From functional to fun, there are numerous reasons why mountain biking can be beneficial to triathletes and road cyclists. For time’s sake, we’ll give you six reasons. But don’t let the adventure end here. Adding mountain biking to your list of skills is a guaranteed way to become a stronger, more capable cyclist.
1. Get (More) Comfortable on a Bike
Mountain biking is all about being prepared for the unexpected at a moment’s notice. Mountain biking helps you fine tune reflexes and reaction time on two wheels. If you can ride a mountain bike, you will be significantly more prepared for the unexpected dangers of road cycling.
2. Save Valuable Energy
Riding a mountain bike requires skills that aren’t necessary for riding a road bike or triathlon bike - shifting your body weight, front/rear braking management, precise shifting and steering. These skills make you more “in-tune” with both your bike and your body. After a few mountain bike rides, skills like descending in your aero bars or drinking water while riding will seem much easier. Your new comfort with “multi-tasking” while riding will help you relax more while road cycling, effectively lowering your heart rate and conserving energy.
3. Discover New Roads
Mountain bikes are the ultimate exploration vehicles. There are no roads too steep or bumpy for a mountain bike. With a mountain bike, you will be prepared to take the road less traveled. You may even discover that some of these roads are fine for skinnier tires!
4. Mountain Biking is an AMAZING Workout
Interval workouts on the road take mental energy, and occasionally, they just aren’t that much fun. Riding a mountain bike on hilly single track can be some of the best intervals you will ever do. You don’t determine when to pedal hard, the trail does. Often, just staying upright requires a huge effort. The best part? You don’t realize it’s happening until you are out of breath at the top of the climb. For triathletes, being prepared for these unpredictable surges can be the best preparation for group riding and racing.
5. Capture Sweet Content
Whether it’s to share with followers, text to a friend, or privately reminisce, who doesn’t love a great photo? If you want to go somewhere that few people ever go, a mountain bike can take you. Bring your cell phone, snap some photos, then sit back admire your awesome adventure.
6. No More FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
As a triathlete or road cyclist, you probably know someone who rides mountain bikes. Of course, some people won’t like the idea of riding off road, between trees, over rocks, and on loose dirt. If you are one of those people, that’s fine! But you should try it at least once to be sure that you aren’t missing out on something you might enjoy.