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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help!

I went to this boy-scout trail thing in Nor Cal (near Sir Francis Drake) and it was a disaster. This was my 6th off road ride ever. I've been to Corda Medera creek (tough for me, but doable) and China Camp (fun, good for beginners IMO). Okay well this boy scout camp thing was really narrow, technical single track (at least for me). It wasn't fun at all. I was struggling bad. I simply couldn't control my front end. I was all over the place (90% poor technique I'm sure). It was terribly frustrating. I just did this really rocky section without stepping off, feeling very proud, and I lost focus, got wide, over compensated and my bike went out from under me to the side and down this cliff. I smashed my elbow pretty bad and couldn't move my arm or grip my bike. Well we tried to walk out of the trails--we were about as far from where we dropped in as possible. Anyway, we got lost for 3 hours. No compass and that crappy Boy Scout Camp map. Me and my buddy were so disgusted at ourselves we couldn't even talk.

Anyway, I have Bontrager Jones XR tires and these are pretty great on China Camp hardpack, but suck on loose stuff and rocks. I wanted new tires for my new wheels that are being built. I was thinking of the following:

1. Nobby Nic 2.4 front, NN 2.25 rear
2. Nobby Nic 2.4 front, Fat Albert (2.35) rear (Chad, red barn's suggestion).
3. Fat A Front, NN 2.25 rear

Here' s the thing, before I started looking at the Schwalbe combos I was looking at the Kenda Blue Groove tires. Saw some 2.1 DTC BG's on ebay (from bikeman I think). 2 for $25. I set up a snipe for them, forgot about it, and just won them for $30. Not a bad price for 2 of them, right?

Anyway, I've read mixed things about BG's on loose stuff, but I figure they'd be better than my Bontragers, no? Should I keep them, run them front and back for a while, then maybe bump up the Schwalbes if I want, or should I just sell the BG's. Like I said, they were only $30 plus shipping.

PLEASE HELP ME!!! Did the first time you crashed, did it affect your confidence? I'm feeling pretty down on myself. I guess its not tough to admit that kind of thing and honestly my crash was probably nothing compared to some you guys have been through. I'm just really bothered by what happened.

Matt
 

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Yup

I broke 2 ribs on my third ride and I slowed way down on anything that looked similar to the corner I crashed on to injure my ribs for quite a while. The Blue grooves are very confidence inspiring in the corners but kind of slow and heavy. I've tried the BG front and rear' Kinetics sticky F/R and nevegals and find them all to have a very similar feel and weight. That feel was good enough to be my favorite tires until I ordered a Schwalbe Nobby Nic 2.4; I liked it so much I ordered another and I'm running them on both ends of my 5X5 bike. The 2 NNs I own 2.4 weigh just a hair under 600g (150-200g lighter than the Kenda 2.35s)and are true 2.25s or a bit wider than the 2.35 Kendas. The NN rolls faster, has allmost the same grip as the Kenda sticky tires and so far on my coastal desert trails have shown themselve to be very durable. One problem with Schwalbe tires is I can find no bargains on them; best price I've found is $40+ tax at the Path in Tustin Ca. but I'll do it again when these wear out.
 

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Your skills will improve and you will continue to crash. Just part of the sport.

Put on the Blue Grooves and ride. They are good tires and work in a variety of conditions. Improving your skills will do more than any tire change at this point.
 

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screamer
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it's the rider, not the tires...

Sounds like you are talking about Tamarancho outside of Fairfax. Shiggy's right; the Blue Grooves should be plenty grippy for that sort of riding and will let you get some experience (and confidence!) under you.
The best advice I have for that ride is to stay relaxed. The crash you described sounds like textbook anxiety, a death grip on the handlebars, straight arms, locked elbows, ass behind the saddle, etc. Instead, keep your arms bent at all times, a light grip on the bars, and maintain a poised stance hovering over the center of the bike (ie: forward of the saddle). All of these things will contribute to better handling in narrow trails, less front end deflection through the rough stuff, less fatigue, and greater confidence. Soon enough, you'll be ripping along! Tamarancho was designed by and for mountain bikers, so it has a great flow. You'll love it.
 

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Blue Grooves are good, go for it.

On the crashing thing, experience will cut down on the number of crashes, but part of the fun associated with MTBing (at least for me) is pushing the envelope. Because of this, I know that I will never fully eliminate crashes; however, I have become much more agile and higher speed crashes now seem to be less painful than the lower speed crashes I had previously. It is all in the landing. I have become especially adept at the "over the handlebars and land on my feet in the trail running dismount." It is a true gymnastic beauty. Nonetheless, I did have to crawl out from under my bike just this past weekend when it decided to ride me down the trail for a change. We didn't get too far in that particular configuration. I did get up laughing though.
 

