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MTB Technique

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Old 12-07-03, 03:04 PM
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ParamountScapin
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MTB Technique

Am starting my MTB season in earnest and want to do better. Can anyone recommend a good tome for reading about technique on an MTB? For instance, when I go over a 12-15" log I pop the front wheel up but invariably hit the log with the big chainring. As I am pedalling, the teeth in chainring simply help to drive me forward and over the log. But my poor chainring is bound to suffer. So what is the technique? I know most of you can answer, but the reason I need a book is that is only one of many questions I have about proper techique on an MTB.
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Old 12-07-03, 04:10 PM
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Hey,

You could try Mountain bike magazine's complete guide to Mountain Biking Skills. I got it at amazon for $3 or something like that. It's a pretty good book.
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Old 12-07-03, 04:51 PM
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bentrim
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Here are a few websites:

http://www.timeoutdoors.com/sitetool...t.asp?acd=bike

http://www.mtbbritain.co.uk/tips_page.html

http://users.aber.ac.uk/sjs9/Tutorial/tutorial.htm

As for popping over logs, you seem to know what you're doing. It's normal for the crank to scrape larger logs. That's why they invented the bashring.

This is what I found from trial and (lots of) errors...and still making errors:

- Have the correct speed to give you enough momentum depending on the height of the log. Too slow, and you'll stall. Too fast, and you'll crash.

- Use timing to pop your front tire on top of the log. This gives a much smoother transition than just lifting the front tire and letting it fall past the log.

- As your rear wheel hits, unweight or lighten the back by keeping your knees loose and popping up with the bike. With experience you can try rear wheel lifts.

- Keep pedalling through even if the crank hits the log to retain momentum, and so your pedals won't hit the log.

- Push forward on the bars and shift your weight to the back (butt over rear wheel) to arc your bike over and down the log.

If the log is too big: ride around it, or get off and carry the bike.
 
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Old 12-07-03, 06:48 PM
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Yo Paramount - it's about time you came over to the darker side of biking

I used to ride over logs, still occasionally try to bunny hop, but in my old age laziness has set in and I usually either ride around, or unclip one foot to rest on top of the log, then swing the bike around and over it. It is normal to grind your big ring over a log but I got tired of replacing them. We have some logs that have been ground down so much that you can clear a lot of them now if you can center the groove.

Some of the newer more freeride type mtn bikes have higher bottom brackets, and I hope this trend continues into race XC bikes. I have one that rarely touches either the rings or the pedals on anything. Good luck...

Oh, and a friend of mine recently loaned me a good technique book, I can't remember the title right now but Ned Overend was the author. I'll let you know...
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Old 12-07-03, 07:45 PM
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Thanks, all. I just ordered a pair of the used "Skills" book nabwong recommended above. One for me and one for an Xmas gift. And thanks for the suggestion on the 'bashring'. Now I am off to eBay and then Jensen to find a good one. Gotta be cheaper than a new chainring.

BTW, we did a couple of hours in 4-6" of snow today and it was a hoot. Was our normal local venue in the woods and it was like riding in a new place. One problem is that wet snow makes logs extremely slippery. We walked across many of the logs we normally jump after dumping out on a couple. Being the first one down parts of the trails was also interesting. Now exactly where is that trail?

Have a Merry Xmas!!
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Old 12-07-03, 08:55 PM
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I have become a big log weinie because of a friends injury for the sake of hopping a log. If it is over about 10-12 inches I just stop and cross.

Besides, I have also had to replace a few big rings due to this practice and I am tired of the extra expense.

I just don't have anything to prove by grinding over huge logs anymore. My collarbone thanks me every time I stop.

If your gonna do it P'mount just be careful.
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Old 12-07-03, 08:58 PM
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Hmmm.. it depends on what kind of chain rings you've got as well. Most of them are pretty sturdy against logs, but when you start smashing them into rocks/concrete you should start worrying. If you really want to go budget, just grind the teeth off the outer chainring so it's smooth. Instant cheapo bash guard! I run Race Face chain rings and they've proven themselves to be super strong. You'll break off teeth before bending the chainring... which is awesome.
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Old 12-07-03, 11:22 PM
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rasheed
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you can also try learning one of these...

the log hop
or
the ride up

Last edited by rasheed; 12-07-03 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 12-07-03, 11:27 PM
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One word....Or is it two?


