Mountain biking is considered an extreme sport by many people. However, a person does not need to be a seasoned athlete to become a good mountain biker. Michael Hagele is a prominent attorney who enjoys mountain biking in his free time. He encourages all people who want a new outdoor hobby to learn more about it. Michael likes mountain biking because it helps him think and feel better. He also enjoys giving advice to people who want to start mountain biking. For those who want to do it, there are several things to learn first. It is important to take the right steps to avoid problems that could otherwise make the sport less enjoyable. These are some of Michael Hagele’s tips for new mountain biking enthusiasts.
Michael Hagele’s Tips For Choosing A Mountain Bike
The most important part of becoming a good mountain biker is choosing the right bike. It is important to visit a store that has mountain bikes to get a feel for them and to test them. Some stores let people rent mountain bikes for a short time to see how they handle. There is no specific bike that is best for all people. Finding the right bike includes several important steps and depends on a person’s preferences.
Choose The Right Size Of Bike Frame
Since every person’s height differs, the right size of frame differs for all people. Most companies now offer frames in sizes that range from small to large. However, some still use numbers, which can be tricky to gauge since numbers vary from one company to another. This is why it is essential to try out a bike in person. Also, seat tubes vary in size. Some bikes with larger frames have narrower seat tubes than bikes with smaller frames.
When trying a bike, shoppers must pay attention to the reach, which is the distance from the seat to the bars. With a road bike, it is better to go longer for the stack in terms of measurement. This means that the axle is further forward, and a bike rider can put more weight on it without the risk of going over the bars if there is a crash. Also, a longer front triangle is better for climbing since it keeps the front wheel steady. While longer is better, the length should not be so great that there is no standover clearance. The clearance should be no more than a few centimeters. Pedaling height should be a top concern when choosing a seat post size.
Consider The Bike’s Weight
Although weight is not the most important factor to think about, it is best to choose a bike that is not too light. If a bike is unusually light, it may indicate that it will not do well when it hits a rock or goes over a rut. It is better to choose a bike that is sturdy and has a weight that is manageable for lifting. Additionally, a bike that has a few extra pounds may aid in speed control in some situations.
Pay Attention To Suspension
Every bike buyer must choose between full suspension and hardtail for shock absorption. Full suspension is a costlier initial investment and often costs more to maintain over time as well. People who choose hardtail usually have fewer problems but do not have the same feeling as a full suspension system. Today, bikes with full suspension systems are more advanced. Every shopper should research the advantages and disadvantages of full suspension before making a decision. It helps to read the reviews about a suspension system on a bike before buying it. Quality is more important than quantity in this aspect, and a good damping and an airspring will provide long-lasting quality for a reasonable value.
Choose A Wheel Size
There are a few different choices when it comes to wheel diameter. Some people prefer 27.5 inches, which is ideal for downhill or aggressive riding. Most people choose a size of 29 inches, which is optimal for trails. There are also wide-rimmed wheels to consider. Wide-rimmed wheels are better for hardtail bikes. However, some bike riders have issues with tire pressure when they choose wide-rimmed wheels. As a rule, bigger wheels are better for speed and longer distances, and smaller wheels are better for trails.
Do Not Prioritize Trinkets
If a bike is marketed with an upgraded derailleur, the company is likely trying harder to sell it. Every bike shopper should look at the chainrings, cranksets, shifters and other components as well. If there is an upgraded derailleur without high-quality components in other parts of the bike, it is not worth a big investment. Also, it is important to remember that factory components are often heavy and rudimentary, and future upgrades may be necessary. Buyers should look for capabilities on the bike. For example, a person who wants to install a stealth seat dropper should inspect the internal routing to ensure compatibility. Front and rear dual suspension and hydraulic disc brakes are two valuable features to prioritize over aesthetics.
Try To Stay Under Budget
Although many people make the mistake of going over budget when they see splurge-worthy features, it is better to retain some of that money for related purchases. For example, a high-quality helmet is an important investment. If upgrades such as new pedals are necessary, shoppers must plan for those as well. One important issue that people overlook is tire type. The tires that come with the bike may be poor quality. Also, they may not be suitable for the desired terrain. Buyers should set aside enough out of the bike budget to upgrade the tires if necessary.
Michael Hagele’s Mountain Biking Tips For Beginners
Buying the right bike is the biggest initial challenge. However, the challenges associated with trails and endurance are easier to navigate with a good bike. After choosing a bike, these are the next steps that Michael Hagele recommends for mountain biking enthusiasts.
Invest In Durable Equipment And Gear
From shoes to the bike itself, it is essential to buy reliable equipment and accessories. Mountain bikes have more speeds than road bikes, and the bumpier ride requires gear that is designed for comfort and durability. Michael encourages new bike riders to read reviews about any type of equipment before buying it. Also, it is important to read reviews from third-party sites rather than from the manufacturer’s site. When choosing a helmet, a rider should pick one that is not too loose or too tight.
While many stores encourage riders to buy high-end shoes with grips and other aesthetic features, shoppers should pick flat shoes that do not have clips. High-end shoes are not a must for beginners. Clothing should be breathable and lightweight. Many beginners are comfortable wearing spandex shorts and a breathable jersey. Gloves with good grips are helpful, and a waist pouch or a backpack may be useful as well. For a water bottle, it is best to choose one that is easy to grip and easy to drink from while riding.
Go Biking With Friends
Michael encourages beginners to ride in groups of two or more. For beginners, it is better to ride with someone who is experienced. Also, riding in a group is safer. This is especially true on trails. If a bike rider gets injured and is alone, it can be harder to get help. Another advantage of riding in a group is the motivation factor. When people rely on one another and commit to ride on certain days, it is easier to stick to a schedule.
