Experience Northstar

Bicycling Tips

Being well prepared and getting the fundamentals down can make your ride that much sweeter.  Here are 16 tips shared by the Northstar Mountain Bike Race Team. 

  1. Always check air pressure in fork shock and frame shock, which should be set up for the riders weight.

  2. Look ahead while riding the trail. Don’t stare down right in front of you.

  3. Speed can be your friend. While riding technical areas of the trail let your momentum carry you over obstacles.

  4. Fit of the bike is important for efficiency. Make sure your seat tube is adjusted correctly so you don’t blow out your knees. Having the right extension will make pedaling easier.

  5. Steep climbs. When getting to a technical climb, position your body weight forward sitting on the nose of your seat. This positions the weight forward without spinning out your rear wheel.

  6. Descending steep hills. When approaching steep hills, to descend, prepare by keeping your weight as far back off the saddle as possible.

  7. In Tahoe the dirt can get dusty and loose in the corners. Keep a low tire pressure and check into nice knobby wide tires

  8. What are your different heart rate zones and how do they prepare you for racing bikes? You have 4 zones: 1, 2, 3 and 4. Zone 1 – 2 are endurance (base building and ability to transport oxygen). Zone 3 is threshold (preparing the body to delay lactic threshold which slows you down). Zone 4 is the race zone. Training in this zone develops strength and speed.

  9. What is the best time to eat before a race? Three hours. You want to have eaten so the body has properly digested the fuel and it’s ready to burn come start line time.

  10. Make sure you do an ample warm-up before a hard ride or race. Warm up 15-20 minutes followed by a 5-10 minute stretch of the calves, hamstrings, quads, neck, shoulders and lower back.

  11. What gear should you carry when you are out riding your bike?  Keep a mini air pump, tire tube, energy bar and multi-tool with a chain tool.

  12. Purchase clip-less pedals. Clip-less pedals will increase power and help you get over obstacles. When you first purchase them, set them at the lowest setting and ride around in an open parking lot.

  13. What should you consider before purchasing a bike? There are many bike options to consider. These days you have your cruiser bike, downhill bike, road bike, free ride bike, cross county bike, etc. Determine how much you are going to be riding and what terrain of trails or road.

  14. Don’t over train, allow time to recover nutritionally and rest wise.

  15. Pick the right shoes. Bicycling shoes are all different. Go to a shop versus buying on line. They all have different toe boxes and heel boxes with different sizing. If you are looking for power and efficiency pick a shoe that has a full carbon sole and fits snug.

  16. What’s the best upgrade for your bike that shows the biggest difference? A new wheel-set. It’s amazing what a new higher end wheel-set can do. It can make the bike feel totally different in a more responsive way. 


Now have fun and be safe!


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