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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hey all,
i know what technical means to me, but then again i am new to the sport and only ride with one other newbie (my wife), so i realize i can either be completely wrong or (more likely) only have a vague and limited idea of what "technical" skills and trails are.

for example, i THINK when i practice going up a steep hill, with lots of roots and steps, picking the right line, maintaining my momentum, shifting my weight, and avoiding hitting rocks with my crank arms, i am working on one aspect of basic technical skills up a slightly technical terrain. am i right? or does technical only mean stuff like wheelies, bunny hops, trackstands, etc?

can anyone provide any more examples of what technical skills AND technical trails can be? that way i'll know what types of trails i am missing and what skills i should practice. thanks.

ant
 

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One of my favorite trails site: http://www.mtbikewnc.com uses a 4 level rating system to explain the technical factor of trails. The scale is as follows.

Level 1(Few Obstacles)
Trail surface has relatively few obstacles, such as a gravel road surface.

Level 2(Some Obstacles)
Trail surfaces has some obstacles, such as small roots, rocks, steps, or easy stream crossings. Generally will not require pushing for technically advanced riders.

Level 3(Moderately Rough)
Trail surface has some rough areas, with possibly loose rocks, drop-offs, log bridges, mud, and stream crossings. May require some pushing.

Level 4(Very Rough)
Trail surface may have large drop-offs, loose rocks, ruts and roots, and you may encounter difficult stream crossings or wadings. Pushing is almost certain except for those with supreme technical ability.
 

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technical

I'd say there is a technical trail and your technical ability. The better your technical ability (qualities you mentioned) the better you should perform on a technical trail.

However, when I first heard the word I was riding singletrack with lots of steep climbs and switchbacks and I was struggling (few rocks & roots though). Then I went on a fairly flat trail with lots of rocks and roots, which I found easy (I had the balance, not the gas). I believe some people think the 2nd example is a "technical trail", yet I would say the 1st trail requires more of your abilities.
 

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toneetouch said:
hey all,
i know what technical means to me, but then again i am new to the sport and only ride with one other newbie (my wife), so i realize i can either be completely wrong or (more likely) only have a vague and limited idea of what "technical" skills and trails are.

for example, i THINK when i practice going up a steep hill, with lots of roots and steps, picking the right line, maintaining my momentum, shifting my weight, and avoiding hitting rocks with my crank arms, i am working on one aspect of basic technical skills up a slightly technical terrain. am i right? or does technical only mean stuff like wheelies, bunny hops, trackstands, etc?

can anyone provide any more examples of what technical skills AND technical trails can be? that way i'll know what types of trails i am missing and what skills i should practice. thanks.

ant
You've got it basically right. Technical can be anything from roots and rocks to drops and jumps to logs and log piles. Technical climbs are usually anaerobic in nature. They're either very steep, or loose or rooty or rocky or ledges or any combination of the above.

Technical means that you will require skills other than simple bike balance and pedaling. Technical means you will have to move around in the cockpit, know how to transfer your weight for best traction and to avoid endos. As you get more experienced, you start doing manuals and pedal induced wheelies to help with technical climbs and downhills.

Technical is a catch-all phrase to describe mtb riding that takes skills beyond those necessary for bike path riding. Technical is also very relative to your skills. Some trails that I considered technical 2 years ago I now consider not technical at all.
 

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Domestic Fowl
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Blue Shorts said:
You've got it basically right. Technical can be anything from roots and rocks to drops and jumps to logs and log piles. Technical climbs are usually anaerobic in nature. They're either very steep, or loose or rooty or rocky or ledges or any combination of the above.

Technical means that you will require skills other than simple bike balance and pedaling. Technical means you will have to move around in the cockpit, know how to transfer your weight for best traction and to avoid endos. As you get more experienced, you start doing manuals and pedal induced wheelies to help with technical climbs and downhills.

Technical is a catch-all phrase to describe mtb riding that takes skills beyond those necessary for bike path riding. Technical is also very relative to your skills. Some trails that I considered technical 2 years ago I now consider not technical at all.
Excellent! Couldn't have said it better, Shorts. ;)
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks for all the feedback. i was riding once, got lost in some long uphill singletrack. heard some traffic and started walking my bike down a VERY steep descent, made up entirely of loose boulders, towards the road. i'm nervous about slipping while walking down when this hippy-looking guy approaches on an spec. epic, going UP this really steep, loose bouldery hill. fast.

while passing, he asked if i had a flat. :eek:

i thought i saw the impossible, but i guess he was just really good at level 4. hopefully i'll make it to level 3 someday.

ant
 

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Domestic Fowl
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toneetouch said:
....
i thought i saw the impossible, but i guess he was just really good at level 4. hopefully i'll make it to level 3 someday.

ant
The best way to get good at technical stuff is to do it over and over. Make it a point of taking the time to try a section that gives you trouble a few times before moving on. I would do this all the time with my friends when we were relatively new. We would hang out at technical sections riding them over and over. Try different gear ratios. Look for different ways to ride the same section. Sometimes the line that looks harder is really easier.

Most of all, have fun!
 

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one of my favorite tracks

is around level 4, but with not steam crossings. In a part about 6ft long it's very steep and on the left and right side it's 5ft lower! Also, the width of the singletrack at that point is around 5". I always go down that part walking, One of my friends go down it like he was going on tarmac!
 
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