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  1. #1
    Senior Member Al K's Avatar
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    Most common mistakes resulting in falls

    Hi MTBers,

    I've only been MTBing a month. I've fallen on trails 4 times. 2 times because I was going too slow to make steep short hill and couldn't unclip. 1 time because I was going too slow over a long narrow bridge, veered off bridge, and endoed. 1 time because I hit root at top of hill and wheelied over clipped in.

    Common mistake was going too slow (and afraid to go faster). I'm learning, hopefully, but confidence and skills need boost.

    What mistakes have you made, or see made, often by MTBers?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Drunken Chicken's Avatar
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    Maybe you should try platform pedals, see what you like better for trails.
    2005 Ironhorse 7.3
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  3. #3
    Senior Member LordOpie's Avatar
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    Most common mistakes resulting in falls...

    Saying, "Watch this!"

  4. #4
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Riding skinnies on clipless...deadly.

  5. #5
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordOpie
    Most common mistakes resulting in falls...

    Saying, "Watch this!"
    Or

    "this is my last run"

  6. #6
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I agree with Drunken Chicken, as a beginner to off-road, I'd ride w/o the clipless and then once you're comfortable go back to them.

    Other beginner mistakes:

    1. Locking your elbows and knees. Stay loose, use your body as suspension.
    2. Death grip on the handlebars. If you are getting forearm pump, you're gripping too tightly. Keep your hands relaxed. Try resting your thumb on top of the grip instead of wrapping it around.
    3. Not looking far enough ahead. Try to focus on the trail 10-12 feet in front of the tire, not 1-2 feet. Your brain will remember what it saw.
    4. Look where you WANT to go, not where you DON'T want to go. If you stare at a rock in your path, you WILL hit it. Concentrate on your preferred line.
    5. Drink plenty of fluids. Beginners usually don't stop to drink enough fluids and they get dehydrated and tire too quickly.
    6. Do a quick once over of all your nuts, bolts and quick releases before you hit the trail.
    7. Don't overinflate your tires. Max for off-road use should be 40 psi. I start at 45 psi and every time I stop I give my tires a quick little blurp of air until I find that "Sweet Spot" of tire pressure. It's usually in the low 30's for me.
    8. Bring a buddy! Nothing better than sharing your experience.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
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  7. #7
    Ravnhaus ravnhaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
    2. Death grip on the handlebars. If you are getting forearm pump, you're gripping too tightly. Keep your hands relaxed. Try resting your thumb on top of the grip instead of wrapping it around.
    .
    I have been trying to find the proper way to grip.
    Do you keep your fingers or a couple of fingers on the brake lever at all times or only when you are going to brake? If I wrap all my fingers around the grip I find I keep accidently shifting, usually in a tight situation where shifting is not called for. I guess I instinctively tighter my grip and inadvertently hit the shifter.
    Sometimes I find my hands getting numb only thirty minutes into a ride. Is that from too tight of a grip or maybe not enough flex in the arms? I wear padded gloves, but they don't really help much.
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  8. #8
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
    8. Bring a buddy! Nothing better than sharing your experience.
    Also, if possible, bring one that has matching blood-type and would be willing to donate a spleen.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
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  9. #9
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravnhaus
    Do you keep your fingers or a couple of fingers on the brake lever at all times or only when you are going to brake?
    I normally ride with 1 or 2 on the brake to keep things loose
    Quote Originally Posted by ravnhaus
    If I wrap all my fingers around the grip I find I keep accidently shifting, usually in a tight situation where shifting is not called for.
    That's why I don't like twist shifters
    Quote Originally Posted by ravnhaus
    Sometimes I find my hands getting numb only thirty minutes into a ride. Is that from too tight of a grip or maybe not enough flex in the arms? I wear padded gloves, but they don't really help much.
    Loosen the death grip. It's important to guide the bike not muscle it around. As hard as you fight the bike it will fight back just as hard

  10. #10
    Ride it, don't fondle it! Wheel Doctor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by a2psyklnut
    I agree with Drunken Chicken, as a beginner to off-road, I'd ride w/o the clipless and then once you're comfortable go back to them.

