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  1. #1
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    How to avoid/escape from and "endo"/face plant kind of crash....

    Well, overall I have been making some relatively good progress on learning how to ride, but two days ago I had a bad crash/fall and I would like to get some advice on what I did wrong and how to avoid or handle it in the future.

    I was out on some singletrack in the Sandia Foothills in Albuquerque, and I ran into a section where I wasn't able to climb up, so I walked the bike up maybe 100 yards total or so and decided to CAREFULLY ride back down. I've been having pretty good success riding similar tracks and I didn't think it would be a problem. Almost as soon as I mounted up and started rolling downhill, I tried to slow down some by braking gently. What happened next, in a kind of slow-motion was I found my body falling forward and the rear of the bike rising up and essentially dumping me, face-first onto the trail. I believe this is known as an "endo" along with a "face-plant." Whatever you call it, it HURT and I feel lucky I got away with some badly bruised ribs and a face full of scrapes.

    I'd like to learn more about what I did wrong--it happened really fast. I may have just started to lock up the front brake and my body's momentum just pitched me forward and brought the bike with it. That may be all there is to it, but if there are more tips about how to avoid this and/or escape from it, I'd REALLY like to not repeat this. I'd hate to think about the damage if this had happened in a rocky area.

    Is there a safe way to stop and dismount when pointed downhill like this?

    On a positive note, when I started the ride I met a couple of fellow Yeti owners in the parking lot and we chatted a bit. Just by chance they were returning from their ride just as I rode back into the parking lot nursing my wounds. Turned out that one of guys was a local firefighter and he checked me and my bike out for any major damage. Same guy had also been a wrench at a local shop in the past and he started tweaking my bike setup. He adjusted the handlebars and seat to a MUCH better-feeling position. I was still running on adrenaline, so the hurt ribs hadn't totally kicked in yet.

    It was kind of disappointing since the previous ride I had felt was kind of a breakthrough for me and I'd reached a new level of confidence and ability. I guess the MTB gods thought otherwise...
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

  2. #2
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    Suddenly grabbing a handful of front brake will do that especially if you don't have your weight back. Going downhill freaks a lot of people out as they are afraid to carry some speed. You have to learn to modulate the front brake. Also just locking up the rear often causes you to loose some control sliding sideway and then you grab some front brake all crossed up and over the bars you go. Hard to do but don't panic, get under control as in positioned correctly on the bike and then brake. Also when stuck on an uphill it is better to get to a point where you can stop, get balance (often by sitting sideway on the hill if it is really steep) and start the descent under control or better yet walk to the top and start down.

  3. #3
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    I have ridden down hills where it seems there's NO way to stop safely -- you just have to ride it out. If you tried to stop, there was no way to avoid going over the bars. You should have your butt all the way back off the seat, hanging over the back wheel.

  4. #4
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    Sounds like you weren't behind the saddle enough to prevent the rotation when your tire hit a bump. The rotation around the front wheel when a bike hits a bump is pretty big. Sit forward and it is bigger still, have a suspension fork try to absorb the bump and this throws your weight forward even more.

    The solution is to get behind the saddle, really behind. The steeper the descent the more behind you should be. The steepest trails your stomach or chest might be touching your saddle.

    Back there you are as far away from the rotating point for an endo as possible and you are lowering your center of gravity as well making you more stable. By being over the rear tire you can get more control with the rear brake, freeing up the front brake a little to prevent the dreaded stall. It also unweights your suspension fork reducing dive and letting it ride over things easier.

    When you are behind and need to bail your just let go with your hands. You will possibly land on the tire then your butt. Your bike will probably fall to one side and stop.

    There is a fine line back there but once you find it you should be able to roll down everything. Remember momentum is your friend so once you get confident going down steeps you can practice going a little faster, this will let the suspension work at a speed where it is better suited and the stability of your bike will be much better.

    All too often I see beginner and not so beginner cyclist start a descent on their saddle. Prepare ahead, get on your pedals, get your weight back some and when a steep shows up you just throw your weight back a little more.


    good: weight back, saddle in front of hips, back low.


    bad: saddle smacking into butt throwing rider forward. Had he had the saddle between his legs it would have hit him in the chest region, he would have pop off his handlebars, bike would have gone away and he would have landed on his butt instead of the inevitable face plant coming in the next few seconds.
    Try this: HTFU

  5. #5
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    What they said....

