Skills Training for Mountain Biking

February
6

Earlier this month I shared a couple of posts about what you can learn from some other sports, specifically Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and BMX Racing. If you read them then you might have noticed that one of the lessons from both of them was to focus more on improving your technical skills. In fact, if […]

January
23

This is a guest post from Jukka Mäennenä, a Finnish cycling coach who specializes in BMX and Mountain Bike training. Jukka is someone I have known for a long time and he has been on the podcast before and shared a great article and video on modern day mobility training for riders. The last time […]

December
5

Few things separate great riders from mearly good riders like the ability to carve through a corner. We’ve all had the experience of chasing that rider who we can keep in sight when things are going in a straight line but leave us in the dust once we hit a corner. Riders who can corner […]

November
7

I’m not sure if you have noticed but the mountain biking world has an addiction to technology. And like most addictions, it takes something that can be positive and starts to turn it into something that can hold people back. No where does this problem come up like it does in the advice we give […]

August
12

One thing that you’ll notice when you first start mountain biking is that almost everyone has some advice for you. From equipment to trails to technique, this advice is meant to help you speed up your learning curve and provide you with some direction to help you on your path to improvement. And while a […]

July
4

There comes a time in every rider’s life when they have to decide if clipless pedals are something that they want to try. And contrary to popular belief I am completely fine with that…I have just as many riding buddies who ride clipless as flats. I’ve never said that flats are better than clipless pedals […]

June
22

A couple of weeks ago I posted the replay from my webinar on the Top 3 MTB Skills Training Myths, and while I got a lot of great feedback on it I also know that not everyone had the time to get into and see everything I talked about. One of the myths I talked […]

June
6

One of the things I love about mountain biking is the blending of fitness and skill it requires. I’ve often described mountain biking as the love child between an endurance sport like distance running and an action sport like surfing, making it a unique sport to both participate in and train for. This is one […]

April
25

Tomorrow I’m hosting another free webinar, this time going over the Top 3 Skills Training Myths. As always, I’m excited to share some great info but also nervous about doing a good job so that it makes sense. There is a lot of material to cover and I don’t want to forget anything, which is […]

January
26

The other day I was watching television and a commercial came on for a desk that doubles as a standing desk. If you don’t know, standing desks are becoming more and more popular as we start to realize how bad it is to sit down so much. The desktop looked pretty cool – it would […]

November
30

A lot of things have changed since I first started riding mountain bikes over 15 years ago. Bigger wheel sizes, tubeless tires, carbon everything and dropper posts are all things I have seen come into prominence over that time. If you go too narrow or too wide with your hands you start to lose your natural […]

September
8

I’ll admit that I wanted to hate it. When the Absolute Black oval chainring actually showed up in the mail I knew I was going to have to try it out but I sure as hell didn’t expect to keep it on my bike. I mean, everyone knows that oval chainrings suck and that the […]

July
6

So I know that this one might catch some flak. If so, I’ll admit that part of it is going to be my inability to articulate my points as well as I would like. Anytime I try to introduce a new concept like this I usually need a few tries to dial in what I’m […]

June
1

Riding a wheelie can be a tough thing to learn for a lot of riders. I mean, if you don’t learn it as a kid then it can be hard to pick it up later in life on a mountain bike. It is one of those skills that I still struggle with and I get […]

May
18

Getting your suspension set up properly can really help how well you can ride on the trail. This is why most riders spend some time getting their suspension set up properly. Most bike shops help you out before they send you home with a new bike and there are countless instructional videos and other resources […]

May
11

While it doesn’t happen very often, sometimes the sports science world turns its eye on real mountain biking. Most studies for “cyclists” – which is really just a code word for road riding –are conducted in labs and on the road. This makes their application to the realities of trail riding somewhat limited, which is […]

March
23

One of the more controversial pieces of advice I give surrounds your pedals…and no, I’m not talking about flats or clipless. I’m talking about which pedal, or foot really, you have forward when you ride. Specifically, the need to be able to ride with either foot forward. Technically known as riding switchfoot, this is the […]

February
16

One of the most persistent and damaging rumors about the best way to ride your bike is the advice to sit down and pedal as much as you can. New riders are discouraged from standing up and told that it will wear them out too fast and that standing up is hard on your knees. […]

January
21

Something I’ve learned over the years of trying to become more proficient at cornering my mountain bike is that there is a big difference between just riding on top of your bike through a corner and being able to drive your bike into and pump out of the corner. I’ve seen riders who are able […]

January
14

Last week I shared a video showing how standing pedaling can be just as efficient as seated pedaling. In the video a rider who uses the same amount of oxygen (an indicator of movement efficiency) during two 10 minute time trials, the first being done seated the whole time and the second one alternating 30 […]

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James Wilson
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Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson