Which course is the right course start with?

It’s a common misconception but really there’s nothing basic about fundamentals coaching in any sport. Fundamentals coaching is a common movement in many sports including rock climbing, kayaking and football. The idea is that there are some fundamental skills that every participant needs to understand in order to move forward at any level.

We find many riders who describe themselves as intermediate, or even advanced, riders often do not have a good understanding of the fundamentals of their sport. The upshot of this is that they may have got so far on confidence and bravery alone, but are unable to improve further due to a big hole in their fundamentals. In other words they are lacking strong foundations upon which to build.

As you would expect, we always recommend newbies and rookies start with learning the fundamentals first, but we also give the same advice to experienced riders who have not had any fundamentals coaching before.

Having said all of that, we do not insist that our customers start with our Singletack Fundamentals course; many people start with Singletrack Improver. But, if you are planning to join us for several courses over a period of time, you will definitely find you’ll get far more out of the higher level courses if you address your fundamentals first. You may also iron out some bad habits before joining us again for a more advanced session where these bad habits could get in the way of progression.

You’ll also learn our coaching style, language and methodology, which will mean you have less catching up to do on other courses and therefore will get much more out of them.

As you may have guessed, The Fundamentals are an important part of ALL of our courses.

Are clipless or flat pedals best for my course?

We are often asked the question, “Are clipless or flat pedals best for my course?”

Whilst it’s always best practice to learn on flats, you should arrive at your course with the pedal/shoe combination that you are most comfortable with. Your skills course is not the time to get used to unfamiliar components on your bike. The same is also particularly true for tyres or any other major component.

If you do decide to use flat pedals please make sure your pedals have a platform with a large surface area to maximise the contact patch with your feet. Also choose a pedal that has lots of long pedal pins, preferably with screw thread all the way to the end which will give more grip than those with smooth surfaces.

We recommend DMR V8s (pictured above) which are a great starter pedal retailing at £27.99 a pair. There are many more expensive pedals on the market if you fancy spending a little more for that bling pair that matches your bike’s colour way. DMR Vaults (pictured at the top of the page) are the very best if money is no object. These retail at around £100.00.

display_pedalsBeware of the cheap “display pedals” (example pictured right), that
new bikes are often supplied with, as these will not give you a sufficiently positive connection with the bike.

Bike manufacturers more often than not cut corners on the pedals they supply with new bikes. If you are unsure your local bike shop will be able to advise you if the pedals supplied with your new bike fall into this category. Pedals will be the most important upgrade you will ever make to your bike.

Your footwear should be either a mountain bike specific flat pedal shoes such as those made by Five Ten, flat soled skate style shoes,  last year’s running shoes or anything comfortable with a flat softish sole. Don’t use anything you don’t mind getting dirty and worn out quite quickly.

Finally never use clipless specific shoes with flat pedals, even with the cleat blanking plate left in, as the soles are often constructed with a very hard a rubber or plastic compound that will not allow the pedal pins to make a solid connection with your foot. Clipless shoes should only ever be used with clipless pedals.