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Aging out for technical MTB trails?

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Aging out for technical MTB trails?

Old 11-17-23, 02:39 PM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
For me technical vs non technical isn't a measure of difficulty. I think of technical as tight and twisty with small features that require some bikehandling. Big drops and large features are the opposite.

Maybe my definition is carried over from my whitewater paddling days where big water and technical stuff are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Big pushy water with long trains of standing waves aren't technical. Tight twisty creeks where you are dodging boulders are.

The rider's ability is likely to come into play in applying the definition in any case.
Many of the trails in my area are rated the same in terms of level of difficulty as ski slopes. There are single, double and triple black diamonds. I used to do the single blacks and they involved steep slopes you can’t walk up or down, drops, very tight hair pins on marble like gravel and long steep sections about 30% where stopping is not an option, rock gardens and heavy forest. The triples are more for experts/pros. I consider that the ‘technical’ trails require excellent bike handling skills unique to mountain biking - not just steering and braking. The non-technical trails, blue squares and green circles, are flowy where one can ride a non-suspension bike. Most greens here would work on a gravel bike. But what’s technical to one is a yawn to another unless it is death-defying. Homey don’t play dat.
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Old 12-17-23, 11:27 PM
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I was riding local trails on my Cross Check. Moved to the Sierra Nevada foothills. Trails much steeper, looser. Brakes and traction felt kinda sketchy. Picked up an older Specilized Enduro Pro. Way over kill for my riding. But, as a concession to my 69 yrs and post covid condition, I'll happily take all the help I can get. Never had too much brakes or traction! Think I'll feel more in control with it.

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Old 12-27-23, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris
At 71 I'm still riding the rocky and rooty trails every Sunday. Steep ascents with loose rocks have become more difficult as I age; a combination of deteriorating balance and loss of power for the quick bursts of energy that are required for that kind of climbing. The plus side is that I'm going so slowly that I can usually dismount before I fall, and if I fall it's at very low speed.

I still do fine on the fire road descents, but my reaction time is a bit slower so I need to slow down a little on the twisty single track descents.

I also have to slow down when descending in lightly forested areas where my eyes don't adjust to alternating sun and shade as quickly as they used to.

I find myself avoiding miles-long rocky descents that beat up my ageing back and neck.

Since any thread is better with photos here's my current MTB. My arthritic thumbs don't allow me to ride flat bars any more so the frame was built for me by an old friend to accommodate the drop bars.

Growing old has its challenges but so far it beats the alternative.



Brent
Like the Bike! Also been thinkin about putting a Sus fork on one of my gravel bikes... Tracks I ride are quite lumpy, and real SUS front end is a help, but overall, a Full Sus mtb is a bit of overkill.
Is that a 29r fork or 27.5? How does the 'trail' feel ?
I would still use the 700c gravel setup with 42mm low profile tires... so gonna measure to see if a 27.5 mtb fork will work with the 700c wheel diameter (would keep the handling sharper, closer to the gravel/road feel)...
Muck On
Yuri
DO LOVE Pt Reyes... It's a fun option when the Sierras are still snow bound, the Los Padres already a burning caldron and doing your first of the year 3-4 backpack is a great way to shake out the backpack cobwebs and make sure the gear (and the bod) works well....

Last edited by cyclezen; 12-27-23 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 12-27-23, 12:00 PM
  #54  
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[QUOTE=big john;23025642]As I posted earlier, my experience has been the opposite of this. Of course, I know a lot more roadies than mtb'ers but I can't remember anyone ever getting hurt on a mtb ride where they needed an ambulance, or worse. I did have a mtb friend fracture his hip once but it was minor and he rode to his car. I had 4 friends break hips in the same year on road bikes.

Usually if you suggest trying a mountain bike to a roadie they will picture flying off cliffs or tumbling down rock strewn chutes. The reality is you can start with mellow singletracks or even smooth fire roads. You shouldn't start by following seasoned riders down a double black diamond trail or a jump line at a park.

Some of your road skills and abilities will translate to mountain bikes but there is a whole separate skill set needed to manage the dirt. Good road riders will do fine on smooth climbs. Whoever the best road climber is will likely be the best off road climber until things get gnarly.

Roadies will try to just sit on the bike like they do on the road. You need to learn to move your body around a lot more and get comfortable with some sliding. Some people who are good road riders will never be good off road. Never. It's a different discipline. It's definitely not for everyone, but neither is road riding.

The positives to off road riding are huge. First, no cars. This means no drunk drivers, no carloads of obnoxious kids screaming and throwing things at you. No punishment passes. No deafening race motorcycles inches from you. No bus exhaust, no traffic lights, etc. You can see a side of the land you'll never see from a road. You'll experience quiet. And great memories.

[QUOTE]

One major difference I found when transitioning to a mtb is being aggressive versus passive. On a road bike, gravel on a curve means, slow and avoid on a mtb, you just blast right through it unless they are like golf balls. Also one blasts over limbs, boulders and logs. If one is tentative, then you lose momentum and might crash. I found a more aggressive, less fearful mindset was key - but not to the point of being reckless. Reckless usually meant pain.

