Trail Riding Tips
with Grant
‘Chopper’ Fielder

E-bikes are becoming more common than ever, and mountain bikes (MTBs) are no exception to the electronic revolution. The Lapierre Overvolt HT 5.5 serves as the premier entry-level model for anyone wanting to get into riding MTB trails for the first time and we wanted to get a taste of what goes into making a MTB superstar.

With this in mind we spoke to MTB legend Grant Fielder to get some of his top trail tips for anyone hitting the dirt for the first time, or for a MTB veteran. Let’s get into it!

Find Your Dominant Foot

To begin with, you are going to need to figure out which of your feet is your favourite to put forward. Basic as it may be, knowing which is your dominant foot is important for setting off most efficiently, and you should discover this as soon as you start pedalling on the bike.

“You will find by just cruising around and when you stop pedalling and have your feet horizontal, you will notice a pattern” says Grant.Once you have done this you will know which foot is your favourite.

Perfect Pedal Position

Sticking with pedals, the next tip on our list is one of the most overlooked techniques in Grant’s eyes. Even a professional like him was not aware of how important pedal positioning was, but once he had it figured out there was no stopping him.

“When approaching a corner, you have to look at how steep the turn really is. Firstly, you should approach the corner at a comfortable speed with both feet level. Your outside foot should go making your inside foot the highest. If going left; have your right foot down, and vice-versa. This will centralise your balance and ensure you do not slide out or go over the top.”

The Lapierre Overvolt HT 5.5 helps to reduce the chances of sliding out and crashing as it is fitted with an adjustable SR Suntour XCM 34 Coil 120mm fork. This high-quality coil spring fork improves the agility of the bike, making handling much simpler even around the steepest of corners.

Man riding a Lapierre eZesty electric mountain bike

Approach With Care

Looking where you are going and being aware of your surroundings when cornering is another basic piece of advice for anyone wanting to ride MTBs. It is easy to be over eager and fly into a corner without knowing how difficult it is, or what is on the other side, and this is something Grant was keen to point out.

“Always approach a corner at a comfortable speed and take care of what lies around it. Use the same pedal positioning as mentioned earlier and you should already be looking at your exit.”

The Gorilla Stance

Once you have mastered the very basics of foot and body positioning, then it is time to learn some more advanced techniques that will help you become a more well-rounded bike handler and MTB trail shredder.

You may have seen MTB riders travelling at high speeds while not actually pedalling and wondered how they do it. Luckily, Grant has some advice about the technique known as pumping, which involves generating speed using the trail without pedalling.

“I call it the gorilla stance. Elbows out and bending both knees whilst out of the saddle. Push down on the bike with your hands on the bars evenly while in the gorilla stance. Do this while rolling down a mound through to the flattest part until you generate enough speed to get over it. Keep doing this until you feel yourself getting faster on these sections and remember to keep both wheels on the ground to maximise your speed”.

This may sound like a tricky technique to get the hang of, but with the Overvolt HT 5.5 having a powerful 500Wh motor at its disposal you can simply engage the motor if you feel yourself struggling to generate the speed required to get over a particularly high mound.

Let the Bike Do the Work

Once you have mastered pumping, then it may be time to start thinking about testing your suspension and getting into some jumps. The technique is not too different to pumping, but according to Grant there are some important differences that will help prevent crashes and injuries.

“Imagine you are pumping but this time up a bigger mound [launch pad]. Always let the bike do the work at this point and do not try to steer in the air! This is important as being too aggressive can send you over the handlebars. When you approach the lip [of the launch pad], lean forward towards the stem then immediately shift back to keep the front wheel higher than the rear wheel”.

Airtime can be one of the most fun experiences you can have on a MTB but making sure you have a bike you can rely on will help to build your confidence on the jumps. The Overvolt HT 5.5 is constructed out of Lapierre Supreme 5 aluminium and gives the ideal balance between strength and lightness making sure you always feel safe while out on the trail.

The Art of Braking (or not)

After all this, you may think that you have all the tips you need to get out on the trails on your Overvolt HT 5.5 as a true MTB master, but there is one last tip that Grant wanted to outline. The art of braking (and not braking).

“Although it’s fun to slash your bike sideways and watch dust fly into your friends’ teeth, it’s far better to push yourself and brake less. You can actually do the opposite to the gorilla stance and open up to chill rather than staying pinned. Go a touch slower and focus on pumping rather than bombing it and braking last minute”.

If you do need to use the brakes though, you can rest easy knowing that the Overvolt HT 5.5 has powerful Shimano SMRT10 disc brakes fitted as standard to make sure you always come to a safe stop whatever the terrain or weather conditions.

You now have all the tips that you need, whether a beginner or a more advanced MTB fan to get out on the trails and tear it up on your Lapierre Overvolt HT 5.5!

A man cornering on a Lapierre eZesty electric mountain bike

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