Bashguard
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Old 12-08-03, 02:17 PM
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Bashguards and bunnyhops are the way to go. Regarding higher bottom brackets, the newer freeride bikes that are coming with higher bottom brackets are due to the greater suspension travel. After compressing the suspension the bottom bracket ends up lower than a hardtail, so if you hit a log and the suspension compresses your big ring would not only still hit, it would be more likely to hit. High bottom brackets lead to poor handling in general (cornering, climbing, and descending) and are only used to keep from constantly pedaling into the ground on a suspension bike, don't expect (or want) manufacturers to start raising bottom bracket heights beyond what is necessary.
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Old 12-08-03, 02:29 PM
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Bunnyhops have their risk factor. I was feeling cocky and bunnyhopping over a series of small logs when my rear wheel suddenly caught one of the logs as I was in flight.

Caused the bike to abruptly nose dive and sent me flying over the bars. Yep...Crashing sure does suck!
 
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Old 12-08-03, 03:22 PM
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DMulyava
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Originally Posted by rasheed
you can also try learning one of these...

the log hop
or
the ride up
Oh my god. You gotta be kidding me. That first fideo (log up) was shot in the park right across from my old house. I remember riding over those logs myself
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Old 12-08-03, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by crashing_sux
Bashguards and bunnyhops are the way to go. Regarding higher bottom brackets, the newer freeride bikes that are coming with higher bottom brackets are due to the greater suspension travel. After compressing the suspension the bottom bracket ends up lower than a hardtail, so if you hit a log and the suspension compresses your big ring would not only still hit, it would be more likely to hit. High bottom brackets lead to poor handling in general (cornering, climbing, and descending) and are only used to keep from constantly pedaling into the ground on a suspension bike, don't expect (or want) manufacturers to start raising bottom bracket heights beyond what is necessary.
Specifically I was talking about the freeride HT bikes that are out now. I have a Cove Stiffee FR and it is one of my favorite bikes. I prefer a higher bottom bracket and slack head angle. I also have a couple more XC oriented bikes and they have become backup bikes. I've even raced the Cove a couple times and still prefer it. The only place I have found it to be a disadvantage is on steep climbs, but a slight change in technique takes care of that. To each his own I guess..
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Old 12-08-03, 04:52 PM
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Now that I have the books on the way (thanks to nabwong - I got two new ones on Amazon for $4.49, each), can anyone recommend a good bashring? I am using an XT crankset.
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Old 12-08-03, 06:17 PM
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rasheed
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Originally Posted by DMulyava
Oh my god. You gotta be kidding me. That first fideo (log up) was shot in the park right across from my old house. I remember riding over those logs myself
nice! the guys who run the site those vids are on (www.alwaysmad.com) are from around the toronto area somewhere...
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Old 12-08-03, 06:39 PM
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ParamountScapin
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I couldn't get any video to come up. No problem with audio portion, but no video.
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Old 12-08-03, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK
Specifically I was talking about the freeride HT bikes that are out now. I have a Cove Stiffee FR and it is one of my favorite bikes. I prefer a higher bottom bracket and slack head angle. I also have a couple more XC oriented bikes and they have become backup bikes. I've even raced the Cove a couple times and still prefer it. The only place I have found it to be a disadvantage is on steep climbs, but a slight change in technique takes care of that. To each his own I guess..
Nice bike. About the lower bottom brackets I was referring to your comment about race XC bikes, I think higher bottom brackets are fine for freeride bikes but personally don't like them on race bikes or anything you need to corner well. Still, it all comes down to what buyers want and if you like them and enough other people like them then someone will build one.
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Old 12-08-03, 07:57 PM
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There are several companies making good quality bash rings. I'm running a Race Face one on my bike. I've seen them at www.pricepoint.com I'd really like to get and Evil DRS system (chain guide AND bashring), but they also have JUST a bashring available. They have them in clear lexan and black lexan. You can order them direct at: http://www.evilbikes.com/components/...percharger.htm

I've also seen them through eBay.

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Old 12-08-03, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by bentrim
Bunnyhops have their risk factor. I was feeling cocky and bunnyhopping over a series of small logs when my rear wheel suddenly caught one of the logs as I was in flight.

Caused the bike to abruptly nose dive and sent me flying over the bars. Yep...Crashing sure does suck!
Sorry to hear about your crash. How small were the logs that you crashed on? Do you hop buy pulling both wheels up at once or pulling the front up then the rear?
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Old 12-08-03, 08:53 PM
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True crashing, the long travel duallies definately do come low to the ground when they squat. I think I came to like a slack head angle after having a particular bike with a steep head angle, and a cheezy wobbly fork. I endo'ed on that thing so many times I came to hate steep head angles. One time in CO I was riding a trail called the "Goat Path" in Winter Park and I was trying to ride down a huge rock pile, I endo'ed at the top and rubbed several new scars on meself as I tumbled down the goat path all the way to the bottom. So my opinion may be biased hehe.
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Old 12-12-03, 01:59 AM
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Yet another:

http://www.mbaction.com/riding.asp
 
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