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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So far ive learned the basics, stuff like balance downhill positions, cornering, gearing, and bunnyhopping. Whats the next set of skills to learn?
 

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i always like to learn as i go on a trail. go the same route numerous times until it feels really good (then keep on going)- try different technique, go faster/slower, and have fun!
 

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Eric Z said:
i always like to learn as i go on a trail. go the same route numerous times until it feels really good (then keep on going)- try different technique, go faster/slower, and have fun!
Yes! :thumbsup:
And then turn around and ride the same trail in the opposite direction (unless it's a designated one-way). A trail that's fast and flowy one way can be completely different in the opposite direction! All the descents become ascents, you find roots and rocks in places you never noticed before....it's a fun way to twist up the same familiar trail. :)
 

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I think the next thing to learn how to ride a trail smooth and fast. A trail is (should be) a series of corners and obstacles. Just because you can ride each corner/log/rock garden seperately does not mean you can ride the entire thing fast or smooth.

Look ahead, think about what's next and where you need for the next bit before you get there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yea, i have thing one hill that i blast through, but work on this one part that has some rain damage, and then cuts sudenly into a little valley thats filled with sand and the trails right in the middle, usually i go through the sand and try to pop back onto the trail with mixed resualts, but i found a fun line to dude, that follows across the sand and the trail into a solid area that goes up to a little drop.
 

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How about learning how to ride a tight, steep, down-hill switchback.........I couldn't clean these for the life of me until I went out and practiced it over and over.......too bad nobody told me the secret to cleaning these until I figured it out on my own.....
 

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just lock the back brake and

kidding...KIDDING!

Make the front tire turn in an arc on the outside of the SB. Shift your weight to the inside of the SB on your bike; use your under thigh/hamstrings on the saddle. Stay a bit back. Don't be forward.

THEN LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Not the front wheel, not the SB, not the chick over there in the skimpy Lycra, not the snake in the woods, not 1/2 way through the SB, not at your chain rings, look where you want to go. Look right around the SB to the other side, focus, lock in, then go there.

Just try it.

Jim
 

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HFRCampbell said:
So far ive learned the basics, stuff like balance downhill positions, cornering, gearing, and bunnyhopping. Whats the next set of skills to learn?
As far as skills every bikers should have in their bag of tricks, I would add track stands, ratcheting, weighting/unweighting to alter traction, log jumping w/out touching the chainrings, wheelies, nose wheelies, manuals, hucking, dropping, counter-steering, drifting, floating through rock gardens and baby heads, balancing on skinnies, and general nut sack development.

All the skills in the world will do you no good if you don't know how to link them together. Best way to learn that is to ride with people that kick your butt. Riding on your own or with novices is a good way to become overconfident.
 

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Work on adding some style to your riding. It's like skiing, you can always do a run smoother and 'cooler'
 

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great advice...

what helped me lots was to follow the best rider I could. I didn't focus on me, but on the rider in front, and tried simply to keep up, follow the lines he took, the drops etc etc etc.

I takes time, but you'll get there. simian23 has made an excellent point.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yea, today i was really pushing it, me and my friend went, it was like his second time going seriously biking, so for the most part he was 10 or 15 feet behind me, but we would ride up stuff to a good point then turn around and ride down it. Has two pretty good spill, both cause of sand, that seciton that was giving me trouble i made it through without any problems till i decided to keep my speed going and tried to cut onto another trail, i put my inside pedal down weight on the outside and made it half way though the turn then went right over the bike and rolled into the weeds. Scrapped my knee and my right elbow up pretty bad, but kept on riding. The other one was a pretty tricky one, i thought it was solid next thing you know im hitting a sand pit going full speed and try to slowly make my way out of it when i see the rear of my bike slide up right next to me and layed down slid for a few feet coming to a stop. Other than that i dominated a rockgarden, and on a trail i ride everytime i go there i definitly shaved off some time on it, and did some more technical lines. I have 1.95 tires, and im thinking of getting 2.2 or 2.3 would that help with the sand? they put alot of sand on the trails for the walkers i guess.
 

