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Old 09-15-09, 03:17 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
I was out riding the Komodo at the Mansion today (which really RAWKED my world) and noticed a few things that I take for granted b/c I've been riding for a while...that a nooblet may not even think about. Most of this spawns from riding behind a noob or non-skilled hack that just makes me cringe when I watch them pick a line or treat their bike like a personal Sherman Tank and plow through something w/o finesse.
……
This is all great stuff.

I've been riding trails for a year now. I started with a Wall Mart Mongoose XR200 and my reasoning was that I didn't know if I would like riding in the dirt and if I didn't, I wouldn't have lost much money. I also figured that if that bike lasted the year, I would be happy.

Well, I love trail riding. I've never been on a "Mountain" as Houston has no mountains but Harris County has a whole lot of flood control district land near my house and that land is loaded with great trails, washouts, roots, rocks, 20’ drops with trees at the bottom, snakes, coyotes, thorny vines hanging across trails and a bunch of other nastiness that is just as fun as it can be. Some of the trails are easy and some just continue to kick my ass. All in all it's a great workout for this 50-year-old geezer.

Oh, after our last flood, many of the fast trails are now covered with sand, lots and lots of sand. One thing that XR200 has is 2.35” tires. Having that extra width really helped getting through the sand. If I want a workout that mimics a mountain climb, all I have to do is take one trail that is about 5 miles of deep, powdery beach sand.

After replacing the rear wheel once, the rear derailleur twice, the handlebars once, one brake lever, one crank, and three sets of pedals, I decided to retire my stalwart XR200 and get on Craig’s List to find a real bike. BTW, www.bikepartsusa.com is a great source for inexpensive parts.

I now have a 4-year-old GT I-Drive 5 in new condition that is a blast to be on. I am hooked.

Anyway, my point is that when I started riding, I wouldn’t have had the foggiest notion of what you’re talking about in your “tips”. Now, after a year or so all of them make perfect sense. Most of them I’ve realized on my own but a lot of them I didn’t and I will look at including some of them in my riding.

Thanks for all the great info.
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Old 09-17-09, 08:52 AM   #77
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14. I always brake harder with the front. (duh) Almost to the point that I lean into it and nearly do a stoppie into a turn.
This is so important and so counter intuitive that I think it needs amplification -

Why you do this
- When you brake momentum throws your weight away from the rear tyre to the front. So lots of grip at the front, little grip at the back

- When you apply more brake than you have grip for the result is a skid. This means that the wheel doesn't behave like a wheel anymore. Instead it stops turning and behaves like a ski. (Hence the name. Ski - ski-ed - skid. At least it makes sense to me.) When this happens to the back wheel it can start to go anywhere and your bike can tilt at a crazy angle - even opposite to the one normal in a turn.

- This usually results in crashing and pain and scratched paint. It's not good unless you're a masochist with a bike destruction fetish. The way to avoid this is to use the front brake more. Much more. Maybe use the front brake ONLY in fact. You'll be amazed at how well front brake works - the extra grip the front wheel gets during braking makes it very effective.

But won't I come over the handle bars?
If you brake too hard on a steep hill, perhaps. Otherwise as long as you keep your arms strong and your weight on the saddle, no, it's physically possible. People who come over the bars on the flat do so because they let themselves crumple forwards into the bars.

Anything else?
You can use a little back brake and body English to skid your bike. This skill might be more useful on a cyclocross bike than an MTB though - crossers have such poor traction the handling is very different. I don't touch the back brake at all on my crosser off road unless I want the rear wheel to skid.

Last edited by meanwhile; 09-17-09 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 09-29-09, 01:45 PM   #78
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Motor Biking is very thrilling & astonishing to me & want to aware much more about it. My friends Christine Freville, Mickey Everio & Junio Solihull are the best players of motor biking & are going to take part in competition on 20th April 2000.

Now i have a burning desire to compare myself with them & need usefull instructions.
Huh??
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Old 09-29-09, 01:51 PM   #79
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16. When downshifting up-hill, I pedal hard to "surge" forward--then soft-pedal as I shift to the easier gear--then put the power back down after the chain has dropped into gear. I know, it seems like a no-brainer...but dadgum I've seen/listened to some nasty crap out of desperation.
I love this one. Last year I lost focus, majorly failed on this and snapped a chain during a race. Doh!
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Old 10-12-09, 08:12 PM   #80
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Very helpful, great to see the post!
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Old 10-19-09, 05:36 PM   #81
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I just got a Rockhopper to fart around on this winter...and now I can't stop riding it.
This thread reaffirms a lot of what I already knew and highlights some stuff I hadn't really thought about. And what is true about road biking is true about mtb'ing...try to ride with better riders. It always helps as long as you can deal with a few bruises on your ego.

