exclamation point icon

Loon is now closed for the winter season.

Downhill Biking 101

The basics of MTB

Trying a new sport can be daunting, but we’re here to make it as easy as 1,2,3! Now is the perfect time to get outside and jump into something new. The trails at Loon are great for any skill level from beginners to seasoned bikers.

Read below to learn the basic ins and outs of mountain biking:

  1. What to wear
  2. How to load your bike
  3. The best trail to start out on


Your Turn

But the best way to learn is with the Your Turn package that includes a one-hour lesson and a lift ticket. This is perfect for riders who have never tried downhill before. Your Turn will give you the skills and confidence you need to take on downhill mountain bike trails.


What to Wear

When it comes to downhill biking, comfort and mobility are king. Here are some top tips:

  1. Top – Opting for a longer three-quarter sleeve shirt is a good place to start. Synthetic fabrics work best – you will get sweaty.  Elbow pads are available should you want them and can be worn over or under your shirt. 
  2. Bottom – Loose-fitting shorts work best, like your shirt these offer protection should you find yourself in a crash. Opt for longer pants or leggings on a cooler or rainy day. Should you want knee pads they are available and again they can be worn over or under your clothes. 
  3. Footwear – Closed-toe shoes are required.  They should be stiff with a rubber sole, this helps with gripping the pedals while you ride. Socks should be longer and moisture wicking, offering some protection for your ankle and calf.
  4. Helmets – The most important part, helmets! We recommend a full-face helmet for downhill riding. 
  5. Gloves – Mountain Bike gloves are designed to help your grip and control of the bike. If you need some (or forgot yours) then stop by the retail shop in Governor Adams Lodge.

MTB Requirements

In order to ride downhill mountain bike trails at Loon, your bike must meet the following requirements:


  • A helmet is required while riding.
  • Bikes are required to have front suspension.
  • Bikes are required to have front and rear hand brakes.
  • Wheels must be a minimum of 20 inches.
  • Tires wider than 4.75 inches will not fit properly within the Bike Clip lift carrier.
  • Large (or oversized) fenders will not fit properly within the Bike Clip lift carrier. Standard fenders will fit properly.
  • e-Bikes (with batteries connected) are not allowed on the downhill mountain biking trails or East Ridge Trail Network.

Loading Your Bike

Loading The Lift
Riders will use a wooden loading platform built specifically for bike operations. Guests will load their own bikes using the bike carriers on the chair ahead.

Step 1: Walk bike on to platform and raise the front wheel.
Step 2: Push the front wheel into the Bike Clip on the chair in front of you.
Step 3: Wait and load on the chair behind you.

On arrival at the top terminal, riders will unload their own bikes and proceed to the trail network.

Step 1: Unload chair and walk up to the chair in front of you.
Step 2: Grab bike from Bike Clip.
Step 3: Walk or ride away.

Start on Mainline

Take your first turns on Mainline, our green-circle freeride trail. At nearly 3 miles long this trail features beginner level berms and rollers as it traverses its way down the mountain. The wide and smooth trail is the perfect surface for you to dial in your form and progress your riding. This trail also has multiple stopping locations for your group to catch up to each other.

Loon MTB | Mainline A video ride of the Mainline MTB trail at Loon Mountain

Get a Leg Up

We think you’re ready! It’s Your Turn now. Book your beginners program and get out there! The most important thing is that you have fun and enjoy your time riding. Our team members are here to help, every step of the way from booking your trip, picking your rental equipment, getting on the lift and taking on the trails – go get ‘em!