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Once I got so frustrated at my performance that I threw my bike at a tree.:madman: I still crash but my skills have improved. My last crash resulted in a dislocated shoulder. I have been riding a little scared lately but I am getting back to my old form. Hang in there. Ride with someone better than you, that is the best way to get better. Join a club, they usually have all levels of riders.

As for tires I have Continental Vector Pro. These things have amazing grip. They are 2.3 so they have a nice big footprint for great grip in all kinds of conditions. Also check your tire pressure. You may be riding with too much pressure. This will give you less control in technical sections. Depending on how heavy you are you may want to experiment with pressures in the 30 to 40 lb range.
 

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I ride Mt Tam

I have a year experience with Kenda tires
Negevals are MUCH better than BG's on hard-pack, if you do use a BG use it on the rear..
The BG "washes-out" suddenly and unpredictably on the front.. and don't hold that well on "off cambers"
I am not convinced the BG climbs on loose stuff as well as a Negeval
The Negevals "slide" much more predictably, and give lots of warning, the BG's do not
Negevals are a great "front" tire, .they also work great on the rear..No need to mix (I have some BG and Negevals for sale 2 new)
Negevals are good on "single-track", I don't like the way a BG on the front "feels"

Use Negevals F/R for awhile, they are sticky,(throw crap in your face) give great confidence.. wear fast, are cheap.. but they are too slow to climb Mt Tam.. and slow you down on long shallow downhills..(they make your bike feel like it weighs 100lbs and its not the weight of the tires)

And they are SLOW (even the 2.35 DTC is not that good)

Soft, Stick-E, and Slo-Releeze rubber (particularly the Slo-bound) are great in the wet, roots and stuff, but are VERY hard to pedal.. particularly if you are a rookie or not in the best of shape..you will hate them.. they are mostly for DH...

Big Huge tires look cool, are great on DH runs, but suck on single-track.. they are vague and wander all over.. (hard to balance at lo-speed)

I gave up on all that when I realized I wasn't having any fun..

I use Michelin Mt Xtreem 2.5 UST (I ran them with tubes before I built UST rims)..
They are SMALLER than a 2.5 Kenda
(all Michelin and MAXXIS DH tires are smaller than Kenda- the 2.8 Mich DH32 is the same as a Kenda 2.5)
its about the size of a 2.35 Kenda...but have MUCH BETTER dry traction on Tam and the Headlands..
They are also FASTER, WAY Faster than ANY Kenda...like an XC tire (they are Enduro Race tires)

They have a smaller size..than the 2.5

They are VERY predictable, don't kick around, turn on fast, loose corners, stop, climb and don't go flat..
Steer much more acurately.
They work as good as the DH version in the dry and are lighter..

Try them..I am sold on them

I weigh 170lbs, my bike 42lbs, has a 48" wheelbase, 8" travel front, 7" travel rear, I carry a 14lb hydration pack with lunch..
ride the Headlands, Tam and Pine Mt.. and the road to get there..
 

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Go for the FAT ALBERT, 2.3, or 2.1 -i have been running that tire on a trailbike(Ellsworth ID, Intense 5.5) for two years and never had any bad experinces with it, it just so good, if you can find it in the version "light front only" it is even better. I can also recommend, Nokian NBX 2.3, it won 2 german tire test, regarding grip/speed, and it is just plain awesome in the rear.

Jesper Welling

bigduddy said:
Help!

I went to this boy-scout trail thing in Nor Cal (near Sir Francis Drake) and it was a disaster. This was my 6th off road ride ever. I've been to Corda Medera creek (tough for me, but doable) and China Camp (fun, good for beginners IMO). Okay well this boy scout camp thing was really narrow, technical single track (at least for me). It wasn't fun at all. I was struggling bad. I simply couldn't control my front end. I was all over the place (90% poor technique I'm sure). It was terribly frustrating. I just did this really rocky section without stepping off, feeling very proud, and I lost focus, got wide, over compensated and my bike went out from under me to the side and down this cliff. I smashed my elbow pretty bad and couldn't move my arm or grip my bike. Well we tried to walk out of the trails--we were about as far from where we dropped in as possible. Anyway, we got lost for 3 hours. No compass and that crappy Boy Scout Camp map. Me and my buddy were so disgusted at ourselves we couldn't even talk.

