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MTB Riding Tips: Sighting Down Trail

We’re often asked for tips to help riders improve their skills. One of the most important ones is learn how to better sight a trail.

Sighting other trail users down trail is a lot like sighting a riding line, which we will get into down the road.

Developing the ability to not stare down at your front tire is critical to advancing your riding. The more info you can quickly take in the better.

Riders learn to ride with “split vision” almost – allowing them to stay actively scanning down trail while “holding” the visual data as it gets closer to the wheels. If you’re having to look down right in front of the wheel you’re probably about to bury the front end into something or fold it over anyhow. Even XC level travel bikes are forgiving enough to ride “through” some pretty chunky stuff if you let them.

Learning to better sight other trail users improves everyone’s day. No one appreciates the adrenaline surge from almost being run over, or, from the ninja hiker who’s decided to hide behind a tree until the last possible second right?

Viewing down the trail when it’s relatively straight is pretty easy. When the trail has direction changes you can look up over small or medium vegetation. You’re looking for colors, shapes or movements that stick out. Your brain will do this pretty quick. You may just see a hat, or in one of my more memorable moments a large rack of deer antlers…

It’s a good habit to learn to take glances further down trail when segments come into view. Anytime you can take in data that lets you know “this is coming up” your riding will benefit.

Riding at about 70% of your skillset will also leave enough in the tank for the emergency, or surprise deer jumping right in front of you on trail – like right in front. Like when you’re sure they went partially over your bars hahaha…

We look forward to getting more video content and riding tips headed your way on


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