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I'm planning on doing some races for the first time this year. I've only been doing like freeride and downhill **** since last year but i really wanna get serious this year. JUst wondering wut i can expect in a race. I'll be at Diablo in NJ if that makes a differance, in the beginner class. One other thing, do u think a hardtail will be ok, right now i have a trek 4300 frame, truvativ hussefeft cranks, and one of their dh bottom brackets, hussefelt bar and stem, hope hydros, xtr rear deraileur, new chain, xt cassette, stock seat and post, stock pedals, stock fork and wheelset. i know i need a now fork and frame and probably pedals. do u think my wheelset will be ok? i was looking at the soul cycles titan for a frame cuz like most other ppl on this forum i'm with their program. and a manitou stance flow. do u think they will be able to hold up? yeah thats about it. i just have no idea wut to expect cuz i've never been to a race or anything.

thanks for the info
 

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SNOWRIDER
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plan on getting an @ss whoopin (just kidding) just go out and have fun man :D

run what you brung the first time if you plan to get serious after that you're going to want a long travel f.s.

Enjoy man, my first race I actually got to stand on the podium 2nd :D
 

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i had that frame, i worked for a little while...


but if you are gonna get serious look into a long travel FS or a beefy hardtail like the banshee morphines or evil imperials...

and a longer travel and beefier fork like a sherman flick at least...


and just remember to have fun!
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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go with the idea you won't be competitive, but you just want to have fun. Good rule of thumb. On the trail you can get by if something breaks or happens...best to have your bike in tip top shape, because everything that isn't working right will cost you time.
 

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Hey there,

I recently got into mtn biking and jumped straight into gravity events. For an inside look at downhill racing from a beginner's perspective, see: http://drexlernet.tripod.com/bruise_chronicles_main.htm

I write the Bruise Chronicles. Although I'm on the Left Coast, you'll find a Plattekill race report in there.

Lessons I learned:
1. Race your own race.
2. You don't have to do it just because it's there. Don't hesitate to walk a section you are not comfortable with, because crashing takes a lot longer than walking.
3. Practice is just practice. You paid your entry fees just like everyone else and have every right to be there. Don't do the negative self-talk thing and think you're slow or in the way, and don't let faster/stronger riders intimidate you. It's your practice, too.

Stuff I already knew:
Talk to everyone and don't be shy. :)

-sunny :cool:
 

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on a side note

i may be mistaken but, the manitou stance is the one of the worst/cheapest dual crown forks on the market. I havnt used it personally but i see it comes stock on myany FS bikes and just by word of mouth i hear its bad. But do some of your own research incase you are interested. I may also be talkin about the stance Kingpin but in any case, its a stance...
 

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Glad to Be Alive
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sunnyracegirl said:
Hey there,

I recently got into mtn biking and jumped straight into gravity events. For an inside look at downhill racing from a beginner's perspective, see: http://drexlernet.tripod.com/bruise_chronicles_main.htm

I write the Bruise Chronicles. Although I'm on the Left Coast, you'll find a Plattekill race report in there.

Lessons I learned:
1. Race your own race.
2. You don't have to do it just because it's there. Don't hesitate to walk a section you are not comfortable with, because crashing takes a lot longer than walking.
3. Practice is just practice. You paid your entry fees just like everyone else and have every right to be there. Don't do the negative self-talk thing and think you're slow or in the way, and don't let faster/stronger riders intimidate you. It's your practice, too.

Stuff I already knew:
Talk to everyone and don't be shy. :)

-sunny :cool:
Sunny you always have good advice
 

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agree with all the above, but had a couple points:

possibly because of the June Plattekill race described above, Lazlo started running dedicated "Beginner" courses, so that beginners wouldn't have to ride the same courses as Sports. Not sure if it still is going to be that way this year, but might be an idea, I'm pretty sure that the dedicated beginner courses were pretty easy.

Another thing is that Beginner DH racing is different from Beginner DH. the courses have been probably at the intermediate trail level, and when combined with going all out for 5 or 6 min get pretty tough.

Lastly, walk the course at least once during practice. It will allow you to see lines that you ordinarily can't when you're riding, and you also get to see the lines that everyone else is taking.

And the main thing is, have fun. Most of my friends have tried racing, with maybe 50% getting addicted to it. The others were too nervous about doing well for a week beforehand, and were pissed at themselves for 2 weeks after b/c of some mistake or other, and they just didn't have fun. I can almost guarantee that you're going to crash your first race. *Everybody* does. I crashed on a flat section at the top of my first Plattekill race b/c I cut a corner too close and slammed into a tree. Just relax, have fun, and yes, you will need a new frame/fork/wheels at some point.

