3 of the Best Mountain Biking Tips Ever

best mountain biking tips ever

Three of the best mountain biking tips ever, to help you become your best on the trails:

1. Look where you want to go, not at what you want to miss.

Where you look has a huge influence over where your wheels will roll.  This tip is the best mountain biking tip ever.

It’s the Golden rule of mountain biking:  “Your wheels will follow your eyes”.  Stare long enough at that rock you want to miss, and you’ll ride straight into it.  Instead, focus on the imaginary line or path along the trail where you want your wheels to go.

From exiting a corner on the perfect line between two rocks, to riding a plank over a creek, how good you are at focusing on where you want your wheels to go is what ultimately determines your success.

There’s a deeper meaning to this Golden rule, too:  “Your energy follows your eyes”.

Or in other terms: “look where you want your energy to go”.

Looking ahead along the trail helps direct your physical and mental energy forward.  Even on the smoothest trails, looking too close to your wheel for too long can actually slow your progress.

Test the difference it makes in even the simplest situation: Find a climb and race up it twice.  Once looking mostly down right in front of your wheel, and once looking ahead as much as possible.

Get better with this: How to Scan the Trail Ahead

2. Momentum is king.

The more momentum you can keep, while still keeping control, the easier everything becomes.

The right amount of momentum gets you through the rock garden and over the log roll-over without stalling or losing balance. It also gets you through the sand more easily, and it fires you out of the corner sooner and faster than your mates.

The more momentum you have on approach to the climb, the less you need to worry about traction.  And the further you’ll get up the climb before needing to pedal.  You might even be able to climb in a harder gear.  You’ll arrive at the top sooner and have a little more speed and momentum to carry into the next section of trail.

Get better with these: How to Ride Rock Gardens and Log Roll-overs

3. Focus on exiting corners fast, rather than entering fast.

Set your speed before the corner, so you won’t have to brake or skid around the turn.

Focus on a wide and smooth entry, looking ahead towards the exit by mid-turn. Put power back on the pedals as soon as you can, as you look out through the corner exit and along the trail to whatever is coming next.

If your habit is to brake heavy around corners, try entering all corners a little slower and keeping off the brakes around the turn. Rather than thinking of ‘hitting the corner hard’, shift your thoughts to mid corner flow and accelerating exit speed. At first it might feel slower, but as your technique develops you will become much faster than before.

Get better with this: How to Corner Like You’re on Rails

Share this page with your friends!  And keep an eye out next week for 3 more of the best mountain biking tips ever.

14 Responses to 3 of the Best Mountain Biking Tips Ever

  1. Corey says:

    chirs been watching your videos they really help I’m riding better now and this Thursday I’m going in a mountian biking race

  2. Kris says:

    First of all, all what is said above :).

    Next, another tip missing is the tire pressure. It would be very helpful!

    Keep on the great work!

  3. John Hankins says:

    Hey chris i recently got back into riding after a 17 year lull. Ive been riding literally everyday since i bought my fuji nevsda 1.3 29er and i love it.. About two days ago i went on a fiftybmile journey which was epic, and used some of your tips.. When i got home i detailed my bike and since than my noticed my front derailer seems to be rubbing the chain, and also my rear break has lost bresking power byvat least 50%. What the heck did i do? The breaks are hayes hydrolic and have been great. I thought maybe i hot grease or oil on the rotar, but i cleaned it an its still weak. Also i noticed i have to squeeze the break lever alot harder than before.. Do i need to have it bled? As for the derailer isnt there screws on it that will adjust the action on it so it wont rub? I wont have a day off of work for a few more days, so i wont be able to get it into the shop. I also dont want to miss a day riding either… HELP PLEASE!

  4. Eric Gerardi says:

    Hey Chris! I just started riding and this website has taught me alot. Great Videos and tips! So my question is that I saw you ride a 19.5 in video. I bought 17.5 I’m 5’9″ with 31″ inseam do you think this is the right bike for me? It feels right but was curious and wanted your opinion. Also I watched video on cleaning forks. Where do I purchase that fork spray?

  5. Judd Fuller says:

    Chris, I really like your videos. Being new to MTB they have been a big help. I usually watch one before I go out to ride and try to practice the tip. I now have a trail about a block from where I live. It is why I got a mountain bike. If you ever get to No. Michigan, USA try Glacial Hills Pathway.

  6. Steve Paul says:

    What a ripper of a web site Chris! Thanks so much for all your effort, it’s dramatically improved my confidence and skill out on the track. I just knew there had to be a better way to do everything….especially cornering.

    Cheers again.

  7. Chris Creed says:

    Great page mate, really helped me out a lot. Tried the cornering techniques this morning which worked really well, I felt faster, more stable and more confident. Thanks for the tips :)

  8. Benjamin Baker says:

    Hi chris, I’ve gone on a couple of trips with my new bike before I ever visited mtbtips. Just wanted to say with all of your tips I’ve tried out has really excelled my mountain biking skills and confidence. Everything from simple bike adjustments, better balance and fast corners! Can’t wait to get out again. Thanks!

  9. Des Pirkhoffer says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’m loving all the great tips and your easy presentation style!

    However, could I suggest another great tip?


    Probably the single most overlooked aspect of riding. Some studies show that a 10% dehydration from optimum can lead to a 50% reduction in concentration and physical performance.

    I’m not telling you anything new – You know this, but how about spreading the word!

    Drink before every ride and then drink some more whenever possible.

    Keep up the great site!

    See you in the mountains 😉


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