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  1. #1
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    New question here. Definition of a Trail with Technical parts?

    Looking to ride a trail which is described as to have technical portions, it only rises 600 feet in 4 miles. What does 'technical' mean in trail riding?

  2. #2
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    Pretty much anything.

    It's like saying someone is pretty, or ugly ... The relationship is only relevant to the one who attached the label.

    Some people might call beach sand, technical, while others might consider anything short of a 20 foot drop, non-technical.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactus1 View Post
    Looking to ride a trail which is described as to have technical portions, it only rises 600 feet in 4 miles. What does 'technical' mean in trail riding?
    Technically you had to put a foot down.

    Really technical is contrasted to non technical sections. One good way to judge this is what limits your speed. If speed of a climb or flat is limited by how much fitness you have it is not technical. If how fast you climb or complete a section of flat trail is governed by your ability to negotiate the terrain it is technical. Technical can mean surface features like rocks or roots or placement of curves or even exposure. So what this means is for a beginner a lot more trails will be "technical" than to an experience rider.

    The descents works the same was except that speed is a little different. If you limit you speed becuase you just don't want to go that fast or because you would have to pedal it then it is non technical. If your down hill pace is limited by the trail features is technical. Technical trails also may require you put a foot down or walk sections of trail. Other technical trails may require no walking, but still 100% concentration to clean it. Clean it means no foot down.
    BTW... 600 feet in 4 miles on single track can be a big difference. There is one trail I ride where I cover 2400 feet in 20 miles, but it has a mix of trail types. Some climbs are non-technical where how long it takes to get to the top is only based on my ability to pedal them. There are other climbs on that trail where my speed to the top is based on if I can clear section rocky sections. Fitness is important, but fitness alone will not get me up those spots. I need work the bike hard as well as picking the right line to clear the rocky obstacles. On the downhill side my focus is again picking lines and maintaining the right body position to ride the terrain without falling. When you do technical riding the critical aspect is where you place your tires and how you move you body weight to stay balanced. Also key is picking the right speed. Too little and you will have problems and too much there will be problems.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    I've always considered technical to mean a trail that requires skills beyond just peddling. That would be rocks, roots, water, loose gravel, drops, step-ups and the like.

  5. #5
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    Re: Definition of a Trail with Technical parts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in SoCal View Post
    I've always considered technical to mean a trail that requires skills beyond just peddling. That would be rocks, roots, water, loose gravel, drops, step-ups and the like.
    Same here

    Sent from my Android in the great outdoors.

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    I agree the definition of technical is relative to your skill. I think of technical as something to which you have to pay close attention to avoid crashing or putting your foot down, especially if you don't ride it clean every time.

    Of course, what is technically challenging to a roadie venturing out on a trial on a hybrid bike may be minimally technical to someone experienced on a All-Mountain bike.

  7. #7
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    A technical trail or section of a trail can be flat IMO. How much elevation gain/ loss is not relevant.

    Some synonyms for technical could be: lumpy, not smooth, chunky, gnarly. Anybody have any more?
    Never be the path of least resistance.

    "You picked a fine time to leave me loose wheel." -Simply Weasels

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce in SoCal View Post
    I've always considered technical to mean a trail that requires skills beyond just peddling. That would be rocks, roots, water, loose gravel, drops, step-ups and the like.
    Agreed. I really thought obstacles and steep up or downs were the defining qualities of "technical".

  9. #9
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    This is how the IMBA rates technical difficulty:

    Trail Difficulty Ratings and Signs | International Mountain Bicycling Association

    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Definition of a Trail with Technical parts?

    Nice chart.
    Lol @ loose rocks and unable unavoidable obstacles.

    Double diamonds are holy cap worthy from what I've seen in person.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForrestJones View Post
    A technical trail or section of a trail can be flat IMO. How much elevation gain/ loss is not relevant.

    Some synonyms for technical could be: lumpy, not smooth, chunky, gnarly. Anybody have any more?
    Sketchy

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwbikur View Post
    Sketchy
    Rowdy

  13. #13
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    Go ahead and ride the trail and don't worry about how technical it is. When you come to a "technical section", stop, get off, and look it over. If it is something you don't feel comfortable riding, push the bike over it.

    Question on the IMBA chart:

    The double-diamond Maximum trail grade (at least 15%) could be less than the Average trail grade (at least 20%). How is this possible? What is "average trail grade" anyway?

    Thanks.

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