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Old 05-02-11, 05:44 PM   #126
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DHers are feathering their brakes almost the whole time, that's a totally different concept.
XC: http://www4.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/O...AHRbZ9Fosl.jpg
DH: http://gallery.mtbr.com/data/mtbr/1549/MG_2684.jpg
FR: http://vdn.surfersvillage.com/images...e_freeride.jpg
4X: http://reviews.mtbr.com/wp-content/u...-world-cup.jpg
DJ: http://www.h3publications.com/nucleu...sDirtJumps.jpg
Trials: http://www.bikemag.com/files/2009/08...93-474x600.jpg
BMX: http://www.trekbikes.com/images/2008...son2.large.jpg

I've never grabbed the brakes so hard I endo-ed. I've gone over the bars for other reasons, but never because of braking. Keep your weight where it's supposed to be and it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 05-02-11, 05:47 PM   #127
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Like I've said before, just because many people do it, doesn't make it the right move. People drink and drive, does that mean it's proper?

If it works for you, it works, but it is technically unsafe, and you can not, under any circumstances, retrain your instincts. That is contrary to any psychological study or belief on earth.

I, for one, will only cover my brakes if I plan on immediately using them. The reaction time is literally milliseconds different between a covered brake and hands off the brake lever. Not to mention if I'm on very rough terrain and have my finger over the lever and hit a bump, it is possible to mistakenly grab the brake and hurt myself by grabbing too much Saint brake at once. If my hands are just on the grips, then it isn't physically possible to mistakenly grab the brake. If I'm on a downhill stretch where I know I'll need to be feathering, then yeah of course the lever is covered. Again, if this doesn't work for you, you don't have to do it the way I say, but I have been instructed by many motorcycle instructors that you should only be grabbing your clutch, and that same philosophy applies to anything with brakes. Not going to use them? stay away from them.

It would seem odd to clairfy at this point in the conversation, but I do want to reiterate that I'm excluding DH and similar Monster Energy Drink styles of biking from my brake covering taboo rule. Reason being those guys are on the brakes so much it would take a lot of effort to actually take the hand off the brake.
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Old 05-02-11, 05:53 PM   #128
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Coincidentally, each one of those pictures shows a rider either on the brakes, or when braking is imminent. This kind of supports my theory. Show me a rider on level ground, negotiating an obstacle, on a climb, or on a long smooth downhill straight, where the rider is still covering the brake, and then we'll talk.
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Old 05-02-11, 05:56 PM   #129
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Did you look at the first picture I posted? That's an Olympic XC rider.

Again, you won't go over the bars if you keep your weight in the right place.

Mmm, Monster. I drink it before running races...like, half-marathons. On the road. That's...hardly "extreme."
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Old 05-02-11, 05:58 PM   #130
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Coincidentally, each one of those pictures shows a rider either on the brakes, or when braking is imminent. This kind of supports my theory. Show me a rider on level ground, negotiating an obstacle, on a climb, or on a long smooth downhill straight, where the rider is still covering the brake, and then we'll talk.
http://www2.armynet.mod.uk/imgANOpen.../panter_xc.jpg

And wait, when are you seeing BMX guys brake???
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Old 05-02-11, 05:58 PM   #131
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Did you look at the first picture I posted? That's an Olympic XC rider.

Again, you won't go over the bars if you keep your weight in the right place.

Mmm, Monster. I drink it before running races...like, half-marathons. On the road. That's...hardly "extreme."
yes, I looked, and it appears that his brakes are actually partially engaged.
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Old 05-02-11, 06:02 PM   #132
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Like I've said before, just because many people do it, doesn't make it the right move. People drink and drive, does that mean it's proper?

If it works for you, it works, but it is technically unsafe, and you can not, under any circumstances, retrain your instincts. That is contrary to any psychological study or belief on earth.

I, for one, will only cover my brakes if I plan on immediately using them. The reaction time is literally milliseconds different between a covered brake and hands off the brake lever. Not to mention if I'm on very rough terrain and have my finger over the lever and hit a bump, it is possible to mistakenly grab the brake and hurt myself by grabbing too much Saint brake at once. If my hands are just on the grips, then it isn't physically possible to mistakenly grab the brake. If I'm on a downhill stretch where I know I'll need to be feathering, then yeah of course the lever is covered. Again, if this doesn't work for you, you don't have to do it the way I say, but I have been instructed by many motorcycle instructors that you should only be grabbing your clutch, and that same philosophy applies to anything with brakes. Not going to use them? stay away from them.

