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  1. #1
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Last week's MTB fun (video)

    I've been on a mountain bike kick lately after weeks of road cycling, so I did a couple rides in Auburn last week. The first one was my favorite loop up Clementine and Fuel Break, then downhill on Culvert and Confluence. After those two fun descents I decided to see if I could get a PR on the grueling "Mercy Mile" climb from the river to Foresthill Road. This is a steep climb with a max grade of 20.3% according to Strava. I have a QOM on that climb, but I don't count that because I was one of only two women who've posted data from that climb on Strava. When I compare myself to men and women I am way down on the list

    http://app.strava.com/rides/29382681
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/246423197

    I always record video with the GoPro HD Hero2 on the chest strap mount and the ContourHD on the vented helmet mount. The helmet mount is good for showing interesting things I look at, like scenery.

    The chest strap mount shows a bit more action because you can see the rider's arms and the handlebars. Descents and flatter singletrack sections look faster with the chest strap mount too. Be forewarned though, my heavy breathing on climbs is more audible with the GoPro due to the more sensitive microphone in the camera.

    I normally only make one ride video, but this time I made a few more because I've been posting them in a thread on another forum with other riders who post videos. We've all been posting several videos per ride.

    Here's the ride from the helmet mount perspective: http://contour.com/videos/watch/aubu...-ride-11-24-12

    Here's the steep Mercy Mile climb from the helmet mount: http://contour.com/videos/watch/aubu...strava-segment

    Here's the Mercy Mile climb from the chest-mounted GoPro (caution very heavy breathing!).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vANxFEfdX7k


    Three days later I decided to sneak a quick ride in before the first of a series of rain storms hit. This time I decided to check out a couple singletrack trails I've never ridden: Flood Road and Mossy Rock. It was dab city on some sections because it got technical and I wasn't ready for it. There were some nice short steep climbs too.

    http://app.strava.com/activities/29903673
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/247507881

    Here's the helmet mount version of this ride: http://contour.com/videos/watch/aubu...-ride-11-27-12

    Here's the chest mount version.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ND96_ghUPTc


    The last climb of the day was the two mile climb up Stagecoach Trail from the river to the parking lot at the top. You have to park at the top if you want to avoid having to pay $10 to park at the river.

    Here's the Stagecoach climb, recorded with the helmet cam. The steep section from the river to the switchback is also the first part of the Mercy Mile climb that I didn't include in the Mercy Mile climb video: http://contour.com/videos/watch/stag...limb-auburn-ca

  2. #2
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    OK, looks like you're an inch from falling into that river! that's too close for me!

  3. #3
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Yeah, I winced when I watched the footage too, but in reality I wasn't dangerously close to the edge. Needless to say, I won't be showing these videos to my family

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    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    Yeah, I winced when I watched the footage too, but in reality I wasn't dangerously close to the edge. Needless to say, I won't be showing these videos to my family
    I wondered, maybe the wide lens makes it appear a bit different than what it is. I've seen a local trail and know it isn't that narrow . Yet the vids on youtube make it look about 1 foot wide.

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    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I wondered, maybe the wide lens makes it appear a bit different than what it is. I've seen a local trail and know it isn't that narrow . Yet the vids on youtube make it look about 1 foot wide.
    The videos definitely make mtb rides look scarier than they really are. I'll never forget the freaked-out email I received from my mother when she saw my first mtb ride on the Clementine loop earlier this year. That was my first ride on the bike after purchase. Thread with video is here.

  6. #6
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    My Mom did the same thing when she saw my GMR downhill video.

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    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    I was watching the video, apparently with the volume up a bit too loud, when my wife, hearing the heavy breathing, gasps and occassional moan, opened the door to the office and asked "What the he!! are you watching?" I'm not sure if she was relieved or not when she found out it was cycling videos
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

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    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Great vids!

    This time of year sucks up here in Seattle. Your vids look like June weather up here. Ive ridden 3 times in the last week and each time it was in the low 40's and raining HARD. Im on the couch typing from under a blanket as I try to get my post-ride 'core temperature' back to normal. I was only out 40 mins but it felt a lot longer.

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    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magohn View Post
    Great vids!

    This time of year sucks up here in Seattle. Your vids look like June weather up here. Ive ridden 3 times in the last week and each time it was in the low 40's and raining HARD. Im on the couch typing from under a blanket as I try to get my post-ride 'core temperature' back to normal. I was only out 40 mins but it felt a lot longer.
    PS Its now hailing....

