my fitness a modern geo, lighter more modern bike would be faster. maybe not a huge amount, but I think enough see a difference in results.
  • + 1
 @fasterjedi - Absolutely right, not much bike handling going on wlhile you're trying to breath through your eye sockets after a steep climb!

Also, don't skip stretching folks! Very important for injury prevention. Ask me how I know...
  • + 3
 improving my reasoning for buying more bike sh*t so when i explain to my girl that i need a charger damper shes all like ' i totally understand babe, i think you should get it, and probably get your rear shocked tuned for better mid too whilst youre at it....'
  • + 1
 Safety, man. If your suspension is crap, you're gonna bottom out off a jump and get your ass launched into the stratosphere, and then where will she be? Paying your hospital bills while you're in a body cast, that's where! Also, don't forget, "At least it's not cocaine!"
  • + 3
 I think the cocaine might be the reason I'm running lower end suspension >.
  • + 7
 Where is the option for I am already a badass at all tasks? jeez.
  • + 3
 I want more time on the bike, even just my commute.. The snows melting and we survived the first year of our youngest child, kids are hardcore, so its looking good for more saddle time! I'm a nicer person when I ride and drink beer. Luckily my wife recognizes that.
  • + 5
 Fitter - so that i can keep up on club rides and then gain skills from riding with others and learning different techniques for hitting the bigger stuff!
  • + 3
 Cornering on manicured trails... that's what I need to improve on. I'm old-school, can huck to flat and ride the shit out roots, rocks and slippery shit. This new-school smooth-trail slaying still eludes me.
  • + 6
 I want to be fitter...but my problem is my diet... Damn good food..
  • + 2
 Healthy food can be delicious. Just need to find the right foods for you that you like and to replace the right ingredients with similar but healthier ingredients. For example I don't eat red meat, only chicken and fish (I do eat both daily though). And instead of mayonnaise (very fat) and ketchup (literally 50% is sugar) I prefer light sauces like honey-mustard, or create my own sauce with a bit of yoghurt and some spices mixed together. This will actually make your food even tastier than limiting yourself to mayonnaise and ketchup.

Also 2 eggs at breakfast are very good, as it is not only healthy and a good source for proteins (which builds muscles), but it also very effectively reduces your hunger for at least until the lunch, making you skip eating that chocolate because you feel hungry at 11:00AM.

Another thing I like to do is to replace unhealthy snacks with things like cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumbers. Still tasty, but much healthier than eating a bag of chips or popcorn during the movie.

For take away I often choose wok instead of pizza. Since at most places you can choose what vegetables, meat and sauce they put into it, it can be made to your exact taste while still being healthy.

I do eat hamburgers, but I prefer to make them with chicken thigh spiced to my own preferences. I actually found I like that even more than with beef (tried it at a local special hamburger bar once and got hooked ever since). Make sure you make it with the thigh, not any other part of the chicken, because this is most tasteful in a hamburger.

When you make something in a pan, don't use butter but use olive oil instead. Olive oil actually fastens the way your burn calories, so evenn though it has a couple of calories, in total after the faster burning, it will be even more effective than not using olive oil at all.
And things you use the fry for, just put it in the oven.


Just look around for what things you like that are healthy and slowly replace ingredients one by one.
Healthier eating does not mean you're eating less tasty stuff.
  • + 4
 don't overdo it at first though. Better off adding healthy things to your diet one by one; get used to that one small change first before doing the other one. Your body will need time getting used to lower fat/sugar intakes. This will be much more effective on long term. When you completely change your diet from one day to another, the step is too big for your body to get used to, and you'll only hold on for a short period before you fall back into the same pattern as before. But changing things one small step at a time gives your body the time to adapt to the changes and will make it easy to hold on to it for the rest of your life. Better take one or even two years to very slowly change to a healthier diet and that you will enjoy it and hold on to it for the rest of your life, than to rush into it, go extreme and fall back into your same pattern a month later.
  • + 2
 JA RASTAFARI!! eggs are well delicious.
  • + 2
 2 eggs in the morning is what I call my power breakfast. Indeed, it keeps me full for longer, and I physically cope better with whatever happens during the day.
  • + 2
 definitely fitness. I get burned out on fire road climbs longer than a mile or so. Then Im cooked and can't enjoy the long descent. Also I would like to improve my bank account but a bunch of commas. Lastly, I am one of the tv watchers who sits for hours and eats cheetos. Could be why my fitness lacks...
  • + 3
 Hey man, I have a great little hill here. Short climb, easy decent. Want to exchange?
  • + 1
 Just stop for a minute on the top of the hill so you breathe normally again and enjoy your descent. Always make sure you enjoy cycling to the fullest Smile
  • + 2
 Ya think??! Turn off the cable and use the spare $100 a month for some K-bells and yoga mats. Then use the extra time to go shred. Then as always use the last bit of extra cash for better beer!
  • + 4
 I'm 46 and I can't give up my biking. I know a lot of people just look at me like I'm too old to be riding, but I go for the 16 ft. gap anyway.
  • + 2
 I'd like to be fitter because:

