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Hey all,

I want to start riding down steps but to be honest, I'm a chicken s***. Any tips on getting over the fear and taking the plunge?

The real problem is that there aren't low profile steps around for me to practice on - bummer eh. I guess riding up and down steep curbs might help a bit as I've had a fear of going up a curb since I fell off my bike when I was little. :(

Still. I'm going to master this even if it kills me :)
 

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Nervous Descender
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Cynan said:
Hey all,

I want to start riding down steps but to be honest, I'm a chicken s***. Any tips on getting over the fear and taking the plunge?

The real problem is that there aren't low profile steps around for me to practice on - bummer eh. I guess riding up and down steep curbs might help a bit as I've had a fear of going up a curb since I fell off my bike when I was little. :(

Still. I'm going to master this even if it kills me :)
Riding down steps looks a lot harder than it is. Rolling a big log is a lot more difficult. A few tips- find a set of 4 to 5 steps about 6-8" high and spaced closely together at regular intervals, but not too steep. Get off the seat, keep your weight back and roll right down those babies. The hits will be small but will come quickly. Use a little front brake (just a tad!) applied continuously to control your speed if you think you are going too fast.
 

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bang
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Adirondack Blues said:
Riding down steps looks a lot harder than it is. Rolling a big log is a lot more difficult. A few tips- find a set of 4 to 5 steps about 6-8" high and spaced closely together at regular intervals, but not too steep. Get off the seat, keep your weight back and roll right down those babies. The hits will be small but will come quickly. Use a little front brake (just a tad!) applied continuously to control your speed if you think you are going too fast.
why use the front brake? wouldnt that be more prone to causing an endo going down steps? seems to me using the rear brake would make more sense if you where going to use the brake at all.

go down the stairs at a 90 degree angle (straight on). dont turn. stay off the brakes (brake befor you go over, or dont even bother if its a short flight of steps). you might want to get into the big chainring to put some tension on the chain so it isnt flopping around. try to keep your balance over the bottom bracket and let the bike rotate under you as you go down. this means keeping your weight back as blue suggested. if its a really steep descent, slide your butt behind the saddle. wear a helmet and have fun :cool:
 

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I need more time
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In any stopping situtaion the front brake is more effective due to the weight being forced forward as you de accellerate. Unless your really daft the chance of an endo is pretty slim. But when i go down steps i do use the rear brake, sort of depends what mood i'm in. :D

But yeah get your seat lowered, ass off seat, and over the back tyre and just roll down the steps with a little bit of brake (front or rear) if its needed. If your ass is over the rear tyre the chances of your flipping over are soo slim.

I know what u mena about bein afraid. I'm the same. It takes me forever to do somehting but once ive done it once i can do it again and again even if i fall off.

Have a good one
 

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Make sure to relax your elbows. Absorb the bumps that way or else you'll pogo stick your way down.
 

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Nervous Descender
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Cyco-Dude said:
why use the front brake? wouldnt that be more prone to causing an endo going down steps? seems to me using the rear brake would make more sense if you where going to use the brake at all.

go down the stairs at a 90 degree angle (straight on). dont turn. stay off the brakes (brake befor you go over, or dont even bother if its a short flight of steps). you might want to get into the big chainring to put some tension on the chain so it isnt flopping around. try to keep your balance over the bottom bracket and let the bike rotate under you as you go down. this means keeping your weight back as blue suggested. if its a really steep descent, slide your butt behind the saddle. wear a helmet and have fun :cool:
When you're on really steep stuff, there is almost no weight on the back tire, rendering your rear brake pretty useless. The front brake provides 80% of your stopping power and speed control. You won't endo if your weight is back properly and you don't do something stupid like grab a handful of front brake in a panic situation. The front brake is your best friend- learn to use it.
 

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don't take offense if this sounds patronizing, but when I first started doing steps I had to realize that like any other obstacle it is good to look all the way through the obstacle (not at the steps in front of my wheel). visualize your exit and determine how fast or slow you want to be going, how far back you need to get your weight, if you're goint to need to scrub speed or not. it kind of depends on how many steps you're doing 5, 10, 30, and what the angle is for you to figure out how you're going to enter them. a lot of times it's easiest just to jump small sets of steps. it took me awhile to get up the courage to just go for it, but it is really much easier and less stressful on your body. for large sets of steps I just pretend it's a really rooty or rocky downhill...makes it easier for me for some reason.
 

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Bike Hustler
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OK... I'm just going to come out and say it. Just ride down the damn things!
first off though.. its a good thing to enquire about what the best technique to utilize would be... I mean thats what this forum is about right?
but my advice is this: nobody on this entire forum has ever legitamatly learned anything without first overcoming the mental fears we create in the way of our own progress.
if you feel the need to visualize somthing, visualize what the worst possible thing that could happen would be (see...not so bad is it?).
then visualize how your going to feel after you just do it and when you look back and realize how much time you've wasted thinking about how hard it would be to do.
not flaming ya here, all's im saying is that somtimes what works best to get my courage stoked enough to just go for it is to be called a wuss every once in a while.
 

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Chatham NJ
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Just think of it like some rocky downhill trail. I started out riding down a 3set really slowly, then progressed to dropping 3sets. Then i went down 4sets, dropped 4sets etc. My friend and I found a 4set, then 8ft flat, 4set, 8ft flat, 4set, so we just started dropping them all in a row.

Now I normally just drop them if they are under a 6set, but other that just ride down.

Oh, and dont drop the stairs infront of police stations, they come out and yell at you :D
 
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