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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On really steep declines, do you normally maintain a cruising speed, or do you go full on banzai?

When i watch downhill videos, I see dh racers letting themselves roll and achieve maximum momentum. Free rider events on the other hand tend to have riders braking hard after sections and stage their bike for features.

On my trails, i usually see people crawling their bikes down steep declines. Yawn.

I know everybody is different (pink bike disclaimer), and it depends on the terrain, but in your best guesstimate, what is you normal approach to steep declines?

Will you hit a series of 2 foot jumps full on a downhill with a 45 degree angle at 30+ mph (says the cellphone gps) and try to land on single track? Or will u brake before the feature and jump it at just the right (relative) speed.

I used to let the hill dictate the speed, until i crashed and broke some bones. Recently, i do what i see freeriders do and control speed in sections, and only let the bike go just before features. Its ok, but i feel a need to speed up a bit more and am considering a better approach.
 

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All Mountain
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a lot has to do with what speed you go. the main one i think is how comfortable you are going downhill. if your just learning then your most likely not going to be going all out as fast as you can. in downhill videos that go all out because think about it. its a video. who wants to watch someone go as slow as they can downhill.

for me I try to go as fast as I can. i didnt start out that way. i did go slow when I first started but i got more confidence and got better and now I try to go as fast as I can.
 

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bing! said:
Recently, i do what i see freeriders do and control speed in sections, and only let the bike go just before features.
There ya go, you're on the right track. You need to have your bike under control at all times, it doesn't mean that you need to go slow just under control. DH racers are in control throughout their race even though they are going quite fast, it is because they ride those courses over and over to get it dialed and keep their bikes going where they want them to go. The way you're going right now is a good choice, keep your speed in control and let it go when you can. I assume you broke yourself because you let your bike run in a section that you couldn't keep your bike under control in. The more you ride, the better you'll get at determining when and how to go faster. It's all experience, keep riding and pushing yourself a little bit at a time. Don't just go all kamikaze and huck yourself down a trail that you have no prayer of keeping the bike under control. Control leads to speed, not the other way around.
 

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T.W.O
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If it's at a new trail I'm at I always get off my bike and scope out the situation if it is pretty gnarly. I pick my best lines take it back a few and then I just let it rip. Most of the time I coast into the feature take a quick look and then kill it.
 

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T.W.O.
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On a long steepish descend you don't really maintain speed, you'd pick a spot to brake/slow down then go back to coasting, it would not take long to gather speed back up again.

There are a lot of factors when it come to descending speed. Forget closed race course, you can do whatever with that. If it's a shared trail I'd keep it reasonable recommended speed is 15mph on some descend may be 20 is ok. Running into others coming from opposite direction is just not safe.

How good is your braking skill, if you can stop quickly without skidding then you can afford to go faster and still be responsible. Best is to ride about 75% of your ability it pushing enough but you have reserve in case thing go wrong. Pushing 100% is just asking for trouble IMO:D . The only time I may push 100% is on the climb.

I can relate to what you said about some riders claw their way down the descend some just scratch the rear tire. If it's technical I usually go at about jogging speed it's plenty to roll over stuffs up to running speed if I have to do any drops or jump. I've seen some rider misjudge the ramp and crack some bones:eekster: not fun.
 

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trail addict
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bing! said:
I know everybody is different (pink bike disclaimer), and it depends on the terrain, but in your best guesstimate, what is you normal approach to steep declines?
My normal approach=have fun, try not to break bones
 

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meow meow
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depends on the runout and how familiar with the trail. theres some sweet double track i pin it down cuz i know what to expect and there is some wiggle room but on new single track i'll err on the side of caution.
 

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I have had more spills at slower speeds and not enough weight back. You dont have to launch it, but with decent momentum and a slight rock back on the pedals can make the difference.

Fluidride, Like a Pro is an excellent tutorial video. Has good beginner stuff as well as expert stuff.
 

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I try to let it fly when it's fun and safe. I'll slow things down when my skill isn't higher than the trail/section I'm on.

To slow down I'll look for spots in the trail that I know I can safely grab the breaks hard. Then let the bike run until the next section to slow down in. For me it's really scary to be on the breaks when it's rocky and steep. Putting a lot of weight on the front tire (from breaking) makes the handling of the bike suck. Since I have taken up this strategy (I read it somewhere, maybe here), I'm moving a lot faster, I'm not nearly scared for my life as much as before, and I'm having tons of fun. I still make my occasional "get-off", but not nearly as many as when I was trying to hold both breaks and do 2mph through a rock garden.

Full suspension bikes will really fly through rough stuff. I'm amazed every time I get way off line (read out of control), fly over a bunch of nasty rocks, etc. and come out the other side still on top of the bike. :)
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Someone else posted this on another thread, but I tried it and like it - try to keep your weight over your pedals when you're braking. Imagine pushing the pedals forward. It's not quite the same as "weight back" necessarily. It feels a little more like skiing to me. Anyway, you're a lot less likely to endo than if you're pushing on your bars.
 

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B42 said:
I try to let it fly when it's fun and safe. I'll slow things down when my skill isn't higher than the trail/section I'm on.

To slow down I'll look for spots in the trail that I know I can safely grab the breaks hard. Then let the bike run until the next section to slow down in. For me it's really scary to be on the breaks when it's rocky and steep. Putting a lot of weight on the front tire (from breaking) makes the handling of the bike suck. Since I have taken up this strategy (I read it somewhere, maybe here), I'm moving a lot faster, I'm not nearly scared for my life as much as before, and I'm having tons of fun. I still make my occasional "get-off", but not nearly as many as when I was trying to hold both breaks and do 2mph through a rock garden.

Full suspension bikes will really fly through rough stuff. I'm amazed every time I get way off line (read out of control), fly over a bunch of nasty rocks, etc. and come out the other side still on top of the bike. :)
I used the no braking over the rough sections strategy on Porcupine rim, and it worked great for me!

My friend always covered the brakes even over technical sections, and I managed to convince him otherwise. Towards the end of our week in Moab, we all came back more capable riders ;)
 

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iamtylerdurden said:
I have had more spills at slower speeds and not enough weight back. You dont have to launch it, but with decent momentum and a slight rock back on the pedals can make the difference.

Fluidride, Like a Pro is an excellent tutorial video. Has good beginner stuff as well as expert stuff.
I just watched some of this. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: A little goofy, but the info is spot on. I wish I had seen this before learning a bunch of this stuff on my own. Thanks for recommending it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
AndrwSwitch said:
Someone else posted this on another thread, but I tried it and like it - try to keep your weight over your pedals when you're braking. Imagine pushing the pedals forward. It's not quite the same as "weight back" necessarily. It feels a little more like skiing to me. Anyway, you're a lot less likely to endo than if you're pushing on your bars.
Thats what ive been doing as picked up from lopes's book. Its not weight back, but weight on the bb. Better balance. Works great. Now if i can only get myselfover my crash trauma and start getting more speed.

Edit: actually, on my last ride, i noticed i was digging the tires into the dirt in the corners again. Im getting my mojo back:)
 
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