how to make mtb faster

Make Your Mountain Bike Faster!

Mountain biking (MTB) is an exhilarating sport that combines adrenaline, skill, and a connection with nature. For avid riders, constantly seeking ways to improve their performance and increase speed is a never-ending quest. In this article, we will explore various strategies and tips to help you make your MTB faster, allowing you to conquer trails with greater speed, efficiency, and confidence.

1. Optimize Your Body

To enhance your MTB speed, it’s crucial to optimize your own physical capabilities. Here are some key areas to focus on:

a. Fitness and Strength Training

Improving your overall fitness level and building strength is essential for increasing your speed on the trail. Engage in regular cardiovascular exercises, such as cycling, running, or swimming, to boost your endurance and stamina. Additionally, incorporate strength training exercises that target your core, legs, and upper body to improve power and stability.

  • Include exercises like squats, lunges, and deadlifts to strengthen your lower body.
  • Incorporate exercises that target your upper body, such as push-ups, pull-ups, and shoulder presses, to improve your overall strength and control.
  • Cross-training with activities like yoga or Pilates can help improve flexibility, balance, and core strength.

b. Flexibility and Mobility

Having good flexibility and mobility allows you to maneuver your bike more efficiently and maintain control in challenging terrains. Perform regular stretching exercises to improve flexibility in your hips, hamstrings, and shoulders. Incorporating yoga or Pilates into your routine can also help improve core strength and flexibility.

  • Include dynamic stretches before your ride to warm up your muscles and increase your range of motion.
  • Stretch your hip flexors, hamstrings, and calves to improve your pedaling efficiency and prevent muscle imbalances.
  • Practice yoga poses like downward dog, pigeon pose, and child’s pose to improve overall flexibility and body awareness.

c. Body Positioning and Technique

Proper body positioning and technique play a vital role in maximizing your MTB speed. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Maintain a centered and balanced position on the bike, distributing your weight evenly between your front and rear wheels.
  • Bend your elbows and knees slightly to absorb shocks and maintain stability.
  • Use your body to shift your weight and adjust your bike’s handling in corners and technical sections.
  • Practice riding with a relaxed grip on the handlebars to maintain control and absorb vibrations.
  • Experiment with different body positions, such as leaning forward or backward, to optimize your bike’s performance in different trail conditions.
  • Take professional lessons or watch instructional videos to learn advanced techniques like manualing, bunny hopping, and jumping, which can help you navigate obstacles and maintain speed.

2. Optimize Your Bike

Your bike plays a significant role in your overall MTB performance. Here are some aspects to consider when optimizing your bike for speed:

a. Bike Fit

Ensure your bike is properly fitted to your body measurements and riding style. A professional bike fitting can help optimize your riding position, improving comfort, power transfer, and aerodynamics.

  • Adjust the saddle height and fore-aft position to optimize pedaling efficiency and reduce strain on your knees.
  • Consider getting a shorter stem or wider handlebars to improve handling and control.
  • Experiment with different saddle angles and positions to find the most comfortable and efficient riding position for you.

b. Tire Choice and Pressure

Choosing the right tires for different trail conditions can significantly impact your speed. Opt for tires with low rolling resistance and suitable tread patterns for the terrain you usually ride. Adjust tire pressure accordingly to find the ideal balance between grip and speed.

  • Research and select tires that are specifically designed for your riding style, whether it’s cross-country, downhill, or enduro.
  • Consider using tubeless tires to reduce rolling resistance and improve traction.
  • Experiment with different tire pressures to find the optimal balance between grip, comfort, and speed.

c. Suspension Setup

Proper suspension setup is crucial for maintaining control and speed on rough trails. Experiment with suspension settings to find the right balance between responsiveness and stability, considering factors like rider weight, trail conditions, and personal preferences.

  • Consult your bike’s manual or seek professional advice to understand the recommended suspension settings for your bike model.
  • Adjust the sag, rebound, and compression settings based on your weight and riding style.
  • Fine-tune the suspension settings according to the specific trail conditions you encounter regularly.

d. Drive Train Maintenance

A well-maintained drive train ensures smooth shifting and efficient power transfer. Regularly clean and lubricate your chain, cassette, and derailleurs. Replace worn-out components promptly to prevent any performance issues.