Anyway, I have Bontrager Jones XR tires and these are pretty great on China Camp hardpack, but suck on loose stuff and rocks. I wanted new tires for my new wheels that are being built. I was thinking of the following:

1. Nobby Nic 2.4 front, NN 2.25 rear
2. Nobby Nic 2.4 front, Fat Albert (2.35) rear (Chad, red barn's suggestion).
3. Fat A Front, NN 2.25 rear

Here' s the thing, before I started looking at the Schwalbe combos I was looking at the Kenda Blue Groove tires. Saw some 2.1 DTC BG's on ebay (from bikeman I think). 2 for $25. I set up a snipe for them, forgot about it, and just won them for $30. Not a bad price for 2 of them, right?

Anyway, I've read mixed things about BG's on loose stuff, but I figure they'd be better than my Bontragers, no? Should I keep them, run them front and back for a while, then maybe bump up the Schwalbes if I want, or should I just sell the BG's. Like I said, they were only $30 plus shipping.

PLEASE HELP ME!!! Did the first time you crashed, did it affect your confidence? I'm feeling pretty down on myself. I guess its not tough to admit that kind of thing and honestly my crash was probably nothing compared to some you guys have been through. I'm just really bothered by what happened.

Matt
 

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Look at WTB Mutano Raptors 2.4 Front and the 2.24 Rear, I run them out in Norcal and enjoy them. There offices are in Mill Valley, so I would assume that some of their tires are biased to local Bay Area trails and conditions!

Use them plenty in Tamarnacho, where you crashed and great for China Camp better on the backside ;). Some other folks I ride with run Specialized Adrenaline tires.

And I just crashed bad at Soquel Demo in Santa Cruz and have not ridden for a month. So it all comes with the territory. If you crash at least you know you are pushing yourself! At least I tell myself that...
 

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theProfessor said:
I have a year experience with Kenda tires
Negevals are MUCH better than BG's on hard-pack, if you do use a BG use it on the rear..
The BG "washes-out" suddenly and unpredictably on the front.. and don't hold that well on "off cambers"
I am not convinced the BG climbs on loose stuff as well as a Negeval
The Negevals "slide" much more predictably, and give lots of warning, the BG's do not
Negevals are a great "front" tire, .they also work great on the rear..No need to mix (I have some BG and Negevals for sale 2 new)
Negevals are good on "single-track", I don't like the way a BG on the front "feels"

Use Negevals F/R for awhile, they are sticky,(throw crap in your face) give great confidence.. wear fast, are cheap.. but they are too slow to climb Mt Tam.. and slow you down on long shallow downhills..(they make your bike feel like it weighs 100lbs and its not the weight of the tires)

And they are SLOW (even the 2.35 DTC is not that good)

Soft, Stick-E, and Slo-Releeze rubber (particularly the Slo-bound) are great in the wet, roots and stuff, but are VERY hard to pedal.. particularly if you are a rookie or not in the best of shape..you will hate them.. they are mostly for DH...

Big Huge tires look cool, are great on DH runs, but suck on single-track.. they are vague and wander all over.. (hard to balance at lo-speed)

I gave up on all that when I realized I wasn't having any fun..

I use Michelin Mt Xtreem 2.5 UST (I ran them with tubes before I built UST rims)..
They are SMALLER than a 2.5 Kenda
(all Michelin and MAXXIS DH tires are smaller than Kenda- the 2.8 Mich DH32 is the same as a Kenda 2.5)
its about the size of a 2.35 Kenda...but have MUCH BETTER dry traction on Tam and the Headlands..
They are also FASTER, WAY Faster than ANY Kenda...like an XC tire (they are Enduro Race tires)

They have a smaller size..than the 2.5

They are VERY predictable, don't kick around, turn on fast, loose corners, stop, climb and don't go flat..
Steer much more acurately.
They work as good as the DH version in the dry and are lighter..

Try them..I am sold on them

I weigh 170lbs, my bike 42lbs, has a 48" wheelbase, 8" travel front, 7" travel rear, I carry a 14lb hydration pack with lunch..
ride the Headlands, Tam and Pine Mt.. and the road to get there..
That's interesting, since I've found the BG much better on the front on hardpack, while the Nev is a bit better in really loose stuff. Are we talking about the same tires? I don't know if some might have been labelled backwards. BG = wide flat knobs, roundish profile, Nev = taller square knobs, squarish profile (better suited on the back wheel I think).
 