Hope this helps, for those of us that are addicted, there's nothing quite the 5min adrenaline rush of slamming through rocks/roots/mud/etc and collapsing after crossing the finish line.
 

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thebikedoctor33 said:
I'm planning on doing some races for the first time this year. I've only been doing like freeride and downhill **** since last year but i really wanna get serious this year. JUst wondering wut i can expect in a race. I'll be at Diablo in NJ if that makes a differance, in the beginner class. One other thing, do u think a hardtail will be ok, right now i have a trek 4300 frame, truvativ hussefeft cranks, and one of their dh bottom brackets, hussefelt bar and stem, hope hydros, xtr rear deraileur, new chain, xt cassette, stock seat and post, stock pedals, stock fork and wheelset. i know i need a now fork and frame and probably pedals. do u think my wheelset will be ok? i was looking at the soul cycles titan for a frame cuz like most other ppl on this forum i'm with their program. and a manitou stance flow. do u think they will be able to hold up? yeah thats about it. i just have no idea wut to expect cuz i've never been to a race or anything.

thanks for the info
Holy **** that is a tricked out 4300. Just go out and have a good time.
 

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I do small drops.
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I'm not sure what I'd say about a Hardtail. I thought I was set on my Epic cause I even had rear wheel travel, but when I finally got my Giant DH Comp, the 8+ inches made me realize how nice so much travel is. On my first DH race ever, I crashed 1/3 way into the race, and (as I found out later) broke my hand really badly. I didn't have much as far as steering or a front brake after that, but I still beat my friend down the mountain! I was a little too serious about it, though, I was nervous the whole weekend leading up to that Sunday, and I wanted to do good so badly that I sacrificed my hand just to finish the race. Like said, it's all for fun. Really no pro bikers make nearly as much money as anyone else, so just realize that the 99% of us who aren't pro do it for fun, not money or other prizes!
 

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DOWNHILL MAFIA
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thebikedoctor33 said:
I' One other thing, do u think a hardtail will be ok?

thanks for the info
Bring your azz down to SoCal and race that hardtail against me!!!;) :p
Everyone around here is TOO COOL to race hardtails downhill.:mad:
 

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I do small drops.
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I'd have no problem challenging a HT! I might lose, but props to he who won! I have a friend who took a P2 down Porc Rim while I was on my RMX, and the only places I was really far ahead (he's a way better biker) was on the rock gardens. He ripped down the whole trail. I guess more important than how much your bike cost or how much travel, etc, is how well the rider uses what he's got.
 

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im down

JSUN said:
Bring your azz down to SoCal and race that hardtail against me!!!;) :p
Everyone around here is TOO COOL to race hardtails downhill.:mad:
im in SD and i ride my hard partially cause i still havnt gotten the money to get my kona. But i charge the DH with my hard all day long. i noticed that if u get really good on a HT and u can throw it down on the DH then once u get ur FS ull throw it down like no other. I was told so by a couple of friends ater they watched me own them down the mountain using one of my friends FS. I really didnt know what i was missin till i rode the FS and now i cant stop thinkin about how i want my Kona stinky
 

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I do small drops.
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Yeah, and keep your HT when you get your Stinky! Riding my Epic, I have to pic the smoothest lines out there, cause I've got 3.75" rear and 3" front, so when I hop on my RMX I have smooth lines. And my RMX makes me realize that so much more is ridable. I can completely conquer virtually any rock garden on my Epic now, cause my big-hit bikes have tought me to just keep going. So keep and ride them both, cause they'll make you better at the other one!
 

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DOWNHILL MAFIA
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bikescars101 said:
Yeah, and keep your HT when you get your Stinky! Riding my Epic, I have to pic the smoothest lines out there, cause I've got 3.75" rear and 3" front, so when I hop on my RMX I have smooth lines. And my RMX makes me realize that so much more is ridable. I can completely conquer virtually any rock garden on my Epic now, cause my big-hit bikes have tought me to just keep going. So keep and ride them both, cause they'll make you better at the other one!
Good advice, and I'll quote you on this:

bikescars101 said:
I guess more important than how much your bike cost or how much travel, etc, is how well the rider uses what he's got.
 

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The thing that has helped me the most during races is to slow down (mentally, not literally) and remind yourself to ride your own ride. When you get so focused on going faster - you get tight, which will not only wear you out faster, it will make you more likely to crash. I found that when I'd remember to ride my own ride (as opposed to worrying about the guy in front of, or behind me), I'd loosen up, my breathing would become more relaxed, and invariably - I would go faster.
 
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