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  1. #1
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    Newb question about steep grades

    Around my house there're plenty of hilly desert canyons (34 19 16 by 116 23 41 if you want to check it out with google earth) and a few steep downhills all created by offroaders. There are a few smaller runs that look like they're 40-50% grade, and one 1/10th of a mile stretch that's ~25% grade. I'd love to take a shot at this downhill, but it's rock, sand, and gravel, right next to a steep canyon, so if I slide on the wrong side I'll roll down the hill. Is there any way I could negoiate this, or should I just pass on it? Also, can I even take some of those 40% grade 30 foot decents, or will I just go over my handlbars. I have a trek 820 hardtail if that makes any diference.

  2. #2
    Mountain Bikes are Art
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    Seems to me if your Spidey sense says not to do it, you shouldn't. When you add fear, it makes the likelyhood of a mistake greater.
    Bob S.
    05 Kona Kula Deluxe

  3. #3
    one less horse cryptid01's Avatar
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    Counterpoint: if you're even considering these lines, you probably have the ability to ride them. Choose your line, hit it with confidence and you will probably surprise yourself with what you can pull off.

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    I wouldn't ...

    I wouldn't. But if you do, take a friend with you.

    Better yet, find someone who DOES ride them and follow them. This will teach you which lines to take. Make sure you wear armor. Make sure you have some meaty tires that can stand brushing a rock without tearing open. Make sure you have a fork with some decent travel. Bring your cell phone and keep it someplace it will not be crushed if you fall down the side of the cliff.

  5. #5
    Noobhead jiiiim's Avatar
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    My advice is... if you're really going to do it, do it all the way, dont chicken out at the middle. Also you mentioned about sand.... that is bad at high speed =( Your wheel will sink into the sand and stopping you and MIGHT throw you over the bar. Armor is a plus, helmet is a must.

  6. #6
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    I was out hiking in the area and some of those hills are so steep I feel like I'm climbing up them compared to walking up them. I think I'll wait for some body armor before trying any of them, and there're still plenty of not so steep hills, roads, and corners with loose dirt to sail down and slide around on!

    Thanks for the advice.

  7. #7
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    I went a-- over teakettle a few years ago and broke three ribs in doing so on that sort of grade. The thing is, it was all my doing not the course or the decent. Pick your line, commit to it and be confident. You'll do fine.

  8. #8
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    I saw this 100-120 foot drop like 60% almost verticle in a rock quarry not too far from the bike path i ride..
    Think my Hardrock will hold up?? I'll get a helmit if I try it...

  9. #9
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    Does anyone have a guide to percentage grades? Or can someone tell me in grades what's vertical?

    Also, how come you're going to get a helmet now? If you've built up to 40% grade then you've ridden some hard stuff before, and you should've used a helmet then.

    Even if you're going at a snails pace in trials riding (whatever them crazy guys do ) WEAR A HELMET!

  10. #10
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    100% is vertical

    If you're going down a 40% grade, you will descend 40 feet in altitude for every 100 feet of forward travel

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  11. #11
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    slope
    See Also : aspect
    The incline, or steepness, of a surface. Slope can be measured in degrees from horizontal (0-90), or percent slope (which is the rise divided by the run, multiplied by 100). A slope of 45 degrees equals 100 percent slope.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hobartlemagne
    100% is vertical

    If you're going down a 40% grade, you will descend 40 feet in altitude for every 100 feet of forward travel

  12. #12
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    oops - i stand corrected. I was estimating it before, but did find this:
    http://www.bookrags.com/sciences/mat...y-mmat-02.html
    Divide the 'rise' by the 'run'

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  13. #13
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    Ah rise over run to calculate slope. Brings me back to seventh grade math class...

    In that case, even me and my pathetic XC bike has been sent down 40-50% slopes before no problem.

    Wear a helmet, walk down the trail picking lines so you know what to expect, and go slow the first time exept when you need speed (a drop or a jump or something like that you dont want to go off slow) and slowly work up to bombing it.

  14. #14
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Personally, slope seems like a ridiculous way to measure the angle of the steep. I tells me nothing about the steepness as it relates to length. No wonder I don't understand roadies haha

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    Just keep trying the steep ones and you will get better over time. I see one I think I can not do but I try it. After a few runs you figure it out and you are riding it like a pro before long.

  16. #16
    Mullet Boy! Pink_Ninja's Avatar
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    you mean like a mountain? cos thats what cam up on google earth, and from there it looks alright...
    Bansheeeee!

  17. #17
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom
    Personally, slope seems like a ridiculous way to measure the angle of the steep. I tells me nothing about the steepness as it relates to length. No wonder I don't understand roadies haha
    The roadies who just use grade as a measure of difficulties are either speaking to newbies or are themselves newbies. The experienced ones also include length. Consider that the climb categories in the Tour de France are a combination of grade and length and that some cat 1 and cat 2 climbs may be steeper than an HC (hors categorie - beyond category) but the HC climb may be longer. Additionally, condition of the climb is taken into account. The toughest climb I have ever done was the one at the beginning of the Mt. Muller Loop out on the Olympic Penninsula. It rises 2200' in the first three miles. And while this is not an incredibly difficult climb if it were a nice paved road, consider that it's actually a twisty rock and root strewn singletrack climb that is often wet. I wonder how it would rate on the TdF climb scale.

    http://www.faqs.org/faqs/bicycles-fa...ection-22.html
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  18. #18
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    I think I will stick to the easy way...that was a 70ft rock face and is around 70degrees...I can envision that.

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