Bring Important Accessories On Every Excursion
Riders should always carry at least a photo ID on any excursion whether it is on a highway or on a remote trail. Although it is essential for beginners to bring a map on any excursion, even seasoned riders should carry a map during every trip. Trails often include several forks, and it may be necessary to take an alternate route if a fork is closed. Also, some trails have similar-looking forks that can be confusing. Every rider should also bring a small set of tools for any necessary repairs.
New bike owners should bring their owner’s manual with them. Spare tire tubes, a pump, a snack and chain lubricant are also necessities. For longer excursions, extra water is a must. If a rider is stranded for a short time, dehydration is a risk without an adequate water supply. Although Michael often tells people to turn off their phones while riding, he encourages them to bring their phones with them in case there is an emergency.
Get In Shape Before Riding
For those who are mostly inactive, it is important to exercise before mountain biking. Riding at a higher altitude can be especially challenging for people who are out of shape. Walking and jogging are good activities to start with, and resistance bikes at gyms are good preparatory aids for mountain biking excursions. Leg weights can be helpful. Also, it helps to build arm strength for better steering on trails. The key is to develop a strong cardio routine that becomes easier over time. It should not take more than a few weeks to prepare for a mild mountain biking adventure. People can build their skills during their own time. There are workshops in various parts of the country. People who live in the Northeast, Virginia, California and Colorado are more likely to find a variety of skill-building workshops.
Michael Hagele’s Mountain Biking Safety Tips
The most important safety tip to remember is to wear a helmet at all times. Although many riders develop confidence in their own skills, the unpredictability of a terrain, motorists, other mountain bikers or additional obstacles can turn an enjoyable ride into a life-changing tragedy without a helmet. Bike riders should only remove their helmets after they safely park their bikes and dismount. It also helps to wear elbow and knee pads for extra protection.
Bike riders should always develop a sense of control and should ride at a safe speed in relation to that sense. Some riders develop a false sense of security that is based on comfort alone. However, speed is important to watch as well. Riding a bike at a speed of only 15 miles per hour still means that a person is traveling at a rate of 22 feet per second. When riding down a curvy road, a higher speed is easier to achieve but is also far more dangerous. Riders who bike in groups should travel at a distance of four bike lengths behind another rider. Groups must also exercise extra caution on roads that are shared with vehicles and pedestrians. When traveling on such roads, they must always assume that others are not paying attention.
A crucial safety tip that Michael shares with beginners is to know individual skill levels. When riding with a group, new mountain bikers are often surrounded by more experienced riders. If they suggest a difficult trail that exceeds the beginner’s skill level, the beginner should wait to attempt it. Building skills is a step-by-step process that leaves no room for skipping steps.
Another tip that is vital for beginners and is an important reminder for seasoned trail riders is to get to know the trail beforehand. Simply trying a new trail without researching it or reading a map can be dangerous. Riders must always be aware of the current weather conditions as well as recent rainfall. For example, a trail may be partially washed out or flooded after a significant period of rainfall. If a rider attempts to use the trail, he or she may abruptly encounter dangerous conditions.
Riders should always slow down for sharp curves and blind corners. Riding down a mountain on a curvy road also requires constant vigilance. Blind corners are some of the most common locations for serious accidents. An example of such an incident was caught on film when six riders missed a blind corner and wound up going over a ledge. Crashing is inevitable for every mountain biker. However, someone who practices good safety tips will likely crash as a result of an unexpected trail obstacle or a rut. When navigating a trail at a safe speed and with vigilance, a normal crash should only cause minor damage to the bike and a few scrapes on the rider. Bike riders should make sure that they have good health insurance in the event of a more serious accident.
Michael Hagele also encourages riders to think about bike type when they choose terrains and trails. As mentioned before, bikes with full suspension and hardtail systems have different purposes. A person who chooses a hardtail bike should not ride on terrains that are meant only for a bike with full suspension. While the most likely outcome is damage to the bike or soreness for the rider, carelessness in this aspect can lead to a serious accident.
While mountain biking requires patience to learn and research to approach correctly, it is a sport that Michael Hagele recommends to anyone who is interested. Many people who learn how to ride properly wind up adopting it as a long-term outdoor hobby.
Who Is Michael Hagele?
Michael Hagele studied law at the University of California in Berkeley, and he earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa prior to that. After he graduated from law school, he spent several years working for various companies. He gained valuable experience in corporate governance, employment issues, intellectual property strategies and mergers and acquisitions. He provided expert legal counsel to many venture capital companies and even helped launch a few startups.
Michael has also provided legal services to hospitality companies and restaurants. Although he gained many years of valuable experience in fields ranging from biotechnology and internet to aerospace and defense, he realized that smaller firms could serve clients better. By running a smaller firm now, he is able to serve his clients more efficiently. Additionally, he can offer more affordable services. He also offers valuable advice to entrepreneurs who want to start tech companies in a modern and fast-paced world.
While Michael’s most notable experiences have been in the legal field, he has also worked in Silicon Valley in the past. Michael specialized in licensing and online commerce there. Today, he helps facilitate major contracts and works with both domestic and international firms. When Michael starts his day, he handles the tougher tasks such as legal counseling, intellectual property issues and general matters first. Michael prioritizes his tasks and keeps track of deadlines carefully. Managing a schedule, goals and deadlines requires the ability to multitask. In a way, mountain biking is similar. It requires researching, planning and overcoming challenges. Michael Hagele likes to sharpen his self-discipline skills that way, and he encourages everyone to stay active in order to keep their minds clear and to renew their focus.