Once you’ve mastered the basics it’s time for intermediate mountain biking skills. These skills will help you take your riding to the next step. Once you are proficient at these skills, you will find it more enjoyable. After mastering them, you might be ready to compete. Take a look at these pictures.
1. How to Pump
Because it requires minimal body movement and skill, I chose pumping your mountainbike as my first intermediate skill. This is a great skill to begin with, as you will be able to make your mountain bike do what you want.
Pumping will allow you to increase speed and keep it going. This will make your ride smoother, more efficient, and easier. This skill is useful when you need to roll up and over small hills.
You are creating pressure by actively pumping and then releasing it.
For pressure building and release, you will want to stand tall then become smaller. Push into the bike to create pressure. To release pressure, you should absorb the bike.
Passive pumping can be used to control the pressure. To absorb the terrain, bend your arms and legs. Your arms and legs can be thought of as shock absorbers.
Keep your upper body still. If there’s a dip in the trail, take advantage by pushing your bike down to increase pressure.
Bend your arms and legs, and then let your bike ride over the climbs. This will help you learn how to jump later. You can also create momentum by pumping on roots, rocks, or rises.
To keep your bike moving, you can use your bodyweight without having to pedal.
2. Front Wheel Lift
Intermediate riders need to be familiar with the front wheel lift as it is the first time that your mountainbike will be lifted from the ground. You will be able to master other intermediate skills once you are proficient in this skill.
You will need the front wheel lift to ride over small obstacles, such as roots or rocks. This will allow you to ride more smoothly on the trails.
Begin by moving smoothly along the road and keeping your pedals on the ground. Next, stomp your feet down to add pressure to the bike.
When your bike starts to spring up, take the front wheel with you. The bike is loaded and the front wheel explodes.
The manual wheel lift is next. This lift is more dynamic. You first coast on your mountainbike at a slow jogging speed while keeping your pedals in line.
Next, you will need to stomp down your feet to load your bike. After that, push your weight back. Do this while straightening your arms and legs.
The front wheel will be lifted by your arms and weight. The rear wheel will be pushed forward by your legs, which will allow you to lift the front wheel up into the air. Your butt should be behind the saddle, and the rear axle. Don’t pull up with your arms, let your weight do the work.
3. Bunny Hop
Bunny jumping is a skill that can be used to hop over rocks and other small obstacles. If you ride on top of them, you must absorb the impact.
Bunny Hop is a combination two skills: the manual wheel lift as well as the rear wheel lift. A bunny hop is when you combine these two skills.
You can lift your front wheels up by extending your arms and bringing your chest higher.
You can then bring the rear wheel along with you by grabbing and lifting it from behind. Push the bars forward to level your bike. Land on both wheels at once.
Use your pedals to grab and lift the rear wheel. Your body should be extended upward to give your bike more space. Consider suckling your bike into you.
4. Intermediate Mountain Bike Jumping
You have now learned how to bunny hop. Now you can jump. Jumping is fun, and it’s something you can do with your friends.
You should inspect the jump before you jump it. You can start by walking around the jump to get a better idea of what it looks like.
It is possible to see how steep the jump is and what the incline is. You can then roll the jump using your mountain bike. Take it slow and absorb the lip with your legs.
At first, increase the speed at which you approach the jump. Begin by starting in neutral.
After you’ve completed the approach, place your feet flat on your pedals. You should maintain the same pressure between your front and back wheels.
Relax your arms, legs and front wheel as it reaches the lip at the jump. Let the bike go without weight. Keep your gaze centered and relaxed over the bike.
As you land, straighten your arms and legs. After landing, you can absorb the impact by bending your arms or legs.
Be sure to stay relaxed and don’t freeze. Don’t let your weight go back too far. Different jumps require different levels of pressure, body position and timing, as well as speed. As you try different types of jumps, this will become easier.
Be sure to walk the jump first if you are doing a new jump.
5. Roll down
The first skill to learn is to roll down obstacles. Before you go, take a good look at the obstacle.
Start by keeping your feet on the ground and your arms and legs neutral. To look at the destination you desire, you can move forward in your seat.
Push your bars backwards and evenly. This is known as looking and pushing.
To prepare for landing, return to a centered position.
6. Drop Offs
Start your approach to drop-offs in neutral. You should not brake or pedal. You should coast.
Gradually load your mountainbike before your front wheel leaves drop. Push the bars forward to ensure that the bike is at the same angle as the landing.
To absorb the rear wheel, bend your legs. Keep your feet in the air and return to the middle position.
Land on both wheels equally. Keep your chin high above the stem, and your butt high over the saddle.
All drops are unique because they fall at different heights. They need different amounts of pre-load, body positioning, speed, and timing.
You should exercise caution the first time you ride it.
7. Rock Gardens
It is a crucial skill to be able to glide through rock gardens without falling, as you will likely come across them more frequently than you realize.
You should walk every rock garden differently so that you can see the best way to ride it. You can determine the best route to take by walking it. Find the straightest path that your bike can glide through.
Avoid areas that have low traction, sharp edges, or diagonal rocks and roots. It is a good idea for you to imagine where you will ride first.
If you come across larger rocks, you’ll be rolling them down or dropping them off. Be aware of visual signs to keep you connected.
Start in neutral and point your line. Keep your wheels turning and adjust your speed as needed.
Your suspension will work best if you leave your wheels loose. Your mountain bike should be free to move forward, backward, sideways, and up.
Keep your eyes focused on the trail ahead for the next challenge. Maintain a centered balanced position and don’t let yourself get sucked into the back seat.
8. How to ride berms
It is essential to learn how to ride in berms safely and with speed. Berms look the same as trails but are turned on their sides. They are also known as banked turns.
Berms are fun and can increase your speed. Berms are intimidating at first, but they will become a favorite skill once you get the hang of it.
It is important to maintain traction and control while ripping through berms.
You should start by approaching the berm from a neutral position. Then, pick your line and keep it going through the berm.
If you are low and within the berm, you will lose traction. Be sure to be outside and high up on the berm. This will give you more traction, but it will require more speed.
You should look out for the exit as your wheels and you enter the berm. Make sure you rotate in the turn and keep your butt close to the berm.
You can increase your traction when riding on the berm by applying even more downward pressure to your pedals and butt.
Stand straight up as you exit the berm. Increase traction by lowering your center of gravity
Stay centered and don’t lean back. You should exit the berm quicker than you entered it.
This skill is intermediate and a bit more difficult. I’m here to challenge you. This skill is at the edge of being intermediate or advanced.
A switchback is an 180-degree turn that’s flat and no berm on a trail. There are many types of switchbacks. You can climb switchbacks or you can descend switchbacks.
We will be descending the switchback to demonstrate this skill. Start by putting your feet flat on the ground as you approach the switchback.
Mentally decide the direction you want to take by scanning the switchback. By steering towards the corners, you can keep your turns wider.
You can brace yourself to increase stability by lowering your heels. Your arms should be bent and your chin should be above your stem.
Make sure you look ahead to the exit at each turn. While turning the wheel, lean the bike in the direction you want.
Rotate your hips and chest by pointing your knees straight ahead. Your entire body should be facing the direction you desire.
I hope you found the explanation of intermediate mountain biking skills helpful. Your skills will improve with practice and repetition.