1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    First decent wreck

    I just started growing used to some singletrack in my area and was on a part that I felt familiar with. I was cruising at a fast pace (for my experienece level) and came on a part where it got slim and curved to the right. I have a specialized rockhopper BTW. There was a tree to the left on that bend and my line was pretty much sending my left hand into it. I managed to get the handlebars around it when my shoulder came not too far behind that and caught the tree, sending the bike past me while I had the pleasure of flipping over.

    Should have broken my hand! I must have some of those adamantium bones or something. I felt the joints in my fingers snapping backward. While I was still in whatever level of shock I rushed to reset any bones that had been broken out of place, which is when I found out to my pleasure (I didnt know that was possible after wrecking) that nothing had been broken.

    End of the day, Is there any pointers that anyone could give me to change my line when I'm turning or cornering?

  2. #2
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    Really depends on the situation. Look ahead and stay alert as to what's ahead of you and then pick your line accordingly. Be aware of your surroundings. If you feel the corner might be too tricky, slow down a bit to give you more time to process. Going slower is better then crashing.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony8470
    I just started growing used to some singletrack in my area and was on a part that I felt familiar with.
    Haha, I can speak from experience on this one. I was riding on a local trail I've done plenty of times before and thought I knew. I was coming up a short, shady uphill where the trail takes a turn at the top and then comes right back down after the turn. As I'm coming up to the turn WTF was there always a tree leaning out from the inside of the turn? Next thing I know I landed on my stomach 15ft down the trail with my legs tangled in the bike. Moral of the story, even if you know the trail you still need to pay attention and keep your eyes up.

    Anyway, once you commit to a line it is very hard to change. Momentum wants to carry you in that line and the faster you are going the harder it will be to make any evasive action without wiping out from your sudden crazy moves. Grabbing the front brake in a panic will lock up your front wheel and send you out of control too. I find that grabbing some rear brake in a turn is the best choice to slow down and gain more control.

  4. #4
    Ride the dream
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    Always brake BEFORE turning - friction used to slow down is friction that cant be used for grip while turning.


    On the title... First decent wreck = first wreck where you thought about yourself not the bike.

  5. #5
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    I agree with what boomm said. If the terrain is nice enough you can always lay it sideways but usually it is to late for that.

    I had this happen to me a couple months ago. Came of a small drop down into a dip and as I started going up the other side I hit a sapling with my brake handle. The handle compressed right into my ring finger. If I hadn't had my wedding ring on I think I would have shattered my finger. 6 weeks later when at the doctors for a chest cold I got them to xray it due to it being sore still. I had fractured in in a couple places but everything healed perfect phew.

    All part of the "fun" I say lol
    Sometimes your the windshield, other times just the bug. That's life. (c:
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  6. #6
    What could go wrong ...
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    the best tip I ever got was to look where you want to go ... NOT at an obstacle you want to avoid ... ie if you look at a rock that you want to avoid you will hit the rock so look where you want to go and not at anything else on the trail ... its worked for me every time
    I used to ride to Win ... Now I ride to Grin

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoke2
    the best tip I ever got was to look where you want to go ... NOT at an obstacle you want to avoid ... ie if you look at a rock that you want to avoid you will hit the rock so look where you want to go and not at anything else on the trail ... its worked for me every time
    Makes sense! I'll give that a try, because thats exactly what I do. The first day I was out on my bike I was told about a wreck where I guy broke his finger sideways in the area. Been a little overcautious from the get go because of that.

    YES! EnglishT it was the first wreck where I absolutely didn't care about the bike!

    I'm also a little weary on these comfort bike tires they threw in with the bike as well. They flat out suck. I was thinking of getting some "Captain control" tires maybe I'll feel a little more confident out there? I also find that I learn better under pressure which is why I was riding the edge of my abilities before that edge finally gave way!

  8. #8
    Rod
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    Be very careful when riding at the edge of your ability. You can only do that for so long before you make a mistake and crash at a high rate of speed. Zoke also gave you some great advice and it's a scientific fact. Were you riding road tires in the dirt?
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  9. #9
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    Comfort tires - meaning semislick?

    If they dont grip enough, ditch them - theyll seirously reduce your fun.

    Personally I love the Nevegal - but its a bit of a love/hate thing. If you want alot of grip (and dont mind having a bit harder time pedalling) then its a good bit of rubber - Maxxis highrollers are in the same kinda boat.

    If you want extra grip - it might be a big harder to pedal - once you get used to it youll forget that difference.

    Best combo - big, very grippy front tyre, slightly smaller and faster rolling in the rear.

  10. #10
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    Sorry my sarcasm didnt quite come out right. They do the job, but are just terrible tires for traction. Also what is a good wheel? What weight should I look for? And what do you think is the best wheel all around in a weight:cost ratio?

  11. #11
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    Well, if theyre terrible for grip - ditch them.
    It really is that simple, if they dont do the job properly, theyre going to restrict your fun, slow you down and potentially hurt you (in extreme cases).