It would allow me to ride more often, and would would give me more spare energy to work on my handling skills which in turn helps you to get better at jumps and drops

So, answer A helps to solve the other requirements.
  • + 2
 I figure if I can get faster on the climbs and descents and improve on the jumps and drops and lose about 40 pounds and find a life that lets me ride more than twice a week I'd probably be decent.
  • + 2
 keep my symmetrical balance better on the line, instead of oups falling not on the inside but going off to the outside and down the hill. thank god there are trees to grab while ur in the air.
  • + 1
 Getting to know my new 27.5 plus bike....a Stumpy Fattie.. In the more recent past XC has been my focus....a Cannondale Scapel 1 the main ride with fitness always the top priority. Now something new, with a focus on style, technique, and just plain fun. BTW I turn 60 this year, life is good.
  • + 6
 more riding less polls.
  • + 5
 More travel with my bike. The rest will fall in to place.
  • + 1
 I thank my bmx race days for my bike handling/jumping but with kids it's so hard to ride as much as I'd like, been out today and chose the mtb over the road bike, tbh I might just put some slicks on it and get 90psi in there and forget the roadie..
  • + 2
 Fitness for me. I would like the limits of my rides to be decided by me not by my fitness level. It sucks being asked to go on rides but having to say no because I know I'm not fit enough to manage the route or the climbs.
  • + 2
 I am still fit and want more fitness haha! I have gotten to the point where my fitness holds me back on the downs not the ups Frown
  • + 2
 Going out with a club would be a lot more fun while you get fitter desperately trien to keep up with the group and talk while heaving on the climbs ???? I'm sure you wouldn't be the only one, every group has the guy who's tired or the guy who's chatty so you might be fine!
  • + 4
 Off camber, Loam cornering. If theres no berm... I'm fkd
  • + 3
 Just play with body position and lean angle on a flat and gravelly turn. Not the most fun you can have on your bike but it definitely pays off in the long run.
  • + 3
 Most people who say that they suck at corners don't trust their tires. Whether they are the most bling tires or the shit that comes on a Walmart bike, push 'em, learn 'em, feel the edge of the tire. and lay of the brakes....
  • + 2
 @nojzilla ride in the wet!!! Get used to having no grip on both wheels and sliding that way, body position, tyre pressure and knowing your tyres limits are the key, dont be afraid to put a foot out
  • + 3
 I'm British! I only ride in the wet
:p
My problem is mostly line choice , I know what I'm supposed to do but, yeah enduroelite hit the nail on the head. I go in with all the best attack but, end up through lack of confidence.at the low point, fighting my way back up the camber to get back on line. I jus suck at real DH, I only ride Park
Smile
  • + 2
 Fitness! It's hard to have the same kind of fun as the guys who pedal hard going up or down without feeling tired. Up or down you need to be on your best mojo.
  • + 2
 Jewsef, I see your point but with two kids and a busy job my only free time is on the mtb, you're right though, road miles make for fit legs, just not always possible
  • + 3
 I'd like to improve my trail building, trail maintenance and local knowledge!
  • + 2
 Thanks!!
  • + 4
 I want improvement in my wallet.
  • + 2
 I would like to improve my fiscal responsibility to my bicycle. Nah I will just keep ride my beat up rig. No new fork or tires for me.
  • + 2
 I personally think that with better fitness comes better bike skills, the less you fatigue the less mistakes you make. I DON'T WANT TO BUY A DAM ROAD BIKE THOUGH!!!
  • + 2
 Don't worry, mountain biking is a more intense interval training than road cycling, thereby also better for your fitness. That's the main reason why so many professional roadies also train on mountainbikes. Training on road bikes if you have the possibility of mountain biking aswell at the same time is only loose of effectiveness. Road bikes are mainly good for training when you don't have any trails near you, because it is better than not riding at all when you don't have the time to go to the trails, for example on an evening after work.
  • + 2
 I can breath a sigh of relief!! My thoughts were the same in fairness so glad i can back it up with your opinion! :-)
  • + 1
 I would love to be able to climb a little better. Guess i need to get rid of the DH bike and get something a little more pedal friendly.
  • + 1
 First of all if your not a bit fit ur not going to want to partake in said activities?! the more you train the better you get. ride more with others!
  • + 4
 Im terrible in corners
  • + 1
 I want to stop getting neck and back pains... every little fiddle to the geometry on the bike hasn't really helped so far
Any ideas anyone?
  • + 1
 What size is your bar? what length is your stem? How far forward / back is your seat? What is the back sweep of your bars? Maybe I come to "jolly old England" and we can shred a few then a pint o brew? lol!