    Other beginner mistakes:

    1. Locking your elbows and knees. Stay loose, use your body as suspension.
    2. Death grip on the handlebars. If you are getting forearm pump, you're gripping too tightly. Keep your hands relaxed. Try resting your thumb on top of the grip instead of wrapping it around.
    3. Not looking far enough ahead. Try to focus on the trail 10-12 feet in front of the tire, not 1-2 feet. Your brain will remember what it saw.
    4. Look where you WANT to go, not where you DON'T want to go. If you stare at a rock in your path, you WILL hit it. Concentrate on your preferred line.
    5. Drink plenty of fluids. Beginners usually don't stop to drink enough fluids and they get dehydrated and tire too quickly.
    6. Do a quick once over of all your nuts, bolts and quick releases before you hit the trail.
    7. Don't overinflate your tires. Max for off-road use should be 40 psi. I start at 45 psi and every time I stop I give my tires a quick little blurp of air until I find that "Sweet Spot" of tire pressure. It's usually in the low 30's for me.
    8. Bring a buddy! Nothing better than sharing your experience.
    Great stuff, good advice. I ride with the original poster. I was an avid MTB rider many years ago and now I'll date myself. My first MTB was a Bridgestone MB-2 followed by a Ritchie Commando. Suspension didn't exist. We have had a ton of fun in the last few weeks visiting various trails. Again thanks for the tips.

    PS: Al has went to platforms while I'm still using my eggbeaters. I am a little wacko, too many hits in the head. I will probably elect to go to Mallets. I have several bikes with eggbeaters on them.

    Jude

  11. #11
    Ravnhaus ravnhaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raiyn
    That's why I don't like twist shifters
    They are lever shifters, but if my index finger is wrapped around the grip it is directly over one of the levers. I have now been keeping at least my index finger on the brake lever, which sound like is the way to go. Thanks for the tip!
    I have also been riding with my thumb parallel with the back of the bars. Is that correct?
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  12. #12
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Revnhaus...comfort...go for comfort. You have to find what works best for you with your setup. Death grip is a mental state not a pure physical problem

  13. #13
    chopsockey jo5iah's Avatar
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    - find the line. look ahead but not too much at anything in particular. finding where the line is will depend on the trail, your speed, lighting, etc.
    - be intense, but relaxed. if you worry about something, it will usually bite you. if you're aware of it and just deal with it, things generally work out better. also, as above, no death grip. if your handlebars turned into a piano, you should be prepared to play it (or some BS like that) at an instant.
    - use your legs to balance you. shift your weight where you need it. don't laze out and stay on your seat all the time.

    practicing clipless pedals on non-technical trails will make you more comfortable.

  14. #14
    ÖöÖöÖöÖöÖö Dannihilator's Avatar
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    Watching the front wheel.
    Quote Originally Posted by scrodzilla
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  15. #15
    Canon fiend MadMan2k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordOpie
    Most common mistakes resulting in falls...

    Saying, "Watch this!"

    That's the one. hehe.


    I usually dont keep any fingers on the brakes until I need to stop, and I do grip fairly tightly when manuevring or anything, but for going straight I ease up on the gripping.

  16. #16
    THIS BIKE'S 4 U !!!! Killer B's Avatar
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    Too much "Tequilya" before or during the ride....

  17. #17
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    Looking at a riding buddy fall behind you - you'll be next.

  18. #18
    Canon fiend MadMan2k's Avatar
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    Well, yeah, if you look behind you... :|

  19. #19
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    Exactly what I said.

  20. #20
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    The point is...who would do that?

  21. #21
    Just give'er. hooligan's Avatar
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    <====

  22. #22
    DSFB AllDownhill's Avatar
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    another one is putting to much pressure on your rear brake you dont want to slam on your front breaks and do another endo put just reamember that there ther'yre
    "Lifes a garden, Dig it"

  23. #23
    Local Genius
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killer B
    Too much "Tequilya" before or during the ride....
    DURING!?!?!?! WTF?!!?!? you crazy, tequiza is so nasty ugh blech blah

  24. #24
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    Stopping halfway. You either have to commit, or don't go at all. This is true in most of these adrenaline-heavy sports (surfing, skateboarding, etc).

  25. #25
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    Learn how to read the trail and pick the safest line.
    Use camber to your advantage.
    Look where you want to go.
    Get in the right gear before you run out of steam.
    Pick a line the commit to the move, don't faff around, do relax.
    Move your weight on the bike if you feel the rear rising.
    Save those clipless pedals for when you can ride better, switch to platforms for now.

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