    Your weight wasn't behind the saddle. A book I read said that your belly button should be over your bottom bracket (vertically). Therefore, the steeper you go down the more you should be behind your saddle. Additionally, if you're doing a lot of descents, you should drop your saddle. A remote drop seat post can help a lot for this.

    Additionally, climbing, you want to be at the front of your saddle.
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  6. #6
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    Some good suggestions here on not falling.

    I've been looking for an excuse to post these two videos, though...

    pk roll tutorial - YouTube
    PLF Video 001 - YouTube

    The second one bears a little more explanation.

    PLF Power Paragliding / PPG accessories and equipment.

    Falls happen. I never really thought about learning to roll out of them, but I'd already done a little gymnastics training before I started mountain biking, so it more-or-less took care of itself when it came up. A lot of people fall really badly, though, and while some will argue that you don't have time to think about falling, once it's happening, I think if a person trains his body to do fall more gracefully, he'll go down a lot less painfully when it does happen.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Good videos but hard to do while clipped in... LOL
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  8. #8
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    Great advice--thanks to all who've contributed so far.

    Rockcrusher--that's a very spot-on analysis of what's happening. In "reliving" the incident, I'm almost certain that I didn't panic and grab the brake--I have learned to feather the brakes a bit. I recall that my forward movement started when the the front tire met some resistance and I just didn't know what to do--although at that point it was probably too late. Also great explanation of what happens if you lose it and you ARE back behind the saddle--saddle comes up and knocks you BACKWARDS off the bike--much preferable.

    Do you think that a dropper seatpost would be a wise investment? Or just practice and get flexible enough to get back over the seat when raised?

    I think this winter I'm going to work on flexibility. And maybe some rolls!

    Anyway, this kind of data is very helpful and takes away some of the trepidation of going out there again. My first big crash was caused by grabbing too much brake and I did learn from that. Hopefully the same here.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

  9. #9
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    Something else that's helpful to know is learning to unload the front end. You need to read your terrain and learn to loft the front end as necessary to prevent forward weight transfer caused by obstacle interference. Small divots on the trail are enough to cause unwanted weight shift if you are already on the brakes.
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  10. #10
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    Aside from what has already been said, IMO growing a pair of hairy balls and having the right mindset of being committed also helps a lot.

    From what I've experienced in the past and present, going downhill is mostly psychological.... the more you're afraid of crashing/slower you go the more you're likely to crash.

  11. #11
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    Main thing, as very well explained already, is butt to rear or completely behind the saddle. I would add that you want to NOT lock your elbows, but you DO want to stiffen your arms to resist the forward momentum braking creates on your upper body.

    Also, MyMilkExpired makes an excellent point. I would add, if you're not already aware, the difference between unweighting the front end and lofting the front end. Unweighting is just what it sounds like. You release downward pressure on the bars - which will include a slight weight shift backward. This allows the front end to rise up and over an obstacle with only your arms moving with the bar as it rises, not your upper body. With practice, this becomes automatic, and makes a big difference. Lofting is more involved, and is less likely needed (and is more difficult when) going downhill. To loft, you combine an upward pull on the bars with a quick powerful pedal stroke to lift the front wheel just prior to the obstacle.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post
    Do you think that a dropper seatpost would be a wise investment? Or just practice and get flexible enough to get back over the seat when raised?
    I'm going to suggest that a dropper seatpost would definitely be a good investment. You indicated that you were probably not far enough behind the saddle and I would say that it was because your saddle was too high for your comfort/skill level. We all know proper saddle position is key for pedaling efficiency, but it is also true that a high saddle prevents you from being able to get your weight low and back which would help in situations like the one you found yourself in. What you should be doing while you are still getting comfortable with riding is to drop your saddle any time you come up on a section that looks to be out of your comfort zone. It makes it much easier to do this if you can hit a little lever on your bars.

    I got one for my wife and it has made a huge difference in her riding. Where she would need to get off the bike and walk before she can now hit the lever and drop her post to give her more room to move around. She is riding with a lot more confidence and that has led her to develop skills more quickly than other riders I have been with. If the price isn't going to kill you then I would say there's no reason not to give it a try. The Reverb post is pretty popular, I'm personally holding out to see what the upcoming Fox post brings, and you can find Crank Bros Joplin posts for insanely low prices. The reviews are more or less directly in line with the cost but for what it's worth we haven't had even one issue with my wife's Joplin despite all the negative talk about it on the internet.