  • + 2
 New to mountain biking and addicted....riding more often would improve everything.
  • + 1
 I'm all about wanting to improve my cornering. Berms, off camber, flat. It must be where you can make up the most time right.
  • + 3
 Cornering should be one of the answers
  • + 3
 I'd like to improve at biking.
  • + 3
 I want to get .......faster threw corners
  • + 5
 I wish I through rocks further
  • + 1
 if I could just ride as well as I did 10 years ago I would be happy-hell,riding as much as I did 10 years ago would also make me happy
  • + 2
 I'd just like to be able to get out and ride more often, doing that would improve fitness and skill levels
  • + 1
 Manuals, wheelies, and bunny hops. Pretty much anything where the front wheel leaves the ground thanks to anything but momentum...totally eludes me.
  • + 2
 I'm in my element on steep loose techy trails, would love to have confidence hitting doubles
  • + 3
 I`d like to ride more... Wife, would like me to ride less.
  • + 2
 that's the truth...
  • + 1
 The only downside for girls when dating a bad ass mountainbiker.
  • + 3
 Improve? Dude I already rip! A typical PB answer....
  • + 1
 I'd like to enjoy more the places, the people and the landscapes around me . Mtb is not only skills , calves and trails ????
  • + 1
 I'd like to improve my bank balance, this $hits getting way to expensive haha... ????
  • + 1
 I would like to get really good at Drops and Jumps.
Also, does anyone have any tips for manuals?
  • + 1
 Stop looking at a Nice bike saying euhhh it should be like 4000$ but in fact it's 7000$ and can't affort it.
  • + 1
 Shit! I've propped already everybody in this article! I couldn't have commented it better!
  • + 2
 I want to improve my wheel size!
  • + 2
 cornering here. 99% of my crashes are due to poor cornering.
  • + 2
 **Trust your tires** Yeah, more intense concentration on the specific element of your ride will improve your overall performance, not just " going out for a ride ". Many people make this error. But where are you going to go to just practice cornering? Not easy!
  • + 2
 Agree, and to specifically work on the rear tire side-slide/braking technique before the turn.
This not only is stylish, its faster and reduces brake bumps that str8 line brake drag creates.
  • + 2
 I mean, I know how to corner, and I work on it every year, I am decent at it, just not as good as other areas of my riding. Cornering in Colorado with its dry moondust dirt is always a challenge at high speed. Although, when i go to Whistler or Morzine or something I feel like a super hero riding their dirt. Thanks for the tips.
  • + 3
 Stronger whips
  • + 2
 steeze ... i want more sneeze... or rather... some to begin with
  • + 3
 With the ladies
  • + 2
 Not enough options here. Cornering? Climbing?etc...
  • + 2
 Busted my right ACL after a bad landing, so, improving my landing skill
  • + 2
 Landing is my number one area for improvement .............
  • + 1
 Falling doesn't hurt. What hurts is hitting the ground.
  • + 2
 Cornering faster / more confidently and or stylishly.
  • + 2
 Those who answered "I don't give a damn about improving," czech in here!
  • + 2
 Corners, corners, corners. And jumps/drops.
  • + 2
 My goal is to keep more Cheetos in my SWAT door
  • + 1
 If you want to ride better, go out and ride better
  • + 1
 I want to improve my stoke no matter how, what or when I'm riding.
  • + 1
 Corners. I have to keep reminding myself to get over the effing bars!
  • + 1
 I just want more and more new rad trails!
  • + 1
 I want to keep working on my manualing skills.
  • + 1
 I need to learn how to manual...
  • + 2
 I want more Cheetoes!!!!
  • + 1
 Fitness and getting out on my bike more often is at the top of my list !!!
  • + 1
 I want to improve my bank account
  • + 1
 we bike, delay the inevitability of our doom..
  • + 2
 Fontana=fitness
  • + 1
 fuck that golf wang
  • - 3
 A lot of people want to become fitter, seems to me they should get out on a road bike more!
  • + 7
 I have a road bike and never really use it. Love being on my mtb but I hate the road bike. It all well and good if you live in the countryside where there's nice windy fun roads. For me a road ride is constant traffic and stopping at traffic lights.
  • + 3
 Before I was trying to get fit on my MTB so was always knackered on it, but this year I'm going to save the pain for the turbo and just really enjoy progress on my mountain bike.

@jewsef you can get fit on any bike right? but maybe with limited time you can have more cycling time on a road bike depending on where you live I guess so I've just got a turbo to get some fitness, its dull but ! my rewards are on my MTB

@J-Mc Bride In the countryside round here the lanes are windy dark and dangerous! I wonder where is the best places for road, probably my mates in Hampshire, suburban and then peopple are used to seeing bunches out on the road so they adapt their drving
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