1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
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    Advice for building up enurance/stamina?

    So I'm still a newbie, I'm skinny and spend a lot of time on my feet but I'm not all that into shape, I don't go to a gym or work out. So besides just getting out there and riding frequently and constantly pushing yourself just wondering if anyone has any specific exercises or anything they do to help build up their fitness level when they're not biking. We have a stationary bike at home, I assume riding that every day might help. Also wondering if it's good to stretch at all before biking?

  2. #2
    T.W.O.
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    Ride, rest, repeat.

    If you are not in shape, you gotta pay the due. There is no short cut. Just ride, rest, then repeat

  3. #3
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    You need 3 minutes of intense exercise per week. Break that up into 1 minute each of 3 days. Break each days minute into 3 20 second 100% output episodes on a stationary or rolling bike. A bit more is even better.
    Andrew Hamilton
    BBC News - Can three minutes of exercise a week help make you fit?
    Last edited by eb1888; 09-08-2013 at 04:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Mostly just ride a lot.

    Don't shoot yourself in the foot. If you go tearing off like you're being chased at the beginning of your ride and are going slowly by the end, try starting at a more measured pace.

    Don't forget to rest. Riding five days a week is probably about right. If you don't ride that much now, don't overdo it right away. There's a guideline I like, which is that one can safely increase training volume about 10%/week. So if you rode, say, four hours this week, you could try for 4:24 next week. (Though if you just made it an even half, I don't think there'd be any real problem. )

    Does anything limit you when you ride? A lot of us are prone to back pain, since core strength is something that's required in MTB but not built up that well. So knocking out some crunches in the morning is a good idea.

    I like to stretch after I ride. I don't think it's helpful before. There's a lot of literature out there, with varying degrees of quality. You can hunt it down and draw your own conclusions if you like.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
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    Endurance and stamina is like a book of matches. The better conditioned you are the more matches you have. If you just ride normally you'd light up one every mile, for example, on the climb you may light up 2-3 every mile or so. Get out of the saddle and mash may cost 2-3 every minutes. Once you are out of matches you are out of energy so spend it wisely. My goal is to ride at 70-75% but boost it to 90-95% somewhere before the end of my ride, to satisfy my need, if not I don't feel like I worked out.

  6. #6
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    I know this is going to sound crazy but the best thing I did was to get off my bike. I spent a few down months doing scaled Crossfit workouts. I was amazed at my increase in explosive power. Pure cyclist won't like this but it's amazing what adding muscle does. Work in the gym and have fun on the bike.

  7. #7
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    Riding more will surly help. That's especially true when are pushing your self to new limits. That means shorter resting periods, longer stretches before resting, and adding more miles.

    What I found helpful is also adding another exercise. For me running is very helpful with work on my endurance.
    2009 Stumpjumper Comp HT.
    An old Trek 820 ST.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the advice guys I'm definitely trying to increase the amount of time riding and between rests. I feel like I've already been making improvements. I always push myself to go at least a little further when I find myself wanting to turn in. I'm really not a fan of working out at all but I think throwing in a little something like jogging might help.

  9. #9
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    I like to run when Im not riding. In fact, I think I am starting to ride to strengthen the muscles I am not working as much when running. I only ran xc in high school and college, and now im picking it up again.

    I also do a lot of pullups, dips, chinups, captain's chair leg lifts, and plyobox step-ups (weighted). Some of that is for core, some is for muscle stability, amd others is for muscle strength. All will help with your mtbing skills and endurance, imo.

  10. #10
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    Advice for building up enurance/stamina?

    Quote Originally Posted by GTKRider View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys I'm definitely trying to increase the amount of time riding and between rests. I feel like I've already been making improvements. I always push myself to go at least a little further when I find myself wanting to turn in. I'm really not a fan of working out at all but I think throwing in a little something like jogging might help.
    Not gonna lie, I'm a junky. When I push hard and clean the big climb for the first time it was priceless. Adrenalin gives be the after burner boost and endorphin just takes the pain away, gosh I love it


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk pro

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I've added running this year. I like the convenience. I can go for a run during lunch. Trying to fit in a ride involves too much messing around and half an hour on the bike feels incredibly short.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    Try an indoor cycling class at the gym. The key is to find one that tries to replicate a real ride. You want in and out of the saddle; harder and easier resistance, etc. Don't waste your time with what amounts to an exercise class on a bike, e.g. stretching, one-handed, raising water bottle, etc. Once you know the drill, you can do it at home. However, I find I push harder in a group.

  13. #13
    local trails rider
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    At least old wisdom is that longer rides (runs, whatever) at lower intensity are good for developing endurance. Running doesn't seem to agree with me and the idea of exercising in an indoor gym doesn't appeal either...

    Often, it seems to be best to mix it up: longer rides at a speed that ensures you get home feeling OK, shorter rides where you up the pace, otherwise easy rides where go all out at some sections where that seems like a good idea, walks in the park. There's got to be recovery days when you don't do anything strenuous.

    For core strength, simple things that you can do at home, using your body weight, are just fine - except if going to a gym appeals to you.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  14. #14
    The Fastest of Bananas
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    Get plenty of sleep, but crosstraining.

    Ride to the gym, lift, ride back. It makes for long workouts, but those are what build endurance. And unless you are a racer type weight wont hurt you.

  15. #15
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    What exactly is your goal? There are no crisp definitions of what an endurance mountain bike ride is. To some it might be more than 10 mies and to others it might be 100 miles. So, if you set yourself a goal -- let's say ride 30 miles with 4000' of climbing -- what is it that keeps you from doing it? Legs get tired? Run out of energy on the climbs? Back killing you? Or, maybe you can do it but you think that you are too slow.
    I think if your goals are fairly reasonable then just riding will get you there. But if you want to get stronger faster or want to do very long rides (40 miles plus) then you'd need to get structured with cross-training, weights, and training plans for your rides as mentioned by others. And, don't forget to let your legs rest at least one and sometimes two consecutive days once in a while.
    Lastly, I think, conditioning does not happen continuously but as step functions. You can work hard for weeks and appear no to improve at all. Some times it even feels like to are regressing and getting worse. Then, maybe you take a couple of days off and on your next ride you are suddenly much stronger. You have reached the next plateau.

  16. #16
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    I haven't been into mtn biking all that long but I've been into fitness training many years. I think a misconception about mtn biking is that it only works your legs. That's just not the case. It works your entire body, legs, core, and upper body muscles. Of course there is an emphasis on the legs but they aren't doing all the work. So, if you want to get into better shape for biking it will benefit you to do full body exercise. It's best to mix it up with plyo, strength training, and endurance training. There's lots of different ways to do it you just have to find something that works for you. You don't necessarily have to go to the gym to do any of it but I find it helps unless you are a very disciplined person. Attending fitness classes is a good way to get started, fitness boot camp, core classes, kettle bells, crossfit, spin, etc, where you workout with a group helps boost motivation and opens your eyes to a lot of different ways you can train. Plus, you will probably find other's at the gym that mtn bike too and you can find people to ride with if you want.

  17. #17
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    That's pretty much the way I feel. Gong to the gym doesn't really appeal to me and I don't enjoy jrunning much. I've been trying to ride some easier trails faster and pace myself on the longer harder ones. And I try to ride every other day to give myself some rest.

  18. #18
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Every other day is only three and a half days a week. Try making it an even four.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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