    Edit: maybe it's time to learn the "OTB dismount". I think most bikers that stick with it in the long run start to get a magical ability to dismount an endoing bike by hurdling over the handlebars. It's fun and very impressive to onlookers when you pull it off.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post
    ...Do you think that a dropper seatpost would be a wise investment? Or just practice and get flexible enough to get back over the seat when raised?
    YES! You don't have to have a dropper seat post to ride steep sections but it makes it a lot more comfortable and you have more room to maneuver over the saddle. Having the saddle pounding you in the stomach/chest isn't the most comfortable way to go down a steep hill. Once you get a dropper post you won't want to ride without one if you do a long of technical downhill. 5" of drop is good. Infinite adjustable types are better than fixed position posts IMO. I've used both types. But, either type is much better than fixed.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Falls happen. I never really thought about learning to roll out of them
    ^^^ THIS. ^^^

    Learn how to crash properly, because it WILL happen. RELAX, get clear of the bike, tuck and roll out of it. Even the quickest of crashes you can usually roll out of some way.

    The key though is learning to RELAX when a crash starts and flow with it. Trying to avoid or get out of an inevitable endo or other crash usually ends up just getting you hurt.

  15. #15
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    Two of my most epic endos (holy sh*t dude are you OK) occurred when I had my seat post all the way up. Dropper post

  16. #16
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    If you have to crash because you come up to something that is way above your skill level (or say, a cliff), just put the bike on its non-drivetrain side and stay with it. Assuming you're on dirt, you'll get some mud on your side and that's about it. Non-drivetrain side is key... drivetrain side no-bash guard and your calf with be a bloody mess.

    If you do go over the bars, keep your limbs tucked in, and try to land on your back or side, back preferable if you have something like a Camelbak on. Let the bike go. After you've got OTB a few times, you recognize that it's a lost cause to try and recover at that point.

    Crashing gracefully is a great skill to have as a mountain biker. People get hurt when they either a) unavoidably crash at high speed/on rocks doing something inherently dangerous or b) when they try to recover from an inevitable crash. You don't have a large time window during a crash, and you have the option to either recover or protect yourself... and 10/10, protecting yourself is the better choice.

  17. #17
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    I tend to lean toward practicing technique rather than buying more crap, but whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus View Post
    I tend to lean toward practicing technique rather than buying more crap, but whatever.
    Ever been to Arizona? I tend to avoid rolling around on rocks whenever possible.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zebrahum View Post
    Ever been to Arizona? I tend to avoid rolling around on rocks whenever possible.
    Nope, never been. I'm sure a dropper seatpost comes in handy at some point, but the guy just started riding. Maybe he's riding some gnarly stuff, but chances are he just needs to adjust his technique like people have already suggested.

  20. #20
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    I think theres a learning curve you have to do everything once to understand why it went wrong,
    i have done the successful scissor kick over the bars,
    small 2 ft drop, sooooo fatigued (first day on the trails ever) i yank the front wheel up to roll off and land flush, what had happened was the front came down like a 200lb weight forcing me to grab the brakes which in turn was the front brakes fml,.
    im now aiming my face at the ground, decide its better to fold the bike over by cutting the wheel, which led me to my neo-esque matric saving move.
    landed on my feet,.
    looked around thinking to myself like a boss.
    but then i was at the back of the group no one saw anything boss like,.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post
    Great advice--thanks to all who've contributed so far.

    Rockcrusher--that's a very spot-on analysis of what's happening. In "reliving" the incident, I'm almost certain that I didn't panic and grab the brake--I have learned to feather the brakes a bit. I recall that my forward movement started when the the front tire met some resistance and I just didn't know what to do--although at that point it was probably too late. Also great explanation of what happens if you lose it and you ARE back behind the saddle--saddle comes up and knocks you BACKWARDS off the bike--much preferable.

    Do you think that a dropper seatpost would be a wise investment? Or just practice and get flexible enough to get back over the seat when raised?

    I think this winter I'm going to work on flexibility. And maybe some rolls!