It would seem odd to clairfy at this point in the conversation, but I do want to reiterate that I'm excluding DH and similar Monster Energy Drink styles of biking from my brake covering taboo rule. Reason being those guys are on the brakes so much it would take a lot of effort to actually take the hand off the brake.
Training instincts is exactly what repetition does. That's why practice makes perfect, ya know? I don't have an opinion either way in this argument, but you're pulling BS out of your ass. And just because some 'motorcycle instructors' bought a license from your state to teach a class doesn't mean they're correct either.
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Old 05-02-11, 06:05 PM   #133
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Training instincts is exactly what repetition does. That's why practice makes perfect, ya know? I don't have an opinion either way in this argument, but you're pulling BS out of your ass. And just because some 'motorcycle instructors' bought a license from your state to teach a class doesn't mean they're correct either.
Again, you aren't training instincts. You're training techniques. Instints are the way your brain is wired at birth. This cannot be changed. It can be hidden, or ignored to a point, but under the most extremely stressful situations, your instincts will take over.
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Old 05-02-11, 06:15 PM   #134
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Like I've said before, just because many people do it, doesn't make it the right move. People drink and drive, does that mean it's proper?
I cover my brakes when riding drunk too

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If it works for you, it works, but it is technically unsafe, and you can not, under any circumstances, retrain your instincts. That is contrary to any psychological study or belief on earth.
What about the 30+ years of empirical data I cited earlier? You should probably stop speaking in absolutes.

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I, for one, will only cover my brakes if I plan on immediately using them.
Cool, I will repeat my mantra: "Whatever works for you." I trust my instincts for those unplanned moments when I need to get on my brakes the quickest.

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The reaction time is literally milliseconds different between a covered brake and hands off the brake lever.
Sometimes milliseconds matter.

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Not to mention if I'm on very rough terrain and have my finger over the lever and hit a bump, it is possible to mistakenly grab the brake and hurt myself by grabbing too much Saint brake at once.
If that's your problem, you're doing it wrong, and likely gripping the bar too firmly in the first place. I find that keeping my finger over the brake keeps my grip relaxed (as it should be).

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If my hands are just on the grips, then it isn't physically possible to mistakenly grab the brake.
Right, and if your head is up your butt it isn't physically possible to see the light either.

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If I'm on a downhill stretch where I know I'll need to be feathering, then yeah of course the lever is covered.
But what if it's "very rough terrain"?

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Again, if this doesn't work for you, you don't have to do it the way I say, but I have been instructed by many motorcycle instructors that you should only be grabbing your clutch, and that same philosophy applies to anything with brakes. Not going to use them? stay away from them.
How many instructors? You take these classes (MSF I presume) frequently? I know that any instructor at a high performance school would never tell you to "only grab your clutch."

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It would seem odd to clairfy at this point in the conversation, but I do want to reiterate that I'm excluding DH and similar Monster Energy Drink styles of biking from my brake covering taboo rule.
It does seem odd considering that a second ago you said your rule applies to "anything with brakes."

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Reason being those guys are on the brakes so much it would take a lot of effort to actually take the hand off the brake.
This statement is so ridiculous I couldn't think of a funny retort.
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Old 05-02-11, 06:30 PM   #135
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Show me a rider on level ground, negotiating an obstacle, on a climb, or on a long smooth downhill straight, where the rider is still covering the brake, and then we'll talk.
level ground, negotiating an obstacle, smooth landing, and I can assure you there's no braking imminent.

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Old 05-02-11, 08:24 PM   #136
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Old 05-02-11, 08:25 PM   #137
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Again, you aren't training instincts. You're training techniques. Instints are the way your brain is wired at birth. This cannot be changed. It can be hidden, or ignored to a point, but under the most extremely stressful situations, your instincts will take over.
So when I'm really scared on a trail my instinct won't be to pull my brake, it will be to cry for my mommy because I didn't come out with a brain full of biking instincts. Covering your brake is a technique and can be trained.
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Old 05-02-11, 08:27 PM   #138
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level ground, negotiating an obstacle, smooth landing, and I can assure you there's no braking imminent.

