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  1. #1
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    what are some good tips to prevent the superman crash (otb)

    i'm already trying the best i can to have my butt over the rear wheel. Sometimes after a long day of climbing i get lazy. Other than that, some other pearls of wisdom?

  2. #2
    Hi There!
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    Ride within your limits?
    NTFTC

  3. #3
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    Dropper post. Slack head tube angle. Shorter stem. More sweep in riser bars.

  4. #4
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    Try using more rear brake than front. While the front really helps you stop quickly, too much will send you OTB.

    I've heard some suggest 2-finger braking for the rear, 1-finger for the front to reduce OTB risk. If you can manage the right brake balance with just 1 finger on both levers, that's great but using the technique will demonstrate what you're shooting for on tricky descents.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  5. #5
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    Never let the front wheel stop on steep descents. When it does you will go over.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  6. #6
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    Here's one that seems obvious, but make sure you're not riding with your thumb on top of the grip. I've seen lots of people do this, and I confess it's a bad habit of mine that I've (mostly) broken. I used to do it on "easy" sections, but you never know when that root or stump is going to jump out at you when you're just riding along.

  7. #7
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    Rather than not use your front brake, I encourage you learn to use it well. Most of your control and braking power is in the front. Here's all the pearls I can muster:

    Do not lock up either wheel. A locked wheel offers no control at all.
    Learn to modulate your brakes. Avoid skids.
    For descents, drop the saddle a few inches to get it out of your way and to lower you center of gravity.
    Advanced riders can push harder and brake later. The rest of us should brake earlier and stay within our limits.
    Don't brake when negotiating obstacles. Use the spaces between to scrub speed, even if just for a second.
    Never lock your elbows.
    Use your arm and leg muscles to resist the inertial forces of braking, esp DH.
    When you scoot your butt back for descending, your upper body will naturally go down toward the bars. This helps - don't fight it.

    All of my OTBs are from SUSs (sudden unexpected stops) caused by the front wheel planting against a rock or log. Either I wasn't paying attention, or I mistimed my lunge over the obstacle. At slow speeds, you have to be careful with the fork - it may not compress when the wheel hits the obstacle. If you're not ready to handle it by lofting the front, and your weight is on your arms, then the next thing you know you're on the trail and your bike is falling on top of you. Speed can help this, but don't get in over your head.

    Hope something here is a help.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    Dropper post. Slack head tube angle. Shorter stem. More sweep in riser bars.
    What exactly does that mean ?

    As for the sweep are there standard degrees bars tend to stick to or is every bar kinda different. Ive only paid attention to Grams/Length.



    Quote Originally Posted by Gasp4Air View Post
    Rather than not use your front brake, I encourage you learn to use it well. Most of your control and braking power is in the front. Here's all the pearls I can muster:

    Do not lock up either wheel. A locked wheel offers no control at all.
    Learn to modulate your brakes. Avoid skids. .
    My new brakes offer way more stopping power in the front and I have yet to adapt. Ive flung myself forward near endo several times because of this. I like my brakes to reach "Stoppage" in a short range , Is it better to just practice using that narrow range and develop a touch or tweak my dials and give them more travel ?

  9. #9
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    Sweep can really make a set of bars feel different, not always in a good way. For me, too much and my wrists and hands don't like it, and it seems that handling gets wonky. Dropper posts are useful, but pricey. A shorter stem is the cheapest and easiest modification to help get your center of gravity farther behind the front axle (which is what will keep you from going OTB).

    In general, I hate brakes that engage far away from the bar. I find the sweet spot for trail riding is for them to lock up when they're just far enough out not to crush your other fingers.
    Angle is important too - you want a fairly straight line from elbow, through the wrists, and out to the first knuckles, and then shoot for about a 90 degree bend at the first knuckle around the lock-up point. You'll be in better position to modulate the brakes and to hang onto the bars this way than if you're locking up with your fingertips sticking way out in front of you. FWIW, I ended up with this approach after my first few seasons of DHing. My brakes would engage way out from the bars, and by the end of the day, I would barely be able to work them due to arm pump, and my I couldn't modulate or move around the bike properly because my hands had to be in this weird out-stretched position to work the brakes. These days, I run my DH bike brakes so that they don't lock up until they're pretty much touching the handgrips. Makes an absolute world of difference both in fatigue factor and the ability to modulate in sketchy terrain. Might be worth a shot messing with your brake reach and engagement if it's something your comfortable with.

  10. #10
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    This one is all about manipulating your center of gravity and learning to modulate your brakes better. If your brakes have adjustments, then use the adjustments until you find that sweet spot. If your brakes don't have adjustments, then you'll simply have to learn to adapt to the brakes.

    I honestly can't remember the last time I went OTB. I am most comfortable with 2 finger braking (on both levers) and my brakes do not have reach or engagement adjustments. I had to learn to adapt to my brakes. I do not drop my seatpost or have a dropper post. I have fairly long arms, however, and I'm able to get my butt behind the saddle pretty well anyway. I let the bike move underneath me a lot. My local trails have a lot of obstacles that have a pretty hard drop to flat on the downhill side, but they aren't well-suited for a wheelie-drop, or a bunny hop due to insufficient runout afterwards. I loft the front over the obstacle pretty well but have a tough time with the rear. Usually the rear hits the obstacle, forcing the front down hard and it takes a lot of body english to avoid going OTB.

