SUMMER SAVINGS >> 40% OFF ALL MTB SKILLS CLINICS | USE CODE SUMMER40 – EXP. FRI. 6/28
Ninja Mountain Bike Performance - Skills Clinics, MTB Jump Ramps and Bike Stands

Got a question about a riding skill? Ninja can help with that! Got a question about bike gear, components, and brands? That is a question for the experts at your local shop. I reached out to my local shop, Zach’s Bikes in Klamath Falls, Oregon and ask for their advice on helping someone select a new bike. If you are in the market for a new bike – this guide is for you! Take it away Zach!

Buying a bike can be an overwhelming experience. With a plethora of different models and types of bikes on offer it’s easy to get confused if you don’t know what you’re looking at.  This step by step guide is a great way to get started in the right direction.

Step 1: Decide where you want to ride

Where you plan on riding the most has the most influence on what type of bike to buy. Determine the areas you would ride the most and what kind of terrain you would be encountering the most.

You may decide you want to have a bike that can ride everywhere. That’s fine, many bikes will accomplish this, but it won’t help your decision-making process. Your best bet is to visualize where you will be spending most of your time.

Step 2: Determine what category of bike best suits your riding area

Bikes are best described by the type of terrain they are designed to work on. They will usually be able to handle many different types of terrain, but excel at one. Find the best category of bike that fits your riding area.

Many people are looking for a bike to do it all. You wouldn’t expect to buy a car that can carry eight people and lumber yet get great gas mileage and be easy to park. Don’t expect the same out of a bike. Focus on the type of riding you will be doing most, and let the versatility that most bikes grant take care of the less common situations.

Step 3: Test ride a bike that fits in each of your selected categories

Don’t worry just yet about price. Every category has a range of prices and options. What’s most important right now is that you understand the category of bike that you are interested in. Your bike shop may not have exactly what you’re looking for on hand at every moment, but they will likely have something in the same category that is similar to what you’re looking for.

Pay attention to things like how upright you sit on the bike, the tire size, tire traction and how the bike handles. These are the constants on bikes that cannot be changed very easily. Things like the number of gears, the saddle comfort and flat resistance can be changed or upgraded.

Step 4: Select the model and color

This is where the price finally comes into play. Everybody has a budget and your bike shop realizes that. Most bike models have numbers associated with them. These numbers indicate the level of the bike, with the higher the number usually indicating the higher the price. The level of bike sometimes determines the color of the bike as well. Now that you know what model most interests you, it will be easy to narrow down exactly what bike fits your price range with the easy numbering system.

In general, the more expensive a bike is, the lighter it will be, the more durable it will be and the better it will function. Sometimes there will be a subtle difference between two different price levels that will distinguish a key point in versatility. Decide what level is closest to your budget, then consult a bike shop associates to determine if that will meet your expectations.

Step 5: Determine the right size and get fit

Every bike comes in a variety of sizes and has its own respective size chart. Each size of bike costs the same within any given model. Bike size can make the difference between enjoying a bike and just tolerating it.

Most people will fit several size bikes. If you’re in between, or have any question, we strongly recommend trying both sizes to see what one feels best. To put any question to rest, many people will get a complete bike fit (a several hour process) before pulling the trigger on a new bike. While this isn’t necessary for every bike purchase, it shows just how important size can be.

Step 6: Finalize your purchase

Many bikes can be ridden right out of the store, but some may need to be assembled or even ordered. Lead times can vary from a couple of hours to assemble or a few days if it needs to be ordered. Discuss this with one of the bike shop associates. While they may not be able to fulfill your perfect bike on the spot, they might be able to get you on a demo bike for your important upcoming ride while you wait for yours.

Leave room in your budget for things like clothing, a pump, tools and other gadgets. We call these accessories, but really, they are necessary to complete your riding experience. Many people have a hard time swallowing the price of a new bike alone, but ignore the fact that they may need a few extra things to accomplish their goals. We have a list of recommended accessories for every experience that will let you get the most out of your new bike.

Want to talk with the fine folks at Zach’s Bikes? Check them out here.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

keep me in the loop

NOTIFY ME!

I’d like to be notified when new events are added.

Your Privacy is Protected. We will never sell or share your information.

Fundamentals Trail Application - Women's Only

Here’s What We’ll Cover

The specific skills taught in this clinic will depend on available trail features and will vary between locations. Skills covered may include:

  • Rock / Log Step-Ups 
  • Pedal Assisted Front Wheel Lifts
  • Steep Transitions, Roll-Downs
  • Reading trail and line choice
  • Using trail features for maximum flow
  • Turning (Low Speed)
  • Navigating Trail Obstacles
  • Switchbacks – Optimal Line Choice
  • Ratcheting application – how & when 
  • Track stands
  • Braking for Speed 
  • Shifting – Timing + Technique on Technical Terrain
  • Skinnies
  • Off-Camber Trails 
  • Berms 
  • Water crossings 
  • Roots 

The Schedule*

  • 1:15-1:30pm Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 1:30 – 1:45pm Fundamentals Skills | Rapid Review 
  • 1:45 – 3:45pm Coached Trail Ride | Sessioning & Skills Application
  • 3:45-4:00pm Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

Fundamentals Trail Application

Here’s What We’ll Cover

The specific skills taught in this clinic will depend on available trail features and will vary between locations. Skills covered may include:

