I never realised how much brakes slow you down
I know that sounds like a strange statement, but I had a bit of a breakthrough yesterday.
On my old bike the brake were bad breaks, and also probably badly set up. This meant that whenever I was in a section that might cause me to need to use my brakes, I squeezed them ever so slightly just to bring the pads into light contact. This meant that I had better control once I did need to actually slow down. Due to the quality of the brakes however just hovering like this had a very negligilbe effet on my speed.
This (bad) practise has stayed with me. The problem is, I now have a bike with some reasonable decent disk brakes. On a section the other day I decided I'd try to get through it without touching my brakes at all. This desicion meant that I took my fingers of th brakes levers completely (which turned out to be a slightly foolish idea). The amount of extra speed I picked up was staggering, even in areas where I previously thought I wasn't really using my brakes at all. This did admitadly result in me nearly flying straight of the trail, but fourtunally managed to just about wrestle it back round in time.
Not really sure why I'm posting this. I suppose partly just to say just try braking less, you may be surprised about how much faster you can make a section. Also if you do what I used to, STOP, it ruins your flow more than I ever realised.
As a side note, I can now keep up with the full sussers through most of the rocky sections, partly due to this realisation.