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Mountain biking tips!

Old 05-20-15, 12:40 PM
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ParkingTheBus
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Mountain biking tips!

I've been mountain biking on and off for the past year or so. Even though it's recreational, I still want to get better. I particularly have trouble with shifting gears, climbing and cornering.

When going up a hill, I always underestimate the gear I'm in a end up switching in the middle of a climb. When on a flatter surface, I find it hard to accelerate and catch up with my friends. Should I be shifting up front in addition to the back? When climbing, do I get out of my saddle or stay in?

My biggest problem is cornering. I crashed a couple times this week because I underestimated the turns. Should I be using my front brakes and how can I turn a corner smoothly? I'm fairly big (6 feet, 210 lbs) so this may also be a factor
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Old 05-20-15, 02:01 PM
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Man,, so much of this is saddle time. It can be hard to explain unless we are in the field with you, watching you..

Know the phrase, "Chopping Wood", that's spinning pedals and not getting power on the ground that moves you forward.. You've got to learn to shift Into your power stroke and that for most of us is a cadence, a good spin, for me 80 'ish RPM. When I started 60 was about it. I never seem to need more than 90ish now.. no idea why.

Going UP hill,,, depends,,
For short punchy climbs I pick a gear before I go up that keeps me from chopping wood and I stay In It,,This can be trial and error,, you need to do drills.
For Say longer 25 foot sorta steep climbs, I come up to/at those balls to the walls 'MID Cassette' and on the big chain ring going for all the speed I can muster.
I start up and get about 10 feet then as my cadence begins to fall I drop a ring up front and stand and hammer,,,,,,for about 10 feet......
Then I drop to the granny ring and I stand and hammer, hopefully for about 5 feet,,,climb complete

I NEED my 3 X 9 I NEED those big gear jumps up front,,some don't..
I tried a 1 X set up, It taught me alot but for my trails and my abilites and my bike weight 2 X 10 or 3 X 9 only for me.

Remember my cassette ? Its in any middle gear, sorta,,say 3rd cog or 4th'ish, I don't shift that while doing a steep climb because my speed will fall off to fast while shifting,,,as soon as I get to the next lower gear its too late for that gear,,,click pedal click pedal click and your stopped, the gears are too close..

I pretty much do all my roller flows in one gear..say the 4th or 5th cassette cog and my middle up front,, unless they are fast rollers the 6th or 7th on the cassette. The game of the roller flows is NOT to need to pedal at all !
Google Pumping the bike or pump track..

Sitting in the saddle and mashing hard can and will hurt your knee's,,fixing them is a real bad deal...
Seated climbing helps you spin and In 'Spin' you have power, just like a car engine..
Standing and pedaling is fine IF and ONLY if you can accelerate or hold speed with NO pain and I hope your clipped in for this kind of balls out climbing..

Think seated for long climbs and standing for short or punchy climbs as In BURST of power...

You gotta find one big nasty hill out in the open and learn to get up that thing so fast none of your friends can catch you..
Intervals,,google that.
A good way to do this,,find a pretty steep hill, but not too steep,,you should be able to run up It without touching the ground with your hands,,
Start running up and down it Untill you puke..twice a week... If It gets easy carry the bike on your shoulder,,and a full pack,,till you puke..
Google point of failure exercising ...
Decide now,,are you a man or a mouse,,your gonna have to commit..
No pain no gain...

NOW onto corners,, next post... I need a beer..

Last edited by osco53; 05-20-15 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 05-20-15, 02:26 PM
  #3  
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Originally Posted by osco53 View Post
Man,, so much of this is saddle time. It can be hard to explain unless we are in the field with you, watching you..

Know the phrase, "Chopping Wood", that's spinning pedals and not getting power on the ground that moves you forward.. You've got to learn to shift Into your power stroke and that for most of us is a cadence, a good spin, for me 80 'ish RPM. When I started 60 was about it. I never seem to need more than 90ish now.. no idea why.

Going UP hill,,, depends,,
For short punchy climbs I pick a gear before I go up that keeps me from chopping wood and I stay In It,,This can be trial and error,, you need to do drills.
For Say longer 25 foot sorta steep climbs, I come up to/at those balls to the walls 'MID Cassette' and on the big chain ring going for all the speed I can muster.
I start up and get about 10 feet then as my cadence begins to fall I drop a ring up front and stand and hammer,,,,,,for about 10 feet......
Then I drop to the granny ring and I stand and hammer, hopefully for about 5 feet,,,climb complete

I NEED my 3 X 9 I NEED those big gear jumps up front,,some don't..
I tried a 1 X set up, It taught me alot but for my trails and my abilites and my bike weight 2 X 10 or 3 X 9 only for me.

