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Breaking Bad Habits and Line Choice

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Breaking Bad Habits and Line Choice

Old 03-07-21, 11:40 PM
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milesf
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Breaking Bad Habits and Line Choice

Hey, I'm honestly pretty new to the sport and in the time that I've mountain biked I have developed a ton of bad habits (looking at the front wheel instead of ahead on the trail, braking in turns, not getting my weight far enough back, not leaning far enough when turning, leaning with the bike while turning instead of separating, etc.). I was wondering if any of yall had advice on how to get over these bad habits. I had initially assumed that they would go away with time, but I've found that instead I just reinforce them more and more because I either get freaked out on the trail and only focus on not crashing and I have a lot of trouble translating practice from easy trails to harder trails. Sorry if I said anything stupid, as you can tell, I have very little idea what I'm talking about.
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Old 03-08-21, 09:25 AM
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Watch some Youtube videos on mountain bike skills.

You'll learn more from those videos than you will on this forum.
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Old 03-08-21, 10:31 AM
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freeranger
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The more you focus on not crashing, the less you are focusing on riding. Relax, and you may find the skills will develop and maybe those bad habits will lessen, as you'll be enjoying the ride more, and worrying about crashing less. Yes, if you mtb enough, you will crash eventually, but try not to concentrate on it.
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Old 03-08-21, 12:45 PM
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Are you riding because you want to ride, or riding just to avoid crashing? Jeez, stop overthinking it. It’s supposed to be at least a little bit fun. Let go and give ‘er, ay?
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Old 03-08-21, 02:25 PM
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The best way to learn good habits is to practice them deliberately. Find a section of trail that has some challenging bits but is still well within your skills. Maybe even just one tight slightly downhill turn. Then ride it over and over again while actively focusing on one or two technical aspects. For example, ride it five or six times just focused on looking out ahead of the bike. If it helps, tell yourself "look ahead. look ahead. look ahead" as you ride. Once you can do it through that section, try to remind yourself to do that one thing every time you get to a technical section on your ride. The main thing is not trying to change a whole lot of things at once. Focus on one or two things and drill them until they come naturally. Then move on to the next thing you want to fix.

If you're not sure what you need to do, for example you know your line is bad, but you don't know what the good line is, watch youtube videos or find a better rider and get them to ride at your speed (or even more slowly than you normally go) in front of you so you can see what line they take and try to match it.
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Old 03-09-21, 06:25 AM
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Maybe you just need to dial things back a little. Practice these things in situations that donít freak you out.

Practice leaning the bike on easier turns. Practice descending technique when it is steep but not loose or technical.
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Old 03-30-21, 01:07 PM
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milesf, great post and especially interested as I'm going through a similar set of circumstances. Just bought a new DB Release 3 two weeks ago after riding road & light gravel for many years. Back in my 20's I was really into MTB's and had an absolute blast on them in the SF Bay area. With the new DB feels like I'm starting all over again. Did find myself way too tense and riding not to crash which, as stated above, takes the enjoyment out of it. Had my 1st "high side" this past Sunday, and it actually kind of loosened me up a bit?! Coming downhill, (too fast for my current abilities), hit a sandy switchback, buried front tire, and high sided off the bike into a scrub brush (had forgotten my gloves, won't be doing that again). But going to take it a bit easier and work on finding my skills again...still smiling though and am trying hard to learn at 62 I'm definitely not in my mid 20's anymore...

Thanks to above responders for suggestions on improving technique!
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Old 03-30-21, 01:25 PM
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update: I think I figured it out, it was a combination of bad technique, really high tire pressure (resulting in the very little grip), and on some of the more technical parts I was either choosing really bad lines or going super slow (so I felt every single bump which made everything just feel a bit less secure).
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Old 03-31-21, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by milesf View Post
update: I think I figured it out, it was a combination of bad technique, really high tire pressure (resulting in the very little grip), and on some of the more technical parts I was either choosing really bad lines or going super slow (so I felt every single bump which made everything just feel a bit less secure).
Good to hear! Sometimes all the little things add up to be something major. Now you can concentrate on riding and enjoying it, rather than worrying about crashing.
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