I'm riding with an ex-downhill racer tomorrow.
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Old 02-24-10, 03:39 PM   #82
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As someone who is just getting into mtb, I love this thread!

Gives me something that I can help practice my skills, thanks.
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Old 03-13-10, 12:18 PM   #83
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Its pretty easy to spot a new guy or beginner.
They usually don't stand up at all ever.
It makes me sick when I see somebody go off of something simple, like a street curb, and smash their front tire down first, twisting the handlebars and looking ugly.....not even standing up or trying to land flat.
I ride my mtb like a dirt bike, since its almost the same thing and it takes it very well.
The only shady thing is with these knobby tires a little too much leaning on cement/pavement gives me alittle fishy tale.
Good post though.
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Old 04-26-10, 08:45 PM   #84
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im the nub (to and extent) that you were talking about, thank you.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:44 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by chelboed View Post
I was out riding the Komodo at the Mansion today (which really RAWKED my world) and noticed a few things that I take for granted b/c I've been riding for a while...that a nooblet may not even think about. Most of this spawns from riding behind a noob or non-skilled hack that just makes me cringe when I watch them pick a line or treat their bike like a personal Sherman Tank and plow through something w/o finesse.


1. When I cross a root, fencepost/water-bar, or rock that crosses the trail when it's wet...I always hit it at 90 degrees. I watched a guy the other day hit a wet root at about 70 degrees and his back wheel slid out from under him.

2. In a similar sense...when I do a technical climb with rocks and roots, I slightly lunge my body up and forward (sometimes not even noticeable...just shifting weight) so my momentum carries me past the obstacle therefore I don't rely on the traction so much from my rear tire to push me through/over a small techy obstacle.

3. When I approach what looks like several roots, a rock garden, or the like...just as my front tire reaches the first obstacle, I use the "bounce" off that obsacle to help propel my bike up and over everything else.

4. When I get to a little dip or chute in the trail...I almost always pump the transition to propel me forward.

5. I always wear a "doo rag". I fold over (upward) the bottom edge (above my ears, eyes, etc...) about 1/2" or so as to create a gutter to channel the sweat back away from my eyes.

6. Any time I do a drop in the trail, no matter how small, I manual off it so that my tires either hit the bottom side simultaneously or rear first.

7. When I take a fast turn, I push down on my bars so I have traction "where it counts".

8. When I am in "sit'n'spin" mode and decide to "stand'n'honk"...I always shift up 2 gears b/c my standing cadence is slower than my seated cadence. Just the opposite when I'm standing and I need to take a break...I downshift 2 gears so I can keep up the RPM's.

9. When I get to a medium size hole, small crossing, or edge where the trail raises up on the far side...I almost always either manual or lift the front end up and try to let the rear tire follow the contour of the trail until it reaches the "up side". Then I push forward and shift my weight so my rear wheel doesn't take the brunt.

10. When I get to a fair size bump...I either hop it or p/u the front end and then "rock forward" taking all the weight off my rear wheel so it will roll over it w/o too much blunt force smacking the wheel. I have watched so many dudes just hack into a log and wonder why their rear wheel is bent. Heck...I watch people cross logs w/o even standing up

11. 95% of the time, I have my index fingers over my brake levers...ready to grab 'em.

12. I usually coast with my cranks parallel to the ground (even through a turn) until I really decide to "G" the turn and push into it. Then I always put my outside foot down and push into the turn with my foot to gain traction.

13. When I'm pedaling through rocks or junk sticking up...I am mindful of where my pedals will be coming down as I spin. If I feel my pedal will be coming down at an obstacle, I will give my crankset a little "1/2 rotation" sorta "ratchet action pedal" so I still have momentum, but now my pedal will come down beyond that rock or root.

14. I always brake harder with the front. (duh) Almost to the point that I lean into it and nearly do a stoppie into a turn.

15. When I have a long climb (paved or gravel road type) in addition to locking out the fork, I move my grip out to the very ends of my grips to gain leverage over the climb.

16. When downshifting up-hill, I pedal hard to "surge" forward--then soft-pedal as I shift to the easier gear--then put the power back down after the chain has dropped into gear. I know, it seems like a no-brainer...but dadgum I've seen/listened to some nasty crap out of desperation.

17. Tight techy turns (switchbacks) work really well for me when I allow my front tire to follow the outside of the turn...even if it's the top of a berm.