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JimC. said:
kidding...KIDDING!

Make the front tire turn in an arc on the outside of the SB. Shift your weight to the inside of the SB on your bike; use your under thigh/hamstrings on the saddle. Stay a bit back. Don't be forward.

THEN LOOK WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Not the front wheel, not the SB, not the chick over there in the skimpy Lycra, not the snake in the woods, not 1/2 way through the SB, not at your chain rings, look where you want to go. Look right around the SB to the other side, focus, lock in, then go there.

Just try it.

Jim
I agree with Jim's technique on how to clean the really tight switchbacks while going UPHILL, but I would say the BIG SECRET when going DOWN-HILL on a switchback is that you shift your weight to the outside......using your thighs and hamstring on the saddle......the sharper the turn (and steeper the slope)....the further out you should lean your body in the opposite direction from the turn.......

It seems counter-intuitive but my best explanation is that on a Downhill SB, usually the outside line is a little intimidating because just beyond it there probably is a. lots of rocks or b. a steep, scary, cliff or c. a little of both. Add to that the fact that you are probably carrying more speed and momentum and usually you are on your brakes, you are probably going to tend to lean to the inside in the direction of the turn (and away from the cliff and/or rocks. But if you over-steer, leaning in to the turn will cause you to lose your balance. By leaning out, you can make a bigger arc at a lower speed.

Going up-hill, you are going slower, you are pedaling on a low gear, and by leaning in to the turn (I sometimes describe it as "falling" into the turn at just the right moment) that gives you that bit of momentum to make the sharp turn.
 

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osmarandsara said:
I agree with Jim's technique on how to clean the really tight switchbacks while going UPHILL, but I would say the BIG SECRET when going DOWN-HILL on a switchback is that you shift your weight to the outside......using your thighs and hamstring on the saddle......the sharper the turn (and steeper the slope)....the further out you should lean your body in the opposite direction from the turn.......

It seems counter-intuitive but my best explanation is that on a Downhill SB, usually the outside line is a little intimidating because just beyond it there probably is a. lots of rocks or b. a steep, scary, cliff or c. a little of both. Add to that the fact that you are probably carrying more speed and momentum and usually you are on your brakes, you are probably going to tend to lean to the inside in the direction of the turn (and away from the cliff and/or rocks. But if you over-steer, leaning in to the turn will cause you to lose your balance. By leaning out, you can make a bigger arc at a lower speed.

Going up-hill, you are going slower, you are pedaling on a low gear, and by leaning in to the turn (I sometimes describe it as "falling" into the turn at just the right moment) that gives you that bit of momentum to make the sharp turn.
I don't see how this would work since we are already sliding the rear tire due to braking.. granted, I am somewhat new to the sport and downhill switchbacks are something I'm still learning to do smoothly, but this sounds like a death wish to me when you're riding switchbacks that have a looong drop/huge cliffs below them..

edit: would like for someone to point out the real technique to use for downhill switchbacks, since we have conflicting opinions here.
 

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daylight said:
I don't see how this would work since we are already sliding the rear tire due to braking.. granted, I am somewhat new to the sport and downhill switchbacks are something I'm still learning to do smoothly, but this sounds like a death wish to me when you're riding switchbacks that have a looong drop/huge cliffs below them..

edit: would like for someone to point out the real technique to use for downhill switchbacks, since we have conflicting opinions here.
who's sliding their tires?? :skep:

I think what osmarandsara is talking about is a technique where your bike is leaning into the turn, but your body is on the opposite side of the bike - kind of a way to counter-balance and it really loads the tire for grip.
It's funky at first and hard to explain, but it works for some situations.

I'll try to find a pic of what the position looks like...

*EDIT
OK here's a so-so example - picture that she's going to her right (where she's looking)


Here's a slightly better (action) one:


This kid has a pretty good example (granted it's not a tight switchback) nonetheless...
 
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