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Old 08-28-07, 04:59 PM   #1
Javacat
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Any tips for riding beaten up, rocky paths with loads of ditches and drops

A few weeks ago I bought a new bike (Specialized Hardrock Sport Mountain Bike 07). I took it out for my first ride today and I'm extremely impressed. Sooo much lighter than my old bike and it's also the first bike I've had front suspension on.

The track I took it on today was a quite beaten up old dry mud track, full of biggish rocks, ditches, mounds and sections with an unusually large amount of sand for a country track in the middle of south yorkshire. It was something only a land rover would be able to get over. It was great fun. Other than getting stuck in the sand, the only problem was when I was going down hill. I was going reasonably fast, over the rocks and ditches and I was basically getting shaken all over the place. I felt like a jack hammer By the time I reached the bottom of the slopes my arms were felling all weavy, my hands were killing me (they feel a bit bruised now, about 12 hours later).

Has anyone got any tips on how best to handle this sort of rocky track, or is this just something I'll pick up on my own through experience?
I found the easiest, most comfortable position was to stand up on the peddles with my arse back a bit, so that it was more or less over the back of the seat, but I don't know whether this is the best position. I'm also not sure what to do with my arms; whether to keep them rigid, or let them move quite freely with the bounces.

Alternatively, could it just be a case that I need to adjust the front suspension?
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Old 08-28-07, 05:08 PM   #2
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Definitely don't keep your arms rigid. If you stay light on the bike, you will find that you will float over things you never thought you could. Your hands probably hurt because you were holding on too tightly to the handlebars. Don't worry, thats pretty normal, its just something you have to overcome with experience. There's two good ways for going through technical terrain: going very slow and picking out clean lines, or going fast and staying light on the bike and floating over the bumps.
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Old 08-28-07, 05:28 PM   #3
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and your intuition serves you well. Its good to lean back and shift your weight over the rear of the bike. This also helps with braking.

regarding the suspension. I have the Sport Disc version of the same bike, and it has the same fork. It's probably going to be a good 30 turns on each side before you're going to notice the difference. The preload adjuster does very little. Also, note that the fork does not have rebound adjust. If you hit a huge obstacle that depresses the fork like 3/4 of the way or something, prepare to have your arms jarred by the rebound...
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Old 08-28-07, 05:31 PM   #4
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Just pin it.
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Old 08-28-07, 06:18 PM   #5
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Just pin it.
I concur.
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Old 08-28-07, 06:26 PM   #6
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Just pin it.
I'm not familiar with the terminology. What does "pin it" mean?
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Old 08-28-07, 06:31 PM   #7
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Go at it balls to the wall.
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Old 08-28-07, 06:33 PM   #8
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Just loosen up on the bike. Release the death grip from the handle bars and just relax your arms/legs so you can absorb more. Let the bike bounce around while keeping you body fairly still. It'll come with experience.
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Old 09-03-07, 12:40 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the tips!

Went for a 12 mile ride today and loosened up a bit (as well as wearing some new gloves) and no pain for me now.

I'm also currently really pleased with myself as I managed to do the whole 12 mile route (up and down hills) with only stopping once. Last time I tried it a few weeks ago I was having to stop every few miles
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Old 09-03-07, 02:11 PM   #10
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Just pin it.
and find yer flow
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Old 09-03-07, 03:34 PM   #11
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"and find yer flow"

Don't forget to get in Blue Groove.
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Old 09-03-07, 06:08 PM   #12
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"and find yer flow"

Don't forget to get in Blue Groove.
I think you mean Blue Crush.
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Old 09-03-07, 08:49 PM   #13
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get bigger tires
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Old 09-04-07, 07:36 AM   #14
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What are those?
Peddels: individual protrusions from the center of a flour!
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