    Anyway, this kind of data is very helpful and takes away some of the trepidation of going out there again. My first big crash was caused by grabbing too much brake and I did learn from that. Hopefully the same here.
    Do you need a dropper post? No, unless you don't have time to stop, open your QR and lower your seat and then when you get to the bottom do the reverse. AI simple and inexpensive seatpost QR is a much easier way to learn plus you don't have to worry about finding a seatpost that works in your frame or adding more weight to your bike.

    The good thing about using the seat QR is that as a newer rider you will stop at the top of descents to lower your seat and then you can look at the descent, decide on a line to take, roll back a few feet and commit to the descent. Over time you might find that you can do without stopping on a lot of hills to lower your seatpost.

    I live in AZ, ride a rigid bike and do not have a seat post QR. I regularly descent very steep, rock steep terrain and trust in my ability to get behind the saddle and ride the technical steeps. My bike doesn't fit the current crop of oversized dropper posts and my wallet can't accept the hit from the purchase price of one either.

    Do you want a dropper post? If yes then get one as it is a great tool and makes riding much easier with less stopping and less poorly adjusted saddle height or "wait I gotta raise my saddle" moments. There is a tick more maintenance with them but the benefits have to more than outweigh the costs (both financial and maintenance wise).
    Try this: HTFU

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post
    Great advice--thanks to all who've contributed so far.

    Rockcrusher--that's a very spot-on analysis of what's happening. In "reliving" the incident, I'm almost certain that I didn't panic and grab the brake--I have learned to feather the brakes a bit. I recall that my forward movement started when the the front tire met some resistance and I just didn't know what to do--although at that point it was probably too late. Also great explanation of what happens if you lose it and you ARE back behind the saddle--saddle comes up and knocks you BACKWARDS off the bike--much preferable.

    Do you think that a dropper seatpost would be a wise investment? Or just practice and get flexible enough to get back over the seat when raised?

    I think this winter I'm going to work on flexibility. And maybe some rolls!

    Anyway, this kind of data is very helpful and takes away some of the trepidation of going out there again. My first big crash was caused by grabbing too much brake and I did learn from that. Hopefully the same here.
    When I was younger we skiied alot....we learned shoulder rolls etc....really valuable to protect yourself from any kind of fall...it just comes naturally to me now...(even clipped in)

    On the other hand many times you can walk (or run) out of an OTB....you basically put the bike down on its side and step over the bars...also works great...

    If in doubt roll it out though...

    The cause of lots of OTB's is lack of momentum....the front wheel just hits and obstacle and stops dead....if you have a little bit more momentum then it pops over the obstacle and you just keep going..

    Momentum is your friend

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post
    I was out on some singletrack in the Sandia Foothills in Albuquerque... fellow Yeti owners...
    Not trying to be a creeper but Copper trailhead, Red Nissan Xterra, late afternoon early evening?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by snafs View Post
    Not trying to be a creeper but Copper trailhead, Red Nissan Xterra, late afternoon early evening?
    What a creeper

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by snafs View Post
    Not trying to be a creeper but Copper trailhead, Red Nissan Xterra, late afternoon early evening?
    Nope...trailhead at the end of Spain. But Copper is very close to home and I ride there a lot. Easy to spot--red 944 with a Yeti ASR 5 crammed in the back. Stop and say hi if you run into me, or find me sprawled out on one of the trails.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

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    very good info in here. i am a newbie and these thread is really helpful.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    Do you need a dropper post? No, unless you don't have time to stop, open your QR and lower your seat and then when you get to the bottom do the reverse. AI simple and inexpensive seatpost QR is a much easier way to learn plus you don't have to worry about finding a seatpost that works in your frame or adding more weight to your bike.

    The good thing about using the seat QR is that as a newer rider you will stop at the top of descents to lower your seat and then you can look at the descent, decide on a line to take, roll back a few feet and commit to the descent. Over time you might find that you can do without stopping on a lot of hills to lower your seatpost.

    I live in AZ, ride a rigid bike and do not have a seat post QR. I regularly descent very steep, rock steep terrain and trust in my ability to get behind the saddle and ride the technical steeps. My bike doesn't fit the current crop of oversized dropper posts and my wallet can't accept the hit from the purchase price of one either.

