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How Mountain Biking Can Help Your Cycling | Improve Your Triathlon Skills

How Mountain Biking Can Help Your Cycling | Improve Your Triathlon Skills


– Yes, we are triathletes, and yes, we are on mountain bikes. But why? Well actually there’s a
lot that can be gained by going out of our comfort zone, onto mountain bikes,
and getting a bit dirty. – Well it can be a little bit daunting to leave that smooth asphalt, and your finely tuned triathlon bike. But it’s something that a lot of athletes do every year when they compete in XTERRA, and cross-triathlons, but
aside from those races there’s still so much you can gain from riding a mountain bike. (dramatic music) (heavy beat music) – To start with if you live in a country that has harsh winters,
unlike this place right now. Then mountain biking can be a great way of mixing your training up. And preventing you from spending every ride indoors on the turbo trainer. And something feels a little bit better about getting a mountain bike dirty, and muddy compared to your road bike. Perhaps it’s just because we’re a little less precious
about our mountain bikes. And they are designed for that after all. And by venturing out onto the trails you’re also honing your bike skills ready for when the weather improves, and you can head out on your road bike. – Whilst road cycling and mountain biking may seem like very different sports there’s actually a lot of similar skills that transfer from one to the other. In fact, mountain biking is a great way to practise your all round skills without the fear of
falling off on the road. And you don’t have to worry about traffic. – Another really beneficial
aspect of mountain biking is the training effect,
due to the terrain, and the effort required to
get over, or around obstacles. It sort of creates it’s
own natural fartlek. Even just a short ride
can be quite punchy, and have a huge training benefit. Which can be really useful
if you are lacking motivation to do a session on the bike,
indoors, or out on the road. – In a similar way the terrain, obstacles, and various surfaces will cause you to constantly change your cadence when you’re out on a mountain bike ride. But if you’re a road
cyclist you might have got into a bit of a rut of sticking within a small cadence range. And that makes it really difficult to change when you need to. With mountain biking it does go from one extreme to the other. So, for example, if
you’re stuck into a habit of an over-gearer this
will really help you solve that problem. – The need to move your body weight around in the saddle, and on
the bike is actually far more important than many of us realise, particularly when we’re
descending, or cornering. But again, we can be quite lazy with this when we’re
solely riding on the road. We plant ourselves in the
saddle, and we stay put. But in mountain biking you have to, if you want to stay rubber side down. It helps to build your
confidence with shifting your body weight around
throughout the whole bike. And in some cases, you’ll even have to shift your whole body
weight back off the saddle. – If you have more confidence
in your braking ability then you can dramatically
become a better cyclist. And what better way to do
that than mountain biking. Unlike with road cycling, you’re gonna be constantly using your brakes, or lightly feathering them
when you’re riding off-road. And being able to control
that braking power will help massively with your descents, and cornering, and it might
even your improve your speed. – With all this comes
increased confidence, and handling for cornering. Now whilst the surface and
tyres may be different, it still allows you to find
the limits of cornering, how much grip you have, and even how much you can bank the bike over. And again, mountain biking offers plenty of opportunities to practise this, along with shifting your body
weight around to help this. – With more mountain biking experience you’ll soon learn that
you need to look ahead of where you’re going, and look
for the exit of the corners. It is tempting to look at the obstacles just in front of you, but you’ll soon learn not to do that. And this skill actually
transfers really nicely across to the road as well, especially if you’re riding in groups. And you’re looking ahead for corners. – There really are loads of cross-overs, and skills that mountain biking
can add to our road riding. Personally, I just like the change, and variety from the norm. – Well you might be worried
about the risk involved with mountain biking, but you don’t have to tear it down all the trails, you can just stay within
your comfort zone. If you want to catch more videos from GTN, just hit the globe to subscribe. And if you want to know
about a little bit more about XTERRA that we talked about, there’s a video on that just here. – If you’d like to get hold
of some of our nice GTN kit, hit the shop link, and if you’d like to see our XTERRA pro bike
video, just click down here.

20 comments on “How Mountain Biking Can Help Your Cycling | Improve Your Triathlon Skills

  1. I started off with a hard tail and I thought I was being slow when riding with Roadies. But when I got a road bike I went far faster then most of them!

  2. Great video and I agree as to the benefits mentioned but there is the increased risk of injury if going hard. Ben Hoffman at Cape Epic and Ironman recently is a case in point.

  3. as a XC-rider and also a roadie, a skinsuit or aero-skinsuit on a hardtail or a full-sus XC rig is srly asking for trouble. At least when you don't race where changing into more MTBish clothes might cost time, during training it's unnecessary risk, plus Malta is quite unforgiving with it's rocky, dry hardpack with crashes

  4. Oh man, you guys… as a mountain biker getting into Tri's, I treat my MTB's just as precious as my CXers – which double as my road/tri bikes too. The shame!! 🤣🤪

  5. Been doing this over winter myself, but with cyclocross rather than MTB. I have noticed the difference in the amount of bike control i have now and how much more confident i am when cornering and braking.

  6. Love those bmc bikes 😍😍 got both of them (hard tail and full suspension) just waiting for me in te garage rn.

  7. I'm a mountain biker who just got into off road tris and it's soooooo much more fun than an on road tri. Great video gtn love all your stuff 🙂

  8. Is it only me or did Heather stay away as much as possible off the gravel? Good video and awesome scenery, none the less.

  9. Off road biking: Focus/reaction time/picking the right line-yes it will make you a better road cyclist. ALSO, that front brake (especially disc brakes) can be lethal! FEATHER that front brake on the decsents (left hand brake).

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