    Weight isnt really the point. Sure a grippier tire MIGHT weigh more, but it might not weigh alot more. It will be harder to turn though (because theres more friction) - grippier rubbers and grippier designs have that affect (even if they arent considerably heavier).

    What tires do you have on there now? (Make, line, size).

    Its more than possible that they are crap - the tires that came stock on my bike were crap, I changed them and it made a big difference (I tried to like them, to be cheap, but they just didnt grip enough).

  12. #12
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    Specialized fast track LK 26x2 = pansy tires

    I figure if im going to spend $100 on tires I might as well upgrade to tubeless rims and get some lightweight ones while I'm at it. If I upgrade bikes next season I can swap them over.

  13. #13
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    Upgrading to tubeless rims gets expensive - and the difference between that and tubes isnt as vast as some might have you believe.

    Its certainly not as vast as the difference between bad and good rubber - which is night and day.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishT
    Upgrading to tubeless rims gets expensive - and the difference between that and tubes isnt as vast as some might have you believe.

    Its certainly not as vast as the difference between bad and good rubber - which is night and day.
    +2
    For the money, different tires are the most noticeable upgrade you can buy. You can even buy just one for the front for now, as that will make the biggest difference in cornering grip.

    Panaracer Rampage 2.35 and Kenda Nevagal 2.35 are both highly proven tires and both are in the $35 range.

  15. #15
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    I was told that the innertube causes friction against the tirewall which hinders it from flexing and contouring on rough terrain. Also from working on cars, rotating mass consumes more energy than moving stationary mass. I know I'll be spending about $500+ for a tire wheel combo. I think I can maximize my money by buying the tubless tires/rims instead of buying tires 2x over. Pretty much save myself $100 over the long run?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony8470
    I was told that the innertube causes friction against the tirewall which hinders it from flexing and contouring on rough terrain. Also from working on cars, rotating mass consumes more energy than moving stationary mass. I know I'll be spending about $500+ for a tire wheel combo. I think I can maximize my money by buying the tubless tires/rims instead of buying tires 2x over. Pretty much save myself $100 over the long run?
    Yes, tubeless will make the tires ride better. Also can save you from many kinds of flats. But how soon are you planning on buying new wheels? If its not within the next few months I would still spend the $35 on a good front tire to enjoy riding more in the meantime

    Also, some people still swear otherwise, but the weight difference with tubless is negligible once you add in sealant.

  17. #17
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    Friction between tube and casing - sounds like typical salesman bullpats to be honest.


    Also - tubeless isnt THAT much lighter, and if you dont flat often might not be worth it at all.

    Yes, its true that rotating mass is worth (roughly) 4x static mass - however, bike wheels are relatively light generally speaking - youd notice a difference between a light and heavy one.. But its not an immediate issue, unless your wheels are seriously heavy (and even then, the weight saving will be from buying expensive rims and hubs, not from buying tubeless ones)


    Good rubber doesnt have to be expensive - a good pair of Nevegals, high rollers or rampage's wont set you back that much... but its a really worthwhile upgrade, whether or not you change your wheels out just yet.

    If you ride enough, a pair of tyres won't last much more than a season (mine dont) - if you're talking about changing out the whole bike next year, go with just the tyres now and cross the tubeless/not bridge when you come to it.
    Don't miss out on fun now because it might save you a few bucks on changing wheels which you might never have to do (especially if you're not gonna keep the bike that long).

  18. #18
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    http://www.jensonusa.com/search/?s=p...&btnSearch.y=0

    panaracer fire xc. got 'em rode the piss out of them.. another pair is on the way..

    oh... and they are fairly cheap.