    Do you want a dropper post? If yes then get one as it is a great tool and makes riding much easier with less stopping and less poorly adjusted saddle height or "wait I gotta raise my saddle" moments. There is a tick more maintenance with them but the benefits have to more than outweigh the costs (both financial and maintenance wise).
    My bike has a QR seatpost so I'll be putting this into practice right away. But I'm also going to start looking into getting a seatpost.

    At the risk of side-jacking this thread, I'm certainly open to advice on what to look for. I've done a little reading on the subject and really don't have an informed opinion. The new Specialized Command Post Blacklite has some appeal as it's entirely mechanical and sounds like it might be bullet-proof, but it only has 3 positions--which is probably plenty.

    I think I'll start another thread in the Beginner's Corner on this.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

  28. #28
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    Porschefan, to lower the seat is a great idea and a dropper seatpost really helps.

    I am not a fan of constantly being behind the seat. In many cases this leads to riding with arms stretched and locked. The rider is stiff, cannot stear and all the more prone to crash. The better solution is to lower the seat. This allows to stand on the padals with the hips low and the arms bend. Anything happens - like front hits a rock - you are loose and can work the bike. See DH racing...

    Seatdropper helps as it allows to drop the seat without stopping. Once you learned the low seat technique it is really hard to descent with a raised seat. A seatdropper becomes almost essential.

    Before anybody flames: There are two different techniques to descent technical trails. Seat up implies a different technique than seat down. Trust me, try it. I go through a retraining every September when I move from DH racing to XC fun.
    "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit." - And I agree.

  29. #29
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    If you have time to react to an endo, most likely caused by to much front brake/bad weight placement, and you've gone past the point of saving it, maybe try to step over the bars. I've done that a few times. Just walk away from the bike and let it crumple up behind you. Of course it doesn't always work and you still hit the ground hard, but prevention is the best medicine.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  30. #30
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    Lots of good advice here

    I've scanned through the replies, and I'm not sure anyone spoke of momentum. Your post indicates that you got on the bike and "slowly" tried to make it down the hill, squeezed the front brake, and went over the bars.

    If this is a correct summary of what happend, in addition to the posts that recommended getting your backside off the back of the saddle, and feathering your brakes, you also have to have enough momentum going over the rocks, roots and any other obstacles you may be navigating.

    In that you didn't indicate in your post if there were obstacles involved, my point may be moot for this particular instance, but I know it's one thing I had difficulty dealing with (and still do to this day). Let the bike do what it was built to do. You'll be surprosed at what it can handle.

    In summary, stay way back over the back end of the saddle, learn to feather both front AND rear brakes, and maintain enough momentum to allow the bike to do it's job.

    Lastly-some good reading: "Masteing Mountain Bike Skills" By Lopes and McCormack. Contrary to the title, the book has some great advice for the beginner.

    Ride on!

    Bob
    'If Wal-Mart sold parachutes, who would jump?' Frank Havnoonian (quoting his father) Drexel Hill Cyclery

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porschefan View Post
    Well, overall I have been making some relatively good progress on learning how to ride, but two days ago I had a bad crash/fall and I would like to get some advice on what I did wrong and how to avoid or handle it in the future.

    I was out on some singletrack in the Sandia Foothills in Albuquerque, and I ran into a section where I wasn't able to climb up, so I walked the bike up maybe 100 yards total or so and decided to CAREFULLY ride back down. I've been having pretty good success riding similar tracks and I didn't think it would be a problem. Almost as soon as I mounted up and started rolling downhill, I tried to slow down some by braking gently. What happened next, in a kind of slow-motion was I found my body falling forward and the rear of the bike rising up and essentially dumping me, face-first onto the trail. I believe this is known as an "endo" along with a "face-plant." Whatever you call it, it HURT and I feel lucky I got away with some badly bruised ribs and a face full of scrapes.

    I'd like to learn more about what I did wrong--it happened really fast. I may have just started to lock up the front brake and my body's momentum just pitched me forward and brought the bike with it. That may be all there is to it, but if there are more tips about how to avoid this and/or escape from it, I'd REALLY like to not repeat this. I'd hate to think about the damage if this had happened in a rocky area.

    Is there a safe way to stop and dismount when pointed downhill like this?

