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 6 of 6
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: tefloncoated's Avatar
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    Value of professional coaching in MTB

    Hi folks

    I've been riding bikes since i was a kid, like most of us i'm sure. However my mountain biking experience is limited to just a few hundred miles of fairly easy trails in several NJ and NY state parks like Lewis Morris (good solid fun trails) and Wawayanda (which to me is a lot of fun and still a pretty good challenge). By watching videos of riding techniques and applying them i seem to be making decent progress, but as i get better the thought of getting some professional coaching has been popping up in my head. At 37, my goal is not to become a racer, but to get technically solid and have more fun on the trails.

    As a long time National level competitor, a rated judge and a licensed coach in another high speed/risk sport, i know first hand the value of a properly structured training approach. I was hoping to hear opinions of experienced riders and competitors on the value of professional coaching specifically for MTB. Also - what kind of costs are associated with the training process - per day, per hour, etc?

    Thanks in advance for your participation and replies!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: zebrahum's Avatar
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    I spent a decade as a ski instructor and can also attest to the benefit of professional instruction in any thing you would want to improve in. I suspect from your background that professional instruction really could make a world of difference to you because it is how you have been taught to learn over the years.

    I have not taken any bicycling coaching or clinics or other instruction so take my advice for what you will, but if it were me (and it am me, I'm looking forward to taking clinics in the future where I have more money) I would narrow my focus on what I hope to gain from professional coaching and start looking at your options. If you want to cross over a plateau in your riding or skills then I would suggest finding a riding camp and participating in that. If you're looking for advice on fitness and/or racing then the services of a semi-regular coach would be in order.

    It would be my suggestion that you find a camp that interests you and give that a try. The monetary investment is usually lower than hiring an actual coach and it will get your feet wet in what to expect from professional instruction in cycling.

    To let you know where I'm coming from, I'm a very proficient rider technically and there isn't a ton I can't do on a bike but I am not comfortable at all when hitting jumps. One camp that has caught my attention is Richie Schley's camp in Whistler; the price is reasonable the length is something I don't have to waste a bunch of time off of work for and the focus seems like it would help me achieve my goal of becoming comfortable hitting jumps. There are probably a dozen camps around which could help me achieve my goals, that's just one example but for you I'd say that you should do some reading.

    Basically any resort with DH riding will also have riding camps and instruction so have a look around. You mentioned riding trails in NY and NJ so have a look at what Diablo park used to do (they've been kicked out of the park and apparently Mountain Creek is going to do their own thing now). Highland bike park is also more or less in your area and you could always travel for places that do traveling bike clinics and such.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  3. #3
    Sweep the leg!
    Reputation: Caffeine Powered's Avatar
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    At what discipline are you wanting to coached? Downhill? XC? Endurance events? Trials?

    I'm not sold on coaching specifically for MTB XC/Endurance unless the coach has a road coaching background. But then my coach and I are more concerned with road results than MTB results. I think the rider has to do both.
    Authorities speculate that speed may have been a factor. They are also holding gravity and inertia for questioning.

  4. #4
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    A lot can be learned by simply finding a riding buddy that is better than you, follow their line, and try to keep up.

  5. #5
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    i would agree with Zmydust, i have learned the most from riding with experienced riders, and following what they do.

  6. #6
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    I went on a guided tour (Moab) where the guide was also a pro rider and coach. My riding skills and confidence improved a lot from instruction and riding with her. I was riding terrain that I would never have even considered prior. Highly recommended.

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