After mastering the basics, it’s time to learn intermediate mountain biking skills. These skills will allow you to take your riding up a level. Once you are proficient at these skills, you will find it more enjoyable. After mastering them, you may be able start competing. Have a look at the video below.
1. How to Pump
Because it requires minimal body movement and skill, I chose pumping your mountainbike as my first intermediate skill. It’s a good starting skill because it allows you to get your mtb to do what you want, not just sitting there.
By pumping, you will be able build speed and maintain it. This will make your ride more smooth and efficient. This skill is useful when you need to roll up and over small hills.
You are actively pumping pressure, and then you release it to move forward.
For pressure building and release, you will want to stand tall then become smaller. To build pressure, push down on the bike. Next, absorb the bike to let go of pressure.
Passive pumping can be used to control the pressure. To absorb the terrain, bend your arms and legs. As shock absorbers, your arms and legs should be positioned.
Keep your upper body still. If there’s a dip in the trail, take advantage by pushing your bike down to increase pressure.
Next, bend your arms and legs so that your bike can move up and down the hills. You will be able to jump by learning how to pump. Pumping over roots, rocks and rises can also help you generate momentum.
To keep your bike moving, you can use your bodyweight without having to pedal.
2. Front Wheel Lift
Intermediate riders should know the importance of the front wheel lift because this is the first time your mountain bike will be lifted off the ground. You will be able to master other intermediate skills once you are proficient in this skill.
The front wheel lift is required when riding over roots and rocks. This will enable you to ride smoother on the trails.
You want to start by coasting smoothly, keeping your pedals in line. To add pressure, you can stomp down your feet.
When your bike starts to spring up, take the front wheel with you. This is basically loading the bike, then popping the front wheel.
A manual wheel lift is the next front wheel lift. This lift is more dynamic. You first coast on your mountainbike at a slow jogging speed while keeping your pedals in line.
Next, stomp your feet to load the bike. Then push your weight back. While you are doing this, straighten your arms.
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. You must absorb any impact if you ride over them.
Bunny Hop is a combination two skills: the rear wheel lift and the manual wheel lift. A bunny hop is when you combine these two skills.
Once you reach the top of your manual front wheel lift at your desired height, get up with both your feet and raise your chest.
Next, grab the rear wheel from behind you and drag it along by grasping and lifting it. To level the bike, push the bars forward. You should try to land on both the front and back wheels simultaneously.
Use your pedals to grab and lift the rear wheel. Your body should be extended upward to give your bike more space. Imagine your bike being pulled up to you.
4. Intermediate Mountain Bike Jumping
The next step after you have learned the bunny hop is jumping. Jumping is fun, and it’s something you can do with your friends.
Inspect the jump carefully before you begin jumping it. To get an idea of the layout, it is a good idea just to walk around the jump.
This will allow you to determine the slope of the jump and the dropoff. Next, roll the jump with your mountainbike. Take it slow and absorb the lip with your legs.
At first, increase the speed at which you approach the jump. Start by stepping into neutral.
After the approach complete, place your feet flat on your pedals. Keep the pressure equal between the front and rear wheels.
Let your front wheel reach the lip of the jump. Relax your arms and legs. Let the bike go without weight. You should keep your shoulders relaxed and your eyes on the bike.
As you land, straighten your arms and legs. Next, absorb the impact by bending and flexing your arms and legs.
Be sure to stay relaxed and don’t freeze. Don’t let your weight go back too far. Different jumps require different pressure levels, body positions, timing, speed, and timing. As you try different types of jumps, this will become easier.
If it’s a new jump, make sure you walk the jump first.
5. Roll Down
The first skill to learn is to roll down obstacles. Before you begin, make sure to take a look at each obstacle.
Start by keeping the pedals at eye level, and your arms and legs neutral. To see where you want, you can lean forward in your saddle.
Push your bars backwards and evenly. This is called looking and pressing.
Remain centered to ensure you are ready for landing.
6. Drop Offs
Start your approach to drop-offs in neutral. You should not brake or pedal. Coasting should be your goal.
Gradually load your mountainbike before your front wheel leaves drop. To match the angle of your landing, move the bike forward by pushing on the bars.
To absorb the rear wheels, bend your knees. Once you’re in the air, return to the center position.
Place your feet evenly on each wheel. Keep your chin above the stem and your butt below the saddle.
All drops are unique because they fall at different heights. They are dependent on various preloads, body positions, speed, timing, and other factors.
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.
Every rock garden is different, so it’s important to walk it before riding it. It is possible to find the most suitable riding route by walking through it. Your mtb should be able to glide along the straightest possible line.
Avoid areas with low traction, rough edges and diagonal rocks or roots. It’s a good idea visualize the area you will be riding first.
You will either roll down or drop larger rocks if you are near them. Be aware of visual signs to keep you connected.
Place your hands in neutral positions and begin to spot your line. You can then keep your wheels moving and adjust your speed if necessary.
Because your suspension is most effective when your wheels are unlocked, it’s important to do so. Allow your mountain bike to move in all directions, including forward, back, sideways and sideways.
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 crucial to be able to balance and move quickly through berms. 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 can seem intimidating when you first start, but you’ll love them once you have mastered this intermediate skill.
The most important thing is to keep your traction and control as you rip through berms.
You should start by approaching the berm from a neutral position. Next, choose your line and follow it through the Berm.
Your traction will be less if you keep your head above the berm. Be sure to be outside and high up on the berm. You will get more traction but will need to move faster.
Look through the berm as you and your wheels enter it. Make sure you rotate in the turn and keep your butt close to the berm.
For increased traction on the berm, apply downward pressure through your pedals.
Stand straight up as you exit the berm. To increase traction, lower your center gravity.
Stay centered and don’t lean back. Do not try to get out of the Berm faster than when you entered it.
This is the last intermediate skill in mountain biking. I’m here to challenge you. This skill is at the edge of being intermediate or advanced.
A switchback can be described as a 180-degree flat no berm turn on a trail. There are many different 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.
Look at the switchback to mentally decide which line you want. You can make your turns wider by steering towards one side of the corner.
You can brace yourself to increase stability by lowering your heels. Keep your chin high above your stem, and your arms bent.
Make sure you look ahead to the exit at each turn. As you turn the wheel, lean your bike forward with your arms.
Your knees should be straight in front. Rotate your hips to the side. Place your whole body in the direction you want.
I hope you found the explanation of intermediate mountain biking skills helpful. You will be able to improve your skills with repetition and practice.