Skills Training for Mountain Biking

August
19

Navigating ledges is an important part of mountain biking. While bigger wheels and better suspension have made it easier to simply ride over things, the trail still throws ledges and other obstacles that you have to get your front wheel up and over. Unfortunately, though, for a lot of riders being able to get their […]

August
18

Do wide handlebars make it harder to lean your bike? If you would have asked me yesterday, I would have said “no” but after my ride today I realized that they do.  After cutting my bars down to 26.5 inches/ 675 mm wide I went for a trail ride fully expecting for them to be […]

July
29

The human body is an amazing “machine” that can create a wide variety of movements. One of the reasons that it is so effective is that it is made to make use of wedges. Just so we’re all on the same page, a wedge is defined as a tool that can be used to separate […]

July
22

Over the last few weeks I’ve talked about the opening of my new MTB performance training facility, The Catalyst Training Center. I opened it to act as my base of operations as I introduce the new tools and training methods I’ve been using and sharing them with the MTB world. While I’ll be sharing a […]

July
15

They say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and the longer I’m alive the more I realize that it is true. We are often sent on the road of frustration and dead ends based on someone trying to help us with what ultimately proved to be bad advice. In the fitness […]

June
10

One of the most disheartening things I’ve seen over the last few years is the popularity of wide handlebars. Almost every rider I see is on bars in the 800 mm range, with few if any using bars in the 700-725 mm range. This is a result of the infamous “elbows out” advice that was […]

May
20

One of my proudest achievements as a rider was hitting the 40 foot gap jump we had up at The Ranch. It was on a slopestyle course we had built that was part of the FMBR tour for a couple of years and it was the centerpiece of a lot of airtime. The reason I […]

March
25

In the world of strength training few things have taken on the mythical status that plyometrics have. Seen as the pinnacle of sport-specific training by some, the obsession with this training method has inspired a lot of MTB athletes to jump on, over and off of some crazy stuff. But here is something that I […]

November
26

Improving your cornering skills is usually at the top of most rider’s wish lists. It is a skill that can not only make you looks pretty cool but will also improve your speed and safety on the trail. However, the way that cornering is usually taught doesn’t tell the whole story. With too much emphasis […]

November
5

A few weeks ago I shared one of my favorite blog posts I’ve done over the years where I broke down how to Manual and Bunny Hop on Your Bike. I really like it because it was the result of a long, frustrating journey as I tried to figure out this elusive skill based on […]

October
15

When you break it down to its most basic element, riding a mountain bike comes down to the interplay between your Center of Gravity (COG) and your bike’s COG. Usually referred to as “body position”, this relationship determines your balance points and ability to move on the bike. On your body the COG is roughly […]

June
11

If you want to quickly improve your riding you need to work on your standing pedaling power and endurance. When you stand up you improve your power, almost all technical skills require you to get your butt off the seat and it is also better for your knees and low back. Unfortunately, though, most riders […]

August
7

As riders we are taught to take good care of our bikes. After all, we are relying on them to make it down the trail without falling apart and getting us killed so it only makes sense to make sure that they are working well. Part of this is doing some assessments of the bike […]

July
31

Over the last couple of years working with the Steel Mace I’ve been introduced to how important it is to be able to connect both sides of your body when pushing or pulling. Since the Steel Mace has an offset load that I’m holding with both hands, it forces me to counteract what I’m doing […]

May
24

One of the more interesting things for me as a coach to see is the over-use and misunderstanding of the coaching cue “elbows out” when it comes to good body position on the bike. Like a lot of things in the cycling world, there are a lot of myths and half-truths being used to justify it’s […]

May
8

In this episode of the BikeJames Podcast I catch up with longtime friend of the show Ryan Leech. I’ve had Ryan on more than anyone else and I think it is because we both have a lot of shared passions both in and outside of the mountain biking world. If you don’t know, Ryan is […]

March
20

Body position on the bike is the foundation for everything else you do on the trail. From pedaling to cornering to jumping, everything takes place on top of the foundation your body position creates. If you don’t know how to hold yourself properly on the bike it makes it a lot harder to improve your […]

March
13

“Balance good, karate good. Balance bad, may as well go home.” – Mr. Miyagi in the original Karate Kid While we aren’t preparing to fight Johnny and the Cobra Kai dojo in a karate tournament, Mr. Miyagi’s advice about the importance of balance applies to the trail as well. If you are balanced on your […]

March
6

This is another guest post from Jukka Maennena, a Finnish coach I’ve had on my podcast and blog before. He’s a really bright guy who is always thinking about things a little differently than most, which is why I’m always curious when he sends me a new article to check out. In this one he makes […]

February
27

In this new podcast I talk about the Trackstand and why it is an important skill for every rider to learn. In it I explain how they will help you improve your overall riding skills as well as some tips to help you more easily learn this important skill. Download this episode (right click and […]

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James Wilson
Author and Professional
Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson