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Local Shop Abuser
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am a bit confused on what each of the riding types is exactly. If someone could link to a video showing each of the types of riding I would appreciate it.
Free Riding
Downhill
Trail
Dirt Jumping
XC
Any other types you can think of.

Almost forgot... Youtube is the preffered video source since I can view it on my IPhone.
 

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Catholic MTBR
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I can't link you to videos but I'll give quick descriptions:

Free Riding: creative use of terrain and features. This form of riding usually entails big drops, big jumps, using everything from houses to trees to cliffs.Freeriders are the crazy guys of the mountain biking world. I would say that they are featured in more videos than any other form of riding as it is the most visually impressive. This is probably the most dangerous form of mountain biking. Competition normally focuses on impressive stunts and as such, freeriders do not "race." Freeride bikes are designed to be thrown off cliffs and can tend to be very expensive with crazy suspension travel lengths.

Downhill: The name says it all. Guys/Gals that like to focus on making it to the bottom of a hill as fast as possible. Often times they take ski lifts to the top of a mountain and ride down, seldom riding up hills. Very burly bikes, similiar to freeriders but the focus is not necessarily on style or stunts so much as making it down as fast as possible without losing control.

Trail/XC: Both "trail" and "XC" or "Cross Country" are the same thing, really. "Trail" riding tends to emphasize a more casual approach whereas "XC" can oten times imply racing. These describe general off-road riding where speed is emphasized over stunts but riding includes just as much "climbing" as "descending." Bikes are much less burly and prices for bikes are all over the map depending on one's needs. Trail/XC riding doesn't even necessarily need any sort of suspension system to still have a good experience.

All Mountain/Aggressive Trail: Incorporating elements of free riding into general trail riding/cross country. Bikes are a little burlier but are able to still climb hills pretty well.

Dirt jumping: Pretty much BMX minus the racing. This focuses on jumping dirt mounds and doing tricks in the process. Dirt jumping can be done using either a BMX bike or a mountain bike. The most common bike used for dirt jumping seems to be a hardtail mountain bike with a medium travel front fork.

4x: Kinda' like slalom skiing but mix in downhill mountain biking and BMX racing.

Cyclocross: A combination of road biking and mountain biking. Races include obstacles and it is common to have to "pick up and run with your bike." Cyclocross bikes look like road bikes but have beefier tires/components to handle moderate off-road riding. If road-biking is track and field, Cyclocross would be cross country running. Cyclocross races ride on grass a lot and do not venture into the woods a whole lot.
 

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Local Shop Abuser
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow very thorough. Thanks that helped a lot. Is it true that you need a front n back brake to do trail? I have a BlckMrkt 357 and did my first trail ride today but kept sliding on my rear tire.

Any tips on how to ride trail? Brake use etc?

I have also been trying to master the wheelie, bunny hop and rear tire bounce but am having trouble getting my bike to stay vertical. I keep tipping back to far. Any tips on how to accomplish these must haves?
 

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Catholic MTBR
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LCA said:
Wow very thorough. Thanks that helped a lot. Is it true that you need a front n back brake to do trail? I have a BlckMrkt 357 and did my first trail ride today but kept sliding on my rear tire.

Any tips on how to ride trail? Brake use etc?

I have also been trying to master the wheelie, bunny hop and rear tire bounce but am having trouble getting my bike to stay vertical. I keep tipping back to far. Any tips on how to accomplish these must haves?
Does your current bike only have one brake? If so, I highly recommend getting both front and rear brakes. I always emphasize four things to new trial riders:

1) Use your rear (right) brake for 75% of your braking. Try practicing using "just enough brake." If you find the rear brake is not enough to slow you down, gently give a little bit of the front brake to assist it. Too much front brake too quickly and you'll go over the handle bars.

2) Learn to "float." Get your butt off the seat in the rough stuff and user your all natural suspension system: your body. Use your knees, hips, shoulders, and elbows to move fluidly so that you work with the bike and save your backside/underside.

3) Try to pay attention to where your pedals are located. When coasting, try to keep them both evenly up off the ground. When turning, make sure the inside pedal is up to avoid catching roots or rocks. Also when crossing obstacles, you want to time your pedaling to lift up your front pedal as you enter the obstacle, push it even as your cross the obstacle, and push it down as you exit the obstacle. This will keep you from being bucked off of logs or rocks or whatever and keep you flowing.

4) Weight distribution would be my last point. When going down hills, keep your weight back. Make sure your seat is not preventing you from being able to drop your butt behind it when going down steep slopes. Also, when climbing something steep, make sure to shift your weight foreward to keep your front wheel down. Also as a little training tip, try to climb seated and if you feel that you can't quite make it, then stand up. You'll build your legs really well this way rather than defaulting to a standing position.

5) Have fun! Don't take things too seriously too early. Just focus on having fun and be sure to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Remember that an occasional crash means that you are pushing your limits and getting better.

Quick bunny hop tip: practice lifting your rear wheel only. Push forward on your handlebars and point your toes down on your pedals. Now push back/up with your pedals and your rear tire should pop up. Do this a whole bunch of times and you'll get a feel for how to lift the rear up. Once you have that down, just do a wheelie while doing that.
 

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crash test dummy
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CollegeCatholic said:
Does your current bike only have one brake? If so, I highly recommend getting both front and rear brakes. I always emphasize four things to new trial riders:

1) Use your rear (right) brake for 75% of your braking. Try practicing using "just enough brake." If you find the rear brake is not enough to slow you down, gently give a little bit of the front brake to assist it. Too much front brake too quickly and you'll go over the handle bars.
That's good advice to start, but as rider skill improves the percentages change - more and more braking will be done with the front brake.
 

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AKA Dr.Nob
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CollegeCatholic said:
1) Use your rear (right) brake for 75% of your braking. Try practicing using "just enough brake." If you find the rear brake is not enough to slow you down, gently give a little bit of the front brake to assist it. Too much front brake too quickly and you'll go over the handle bars.
I disagree completely with this. The front brake is for stopping, the rear brake is helping you control the bike.

There is no front brake made that by itself will cause the rider to go over the bars. People who crash OTB don't position themselves back far enough on the bike for the weight transfer that occurs during hard (front) braking.

Crashing is caused by bad technique - not the brake itself.

Oh and about 75% of braking power comes from the front brake, 25% from the rear.
 

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Catholic MTBR
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gumbymark said:
I disagree completely with this. The front brake is for stopping, the rear brake is helping you control the bike.

There is no front brake made that by itself will cause the rider to go over the bars. People who crash OTB don't position themselves back far enough on the bike for the weight transfer that occurs during hard (front) braking.

Crashing is caused by bad technique - not the brake itself.

Oh and about 75% of braking power comes from the front brake, 25% from the rear.
It's my opinion that emphasizing the use of the rear break to beginners is important for their safety. I've seen many new riders get hurt from locking up the front wheel while descending. Most beginners that I have encountered slam down on the brake when they hit something steeper than they are comfortable with. By emphasizing the rear break, they are much more likely to slide down in a controlled manner and will avoid serious injury.
 

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spec4life???..smh...
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Come on folks...

I always hated in school when they would teach you something one way and then say that works but heres how you really do it....do it right to start with...

Most of your braking is done with the front brake, more like 65-70%....end of story

However there are plenty of brakes that if you grab a hand full of the front your going OTB...I like to start with a tad of rear and then do the rest with the front when going down...
 

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Local Shop Abuser
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Okay obviously theres a difference of opinion but before I chime in I need to find out a few things.

I have a BlckMrkt 357 which is great for dirt jumping but it only has a rear brake. Now Can I put a front brake on it easily? Its SS btw. The tires are not made for trail riding so I would need to change out the tires before riding trails. I don't know how to do that btw.

Is it worth all that trouble or would it be wiser to invest in a trail bike? I'll be doing more trail then anything for the next 9 months or so since I just moved from Illinois to Richmond VA.
 

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A 357 certainly isn't ideal for riding trails. The geometry is far too aggressive for comfortable XC riding. I'd recommend getting a separate bike for riding your local trails.
 

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Local Shop Abuser
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
EndersShadow said:
A 357 certainly isn't ideal for riding trails. The geometry is far too aggressive for comfortable XC riding. I'd recommend getting a separate bike for riding your local trails.
Thats what I am leaning towards. I would like to get into some free riding along with trail. Heres what I like on the 357
Low profile
disc brakes
handle bar width
tire size
frame length 21.5
pedal length

Are there any bikes that fit this description? I'm not sure of my price range yet so just start throwing bikes out there.
 

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AKA Dr.Nob
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CollegeCatholic said:
It's my opinion that emphasizing the use of the rear break to beginners is important for their safety. I've seen many new riders get hurt from locking up the front wheel while descending. Most beginners that I have encountered slam down on the brake when they hit something steeper than they are comfortable with. By emphasizing the rear break, they are much more likely to slide down in a controlled manner and will avoid serious injury.
Those crashes aren't caused by the use of the front brake, they are caused by the rider not getting their weight back far enough whilst using the front brake (especially while going downhill).

I am a big believer of teaching the correct technique from the start rather than correcting bad technique later on (which can be really hard).
 

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Catholic MTBR
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gumbymark said:
Those crashes aren't caused by the use of the front brake, they are caused by the rider not getting their weight back far enough whilst using the front brake (especially while going downhill).

I am a big believer of teaching the correct technique from the start rather than correcting bad technique later on (which can be really hard).


To LCA: I promise you that if you lock up the front tire when doing a steep descent, you will go over the handlebars. Otherwise, I'm done with this silly debate.
 

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You could get a Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc for a pretty reasonable price. I'm not sure if it fits the geometry that you specified there but it's a good entry-level XC bike.
 

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Local Shop Abuser
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ortrigger said:
You could get a Specialized Hardrock Sport Disc for a pretty reasonable price. I'm not sure if it fits the geometry that you specified there but it's a good entry-level XC bike.
I noticed theres 2 different Hard Rocks avaible. Whats the difference between them? What I meant by low profile was how far I was off the ground. I am sure the geometry needs to be different for trails. Any other bikes decent for begginners? I'd rather spend a grand on a bike that I can continue to learn on then spend 500 on a bike that will be easy down the road.
 

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Local Shop Abuser
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@collegeCathlic

Can you give me a description for trials?

Also what would you reccomend me buying if I wanted to get into aggressive trails?
 

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Catholic MTBR
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Ah yes, sorry I missed that one:

Trials: a form of riding that emphasizes technical skills. Your basic skills of wheelies, bunny hopping, endos, track stands, log rides, etc. are taken to the next level. Often times you'll see trials riders in urban settings hopping around on one tire from feature to feature, doing all sorts of neat balancing acts. The bikes that are used have crazy braking power and strong tires but very understated, often somewhat small lightweight frames. Many trials bikes forgo a seat altogether since the rider is always standing when doing trials.

Urban: simply describes mountain biking in an urban setting. Using stairs, loading docks, landscaping, etc. instead of off-road trails. The two most common types of urban riding are freeriding and trials riding as an urban setting is a good place for those riding disciplines.

Which bike to recommend? What is your budget? What is the landscape like where you will be riding the majority of the time?
 

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CollegeCatholic said:
It's my opinion that emphasizing the use of the rear break to beginners is important for their safety. I've seen many new riders get hurt from locking up the front wheel while descending. Most beginners that I have encountered slam down on the brake when they hit something steeper than they are comfortable with. By emphasizing the rear break, they are much more likely to slide down in a controlled manner and will avoid serious injury.
Just to add a personal story to your quote, my buddy is an advocate of rear break ONLY. He tells me he never touches the front brakes. His philosophy is that rear brakes give him more control.

Anyhow, to make a long story short....we are on a trail with a descent and we get to a trail head. He mistakenly veers to the left but then realizes to make it back home, he needed to go right. So he quickly pulls his bike to the right and runs smack into a bunch of loose gravel. He instinctively slams his rear brake and starts sliding. THe rear wheel goes out from under him and he bailed HARD. He jacked his knee and the handle bar ends gave him a nice imprint on this inner thigh....inches from the jewels. He was down for 20 minutes crying in agony. hahaha

Point being...after 16 stitches to patch up the knee and a bruised ego, my buddy has agreed to let me show him how to apply front braking when riding and to only use rear brakes to correct the front skidding.

I think every rider should learn proper braking technique regardless if you are a beginner or experienced. Reason being is that we all share the trails and if the noobie riders skid all the way down the trails...that messes up the trails for other bikers. Not to mention hikers and horses too. I always advise my noobie friends to learn proper braking techique before attempting descents or let me ahead of them cause I dont want a face full of dust.
 
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