I have to say I miss it - but my back doesn’t (my back lost 1.5” of cushioning as I have aged). I liked the technical skills required, which I constantly sought to improve, as well as the mental piece of having to constantly set-up, find your line, pre-plan and weight shift. I likened it to being inside a pinball game, where I was constantly “on”. Another comparison is like downhill ski racing compared to track X-county skiing. It was super exciting and also exhausting. The steep climbs to get to the single track, and then the focus and exertion to get down combined to make a ‘good tired’. A two hour mtb session was compatible to doing 60 miles on a road bike.

At least I have fond memories and a couple of scares as well.
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Old 12-27-23, 01:53 PM
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Being older, we can all appreciate what it was like doing mountain riding on non suspension bikes. As the sport evolved it's been nice to find a mix of light, go fast and stop as I've gotten older. Got a bar in the ribs that just won't heal so that tamed the more aggressive riding but it hasn't taken the fun out of it. I still go out solo but I keep myself in check. I road ride a lot today but it was all trail riding when I was growing up.

Good thread.
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Old 12-27-23, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclezen
Like the Bike! Also been thinkin about putting a Sus fork on one of my gravel bikes... Tracks I ride are quite lumpy, and real SUS front end is a help, but overall, a Full Sus mtb is a bit of overkill.
Is that a 29r fork or 27.5? How does the 'trail' feel ?
I would still use the 700c gravel setup with 42mm low profile tires... so gonna measure to see if a 27.5 mtb fork will work with the 700c wheel diameter (would keep the handling sharper, closer to the gravel/road feel)...
Muck On
Yuri
DO LOVE Pt Reyes... It's a fun option when the Sierras are still snow bound, the Los Padres already a burning caldron and doing your first of the year 3-4 backpack is a great way to shake out the backpack cobwebs and make sure the gear (and the bod) works well....
The wheels are 27.5 (650B) as is the fork. Pretty conventional hard tail MTB design but with the front end shortened up a little bit to accommodate the drop bars. Frame was designed for the suspension fork.

Yes I'm spoiled living in Pt. Reyes; great hiking, mountain biking and road riding. We don't really have gravel though: It's either singletrack or dirt fire roads.
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Old 12-27-23, 02:51 PM
  #57  
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Yup, I started mtbing with a zero suspension bike and later added front shocks - so it became a ‘hard tail’. After 10 years of getting my bum bounced around, got a full suspension bike. What a difference! Now my full suspension bike is grossly out of date compared to the new bikes which are lighter, have better suspensions, are easier to maneuver and have larger wheels for going over obstacles. But that is ok, since I only get it out occasionally and ride the mild, non-jarring trails - except for my 50 mile ride up and back to a local pass. Was sure glad I had it AND it taught me the virtues of going tubeless. No more pinch or other flats!
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Old 12-27-23, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by obrentharris

Yes I'm spoiled living in Pt. Reyes; great hiking, mountain biking and road riding. We don't really have gravel though: It's either singletrack or dirt fire roads.
Brent
like dirt fire roads - some are similar to gravel roads … often prefer them over the gravel roads (can depend of course)
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Old 12-27-23, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
What have you found that you have managed? Have you toned down your trail riding? Quit trail riding? Or are you still riding like you did whne younger?
I've ridden some technical trails with experienced riders. I always tried to stay on their line as they knew what they were doing. I never had any serious crashes because if THEY crashed, I stopped and pushed.

That said, I'm not willing to risk serious injury. I'm more of a double-track "jeep road" kinda guy. It can be rutted, muddy, and nasty but no thanks to drops, ramps, and big air. I should be able to do double track "forever". Tech single track...not so much.

My (worthless) advice to you is to do what you love until you get hurt beyond repair or just lose your nerve.
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Old 12-28-23, 05:37 AM
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Don't think, just enjoy the ride
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Old 12-28-23, 07:04 AM
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At 60 ,managed risk in a sense for the trails . Fire roads, single track flow ect. let it rip.
However avoiding kickers and bigger jumps ,or rock garden.

Results from bone density scan says back it off a notch or two off -road.
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Old 02-28-24, 06:22 PM
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I took a hard fall chasing a neighbors dog on a very steep and wet street. I badly injured my knees and it took more than 6 months to be able to hike without pain and two years not to have any restriction in my knee movement. It made me far more cautious about taking a fall or crashing with my mountain bike. Where I live there are few non-technical trails available even if I drive 40 miles to a location and I am thinking about selling my two mountain bikes.
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Old 02-28-24, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Calsun
I took a hard fall chasing a neighbors dog on a very steep and wet street. I badly injured my knees and it took more than 6 months to be able to hike without pain and two years not to have any restriction in my knee movement. It made me far more cautious about taking a fall or crashing with my mountain bike. Where I live there are few non-technical trails available even if I drive 40 miles to a location and I am thinking about selling my two mountain bikes.
Yes indeed. Recovery time from injury is certainly not what it used to be. That and seeing two friends, not dare devils, but experienced mtbrs, incur serious injuries (brain bleed, loss of sight in one eye) gave me time to reflect on risk taking. I still ride it a bit, but more on what one would ride a gravel bike.

I transitioned from 100% road to 100% mountain for 15 years and now back to 99% road (and am aware I don’t control all the variables out on the road.)
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