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  1. #1
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Any Clydes here that do XC or single track mtn biking?

    I've been road biking for almost one year now and love it!! I've met a lot of new friends riding in my local group rides and many of them mountain bike in the winter and are urging me to get a mtn bike and join them.

    I hear a lot of stories about spills and crashes on mtn bikes and am a bit apprehensive about getting injured.

    Do any of you mtn bike? Is it a fairly easy transition from road biking? Do you enjoy it?

    Thanks.
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    I used to do a bunch of mountain biking. I actually went from MTB to road biking. I still hit the trails occasionally though. The thing you'll notice is that on the trails the climbs tend to be steeper, but not as long. At least that has been my experience. I also notice a lot more gear changes.

    I have fallen a couple times on the trails, but never been injured more than a scrape or bruise. That's not to say you can't be hurt on the trails. That happens. But, if you ride sensibly and aren't afraid to walk over or around obstacles you aren't confident of riding, you should be okay.

  3. #3
    I'm band already? lubes17319's Avatar
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    Lots of us bigger guys on MTBs........probly a higher % there than on the road.

    Always confuses me when I hear people asking if MTBing is more dangerous:
    MTB - rider is 100% at fault when (s)he goes down & it's usually on forgiving dirt.
    Road - not so, since we gotta deal with peds/cars/dogs (leashed & off-leash) & it's usually on skin-shredding pavement. Too many factors out of my control that can put me down.

    Once I went MTBing, my road bike began collecting cobwebs.
    Who cares what your bike weighs, just ride it!

  4. #4
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    Mountain biking is a completely different sport from road biking. You enjoyment of it will likely depend on the number and types of trails that are available in your area...

    In the area where I live, much of the off-road riding involves technical single-track. Climbs are often significantly steeper and involve poor traction. Traversing technical single-track often requires a significant number of skills you won't have practiced on a road bike (hops, jumps, wheel lifts, track stands, etc). Descents are often tree-, rock-, or canyon-lined and there is a definite risk of injury if you screw up. Falls are common as a beginner though they're usually at low-speed and into relatively soft dirt or sand... unless you're traversing one of the many root or rock gardens. In which case you'd better be wearing knee and arm pads if not full armor!

    I enjoy riding off-road, but find that I just don't have the technical skills to attempt many of the trails in my area. And I'm not terribly interested in battling the weekend crowds; the parking lots at our local trail heads often look like a shopping mall at Christmas! There's a small local park with some nice cross-country riding that I occasionally ride at lunch during the week, but for me road riding is still my favorite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lubes17319 View Post
    Lots of us bigger guys on MTBs........probly a higher % there than on the road.

    Always confuses me when I hear people asking if MTBing is more dangerous:
    MTB - rider is 100% at fault when (s)he goes down & it's usually on forgiving dirt.
    Road - not so, since we gotta deal with peds/cars/dogs (leashed & off-leash) & it's usually on skin-shredding pavement. Too many factors out of my control that can put me down.

    Once I went MTBing, my road bike began collecting cobwebs.
    Not necessarily. I have had two very near misses with startled deer that came running across the trail...

  6. #6
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    I pretty much have turned from road riding to mountain biking as my primary sport (I still do both but now 75% MTB and 25% road). I have had crashes in both disciplines (road and MTB riding) but most seriously hurt on the road. Crashes on a MTB are expected. Something about the terrain makes it easier to fall and not get hurt badly. Landing on pavement... it just hurts period. Lubes is right ...

    I absolutely love the sport of mountain biking. I used to take an active road bike trip each year - now I do it on my mountain bike. I have seen some beautiful country and sights, things you can never see on the road. Like any sport, there is a learning curb. Start out slow and easy and develop your skills. You will be surprised how the MTB skills translate back to road handling skills. It makes you fearless on a road bike (which may not be a good thing but because of my MTB skills I prevented some crashes on the road bike).
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  7. #7
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Mountain biking is a completely different sport from road biking. You enjoyment of it will likely depend on the number and types of trails that are available in your area...

    In the area where I live, much of the off-road riding involves technical single-track. Climbs are often significantly steeper and involve poor traction. Traversing technical single-track often requires a significant number of skills you won't have practiced on a road bike (hops, jumps, wheel lifts, track stands, etc). Descents are often tree-, rock-, or canyon-lined and there is a definite risk of injury if you screw up. Falls are common as a beginner though they're usually at low-speed and into relatively soft dirt or sand... unless you're traversing one of the many root or rock gardens. In which case you'd better be wearing knee and arm pads if not full armor!