  • Clean your bike’s drive train after every ride to remove dirt, grime, and debris that can affect performance.
  • Use a suitable lubricant to keep the chain and other moving parts properly lubricated.
  • Check the chain regularly for wear and replace it when necessary to prevent any loss of power transfer.

e. Weight Optimization

Reducing unnecessary weight from your bike can enhance acceleration and overall speed. Consider upgrading to lighter components, such as carbon fiber handlebars or seat posts. However, prioritize durability and reliability over weight reduction.

  • Identify the components that contribute the most to the overall weight of your bike, such as wheels, pedals, or the saddle.
  • Research lightweight alternatives that maintain the required strength and performance for your riding style.
  • Consider the cost-to-weight ratio when making upgrades and choose components that provide the most significant weight savings for your budget.

3. Improve Your Skills

Enhancing your riding skills can significantly contribute to your MTB speed. Practice and focus on the following areas:

a. Cornering Techniques

Mastering cornering techniques allows you to maintain speed and control through turns. Practice proper weight distribution, body positioning, and use of brakes and pedals to maintain momentum while navigating corners.

  • Approach corners with the correct speed and position your body to lean into the turn.
  • Look ahead and anticipate the exit of the corner to maintain a smooth and efficient line.
  • Practice braking before the corner, releasing the brakes as you enter to carry speed through the turn.

b. Braking Techniques

Effective braking techniques can help you maintain speed without sacrificing control. Learn to modulate your brakes, using both the front and rear brakes adequately for different situations. Avoid sudden or excessive braking, as it can slow you down unnecessarily.

  • Use the front brake for maximum stopping power but be cautious not to apply it too abruptly to avoid going over the handlebars.
  • Apply the rear brake in combination with the front brake to maintain stability and control.
  • Practice braking in various conditions, such as loose gravel or wet surfaces, to understand how different braking techniques affect your bike’s handling.

c. Line Selection

Choosing the right line on the trail can make a significant difference in your speed. Look ahead, anticipate trail features, and select lines that allow you to carry momentum while avoiding obstacles and difficult terrain.

  • Scan the trail ahead and identify the smoothest and fastest line through corners, rock gardens, and technical sections.
  • Use your peripheral vision to assess the trail surface and anticipate changes in traction.
  • Practice riding different lines to improve your ability to quickly adjust and find the most efficient route.

d. Pumping and Jumping

Mastering pumping and jumping techniques can help you generate extra speed and maintain flow on the trail. Learn how to use your body and bike to generate momentum by compressing and extending through transitions and jumps.

  • Practice pumping on rollers or small jumps to generate speed without pedaling.
  • Learn to time your compressions and extensions with the terrain to maximize momentum.
  • Gradually progress to larger jumps and drops, focusing on maintaining balance and control in the air.


By optimizing both your physical capabilities and your bike, as well as improving your riding skills, you can make your MTB faster and experience the thrill of conquering trails with greater speed and confidence. Remember to always ride within your limits and gradually push your boundaries to continually improve your performance. So gear up, hit the trails, and enjoy the exhilaration of faster mountain biking!

(Note: This revised article has been written in markdown format.)


1. How can I optimize my body to make my MTB faster?

  • Engage in regular cardiovascular exercises and strength training to improve endurance and power.
  • Perform stretching exercises to improve flexibility and mobility.
  • Practice proper body positioning and technique to maximize speed and control.

2. What aspects should I consider when optimizing my bike for speed?

  • Ensure your bike is properly fitted to your body measurements and riding style.
  • Choose tires with low rolling resistance and suitable tread patterns.
  • Experiment with suspension settings to find the right balance.
  • Maintain a well-maintained drive train for smooth shifting and power transfer.
  • Consider reducing unnecessary weight from your bike.

3. How can I improve my riding skills to increase my MTB speed?

  • Master cornering techniques to maintain speed and control through turns.
  • Learn effective braking techniques to maintain speed without sacrificing control.
  • Choose the right line on the trail to carry momentum and avoid obstacles.
  • Practice pumping and jumping techniques to generate extra speed and maintain flow.

4. What is the key to making my MTB faster?

By optimizing both your physical capabilities and your bike, as well as improving your riding skills, you can make your MTB faster and experience the thrill of conquering trails with greater speed and confidence.