  10. #10
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I see the max speed is about 24-26. My max the other day was 27. I have hit 34 and that was enough in the dirt. I have buds that hit 40. On FS 29'ers of course but 30 is plenty for me. I'm on a hardtail 26 and even if I had an FS, I still wouldn't want to do 40!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I see the max speed is about 24-26. My max the other day was 27. I have hit 34 and that was enough in the dirt. I have buds that hit 40. On FS 29'ers of course but 30 is plenty for me. I'm on a hardtail 26 and even if I had an FS, I still wouldn't want to do 40!
    thats interesting, I'm new to mtb having just built my first 29er but with such huge tires and suspension the high speeeds don't faze me at all. I'm more scared on the road bike because every little bump I feel!

  12. #12
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscTruckerMF View Post
    thats interesting, I'm new to mtb having just built my first 29er but with such huge tires and suspension the high speeeds don't faze me at all. I'm more scared on the road bike because every little bump I feel!
    I have a problem with traction in the switchbacks. Mostly loose rock on the fireroads I ride. I'm thinking maybe the lack of traction has to do with too much psi, I usually run about 50. I will have to try lowering little by little but heck, I feel every whack on the rim as it is.

  13. #13
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    My Mom did the same thing when she saw my GMR downhill video.
    Haha, I remember that video ! If my mom heard AC/DC on my vids and saw me hauling ass down a mountain with those badass turns, she'd probably have kittens, puppies, AND cows !
    Quote Originally Posted by Myosmith View Post
    I was watching the video, apparently with the volume up a bit too loud, when my wife, hearing the heavy breathing, gasps and occassional moan, opened the door to the office and asked "What the he!! are you watching?" I'm not sure if she was relieved or not when she found out it was cycling videos
    Hehe, I've had that reaction before with my videos, which is why I have the heads-up about the audible breathing on my video postings on forums and on the "About freighttraininguphill" section of my YouTube channel .
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I see the max speed is about 24-26. My max the other day was 27. I have hit 34 and that was enough in the dirt. I have buds that hit 40. On FS 29'ers of course but 30 is plenty for me. I'm on a hardtail 26 and even if I had an FS, I still wouldn't want to do 40!
    Yup, I will not descend as fast on dirt as I do on pavement. No way! I'm on a hardtail 29er, which handles bumpy descents better than my old hardtail 26er, but I'm still careful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I have a problem with traction in the switchbacks. Mostly loose rock on the fireroads I ride. I'm thinking maybe the lack of traction has to do with too much psi, I usually run about 50. I will have to try lowering little by little but heck, I feel every whack on the rim as it is.
    I always run 30 psi in both tires. In fact that's the max pressure listed on the sidewall of the 29x2.10 tires on my Wahoo.

    I have a problem with stability in tight singletrack switchback turns. Check out this video of me crawling around corners on a singletrack descent.

    http://vimeo.com/37180814

  14. #14
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Cows!

    I don't have much problem with tricky stuff on the climbs. I'm riding my 26 hard tail and a parnter riding a 29 F/S tells me to be careful on a rocky technical section. He falls off and I don't.

    But the downhill switchbacks (similar to the AC/DC video but dirt) is where I have problems. Some may be I ride MTB once every 3 months, I do better hwne I'm consistent. But I've tried several techniques and still the front wheel feels like it wants to wash out. I'm going to lower the pressure on the next ride.

    30 psi? I'm much heavier than you so I worry about pinch flats, maybe I'll try 45 psi up front next time. My tires max at 55 in dirt and 60 on road (sidewall info). ..........Panaracer Fire XC Pro 2.1 in the rear and a stock Bontrager up front. I just bought another Panaracer for the front after an MTB bud told me Bontragers have bad reviews. Maybe part of the problem so I'm swapping it out.

  15. #15
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, the switchbacks in your video are much tighter and more narrow than the fire roads I ride.

  16. #16
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Do you have any legal singletrack trails in your area? Once you try singletrack, fire roads seem boring by comparison!

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    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Here's today's mtb ride. I decided to check out another trail I've never been on, the West Ridge Trail. It runs between Cronan Ranch and the South Fork American River Trail (SFART ) near El Dorado Hills. I rode this trail end to end from east (near the Cronan Ranch trailhead) to west (at SFART). It started off with a pretty consistent 11-12% climb. At the top you are treated to these views.