    On a positive note, when I started the ride I met a couple of fellow Yeti owners in the parking lot and we chatted a bit. Just by chance they were returning from their ride just as I rode back into the parking lot nursing my wounds. Turned out that one of guys was a local firefighter and he checked me and my bike out for any major damage. Same guy had also been a wrench at a local shop in the past and he started tweaking my bike setup. He adjusted the handlebars and seat to a MUCH better-feeling position. I was still running on adrenaline, so the hurt ribs hadn't totally kicked in yet.

    It was kind of disappointing since the previous ride I had felt was kind of a breakthrough for me and I'd reached a new level of confidence and ability. I guess the MTB gods thought otherwise...

    Porschefan -

    Sorry to hear about your mishap. It's good that you are ok and are seeking to understand what befell you.

    You appear to be a thoughtful individual who seeks information and knowledge so that you may master any given subject,.


    That said, you may want to consider purchasing the following book:

    > Mastering Mountain Bike Skills 2nd Ed. by Brian Lopes and Lee McCormack

    Amazon Link: Amazon.com: Mastering Mountain Bike Skills - 2nd Edition (9780736083713): Brian Lopes, Lee McCormack: Books


    This instructional book is well-written, includes many good diagrams, photographs, time-lapse photography, helpful insights, and experienced tips which many have found to be very useful and beneficial in understanding, and improving, their mountain biking skiills..

    > Brian Lopes is a well-known mountain bike racer who holds the most World Cup Titles (25) of any male racer to date; along with holding 4 World Championship Titles and 9 National Championship Titles in both downhill and dual slalom.

    > Lee McCormack is a leading and highly-regarded mountain bike techniques instructor who also is a published cycling journalist.

    Hope this helps.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    ... Unweighting is just what it sounds like. You release downward pressure on the bars - which will include a slight weight shift backward. This allows the front end to rise up and over an obstacle with only your arms moving with the bar as it rises, not your upper body. With practice, this becomes automatic, and makes a big difference. ...
    As I was riding today, I realized I should have mentioned the role of the torso muscles in unweighting. (Someone repped me for it so I guess I should try to get it right.)

    Unweighting is shifting weight off the bars. This can be done by either shifting weight rearward onto your butt, or by having your torso muscles bear more weight, or a combination of the two. When climbing, with your upper body forward over the bars, you unweight by using your torso to hold yourself up. Then the front end can more easily go up over the obstacle and only your flexed arms move as the as the front end rises and falls below you.
    Last edited by Gasp4Air; 10-02-2011 at 02:59 PM.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  33. #33
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    Just know that going OTB is not just a beginner thing. The better rider you become, the more you'll have the tendency to ride harder trails. I've been riding for a long time, have a nice slack AM ride, and still had a really bad OTB last week. Inevitably, it's going to happen. If you aren't crashing, you aren't riding hard enough
    "Don't feel bad. A lot of people have no talent"

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bambi19 View Post
    Porschefan -

    Sorry to hear about your mishap. It's good that you are ok and are seeking to understand what befell you.

    You appear to be a thoughtful individual who seeks information and knowledge so that you may master any given subject,
    Thanks, B19.... I'd BETTER master this, or at least get competent or my mountain biking career is going to be a very short one.


    That said, you may want to consider purchasing the following book:

    > Mastering Mountain Bike Skills 2nd Ed. by Brian Lopes and Lee McCormack

    Amazon Link: Amazon.com: Mastering Mountain Bike Skills - 2nd Edition (9780736083713): Brian Lopes, Lee McCormack: Books
    I have this book. And I agree that it's extremely well done. Time to get back to it!

    I also got a recommendation for the DVD "Fluidride: Like a Pro," which I ALSO have.... A friend told me there is an excellent section in it about how to descend safely.

    I've had TWO big crashes in my short experience. The first one was OTB (kind of) and sliding through a cactus patch. That one was more like being "slingshot" off the bike in a horizontal position. I was going a lot faster and the cactus did some damage....but this "endo" one was definitely scarier because of the way you fall--face first and HARD.

    Definitely going to work on it! Thanks for the good wishes and advice.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    Do you need a dropper post? No, unless you don't have time to stop, open your QR and lower your seat and then when you get to the bottom do the reverse. AI simple and inexpensive seatpost QR is a much easier way to learn plus you don't have to worry about finding a seatpost that works in your frame or adding more weight to your bike.

