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Thread: Help my riding?

  1. #1
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    Help my riding?

    Ill post this here as this is relevant to AM bike geometry and long susp travel.

    This is my first season of MTB and started with a Fisher Piranha hardtail. A few weeks ago i picked up an '11 RM Slayer 50. It begs to be ridden fast on the descents. Ive had the front end wash out completely a few times while braking and trying to make a turn at the bottom of a downhill section. Seems when the fork compresses under braking and my weight moves forward, its all over. Am I braking too late? I try to keep my weight to the rear while braking but sometimes fatigue and complacency gets me. Im still trying to find the sweet spot on this fork (fox 36 float r). The travel on the front is so long, its hard for me to guage how far I can push front braking especially under varying conditions.

    After several years of riding sport bikes, i find myself wanting to lean into turns. I have to constantly remember to keep my weight on top of the bike. Tires are Maxxis Ardent's which I dont really feel confident on. On dry hardpack (what this area mostly is) they want to get squirelly when initially getting on the side lugs. I think the bike is a sick machine, just need to get dialed in and maybe a tire swap?

    Questions:
    Am I braking too late?
    Any brake modulation tips?
    Fork too soft? (im 155lbs, 30mm sag, 55psi in the fork)
    Should I swap out the front tire with something else?

  2. #2
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    If I had to guess what was happening, which is what we will have to do since we can't actually see you ride... I would say your fork probably needs some more air and or your rebound is set too slow and the fork is packing up. That and you aren't putting enough weight over the front wheel.

    But that is just a guess, it's hard to say without seeing you ride the bike in person.

  3. #3
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    Good points. My rebound was set 2 clicks from the slowest setting and igree the fork was set a bit soft. Sag was set in the proper range tho.

  4. #4
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    Have you watched the Fabian Barel video that's been floating around?

    http://vimeo.com/25176773

    Lots of good advice, I'd start there and see what particular issues you continue to have once you've practiced that.

    You could be on the brakes in the turn, you could be not leaning the bike over as you turn, your tires might not be great or they might be pumped up too hard, so many things could be an issue here but I would suspect that the biggest culprit is that you're simply not used to the bike yet. Check your tire pressure and get back out there and ride. You're probably just going to need to get adjusted to the weight shift that comes with a full suspension bike under braking.
    Don't you hate it when a sentence doesn't end the way you think it octopus?

  5. #5
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    sounds to me like you are breaking too late into the turn. you actually want to be somewhat over your front tire to sufficently weight it for traction in the turn. also only lean your bike but keep your body upright.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by b-kul View Post
    sounds to me like you are breaking too late into the turn. you actually want to be somewhat over your front tire to sufficently weight it for traction in the turn. also only lean your bike but keep your body upright.
    I assume brake modulation is key at this point.

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    you did say braking while making the turn... Try to separate this two action more pronounce, maybe that would work?

  8. #8
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    Don't use the front brake while you are turning. Do any front braking needed in a straight line BEFORE the turn. Any traction being used for braking is lost for turning.

    Use the back brake to trim and rotate the bike while in the turn.

    Run the lowest tire pressure you can run without pinch flatting

    Check reviews on your tires. Good bikes often come with crappy tires.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tshulthise View Post
    Don't use the front brake while you are turning. Do any front braking needed in a straight line BEFORE the turn. Any traction being used for braking is lost for turning.

    Use the back brake to trim and rotate the bike while in the turn.

    Run the lowest tire pressure you can run without pinch flatting

    Check reviews on your tires. Good bikes often come with crappy tires.
    This and countersteer like you did on your sport bikes but keep your body upright and centered over the bike while slightly using the rear brake to rotate the rear around and give the front tire more bite (stay OFF the front brake while in the turn). A quick countersteer move WILL save a front washout (very important trick to keep upright and FAST). Also Ardents are a joke for cornering compared to the Minion DHF which is still IMHO the best cornering tire of all time.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    "There's two shuttles, one to the top and one to the hospital" I LOVE this place!!!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman086 View Post
    This and countersteer like you did on your sport bikes but keep your body upright and centered over the bike while slightly using the rear brake to rotate the rear around and give the front tire more bite (stay OFF the front brake while in the turn). A quick countersteer move WILL save a front washout (very important trick to keep upright and FAST). Also Ardents are a joke for cornering compared to the Minion DHF which is still IMHO the best cornering tire of all time.

    Have FUN!

    G MAN
    Ive had to do this several times in the past few weeks. Good info guys, ill def try these things and post back.

  11. #11
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    Brake dive could also be resulting from your LSC being too far open but I guess there's not much you can do externally on a Float R.

    From what I've heard it seems like brake dive is a bit of an issue with these forks but it can be helped by messing with oil weights (will mess with your rebound as well), the shim stack or by adding a cartridge with ajustable compression.

    If you're techy some info is here: Thoughts on revalving Fox 36 Fit cart?