Careful! There's this weird Kinetic thing on the trail. I bet he's braking for that.
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Old 05-07-11, 08:37 AM   #139
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Question: I'm having a little trouble manualing. If I have the time to throw all my weight back and yank on the bars, I can manual fine, but its a very slow (compared to the speed of the bike) process. Usually in the situations that I'd manual off a drop, I'm moving pretty quick with my weight outta the saddle and a little forward. (typing that now, it seems wrong...) But are XC bikes not really made, geometry-wise, to be thrown around in such a manner? Or is it just my hackish ability?
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Old 05-16-11, 10:38 AM   #140
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Question: I'm having a little trouble manualing. If I have the time to throw all my weight back and yank on the bars, I can manual fine, but its a very slow (compared to the speed of the bike) process. Usually in the situations that I'd manual off a drop, I'm moving pretty quick with my weight outta the saddle and a little forward. (typing that now, it seems wrong...) But are XC bikes not really made, geometry-wise, to be thrown around in such a manner? Or is it just my hackish ability?
A little bit of both. XC bikes have a little longer and lower cockpit with longer stays. That said...one can learn to manual just about anything with practice. I can't manual for crap any longer than a trail obstacle necessitates...or fun'cessitates, but it's only b/c I haven't taken the time to learn. The cool looking 1/4 mile manual is not in my bag of tricks. I can manual long enough to negotiate obstacles in a fun way though...which is all I wanted to do with it in the first place.
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Old 05-16-11, 02:57 PM   #141
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are you ****ing kidding me? Are you that dense? You can't train instinct. You can train your mind but in the event of sheer impending disaster, your instincts will take over no matter how well you think you've trained them. Much like when handling a gun, when you should only have your finger on the trigger if you are about to shoot, you should only cover your brakes if you are using them. Some day you'll be laying on the pavement because some ass in a cage swerved into your lane, you forgot everything you know, and your instinct made you grab that front brake you were covering it has happened to a lot of people, and if you think what you're doing is right, I will suggest some formal moorcycle training. What you are doing is wrong. End of story.
You're quite dumb, & quite wrong. My motorcycle instructor had us cover our brakes for the majority of the MSF course--all the time except when cornering. That means one of our instructors is wrong. The only difference is that the majority disagrees with you, & many of us have evidence to prove that professionals cover their brakes. What biking credentials do you have to argue with that? It could also be argued that one day you'll find yourself face-first in a tree because you weren't covering your brakes & couldn't stop in time.

It's a good skill to learn & I'm sorry you lack the ability to train your instincts. Have you ever heard the term "second nature"? It's not a metaphor...
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Old 05-16-11, 03:40 PM   #142
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every motorcycle instructor from the BRC all the way up to raceday instructors have said DO NOT COVER BRAKE.
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Old 05-17-11, 08:20 AM   #143
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every motorcycle instructor from the BRC all the way up to raceday instructors have said DO NOT COVER BRAKE.
That's because as an instructor, you have to assume that you're dealing with idiots. I don't know if "instinct" is the right word or not, but you can develop muscle memory in times of quick reaction. My muscle memory is that if I'm blasting a DH and I need to hit my brakes...my body automatically throws itself backward enough to counter the OTB effect.

Get this dill-holery out of my thread, kids.

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Old 07-03-11, 10:59 PM   #144
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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.
I've got mixed feelings re this thread. Two yrs ago I bought my XC 29r off my mechanic just for winter commuting but (subconciously) must've wanted to try the trails. Now I can't get enough of this. The challenge is, at 40, its more work to unlearn lots of bad habits: I'm forever grabbing the rear brake for example, can't navigate mud very well etc. Manualing is just not happening for me, nor is bunny-hopping...

So, 1. if you spot me out there on the trail, going ugly over obstacles, withhold judgement...or, whatever, judge away.
& 2. Please keep the thread alive b/c this is like the cliff notes for trail riding. Finally 3. the excerpt above is excellent.
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Old 07-04-11, 03:57 PM   #145
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I judge silently. I normally don't care if some "elderly guy" () is grabbing his rear brake or eating mud. I do however cringe and look away when I see somebody not paying attn. and bashing a derailleur on a miss'able rock or bash the crap outta the rear wheel smacking into crap.

I suffer silently though. I'm not the type of preck that comments on a stranger's riding style. That's just tacky.
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Old 07-13-11, 10:24 AM   #146
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I am going back to mountain biking after few years and I think I'm aware of most of the techniques mentioned in the original post and I'll practice as much as I can. I remember though that my biggest problem was, also mentioned in one of the posts here, taking sharp turns while maintaining speed. I tended to go for the inner curve and loose momentum and speed and generally would be afraid of getting slingshotted off of the track, as if I didn't trust that the tires could keep me on track.

I will have a better bike and better tires this time though but any ideas how to practice to improve turning and getting rid of that fear of momentum throwing me off of the trail?. When I watch some of the videos of people riding fast on trails it almost seems impossible to me how they seem to remain glued to the trail even on tight curves.