    The good thing about using the seat QR is that as a newer rider you will stop at the top of descents to lower your seat and then you can look at the descent, decide on a line to take, roll back a few feet and commit to the descent. Over time you might find that you can do without stopping on a lot of hills to lower your seatpost.

    I live in AZ, ride a rigid bike and do not have a seat post QR. I regularly descent very steep, rock steep terrain and trust in my ability to get behind the saddle and ride the technical steeps. My bike doesn't fit the current crop of oversized dropper posts and my wallet can't accept the hit from the purchase price of one either.

    Do you want a dropper post? If yes then get one as it is a great tool and makes riding much easier with less stopping and less poorly adjusted saddle height or "wait I gotta raise my saddle" moments. There is a tick more maintenance with them but the benefits have to more than outweigh the costs (both financial and maintenance wise).
    The best reply yet, IMHO

    The other one about NOT locking your arms is spot on too!

    Don't descend with your butt so far back that your arms are fully extended with elbows locked. You then have nothing left in regards to the travel of your arms to help control your bike as you ride over the terrain.

    I agree that you might consider stopping and dropping your seat a while before investing in a dropper. The idea that you will have the moment to evaluate your line, then remount and dedicate yourself to it. This worked for me when I started out.
    Now, I have both the Crank Brothers Joplin and Specialized Command Post.
    They both work, just a bit differently as far as height changes (infinite or stopped), and they are really nice on the run, but you might benefit more from learning to read the trail and learning to pick lines you can handle before you start spending money... unless you have plenty of that to spend

    Definitely work to understand how your wheel rolls over obstacles... like other folks have mentioned here. There are plenty of times an OTB will be caused by too slow a speed and the front wheel stops dead at an obstacle like a rock or log or even a dip in the trail.

    Remember not to fixate on one obstacle after you've already scoped it out and decided to ride it or pass it. Keep it in your peripheral vision but keep looking ahead.
    This will hopefully keep you from freezing up about it and crashing.

    Not sure why the vid of a PLF was posted. I did plenty of these at Ft. Benning "back in the day" and even with all the practice in a nice 'soft' arena, slowly sliding along a cable and dropping to the ground... when it came to a real jump and having the ground rushing up on you at speed, with your ruck hanging below you and possibly a weapons case strapped to your side and hundreds of other guys floating around you shouting, all that prep sometimes, somehow, failed to materialize
    That's when guys would crumple to the ground or slam into it. I was a medic so I got to see the end results.

    For me... it's more about keeping a clear mind and staying focused on the ride... not letting my mind freeze up with fear staying stuck on one obstacle. Sometimes I even talk out loud to myself through a difficult section... keep the mind thinking, keeping it opened up to the whole picture. Any high-stress situation can create tunnel vision. I believe that's what gets us most often because we lose the ability to continue assessing and making new decisions.
    This is when I do things like grabbing fist-fulls of brake.. I think... because I don't always remember what I did.
    All we do in those situations when we freeze up with fear, is constantly play the whole negative scenario out until it happens.... "I'm gonna hit that rock! I'm gonna hit that rock and crash!! I CAN'T GET AROUND THAT ROCK... HERE I GO!!! then... blank... until we come back to our senses.

    In your case perhaps it was more like, "This is steep! I'm GOING TOO FAST!! SH*T I'm GONNA CRASH AND IT'S GONNA HURT!!! BOOM! What the heck happened??? Owww!

  36. #36
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    Sorry to read about the crash, but we're all learning quite a bit from it. There's a lot of good information in this thread that had helped me. Thanks for posting!

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    not sure if it was mentioned... no time to read the whole thread sorry (i am at work)...

    moving your butt backwards and forwards is much easier if you lower your seat... i ride DH and keep my seat as low as i can... just my two cents...

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    Also on full susp bikes if your rebound is too fast it can bounce your rear end sometimes

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by BertoManfred View Post
    Also on full susp bikes if your rebound is too fast it can bounce your rear end sometimes
    So can some suspension seat posts.
    2009 Access 9.5 29er
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  40. #40
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    Just ride it out, lean back hope for the best and feather the brakes. And practice makes perfect!

  41. #41
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    Update....

    Went back to the clinic to get a second opinion and more meds. X-rays revealed three fractured ribs.... 5-6 weeks off the bike
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you'll crash. ~Julie Furtado

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