    If not, like others have said speed up your rebound, keep the weight over the rear wheel and brake before entering the turn. Good luck.
    Last edited by Canada Guy; 07-27-2011 at 12:30 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Have you watched the Fabian Barel video that's been floating around?

    http://vimeo.com/25176773

    Lots of good advice, I'd start there and see what particular issues you continue to have once you've practiced that.

    You could be on the brakes in the turn, you could be not leaning the bike over as you turn, your tires might not be great or they might be pumped up too hard, so many things could be an issue here but I would suspect that the biggest culprit is that you're simply not used to the bike yet. Check your tire pressure and get back out there and ride. You're probably just going to need to get adjusted to the weight shift that comes with a full suspension bike under braking.
    +2 on that video,that link is not working but try to find it,I have it downloaded into my computor and have watched it several times!!!

  13. #13
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    i find myself wanting to lean into turns. I have to constantly remember to keep my weight on top of the bike.
    Weight the front end a bit. Use the front brake before the turn, not during if you can help it. Lean the bike but keep your body position more vertical, centered over the bikes axis. Be sure the front fork has enough psi or compression damping....this takes time to figure out. Compressing the fork during braking is normal but too much is well, too much.

    All that being said, I'm more of a chunky monkey rider than a high speed carver.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter95 View Post
    Good points. My rebound was set 2 clicks from the slowest setting and igree the fork was set a bit soft. Sag was set in the proper range tho.
    Did some adjustments there help?

    I've been riding a rigid bike a lot: no brake dive. When riding my hardtail, I now sometimes forget to shift my weight enough to counter brake dive, which can make the bike all squirrelly, exaggerate the steering and even lead to a washout in a pretty mundane turn.

    You need weight on the front tyre in turns but if the fork is compressed too much, your steering geometry goes ... er, wrong.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter95 View Post
    Ive had the front end wash out completely a few times while braking and trying to make a turn at the bottom of a downhill section. Seems when the fork compresses under braking and my weight moves forward, its all over. Am I braking too late?
    \

    If you are braking with your front wheel in a turn, then YES, you are braking too late. NEVER brake with your front wheel in a turn unless you want to wash out and chew on gravel. By braking in a turn you increase the forces exerted between your tire and the ground, greatly increasing the chances that you will break the friction between tire and ground.


    Quote Originally Posted by Walter95 View Post
    I try to keep my weight to the rear while braking but sometimes fatigue and complacency gets me. Im still trying to find the sweet spot on this fork (fox 36 float r). The travel on the front is so long, its hard for me to guage how far I can push front braking especially under varying conditions.
    \

    If your front end is diving significantly just under braking, maybe you need more pressure and/or higher rebound setting. As mentioned by previous posters, higher rebound will allow your fork to recover after each wee bump it soaks up before having to deal with the next one. Lower rebound takes away this ability, and all those 10-15mm compressions add up to 160mm pretty quickly.

    Now let us combine the notion of keeping your weight back with using your front brake in a turn. This greatly increases your chances of washing out. You need to keep your front wheel weighted and spinning through a turn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Walter95 View Post
    I have to constantly remember to keep my weight on top of the bike.
    \

    Bingo! Think of keeping your body weight roughly perpendicular to the surface of the trail. If you have a flat turn, keep your weight just slightly to the inside of the turn. If you are lucky enough to have a sweet wall-ride around a turn, get your body horizontal.

  16. #16
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    Yuo can also take a stab at your REAR brake to activate the turn a little,but as stated above,NEVER the front...Sounds like you were coming into the turns too hot!

  17. #17
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    It seems like the guys have mostly covered what I was going to say.
    Try to brake earlier before the turn with your front and drag the rear through the turn if you still need to scrub speed......but lay off the front through the turn if you can.
    If you must use your front through a turn you need to get your weight forward over the bars a bit, to keep the tire digging in.
    This seems kind of counter intuitive when going downhill.
    What I try to do is keep my weight towards the back of the bike and lay my chest closer to the bars to keep the front tire from washing out if I need to brake through a turn while going downhill.
    The timing of stabbing at the brakes while shifting your weight is crutial.
    This is best saved for an Oh $hit moment, so try to do the majority of your braking ahead of time.
    Sometimes there is not alot you can do if something surprises you.
    As I said, the proper timing of applying your brakes in conjunction with shifting your weight is the most important thing IMO.
    Especially for me, being a big guy who is quite top heavy.
    Look, whatever happens, don't fight the mountain.

  18. #18
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    Ok guys, just got back from a 10 mile ride.

    Made a few changes:
    Had 60psi in the fork, went to 67psi
    Loosened up the rebound 3 clicks
    Made an effort to brake in the striaghts, ride thru the turn
    Kept weight to the inside slightly, yet still on top, weighted outside pedal.
    Easton Havoc carbon bar @ 720mm, old was 685mm. This moved my weight forward over the tire more.
    65mm Easton Havoc stem, put bars 10mm lower than old stem with the same reach. (old 70mm 7deg, new 65mm 0deg).

    Changes freaking worked awesome! Rode faster with more confidence and increased predictability. Front tire traction thru turns was 10x what it was. Thanks for the tips guys, def would have taken me several rides to get to this point. Cheers!

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