Oh, and several years ago I slid down a wet rock while hiking down a side of a mountain, was tired, wasn't paying enough attention, my feet went forward and up and I fell backwards and twisted my left shoulder when I extended my left arm to cushion the backwards fall (which was a dumb reflex because my backpack would have cushioned it anyway). I had to go through therapy and it still hurts sometimes. But I developed fear of wet rocks, dumb reflexes and falling on my arms in general. That will be something to overcome too.

LOL, and I cover my brakes whether zig-zagging in traffic on my commuter, riding a loaded touring rig or whatever else, unless I'm on a flat empty stretch of road with no one and nothing in sight, and yet I never brake if it's not necessary or by accident; but if I have to brake, my reaction is slightly faster since my finger(s) is on the lever already. Telling someone to never, ever cover the brakes is just irresponsible and wrong. You cover the brakes but only squeeze when necessary. Yes, you learn to do that, I guess it's like handling a gun: you have your finger on the trigger but fire when needed only. I can see the instructors telling noobs during the early stages of teaching not to cover brakes to avoit OTBs. But once you're out of that stage you do cover the brakes most of the time.

Adam

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Old 08-17-11, 04:03 PM   #147
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Is it too late to resurrect this thread? Oh.. too late.

Uh look where you want to go, not at the rock you are about to hit. I've been getting better at that, its amazing, I find myself looking WAY down the trail and the stuff that I saw one or four seconds ago I just miss. I guess I saw it once and my body can deal with it so I don't have to look at it again.

Also, ride with other people. I live way out in the sticks and have been driving an hour and a half to ride with a group from a bike shop. It has made a huge difference in my skills. Just absorbing, not studying or being coached or anything, just seeing how that guy does or doesn't do it.

Thanks all, great thread. We can all agree that riding a mountain bike is fun fun fun, so ride and don't crash too hard.
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Old 08-19-11, 08:07 AM   #148
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Sticky's are immortal, Carl. You can't ressurect something that lives forever.

Good addition
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Old 08-20-11, 06:07 PM   #149
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OK then, here's another one.

I ride in my driveway and in my yard. I practice slow speed stuff. Trackstands, bunnyhops and what I like to call "tiny circles". Tiny circles help me do tight switchbacks cause I learn how to lean the bike over and turn slooow. Lots of slow speed balance work. I can bunnyhop a little bit and one day I'll be able to do a wheelie but my point is that I ride every day. Some times it's only ten feverish scary slideways laps around the house but it's everyday.

A couple months ago I was practicing bunnyhops in my driveway, I thought "I'm just foolin' around a little, no need for the helmet." I crashed, hit my head, barfed, and scared the uhghum out of my wife, climbing up the stairs, bleeding from the head, I wasn't going more than five miles an hour. Now I'm a dork and don't "fool around" without a helmet.
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Old 08-26-11, 12:24 PM   #150
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OK then, here's another one.

I ride in my driveway and in my yard. I practice slow speed stuff. Trackstands, bunnyhops and what I like to call "tiny circles". Tiny circles help me do tight switchbacks cause I learn how to lean the bike over and turn slooow. Lots of slow speed balance work. I can bunnyhop a little bit and one day I'll be able to do a wheelie but my point is that I ride every day. Some times it's only ten feverish scary slideways laps around the house but it's everyday.

A couple months ago I was practicing bunnyhops in my driveway, I thought "I'm just foolin' around a little, no need for the helmet." I crashed, hit my head, barfed, and scared the uhghum out of my wife, climbing up the stairs, bleeding from the head, I wasn't going more than five miles an hour. Now I'm a dork and don't "fool around" without a helmet.


This is good. Def. wear a helmet unless you're stupid like me. I often go w/o one unless I'm putting on my gnarboots.

Jacking around in the driveway with my kids is lots of fun.


Wanna learn how to bunnyhop over a log? Get something that you can knock over / blast through if you don't clear it and practice hopping it. Start small. Hopping over an object is a tad trickier than just hopping b/c you have to time the takeoff so you don't hit said object.

When I first got the Parker, I wanted to practice hopping over something b/c I hadn't ridden a dually in quite a while. I have one of those softshell tool boxes made by "Husky" or something. It's like 15-20" tall. The first time...I cleared it, the second time...my front tire hit it. Had I not hopped a "knock-over'able" structure a few times for practice...I could have bashed the front wheel on a log/bench...whatev's...and gone OTB or bent a rim, etc...

5-10 times over the case...now it's dialled in.
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