Entries by admin

MTB Pedals—Clips or Flats? Ride Both!

Still not sure which pedal system is best for you? Confused on why a pedal that you clip into with your cleat/shoe is actually called a “clippless-pedal”? Here’s some history on where these systems came from, more on the advantages and disadvantages of each system… If you’ve had my instruction previously, you’ve already heard a bunch of this, […]

MTB Technique: (DON’T!) Lean Back

Getting Hurt Sucks! In many sports, if you do things wrong, you’ll simply end hitting a plateau with your skill level, and, well, maybe, just kind of suck for a while… And, often, that’s OK!!! Maybe you’re not the star player on your beer league softball team or you end spending a lot more time […]

Bike Pack Essentials

Most bike shops or riding buddies can clue you in on the basics that should be in your riding pack: A multi-tool (see pics below) to make adjustments to the bike out on the trail; a spare tube to fix a flat tire (flat tires are one of the most common and easily remedied mechanical […]

How Tire Tread Works

How Tire Tread Works What slows down and stops your bike? Your brakes? Nope…your tires tires stop your bike! What makes your bike turn? Leaning the bike and a bit of steering with the bars right? Well, actually it’s the contact patch of your tires on the trail surface that ultimately changes your bike’s direction. […]

MTB Coaching is Too Expensive!

One of the biggest reasons why riders decline to take MTB coaching/instruction is the price… MTB coaching is too expensive! So, OK, I’ll readily admit that quality coaching isn’t cheap. I charge $500 for a two-day clinic. That is some serious scratch. But…what did your bike cost? Plus all your gear: riding get-ups, shoes, helmet, […]

Bar Height

The following came about after an email from a confused/frustrated rider. He was having some issues concerning the handlebar height of his bike and was also the victim of some bad riding-advice from arguably the most common source of bad riding-advice: a riding buddy! This particular rider was setting a bike up for lift accessed/downhill […]

Getting Air, Drop-offs, and Switchbacks

Getting air, drop-offs and switchbacks… three things many students mention when we discuss their goals with MTB instruction and coaching. The thing is, “Getting air, drop-offs and switchbacks” are some of the most difficult features/actions that we’ll encounter on a MTB trail, however there isn’t any rocket science to pulling them off successfully. It’s all […]

Best Bike For Skills Progression

Recently, a friend of mine rode one of the latest “longer travel” trail bikes (around 160 mm of rear wheel travel) and was blown away by the bikes capabilities on the trail. He couldn’t come up with a reason why he shouldn’t have one and he asked me what I thought. I told him that […]

Breaking Down World Cup Photos

  I always stress when coaching MTB, that riding well–at any level– is all about the human body working as effectively and efficiently as possible, in an athletic sense, with the design of the bicycle. It’s multiple simple movements and functions of the human body…on a bicycle. This is true whether you are a 70 […]

Trail-Building Rant

Rant time… This has been eating at me for a couple days… This is the old crusty trail-builder grouch in me coming out. In the photo above, you can see how the slab rock doesn’t go all the way across the trail, right? Well, it used to… Somebody–a trail “builder”, I assume–spend a bunch of time […]

Video: Pedal Wheelie Technique

Proper Pedal Wheelie Technique: CLICK HERE This video refers to a the “Pedal Wheelie” which is generally used when climbing. Usually the rider will be going rather slowly (climbing) and, thus, need to maintain or increase what little momentum they have in order to get over and beyond an obstacle. This wheelie is not to […]

Video: DirtSmart Technique on Display!

Pretty cool video here from the Rotorua round of the Enduro World Series. CLICK IT: VitalMTB Remember the Switchback Line Choice video that you checked out right here on the DirtSmart MTB website? Well, there’s a little of that… And the DirtSmart Tri-Pod Technique vid? There’s a bunch of that… This video was directed at less experienced […]

WOW!!!!! True Downhill Mountain Biking

I just had to share this. Modern Trail Bikes are great, but you can’t do this on them. Best downhill mountain biking edit I’ve seen in a while. CLICK IT: http://www.vitalmtb.com/videos/member/Queenstown-Destruction-George-Brannigan-Goes-WILD,28479/iceman2058,94

VIDEO: Proper Weight Placement

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO: https://youtu.be/2WBSjoAiA_A Proper weight placement on the bike. I often refer to proper riding position and proper weight placement as the foundation of riding. These two things have to be done correctly or you’re effectively dead in the water right off the bat. Just like an actual structure, if the foundation is a mess, […]

MTB Technical Climbing

MTB Technical Climbing. In the following, I will address proper climbing body position and its importance while ascending steep and technical climbs and also debunk a couple of infamous myths regarding climbing on your MTB. While we can get away with sloppy technique on relatively easy climbs and still make it to the top, when […]

Trail-Vision and Riding Smoothly

I often refer to MTB racing, and particularly timed racing, as “Death By Paper Cuts.” First, it sounds cool… And, second, in highly competitive, tight racing (and/or trying to smoke your riding buddies on the local trails) gaining big chunks of time over opponents in any given section usually doesn’t happen.  It’s more like a […]

Dropper Seatposts: Remote Lever Position

MTB Dropper Seatposts are here to stay. If you’ve been paying attention to improvements in bikes and equipment over the past few years, then you’re probably aware of what dropper seatposts, or adjustable-height-seatposts, are. If you ‘re unaware, check out the RockShox Reverb or the KS Suspension Lev, two of the leaders in the dropper […]

MTB Body Position: Descending and Balance

MTB Body Position. While riding mountain bikes in technically demanding conditions is by no means easy, if we take the movements of the rider’s body on the bike, along with the mechanics of the bicycle itself, and strip everything down to the most basic elements, the task (or tasks) of riding can usually be seen […]

Off-Season MTB Training

Off season MTB Training… Its winter time and usually around this time of the year is when many riders start freaking out about training and trying to figure out what they should be doing now so that they’ll be able to ride the bike better next season. But too often, riders over think their off-season […]

Achieving Your MTB Goals

Ahh, it’s a New Year!!! And, of course, with it comes all kinds of resolutions, promises…and new (or old) GOALS! Keeping in the spirit of this New-Year-Thing, I’m going to address a great strategy for achieving your mtb goals with some examples of how riders of any ability can use this strategy and benefit from […]