18. Technical climbing...I pay more attn to where my rear tire is than the front.

You seem like the kind of person who is..err...stuck up? Yeah, I guess that fits. I feel like there's a better word, but I can't think of it right now. You seem to have anger towards people who do the same things you probably did when you were at their stage of mountain biking. I agree with all the advice you gave, & it's all second nature & engraved in my brain from my BMX days when I was a kid, but that doesn't make it right. You seem too emotionally involved in other people decisions &, more so, in other people bikes. "...I watch them pick a line or treat their bike like a personal Sherman Tank..." So what? I can't bring myself to understand why it concerns you if other people man handle their bikes or treat them like a newborn baby. It's their personal decision that has no affect on you. Maybe some people enjoy beating the crap out of their bike. Maybe that's what fun is to them. That's what mountain biking is all about to me--FUN. It seems ridiculous to me for someone to have a list of rules on how to have fun, when the best part of trying new things is figuring out how to do them the way that you enjoy. I say keep this list of ADVICE on here, but edit it to make it just that--ADVICE. The way you say it makes it sounds like a list of mandatory rules for all new & old mountain bikers. Please, pardon me if I'm off base here. I mean no offense. I'm just trying to talk some sense into someone who appears to be too far up on their high horse to remember their less experienced biking days.
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Old 04-27-10, 08:53 AM   #86
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Being relatively new to the whole mountain biking thing (< 1 year) I still have a lot to learn, but I try to learn fast.
Sunday I was out at Lake Sherando in Virginia. These were by far the hardest trails I have ever been on. Steep switchbacks had me pushing my bike for 45 minutes or so. Boulder fields made me want to give up biking all together. When we finally got to the fun part - a fifteen to twenty minute descent I was back on board whole-heartedly. I was flying and felt in control. I had more air time than I have ever had - lots of small drops at high speed. The only problem I had was when I tried to brake before a drop. No flying, just awkward drops, nose down.
The lesson- braking causes momentum to move forward causing the fork to dive and makes lifting the front end very difficult. This is the case whether using the front or rear brake. Think ahead. Brake ahead of time if you want to slow down, but let go before you hit that drop so you can return your center of mass rearward for smooth air, and a safer landing.
I've found that if you think ahead & have your crank in a position where you can pedals somewhat as you go down the drop, then you can brake as much as you want & just manual off of it. That's just what I've found works for me though, might not work for everyone.
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Old 04-27-10, 10:57 AM   #87
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You seem like the kind of person who is..err...stuck up? Yeah, I guess that fits. I feel like there's a better word, but I can't think of it right now. You seem to have anger towards people who do the same things you probably did when you were at their stage of mountain biking. I agree with all the advice you gave, & it's all second nature & engraved in my brain from my BMX days when I was a kid, but that doesn't make it right. You seem too emotionally involved in other people decisions &, more so, in other people bikes. "...I watch them pick a line or treat their bike like a personal Sherman Tank..." So what? I can't bring myself to understand why it concerns you if other people man handle their bikes or treat them like a newborn baby. It's their personal decision that has no affect on you. Maybe some people enjoy beating the crap out of their bike. Maybe that's what fun is to them. That's what mountain biking is all about to me--FUN. It seems ridiculous to me for someone to have a list of rules on how to have fun, when the best part of trying new things is figuring out how to do them the way that you enjoy. I say keep this list of ADVICE on here, but edit it to make it just that--ADVICE. The way you say it makes it sounds like a list of mandatory rules for all new & old mountain bikers. Please, pardon me if I'm off base here. I mean no offense. I'm just trying to talk some sense into someone who appears to be too far up on their high horse to remember their less experienced biking days.

Samburger! standing up for the less experienced. BOSS
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Old 04-27-10, 11:34 AM   #88
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Well I feel like I cross a sort of bridge here to where I can see things from both angles. I'm an experienced biker--4 years BMXing, but a very inexperienced mountain biker. And for those of you thinking "Ooooh 4 whole years BMXing, whoopdie freakin' doo!" That 4 years was from the ages of 9-13, so it was a big part of my childhood. And really, EVERY piece of advice was good advice. But the way he said it just sounded like he was trying to say "If you don't follow these exact rules, you suck." And it reminded me of myself with things I'm really good at, thinking to myself "Why the hell doesn't everyone do this like I do? It works so much better!" It always takes someone kicking me off my high horse to realize everyone has to learn things their own way, so I thought I'd be the one to do that for this guy.
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Old 04-27-10, 01:00 PM   #89
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it's the internetz dood. if you don't follow the roolz you do sux. get out.
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Old 04-27-10, 01:06 PM   #90
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Old 04-27-10, 05:43 PM   #91
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high horses and hey you guy and i wanna be the guy
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Old 04-27-10, 08:58 PM   #92
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Please, pardon me if I'm off base here. I mean no offense. I'm just trying to talk some sense into someone who appears to be too far up on their high horse to remember their less experienced biking days.
You're off base

This is a list of things that could help a person enjoy mountain biking a little more. How fun is it to get 1/2 way through a ride and have to walk home b/c your sherman tank taco'd a track? I'm not offended BTW...you can judge me all you feel necessary. Lord knows I do it all the time.