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Don't feel so bad. I found it part of the learning process. I'm a 99.9% roadie. I'm very strong on the road, especially uphill, and can clean house. So now, I started mountian biking late last year so I can race. Starting off from scratch, I was pretty proud I could smoke most other mountain bikers uphill on my 30lb. hardtail. Especially since I could beat the veterans on their light bikes. But...going downhill was a different story. So far, I've done about 12 off road rides, maybe 14 since I just bought a real mountain bike. Rides 1 through 6, I crashed on every single ride. On a couple of rides...ok several rides... I crashed up to...never mind...let's just say several times. Also been over the handle bars twice. One of those really bad. I landed head first onto a boulder. Cracked, with a LOUD POPING NOISE, my helmet in five different spots along the vents. Needed X-rays on my neck, back, and hand besides the usuall lumps and flesh wounds. I got away with a broken finger only happy to say. The second over the handle bars experience happened on a flat???? go figure???? I have no idea what happened, and my brother who was with me also said, what the hell?? Just part of learning I guess. No that I've got my new bike and have spent a few more rides off road, I feel like I have learned alot and more in control. Most importantly, haven't crashed for about 5 rides I think. It seems that mountain biking has a steep, but fast learning curve. So don't feel so bad. With experience will come confince. Oh yea...read all you can, listen, and ask alot of questions. I've learned running 50 PSI while I weigh 142lbs. doesn't work. Just get back on and ride!

bigduddy said:
Help!

I went to this boy-scout trail thing in Nor Cal (near Sir Francis Drake) and it was a disaster. This was my 6th off road ride ever. I've been to Corda Medera creek (tough for me, but doable) and China Camp (fun, good for beginners IMO). Okay well this boy scout camp thing was really narrow, technical single track (at least for me). It wasn't fun at all. I was struggling bad. I simply couldn't control my front end. I was all over the place (90% poor technique I'm sure). It was terribly frustrating. I just did this really rocky section without stepping off, feeling very proud, and I lost focus, got wide, over compensated and my bike went out from under me to the side and down this cliff. I smashed my elbow pretty bad and couldn't move my arm or grip my bike. Well we tried to walk out of the trails--we were about as far from where we dropped in as possible. Anyway, we got lost for 3 hours. No compass and that crappy Boy Scout Camp map. Me and my buddy were so disgusted at ourselves we couldn't even talk.

Anyway, I have Bontrager Jones XR tires and these are pretty great on China Camp hardpack, but suck on loose stuff and rocks. I wanted new tires for my new wheels that are being built. I was thinking of the following:

1. Nobby Nic 2.4 front, NN 2.25 rear
2. Nobby Nic 2.4 front, Fat Albert (2.35) rear (Chad, red barn's suggestion).
3. Fat A Front, NN 2.25 rear

Here' s the thing, before I started looking at the Schwalbe combos I was looking at the Kenda Blue Groove tires. Saw some 2.1 DTC BG's on ebay (from bikeman I think). 2 for $25. I set up a snipe for them, forgot about it, and just won them for $30. Not a bad price for 2 of them, right?

Anyway, I've read mixed things about BG's on loose stuff, but I figure they'd be better than my Bontragers, no? Should I keep them, run them front and back for a while, then maybe bump up the Schwalbes if I want, or should I just sell the BG's. Like I said, they were only $30 plus shipping.

PLEASE HELP ME!!! Did the first time you crashed, did it affect your confidence? I'm feeling pretty down on myself. I guess its not tough to admit that kind of thing and honestly my crash was probably nothing compared to some you guys have been through. I'm just really bothered by what happened.

Matt
 

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Matt, you just need more seat time! Tires can help, but it's really up to YOU to do what needs to be done - practice!

I'd suggest posting in your area and finding other local riders that might be willing to "show you the ropes" and help you get the basic down. By basics I don't mean "this side up" stuff ..... I mean how to ride (i'm not trying to be rude - just honest). You need to learn when to be slow to be fast (remember, crashing isn't anything related to speed). You need to learn about where to put your weight for different terrain situations. You need to learn ..... a lot, by the sounds of it.

Also, there's less chance you'll get lost if other's know the trail. This means you can concentrate on YOUR riding and not be distracted by the "didn't we just ride this?" scenario. Be sure to explain this when you ask for help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You need rider's with patience and the ability to tell you what to do.