    Here's the data from the entire ride.

    http://app.strava.com/activities/31738849
    http://connect.garmin.com/activity/250747166

    Here's video of the West Ridge Trail (caution heavy breathing!).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7mdwuKkEc8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I have a problem with traction in the switchbacks. Mostly loose rock on the fireroads I ride. I'm thinking maybe the lack of traction has to do with too much psi, I usually run about 50. I will have to try lowering little by little but heck, I feel every whack on the rim as it is.
    you are running WAY too much pressure, that is definately part of your problem. I got my new 29er hardtail out yesterday and I inflate to 40psi when I'm riding on the road with 2.1" tires. when I got to the trails I did some riding as is and then decided to let some air out and take pressure down. it was a noticeable difference when I went down to about 30psi up front and 35 in the back. traction was much improved and I didn't have nearly as much bouncing around. I'll also add that here in NY there are leaves down all over the trails and it was damp out yesterday with a light drizzle so that is just asking for wheels to slide out. You mentioned fear of pinch flats, I highly recommend going tubeless. I got a great deal on a WTB TCS wheelset that comes tubeless ready but I"ve heard of other clydes having great success tubeless doing "ghetto tubeless" being as heavy as 300lbs. I went off a couple of small jumps yesterday and didn't get close to bottoming out, even with those low pressures I was running and didn't have any problems with air burping. I am using tubeless ready rims with GEAX tubless ready tires, at my weight I didn't want to fart around with ghetto tubeless or using non tubeless tires though many report non tubeless specific tires working great.

    Also, if your bike can fit them, consider going to a slightly wider tire which will let you run lower pressure. My Geax Mezcals are 2.1 but they measure closer to 2.25 they are also a racier tread with very small knobs in the center then slightly larger on the sides, they are definately more built for speed than grip. IT's definately a totally different animal being off road though! a lot of it is trust that when your tire slide out a bit, the side knobs are gonna grab and give you the grip you need. I was drifint around corners tapping my rear brake and skidding a bit then getting off the brake and wheels grabbing up and going. I really had a blast, such a nice change of pace from the road. technical climbing was brutal too, my heart rate averaged 10 bpm more than a normal road ride, seemed like I was never catching my breath
    Last edited by DiscTruckerMF; 12-10-12 at 09:34 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    Haha, I remember that video ! If my mom heard AC/DC on my vids and saw me hauling ass down a mountain with those badass turns, she'd probably have kittens, puppies, AND cows !

    Hehe, I've had that reaction before with my videos, which is why I have the heads-up about the audible breathing on my video postings on forums and on the "About freighttraininguphill" section of my YouTube channel .

    Yup, I will not descend as fast on dirt as I do on pavement. No way! I'm on a hardtail 29er, which handles bumpy descents better than my old hardtail 26er, but I'm still careful.

    I always run 30 psi in both tires. In fact that's the max pressure listed on the sidewall of the 29x2.10 tires on my Wahoo.

    I have a problem with stability in tight singletrack switchback turns. Check out this video of me crawling around corners on a singletrack descent.

    http://vimeo.com/37180814
    it's quite possible that you are running pressure a bit high too, not sure how much you weigh but you mentioned you are on a HT 29er and as I said to beans, I'm 250lbs and I went out yesterday around 30psi. Of course I'm running tubeless, if your not, I highly recommend looking into it, it's so easy I wish there were more availablity for road tubeless particularly for 25 or 28c tires, I'd be all over it. Super easy to mount tires and the flat protection is great.

    For any who are interested, here is a MTB pressure calculator. Like many things in the cycling world I'm sure its quite subjective and not an exact science but I think if you insert your own info you will see that your both running pressures that are probably acceptable but if you were tubeless, you'd be able to go significantly lower because the pinch flat issue would be gone. http://mtb.ubiqyou.com/

  20. #20
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscTruckerMF View Post
    you are running WAY too much pressure, that is definately part of your problem. I got my new 29er hardtail out yesterday and I inflate to 40psi when I'm riding on the road with 2.1" tires. when I got to the trails I did some riding as is and then decided to let some air out and take pressure down. it was a noticeable difference when I went down to about 30psi up front and 35 in the back. traction was much improved and I didn't have nearly as much bouncing around. I'll also add that here in NY there are leaves down all over the trails and it was damp out yesterday with a light drizzle so that is just asking for wheels to slide out. You mentioned fear of pinch flats, I highly recommend going tubeless. I got a great deal on a WTB TCS wheelset that comes tubeless ready but I"ve heard of other clydes having great success tubeless doing "ghetto tubeless" being as heavy as 300lbs. I went off a couple of small jumps yesterday and didn't get close to bottoming out, even with those low pressures I was running and didn't have any problems with air burping. I am using tubeless ready rims with GEAX tubless ready tires, at my weight I didn't want to fart around with ghetto tubeless or using non tubeless tires though many report non tubeless specific tires working great.

