Mountain biking is the greatest retreat from the hassles in your life. It`s an activity that liberates you from your usual settings while providing an exhilarating form of exercise in the undeniably stress relieving and beautiful landscapes where you`re likely to be setting off to.
If you`re new to the sport the first step is an obvious one: acquire yourself a mountain bike! If this is something you want to commit to then be prepared to spend at least over £500 in order to purchase a quality, reliable piece of equipment. The value in this range is excellent and for this expense you will find yourself with a good disc braking system, good front suspension and alloy components, keeping the weight of your bike down. Distinct features you`ll notice on your bike will be the wide, high-traction wheels, bar ends on the handlebars and the smaller frame, all designed for getting over and around obstacles with greater ease and control
Disc braking is far recommended over rim braking as it provides heavier and more sustained braking power with less brake fading. While it adds more weight then a rim braking system, in decent bikes this is compensated for with alloys and improved frame geometry! Top end bikes weigh in less than 23 pounds though you certainly should be looking to keep the weight below 29. As for suspension, you could opt to spend more for a front and rear system but it`s best for beginners to break themselves in properly with front suspension only and ride hardtail for a while. This would also keep your bike weight down.
Equipping yourself with the right gear is very important in mountain biking, as one should never forget it is potentially a very dangerous sport. A good cycling helmet is essential and good trainers with high grip soles are very useful. You will probably want to invest in some padded cycling shorts as several hours on the bike seat can take its toll and gloves can help reduce friction on the handlebars. And never forget about the weather! An all-weather jacket is advisable to deal with the wind and rain and adversely sunglasses are necessary to prevent any glare sending you off a hillside.
Always have the basic repair tools on hand, such as a spare tube or two and a pump in case of tire punctures, and tyre levers and allen keys for the bolts on your bike. As for bike care off the track, you always want to make sure your bike is clean and dry in storage to prevent rusting parts, and basic oiling of the moving parts from time to time is needed to maintain a smooth running system.