Crashing - it's actually a good thing. I've ridden bike's for years but only this year have I started making crashing a somewhat "normal" part of my riding. Why? Because i'm pushing and finding my limit's and my bike/equipment limits. Hey, Superman and his cape ain't got nothin' on me! :p :D I've never ridden faster on dirt in all my life and I learn from every "up, up and away" event. :skep:

First lesson - keep your chin up, eyes ahead and body relaxed. :thumbsup:

Good luck and welcome to mountain biking!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I went riding again the following wednesday before work with some of my buddies. We went to a much "easier" trail. I proceeded to go head first over my handlebars at pretty much the one sketchy part of the entire trail. I think I got nervous, slipped on some roots/rocks and hit the breaks and I was done for. Actually started laughing before I hit the ground because it was like slo-motion going over the bars. It wasn't funny, it hurt, but I still kind of laughed. I wrecked my K-force DH carbon bar--well put a gouge in it and that's no good for carbon (now have an Easton EA70).

After that crash I fell too more times during the ride. I was so pissed I almost threw my bike off a cliff. I was just sitting there and would topple over it seemed. Pathetic. I just wanted the ride to be over at that point. Didn't go last weekend--me and the guys decided we needed the weekend off. Poeple at work thought I was in Fight Club I was all bruised and bloody (I told them about the first rule of Fight Club). Anyway, I'm waiting for my Garcia wheels to arrive and I'll put the BG's on. I'm going away the 29th to the 5th to Montana, but its a fishing trip, no biking. I'm starting to get anxious to get back on the trails but mentally I think I have a bit to go. Oh well. Time to Man-Up I guess:)

Thanks for all the advice guys!!

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh and my nickname with the guys was "Carbon Fiber" cause I have a carbon fiber water bottle cage and handlebar, but with the destruction of my carbon bar they've started calling my "Scabs" cause of my knees, and elbows, and sides, and ankles......and back.....and shoulders. LOL
 

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bigduddy said:
Oh and my nickname with the guys was "Carbon Fiber" cause I have a carbon fiber water bottle cage and handlebar, but with the destruction of my carbon bar they've started calling my "Scabs" cause of my knees, and elbows, and sides, and ankles......and back.....and shoulders. LOL
HAHAHAHHA! Yyyyup, you're gonna do juuuuuust fine. :) A positive outlook is key to getting back ON the bike, everytime. :thumbsup:

Lesson two - keep your weight back on the bike, don't look at where you DON'T want to go (see a big rock you DON'T want to hit? DO NOT look at it!) and stay loose (it actually helps to minimize crash injury).

Scabs. BUWHWHWHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!! :D
 

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Do others crash?

Yes, all the time.

If you don't have to push then the climb was mellow.
If you don't crash then the trail wasn't technical.

Good thing is that serious crashes are rare. Keep going you'll get better.
 

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and try dropping your seatpost

I'm sure the Blue Groove tires would be more than good enough.

For all the people doing endos I find that lowering your seatpost on descents helps inspire a lot more confidences. Steep downhills and switchbacks are so much easier with a lowered seat

I recently did a few days of lift serviced biking in B.C..and my Gravity Dropper seatpost was a godsend. They're great if you're too lazy to et off your bike and lower your post like I am.
 

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The blue groove's seem nice from what iv'e tried.
So you went to Boy Scout, sounds like you crashed on One Mile though... Were there trees over the trail?
 

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i have no clue about the tires, i have only rifen high rollers, S Hot, Geax Blade and pythons. as for the crash, dont worry about it. falling hould build confidence. if i dont die, it makes me think what i fell on is reachable with practice
 

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You like Blue-Grooves.??

I have 4-Nevegal 2.5DH, and 2-BlueGroove 2.5DH.. On hard-ground, on Mt Tam, Pine Mt, and the Headlands...
I think the BG's suck...
when you climb with one on the rear, you have to keep the bike perfectly upright, if you like to kick it side-to-side the tire spins..they also don't stop all that well...
when you turn, expect them to "cut-loose" suddenly and unxpectedly, same with off-camber
They wander all over a channeled single-track..
The Negevals are far-superior
I sometimes used a BG on the back, it rolls a bit better..
==
I use Michelins now, hold better everywhere, no surprises, even the softest ones roll faster than the Kendas..and they simply steer better..

My bike has a 48" wheelbase. 8" front, and 7", weighs 42lbs, I like fast, very rough downhills.. single-tracks and XC.. and yea, I ride it from SF to the top of Mt Tam, via Fairfax..and back over the hills..
 
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