  11. #11
    Just Ride
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    Don't ride. Really the only surefire way to prevent it.
    SS ==> Nut up or Shut up!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe_bloe View Post
    Here's one that seems obvious, but make sure you're not riding with your thumb on top of the grip. I've seen lots of people do this, and I confess it's a bad habit of mine that I've (mostly) broken. .
    How is that even a comfortable way to hold the bars?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wishful Tomcat View Post
    How is that even a comfortable way to hold the bars?
    I do that on the climb sometimes, but never on the descend.

    I usually keep the rear weighted 70/30 rear to front. On the flat it's not much, your center mass is pretty much just over or behind the saddle but once it gets steeper the more of your butt is required to be over the rear tire. Practice, practice, practice, the more exaggerate the better, once you know how far you can go back then find the good balance between keeping the front biting and the rear on the ground.

  14. #14
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    Anti gravity, use it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by manmythlegend View Post
    What exactly does that mean ?
    Head tube angle is the angle between a straight line running through your head tube and the horizontal plane. Take a look at any frame geometry diagram, and you'll see what I mean. Generally speaking, a steeper HT angle - say 70-73 degrees - provides nimble handling, while a slacker HT angle - say less than 70 degrees - provides more stability. Its actually more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it. For this reason, XC bikes tend to have steeper HT angles, while DH, FR, and AM bikes tend to have slacker HT angles.

    The ways to change your HT angle are 1) Get a longer fork. That will slacken your HT angle, but also the rest of your bike's geometry which might jack up the handling. 2) Get a headset like On One's "Slackset" that changes HT geometry. Might help, but also might jack up your handling like option 1. 3) Get a new frame with slacker geometry.

    So, as a practical matter, you really can't change HT angle without drastic and costly changes. Frankly, I wouldn't worry about it, unless you are buying a new bike anyway.
    In which case, you may want a more gravity-oriented bike if you find yourself tackling a lot of steep downhills.

    Quote Originally Posted by manmythlegend View Post
    As for the sweep are there standard degrees bars tend to stick to or is every bar kinda different. Ive only paid attention to Grams/Length.
    I could be wrong on this, but most riser bars are in the 6-9 degree range. Salsa, On One, and maybe some others have handlebars with more sweep without getting into full "alt bar" territory.
    Surly Cross Check: fat tire roadie
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  16. #16
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    If you have Ergon-type grips, riding with the thumbs on top is extremely comfortable. It's similar to the flat "tops" of a road bike handlebar and allows you to straighten your back, bring in your elbows and relax your wrists.

    Obviously, it's not recommended for anything except smooth trails, paths or pavement--when you're on auto pilot--but offers a nice break on long rides.
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  17. #17
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    what are some good tips to prevent the superman crash (otb)

    Get off the brakes and roll
    Through it. I am constantly showing my son how fast it is possible to ride sections of trail. I tell him that even though he feels like he is going as fast as he can there are people going at least twice as fast. So the bike can handle it, he just has to trust it. Then again he did break his arm on the last ride. But to be fair it was on the paved bike path coming back from the ride. what are some good tips to prevent the superman crash (otb)-imageuploadedbytapatalk1371787479.999794.jpg

  18. #18
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    LOL. Good story.

    I can just imagine your parenting role model:

    "Listen here, grunt!
    You WILL slam through that rock garden and you WON'T touch the brakes!
    Are we clear?
    ARE WE CLEAR?!!"

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    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  19. #19
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    what are some good tips to prevent the superman crash (otb)

    That sounds familiar for some reason

  20. #20
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    Lol
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeinchi View Post
    Try using more rear brake than front. While the front really helps you stop quickly, too much will send you OTB.

    I've heard some suggest 2-finger braking for the rear, 1-finger for the front to reduce OTB risk. If you can manage the right brake balance with just 1 finger on both levers, that's great but using the technique will demonstrate what you're shooting for on tricky descents.
    OTB due to excessive front brake is a rookie error. which is ok as we all face a learning curve. practice a balance between both. the key is to keep either tire from skidding. terrain makes a big difference in technique/style. good luck.

    in my zone (SoCal) i utilize the front more than the rear... pad replacement confirms.

  22. #22
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    learn how to use your front brake properly. Force youself to use only front brake on some easy trails, then practice on progressively harder. Many times riders go otb is because they are used to back brake predominant riding which is bad. Emergency braking will be vast majority front brake.

  23. #23
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    Stay loose and keep your weight relatively low and not too far forward. Heavy feet, light hands, as Lee McCormack always says. I don't go OTB much but last time I did I was leaning my bike hard into a turn and didn't see a small tree just to my right. I clipped it with my handlebar. My bike went flying over my head, and I did a nice little flip. There's not a whole lot you can do about that except avoiding trees.

  24. #24
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    Re: what are some good tips to prevent the superman crash (otb)

    Here's what i learned from hitting front brake too hard after a pedal hit and trying to correct, end in 10+ mins laying on the ground staring up before I finally got up.

    Never touch your front brakes if wheel is turned, slow before turn. Never touch front brakes for technical that tire has to roll over ESPECIALLY going Dh. Reminding myself when speed on a section had me on edge and trying to scrub speed, front tire not having any braking power applied I made it through fine. Used smooth spots in between rocks/roots to hit front brakes to help slow down but released compleltely again before tire hit next thing.

    And final thing, get your butt off the seat and back over the rear tire.

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