  • Rock / Log Step-Ups 
  • Pedal Assisted Front Wheel Lifts
  • Steep Transitions, Roll-Downs
  • Reading trail and line choice
  • Using trail features for maximum flow
  • Turning (Low Speed)
  • Navigating Trail Obstacles
  • Switchbacks – Optimal Line Choice
  • Ratcheting application – how & when 
  • Track stands
  • Braking for Speed 
  • Shifting – Timing + Technique on Technical Terrain
  • Skinnies
  • Off-Camber Trails 
  • Berms 
  • Water crossings 
  • Roots 

The Schedule*

  • 1:15-1:30pm Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 1:30 – 1:45pm Fundamentals Skills | Rapid Review 
  • 1:45 – 3:45pm Coached Trail Ride | Sessioning & Skills Application
  • 3:45-4:00pm Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

Ninja Kids clinics

Here’s What We’ll Cover

Some of the skills taught and practiced in the Kids Fundamentals Clinic may include:

  • Ninja (Ready) Position
  • The Riding Rainbow: Body Position
  • How to use your gears
  • Front + Rear Wheel Lifts
  • Safely getting on/off your bike
  • Getting over trail obstacles
  • Turning + Switchbacks
  • Reading the trail: Red Light, Yellow Light, Green Light
  • When and how to brake
  • The 4 Climbing Positions
  • Descending in control
  • How to have fun and be safe!
  • Safety check, bike care

Clinic schedule, time and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

2-Day CAMPS

Sample Camp Schedule*

Day 1 (Saturday)

  • 8:45-9:00 Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 9:00-9:15 Let’s get started | Introductions, camp overview, bike safety check, bike set-up review
  • 9:15-9:30 Warm-up ride | Head to skills area
  • 9:30-12:15 Mornings skills session | Ready position, bike-body separation, effective braking, fluid shifting, body positioning, wheel lifts
  • 12:15-1:30 Lunch break | BYO
  • 1:30 – 4:00 Intro to jumping | Manuals, bunny hops + how to safely jumping (and land) your mountain bike

Day 2 (Sunday)

  • 8:45-9:00 Meet at trailhead | Gear up for day 2!
  • 9:00-9:15 Review | Brief review of Day 1 skills
  • 9:15-12:00 Morning skills session | High-speed cornering, switchbacks, drops, rock dodge, technical climbing & descending
  • 12:00-1:00  Lunch break | BYO
  • 1:00-3:45 Trail ride + skills application | Put those skills to work!
  • 3:45-4:00 Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

 

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

After camp, you will see an immediate improvement in your riding and a boost in confidence on technical trails. You will be able to tackle rougher terrain and corners with greater control and flow through singletrack, switchbacks, and berms with more speed and efficiency.

Jumping Mini-Clinics

Here’s What We’ll Cover

Some of the skills taught and practiced in the Jumping Mini-Clinic may include:

  • Wheel lift Review
  • Bunny hops
  • Jumping body positioning
  • Anatomy of a jump
  • Speed vs. compression | How and when?
  • Landing with precision
  • Let’s get jumping! | Jump progressions

The Schedule*

Please note, clinics may vary according to location and terrain.

  • 1:30-1:45  Meet your instructor | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 1:45-2:00 Let’s get started | Introductions
  • 2:00 – 2:30  Intro to jumping | Wheel lifts, manual, bunny hop
  • 2:30 – 3:00 Reading the jump | Anatomy of a jump, speed vs compression, landings
  • 3:00 – 3:45 Let’s jump! | Jumping progressions on table tops
  • 3:45-4:00 Review and next steps | #ridelikeaninja

 

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

Intermediate / advanced clincs

Here’s What We’ll Cover

Some of the skills taught and practiced in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic may include:

  • Negotiating trail obstacles (i.e. rock gardens, roots, logs)
  • Steep transitions
  • Drops
  • High speed cornering
  • Technical climbing
  • Technical descending
  • Advanced braking
  • Reading the trail
  • Introduction to energy management & flow
  • Pumping for speed & air
  • Technical Switchbacks (where available)
  • Ratcheting & Trackstands
  • Visualization

The Schedule*

  • 8:45-9:00 Meet your instructor  | Arrival at course venue + equipment check
  • 9:00-9:15 Let’s get started | Introductions
  • 9:15-9:45 Accelerated review of Fundamentals | With intermediate+advanced progressions
  • 9:45-12:00 Morning skills session | High-speed cornering, Switchbacks, drops, rock dodge, technical climbing & descending
  • 12:00-1:00  Lunch break | BYO
  • 1:00-3:45 Trail ride + skills application | Put those skills to work!
  • 3:45-4:00 Review, questions & next steps | #Ridelikeaninja

*Clinic schedule and skills covered may vary according to location and terrain.

WOMEN'S ONLY Fundamentals Combo

Here’s What We’ll Cover

The specific skills taught in this clinic will depend on available trail features and will vary between locations. Skills covered may include:

  • The Ready Position
  • Bike/Body Separation
  • Intro to Steep Transitions
  • Effective Braking
  • Braking for speed
  • Wheels lifts – Step-Ups
  • Shifting, Timing & Cadence
  • Negotiating trail obstacles
  • Turning / Switchbacks
  • Climbing + Descending
  • Dismounting
  • Mind skills
  • Steep Transitions, Roll-Downs
  • Reading trail and line choice
  • Using trail features for flow
  • Turning (Low Speed)
  • Ratcheting – how & when 
  • Track stands
  • Skinnies
  • Off-Camber Trails
  • Berms
  • Water crossings
  • Roots

The Schedule*