It was more or less meant to be an observation of what people do that could either damage their bike, damage the trail, or waste time, energy, or resources.



Sincerely, stuck up, and angry...

Ed






Edit: I know it's hard for new people to the forums to know where some of us are coming from...it's like this, SamB...


I log on here to talk with some people that I consider pretty decent friends. These are men and women that I've learned technical geek stuff from, I've learned riding technique from, and I've definitely learned a ton about forum etiquette from them. It's nice to be able to throw down a 4 y.o. inside joke and know exactly who's gonna get it.

It is monotonous when you get 15 new threads per day that are broken records and could possibly be solved by a simple sticky. It was a public service to those who constantly post and re-post the same threads that have been covered seasonally, year after year. If you don't like what I've done...how I've tried to help people enjoy the sport w/o it costing them and arm and a leg (sometimes literally)...fine.


In the words of the great Mark Weir: "I try never to discount another man's efforts." I'm not trashing other riders in this thread. Just you...(kidding). There are other threads for that I'm just picking apart poor technique with a fine toothed comb in hopes that it will keep someone from bending a wheel, destroying a pedal cage, breaking a clavicle. If one can afford to break their bike daily and have mommy buy new components...cool. More power to ya. I don't get my jollies off destroying a machine that I built from the ground up. It's in my nature to hunt down any odd "ticks" that I hear from my bike that shouldn't be there. I want to be able to ride it as long as I can.


Whatever...I'm done.

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Old 04-28-10, 08:09 PM   #93
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Yeah that makes sense. Yesterday was just a combination of a long, bad day & taking some general advice on riding personally when it was directed towards "noobs", which--with mountain biking--is something I am. So I decided to talk some smack on the internet, because I'm just that cool. So sorry for the harsh words.

Oh & TwinCam, I have no idea where you got that quote from. Maybe I'm going insane...probably...but I can't find that anywhere. That's a pretty awesome picture though.
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Old 04-28-10, 08:16 PM   #94
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yeah i noticed you didnt even attemp to quote me accurately

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Old 04-29-10, 07:48 AM   #95
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Scary

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Old 06-07-10, 03:58 AM   #96
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i've taken some friends to a few trails lately, and they've never really ridden off the road unless it was grass. the worst habit i'm trying to break them from is shifting under pressure uphill, the other stuff, i'll get around to as they learn the basics. i just hate hearing that crunch sound, and them *****ing that the gears don't work!
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Old 09-09-10, 10:14 PM   #97
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I just got into the dirt this year, and what has helped me the most is no matter what speed or the challenge, I majority of my thoughts are directed at where I'm trying to go, and not what's under the bike. sounds too simple but works for me.
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Old 09-16-10, 01:59 AM   #98
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Great tips! thanks.
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Old 11-23-10, 11:34 AM   #99
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Fear??

Ok, when I was 25, I used to race NORBA novice level MTB races and was pretty fearless, now at 55, I was riding "very slowly" on some of the local single track in Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, CO. and I'll admit, it seemed a bit scary on the real rocky decents! Any suggestions on getting on with my fears of getting hurt and just enjoying the RIDE again?? Thanks!

(BTW, the Durango has been used solely as a "converted" touring machine since it was bought in 09, I've just put it back to "MTB Status" and just started riding trails again!)
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Old 12-03-10, 09:46 AM   #100
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Ok, when I was 25, I used to race NORBA novice level MTB races and was pretty fearless, now at 55, I was riding "very slowly" on some of the local single track in Palmer Park in Colorado Springs, CO. and I'll admit, it seemed a bit scary on the real rocky decents! Any suggestions on getting on with my fears of getting hurt and just enjoying the RIDE again?? Thanks!

(BTW, the Durango has been used solely as a "converted" touring machine since it was bought in 09, I've just put it back to "MTB Status" and just started riding trails again!)
You could use a "controlled" environment to practice on. find a good long staircase in town somewhere. The steps are all evenly spaced and won't roll out from under you like a loose stone or stick.

Lower your saddle. Approach it at a "jogging" pace. Fast enough that you wont feel every step all the way down, but not so fast that you air it out. Be light on your hands and use your limbs to absorb the shock. When you get to the bottom, don't lean on your arms, rather pull back/up so your front wheel isn't jammed into the landing.

Do it several times. Then go find a small ledge or picnic table to practice riding off of.

If you practice on obstacles larger than your trail features, then your trail features will seem easier.

2: How wide are your tires? Get a wider front tire if you can fit it. 2.35"-2.5". You won't believe how much more confident you can be with more traction, cush, and floatation.
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