    I enjoy riding off-road, but find that I just don't have the technical skills to attempt many of the trails in my area. And I'm not terribly interested in battling the weekend crowds; the parking lots at our local trail heads often look like a shopping mall at Christmas! There's a small local park with some nice cross-country riding that I occasionally ride at lunch during the week, but for me road riding is still my favorite.
    I live in Western NC and the Blue Ridge montains are on my doorstep. There is pretty much every kind of trail available here. One of the reasons I am apprehensive is not being sure if I have or can easily learn the required bike handling skills to complete some of the trails, hence the nervousness about getting injured

    I do want to learn these skills because I think they will help in road biking too as Pamestique has said. I think I'm going to try a few beginner trails with the help of some more experienced riders and see how it goes.
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  8. #8
    The cat says Merry Xmas Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1855Cru View Post
    I do want to learn these skills because I think they will help in road biking too as Pamestique has said. I think I'm going to try a few beginner trails with the help of some more experienced riders and see how it goes.
    The trails there are beautiful - get out and enjoy.

    One word of advice: Good riders don't get the newbie's apprehension and they may try and push you beyond your ability forgetting how hard it was also for them in the beginning. Never ever do something in which you are uncomfortable or hesitate as you will (not probably but WILL) fall. Get comfortable on the easy stuff first - walk all the rest. There is no shame in walking, trust me. I would bet there are skills clinics in your area. See if you can get involved in one or if you have a friend you trust, have him take you out and practice over roots, rocks, drops etc or whatever hazards your trails have (here its baby heads, sand and steep ruts). Once I realized the MTB tires roll over just about anything, I lost alot of fear. Right now I am trying to conquer tight switchbacks (a higher level skill). I am able to do some but if I hestate, I stop and walk. Better to be safe that hurt and sorry.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member jmeissner's Avatar
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    Started with MTBing but moved to road because decent trails are too far from home.

    It is much different from road cycling and I think you are right that it is a bit easier to sustain an injury from riding the trails over the road. A good trail system should have varying levels of technical difficulty and you should be able to ask around to find out where the beginner trails are. Start out easy and as you get more comfortable on the trails you will be hitting berms, landing drops and riding skinnies without thinking twice about it.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member green427's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    Mountain biking is a completely different sport from road biking. You enjoyment of it will likely depend on the number and types of trails that are available in your area...
    This.

    I did nothing but road biking up until I moved to the MD suburbs, where road biking is suicidal. After being run off the road numerous times, I took up MTB'ing. Been hooked ever since. It all depends on your personal preference of "having fun". Here in DE I now do both road and MTB'ing, since the roads here have very wide shoulders and designated bike lanes.

    MTB'ing requires more concentration on your part, as you have to watch every surface & tree and plan ahead in split seconds. If you love the woods, you will like MTB'ing. The more difficult the terrain, the more likely you will fall. Out of every 10 trail rides, I might fall once. The falls are nowhere near as painful as falling on asphalt. Having clipless pedals increases my chances of falling too.

    You will find that MTB'ing is more work per mile than road biking. On the road, it takes me about 20 miles before I start feeling the need to rest, whereas in the woods (Patapsco Valley State Park, for example), I have to pause to catch my breath every 1/2 mile. After 5 miles in that park, I was spent for the day.

    I suggest you start on easy, rolling trails and get used to it before attempting the heavy duty stuff.

    p.s. about 17 years ago my buddies and I attempted MTB'ing at Whitetail Ski Resort in PA, where you and your bike hitch a ride on the chairlifts to the summit and go downhill. Awesome experience, although a bit painful after falling on rocks a couple times at downhill speeds. I would attempt it again today, but this time I would stay on the easy trails and rent their bikes. My bike needed new bearings, brakes, and cables afterwards.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1855Cru View Post
    I live in Western NC and the Blue Ridge montains are on my doorstep. There is pretty much every kind of trail available here. One of the reasons I am apprehensive is not being sure if I have or can easily learn the required bike handling skills to complete some of the trails, hence the nervousness about getting injured

    I do want to learn these skills because I think they will help in road biking too as Pamestique has said. I think I'm going to try a few beginner trails with the help of some more experienced riders and see how it goes.
    We'll be neighbors soon...

  12. #12
    I'm band already? lubes17319's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1855Cru View Post
    I live in Western NC and the Blue Ridge montains are on my doorstep. .....
    If I weren't in CO, I'd be jealous!
    You got some great trails/sights over yonder.

    Check these links for some trail info:
    http://www.mtbikewnc.com/areainfo/introduction.html
    http://forums.mtbr.com/north-south-carolina/
    Who cares what your bike weighs, just ride it!

  13. #13
    Senior Member 1855Cru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmCosmo View Post
    We'll be neighbors soon...
    Where are you moving to Cosmo?
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