If this will be your first winter season of mountain biking, you’re in for some different conditions to what you may have experienced during the summer. Even if you’re a seasoned mtb rider, it never hurts to remind yourself of the essentials when it comes to tackling wet and muddy trails.

Luckily, off-road.cc has some handy tips to help ensure you stay safe and enjoy those winter trails. Don’t forget that we also run mtb courses in South Wales, so come and see us if you want some extra tuition and guidance.

The first piece of advice is to remember to look up. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it’s easy to get distracted by puddles or particularly muddy stretches of track. Just remember that you need to keep your eyes on where you want to go though.

The other reason this is important is because it keeps your weight centred on the bike. This is really important when you’re tackling muddy trails, as too much weight front or back will either cause your wheels to dig into the mud or to slide out.

Braking can be a tricky skill to master on a mountain bike, but it’s really important that you give it extra thought when it’s muddy. Start braking earlier than you would in dry conditions and with less power to prevent your wheels from locking up and sliding.

If you think you’ll need some motivation to keep riding during the winter months, think about signing up for an event or two in the spring. That will give you something to aim for and could provide the extra push you need to get out on those trails when the weather is a little less inviting.