  19. #19
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    Hi Tony.
    To forget about tires for the moment and address the question you asked about changing your line mid-corner, I do have a suggestion.
    It has been my experience that new riders feel safer sitting through a lot of trail (corners especially) that they should be standing up on. My wife is a good case in point. It took a lot of talking for me to get her to stand up on the pedals through corners, as she felt more connected to the bike when seated. But the problem is exactly that. You are too connected to the seat and your ability to move the bike around and make it do what you want is severely inhibited.
    By standing up and bending at the waist, so that your head is nice and low and your elbows out you are in a better position to make sudden steering adjustments without throwing your weight off line. Keep your weight low and centered and lean the bike underneath you by pushing down on the inside grip. Don't lean your whole body into the corner, just the bike. Use you upper body as a counter weight, so that you stay centered. If you have to make a sudden move to avoid a trail obstacle such as a rock or tree you can suddenly push down harder to turn tighter or let up on the pressure to let the bike straighten up. I use a lot of small sudden movements like this in my riding to get around obstacles. You can do it on the seat to a degree by bending sideways at the hips to lean the bike while keeping your torso upright, but as the speed increases your ability to do this drops off. I also find when I get tired I stand up too high and my cornering goes to hell.
    Last comment: Get on youtube or some other video sites and watch some pro downhillers in action. Watch the way the use their upper body position to give balance and control.
    Good luck.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by bshallard
    Hi Tony.
    To forget about tires for the moment and address the question you asked about changing your line mid-corner, I do have a suggestion.
    It has been my experience that new riders feel safer sitting through a lot of trail (corners especially) that they should be standing up on. My wife is a good case in point. It took a lot of talking for me to get her to stand up on the pedals through corners, as she felt more connected to the bike when seated. But the problem is exactly that. You are too connected to the seat and your ability to move the bike around and make it do what you want is severely inhibited.
    By standing up and bending at the waist, so that your head is nice and low and your elbows out you are in a better position to make sudden steering adjustments without throwing your weight off line. Keep your weight low and centered and lean the bike underneath you by pushing down on the inside grip. Don't lean your whole body into the corner, just the bike. Use you upper body as a counter weight, so that you stay centered. If you have to make a sudden move to avoid a trail obstacle such as a rock or tree you can suddenly push down harder to turn tighter or let up on the pressure to let the bike straighten up. I use a lot of small sudden movements like this in my riding to get around obstacles. You can do it on the seat to a degree by bending sideways at the hips to lean the bike while keeping your torso upright, but as the speed increases your ability to do this drops off. I also find when I get tired I stand up too high and my cornering goes to hell.
    Last comment: Get on youtube or some other video sites and watch some pro downhillers in action. Watch the way the use their upper body position to give balance and control.
    Good luck.
    Although I agree (pretty much) on the technical advice... I would disagree about "forgetting the tires"

    If youre a relative newcomer, and you're not sure of your technique - such a thing would be easier to learn with more grip (and hence more confidence).
    While its possible with less grip, confidence plays a big factor in pushing your skills further - and with tires you dont trust (that dont give much grip) its gonna be ten times harder to learn, purely because youre gonna be throwing it around with less confidence.

  21. #21
    more carbon=more awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishT
    Although I agree (pretty much) on the technical advice... I would disagree about "forgetting the tires"

    If youre a relative newcomer, and you're not sure of your technique - such a thing would be easier to learn with more grip (and hence more confidence).
    While its possible with less grip, confidence plays a big factor in pushing your skills further - and with tires you dont trust (that dont give much grip) its gonna be ten times harder to learn, purely because youre gonna be throwing it around with less confidence.

    Oh, yeah definitely. Sorry, my initial comment read differently from what I intended. I just meant I wanted to bring the discussion back to the question about changing lines mid-corner.
    I absolutely agree that a good set of tires is a must. I have had 2.1 and 2.3 inch High Rollers and loved both, and I have 2.1 WTB Weirwolves. Both designed with aggressive edge knobs.

    Edit: What the hell. I will add a link to a video (albeit not a great one) of me riding so you can hopefully get an idea of the technique I use. The back story is I was experimenting a couple of years ago with a digital camera on my helmet and then my brother and I swapped helmets for the last trail of the day so he could shoot me from behind. My helmet flopped around on his head a bit, and points a bit low. Anyway, hopefully you can see how I corner with my outside foot down and my inside knee up incase I need to unclip in a hurry. Also as I lean the bike I sometimes push my upper body outward to maintain balance.

    http://www.vimeo.com/1184838
    Last edited by The Understater; 07-30-2008 at 08:23 PM.
    Posting on the basis that ignorance shared is ignorance doubled.

  22. #22
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    Sorry if you thought me attacking in that, not the way I meant it to come across.

    And I think you had it pretty much spot on in the advice on cornering, though im not sure that worldcup DH cornering techniques will be quite the thing for an xc rider learning skills on cornering - though its worth watching for body posture if nothing more.

    Confidence is important in all of it - if watching vids of pro's doing it, and getting more grip on the dirt gives you confidence to try stuff that you havent before - then its good.

    I really think that tires will make a big difference, especially in giving more confidence to try it hard.

  23. #23
    The plough
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    Also keep in mind that if you are entering a corner at speed, to turn you will definitively have to lean over.... hence you must make sure that you CAN lean over without hitting trees or cliffs that may be lining the trail.

    Lastly, as you keep getting faster, the trail itself will change. A trail ridden slowly is completely different to the same trail ridden at high speed.

    V.

  24. #24
    more carbon=more awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnglishT
    Sorry if you thought me attacking in that, not the way I meant it to come across.

    And I think you had it pretty much spot on in the advice on cornering, though im not sure that worldcup DH cornering techniques will be quite the thing for an xc rider learning skills on cornering - though its worth watching for body posture if nothing more.

    Confidence is important in all of it - if watching vids of pro's doing it, and getting more grip on the dirt gives you confidence to try stuff that you havent before - then its good.

    I really think that tires will make a big difference, especially in giving more confidence to try it hard.
    Nah man, I saw it for what it was. See my edit to my second post.
    b.
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  25. #25
    Ride the dream
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    Quote Originally Posted by bshallard
    Nah man, I saw it for what it was. See my edit to my second post.
    b.
    Nice vid - shows what you mean pretty well, looks a nice place to ride too.

    Also (OT) green bikes look nice eh?

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