Remember my cassette ? Its in any middle gear, sorta,,say 3rd cog or 4th'ish, I don't shift that while doing a steep climb because my speed will fall off to fast while shifting,,,as soon as I get to the next lower gear its too late for that gear,,,click pedal click pedal click and your stopped, the gears are too close..

I pretty much do all my roller flows in one gear..say the 4th or 5th cassette cog and my middle up front,, unless they are fast rollers the 6th or 7th on the cassette. The game of the roller flows is NOT to need to pedal at all !
Google Pumping the bike or pump track..

Sitting in the saddle and mashing hard can and will hurt your knee's,,fixing them is a real bad deal...
Seated climbing helps you spin and In 'Spin' you have power, just like a car engine..
Standing and pedaling is fine IF and ONLY if you can accelerate or hold speed with NO pain and I hope your clipped in for this kind of balls out climbing..

Think seated for long climbs and standing for short or punchy climbs as In BURST of power...

You gotta find one big nasty hill out in the open and learn to get up that thing so fast none of your friends can catch you..
Intervals,,google that.
A good way to do this,,find a pretty steep hill, but not too steep,,you should be able to run up It without touching the ground with your hands,,
Start running up and down it Untill you puke..twice a week... If It gets easy carry the bike on your shoulder,,and a full pack,,till you puke..
Google point of failure exercising ...
Decide now,,are you a man or a mouse,,your gonna have to commit..
No pain no gain...

NOW onto corners,, next post... I need a beer..
Haha, thanks for the information.. I agree a lot of it has to do with saddle time. To be honest, I've only been on trails 15-20 times. I've noticed that my endurance has improved significantly, I just need to work on the technical skills.
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Old 05-20-15, 02:28 PM
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Corners,, a true art form.

First thing you do Is take it easy and work on the basics.. again hard to teach like this so you will get little tips..

Brake before a turn not In it..
Brakes are for stopping right ? WRONG, stop using them like on/off switches and start thinking of them as speed adjusters...
Set your cockpit up,,, you probably got your levers too close or too far outboard,,your gonna have to google this and work it out.. very critical.

Enter all corners as wide as you can,, If the single track corner is 14 Inches wide go In on the outside 13th inch and stay wide, wider corners are simply less sharp and you can carry more speed, speed is stability and traction,, spinning wheels are gyroscopes,, that is stablity..

You must drive the front tire INTO the ground for traction or you will washout..
Torso down low elbows bent about 90 degree's putting your chin about one foot above the stem,, that gets weight on the front without unloading the back.
You gotta get low and loose.
You gotta look where you want the bike to go NOT at the front tire.
See and obstacle, a root or rock,, go on look at it,,your gonna hit it... It's that simple.

Ok your feet

We ride heavy on the feet and light on the bars except when we need that front tire to bite hard,,then we get low//
LEAN the bike not your bod unless your one of those little rubber people.. Your not that good yet, or that fast.

Steer with your feet,,,,yeah yeah read that again boy... Steer with your feet

Obviously when you turn a hard tight fast left your right pedal is down, left is up... DuHhhh pedal strikes in fast corners hurts,,I got that T-shirt.

When you are sweeping corners left then right, when your flowing mid corner mash down with the OUTSIDE foot just a little extra and you'll freak at how much the bike turns in tighter,,easy here..... A little goes along way...

Remember me talking about that 14 Inch wide single track curve ?...

Ok so you did,, you went In wide with too much speed and your freaking out, go on just touch a brake,, and eat some dirt. sit up right and eat some dirt.... Tense up your arms and,, wait for it,, EAT SOME DIRT ! LoL

What do you do, what to do, all this speed and all those trees,,,

Mash down on the outside low pedal and watch the bike simply tighten the line up,, You'll be 3 Inches from the inside of the trail in a split second so be ready,, All this burns forward motion so,, the bike slows and then It will start to stand up,,
GET ON THE POWER ASAP and repeat...
Don't forget to wait for your buddies and bust their chops a little
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,Or,,,,you could go take a skills class or two


Last edited by osco53; 11-29-16 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 05-20-15, 02:39 PM
  #5  
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I was 6' 202 pounds when I started,,

Now I'm 5'11" 173 pounds...

Had a buddy spend $2,000 more than I did on his bike, It weighed 3 pounds less than mine, so I lost 29 pounds for free,,He didn't think that was funny at all.
I let Him catch me now and then,,
Yeah I know,, It's cause my moma used to drop me alot ~~~~~
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