New to MTB
If MTB is new to you, do not fall into the trap of spending a fortune on a new bike. You never know you may not find it enjoyable and it will end up as a lovely garage ornament. Do not spend too little as cheap bikes are not strong, parts will wear quickly and you’ll have a real shock when you need to replace something.
A good way is to keep your ear to the ground and look out for a decent second hand bike. Always take someone who knows what to look for. A good bike will last for years. Ask the club, many will know someone who is selling one.
Make sure the bike fits you. Mountain bikes are measured smaller than road bikes, you need to have around 3”standover clearance between the cross bar and your crotch.
Mountain bikes come in many forms and everyone has an opinion on which is best at the moment.
Rigid, which has no suspension, front or rear and mostly ridden with one gear by people with beards.
Hard tail. Front suspension only. Usually a good starting point as long as you have a good frame.
Full suspension. This has suspension front and rear.
There are many variables in between which would take an age to write about.
If you by a full suspension bike always be prepared to ask for advice in setting it up. This is quite an art but will make the world of difference to your ride.
Boofa rules!!! Always look after your bike, a well maintained bike will rarely let you down, clean it after each ride and make sure it’s well lubricated with the appropriate oils after each ride.
You will have to have a helmet and gloves to go on club rides. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Treat yourself to a good helmet, open faced for the conditions we mostly ride. Come off and the helmet can save your life, fractured skulls are not a good look.
Gloves will protect you in a fall. You will fall. The fall wont hurt its the contact with the ground thats the problem.
Off road shoes. Always a good idea as they grip well to the pedals.
Hydration pack. May seem a bit excessive but believe me a water bottle on your frame will only attract all sorts of foreign matter that you will not want to put into your mouth. Also you can put the necessary bits and bobs in the bag.
Bits and bobs in the bag. Chain tool, tyre levers, pump, spare tube, multi tube, lightweight jacket. This is not an extensive list but do not fall into the trap of taking everything apart from the kitchen sink as it will only weigh you down.
The fashion police may be around but wear what you feel is comfortable. We have guys riding in lycra and riders in the shorts and shirts. Avoid tracky bottoms and trainers. If it rains mid ride you will soon regret it.
We do most types of riding but nothing too silly. Perhaps All mountain towards XC would be about right.
Ride what you feel you are comfortable with. Push yourself a little at a time, you will be pleased how much you will improve in a short space of time.
Remember everyone started at the back, not everyone can be first to the yop of a climb or first down. There will always be someone to chat to and help you along.
Mountain biking is a fantastic sport, it just doesn’t matter how good you are you will get an immense amount of enjoyment out of it. Halfwayup mtb is renown for its friendly banter. Be prepared for it but it’s always meant in good spirit.
Just come along for one of our club rides, enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and just enjoy it. It can be strenuous but it’s one of the most rewarding sports and clubs you can be part of.