    Also, if your bike can fit them, consider going to a slightly wider tire which will let you run lower pressure. My Geax Mezcals are 2.1 but they measure closer to 2.25 they are also a racier tread with very small knobs in the center then slightly larger on the sides, they are definately more built for speed than grip. IT's definately a totally different animal being off road though! a lot of it is trust that when your tire slide out a bit, the side knobs are gonna grab and give you the grip you need. I was drifint around corners tapping my rear brake and skidding a bit then getting off the brake and wheels grabbing up and going. I really had a blast, such a nice change of pace from the road. technical climbing was brutal too, my heart rate averaged 10 bpm more than a normal road ride, seemed like I was never catching my breath

    Hey thanks for the tips! I'll lower the pressure and from what it sounds like, it should help. If I still cant' get better traction, I will consider the wider tire.

  21. #21
    Loves to suffer freighttraininguphill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscTruckerMF View Post
    it's quite possible that you are running pressure a bit high too, not sure how much you weigh but you mentioned you are on a HT 29er and as I said to beans, I'm 250lbs and I went out yesterday around 30psi. Of course I'm running tubeless, if your not, I highly recommend looking into it, it's so easy I wish there were more availablity for road tubeless particularly for 25 or 28c tires, I'd be all over it. Super easy to mount tires and the flat protection is great.

    For any who are interested, here is a MTB pressure calculator. Like many things in the cycling world I'm sure its quite subjective and not an exact science but I think if you insert your own info you will see that your both running pressures that are probably acceptable but if you were tubeless, you'd be able to go significantly lower because the pinch flat issue would be gone. http://mtb.ubiqyou.com/
    Thanks for the link to that tire pressure calculator! After entering my info, it said to run 29 in the front and 32 in the back. I've always run 30 psi in both tires, even in the days of 26ers. The max pressure listed on the sidewall of the 2.10 tires I have on my 29er is 30 psi.

  22. #22
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I see the max speed is about 24-26. My max the other day was 27. I have hit 34 and that was enough in the dirt. I have buds that hit 40. On FS 29'ers of course but 30 is plenty for me. I'm on a hardtail 26 and even if I had an FS, I still wouldn't want to do 40!
    Don't knock your ability, especially with a long-travel FS rig. Somewhere on during the Tiger Mtn Enduro race on the second DH leg, I nailed 42.5mph on rocky, rooty singletrack, and I routinely hit 43 - 44mph on the ripper big, arrow-straight DH on one of our local loops. Loose gravel over hardpack. With 160mm of light action travel, it's like driving a rocket powered sofa; super comfy!
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freighttraininguphill View Post
    Thanks for the link to that tire pressure calculator! After entering my info, it said to run 29 in the front and 32 in the back. I've always run 30 psi in both tires, even in the days of 26ers. The max pressure listed on the sidewall of the 2.10 tires I have on my 29er is 30 psi.
    max pressure rating is never a true indication of what your tires can do. I've read from some sources that the max psi number is derived from taking the pressuer that the tires fail tests at and dividing in half so in your case that would mean the tires have actually been tested to perform up to 60psi before failing. on the road, I routinely go over the psi rating because at 250lbs you pretty much have to. I also do look for better quality tires that are rated higher but there are some very good tires out there that are rated lower. Certainly you shouldn't find any issues with going 2psi over the max rating.

  24. #24
    Senior Member funrover's Avatar
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    Awesome!!

  25. #25
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscTruckerMF View Post
    max pressure rating is never a true indication of what your tires can do. I've read from some sources that the max psi number is derived from taking the pressuer that the tires fail tests at and dividing in half so in your case that would mean the tires have actually been tested to perform up to 60psi before failing. on the road, I routinely go over the psi rating because at 250lbs you pretty much have to. I also do look for better quality tires that are rated higher but there are some very good tires out there that are rated lower. Certainly you shouldn't find any issues with going 2psi over the max rating.
    Max ratings are, like you said, well below the actual failure point. Consider this: My new Tufo tubeless/tubie setup has a pressure rating of max 65psi. If you're familiar with the prep and installation of tubies, you know you have to stretch them before gluing. The instructions that came with the tire (you know, the one with a max inflation pressure of 65psi) says for the stretching stage they should be inflated to 150psi for 24 hours. One Hundred and Fifty, as in more than twice the suggested max rating.
    Yeah. Well, I huffed that sucker up to 150psi and guess what? It didn't explode. It's absolutely fine, and I'm prepping the second one today so they'll be ready to glue up later in the week.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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