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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    ........just seems if you have 7" of post being utilized from collar to seat then you're probably sitting quite a bit higher than your handlebars..........hmmm.....not a comfortable riding position for me....
    Here is a picture of my bike with seatpost fully extended, almost 9" from top of seat colar to seat rails. I have about 10mm of spacers below my stem. My knees are way over the bar on the upper pedal stroke. The bars feel much lower than the seat when riding with the seat fully extended. First few rides the low stem/bar height felt off, but after getting used to it I really like it. I fell it puts me in a more aggressive position and natrually makes me ride more aggressivly, weight forward and over bars. Front tire traction greatly improvered and I can push hard around corners without fear of a front tire washout. Low bars will force you to use better form, because bad form with low bars is a recipe for going over the bars!. Its an easy experiment, try lowering your stem and if you don't like it just put it back where it was.



  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Awesome observations. Thats was exactly what I was talking about with the seat dropper deal. Being so accustomed to lowering seat and dropping back instead of pushing hips back and chest down/elbows out weighting the front
    Ahh, so that's what you meant. I couldn't agree with you more on part of your point - like almost everyone else I was originally told (wrongly) to just move the butt back as far as possible and hang off the back edge of the seat such that the elbows are hyper extended, which means the front wheel is not weighted enough, which is totally sketchy. After taking a few skills clinics, the common theme of all of them was to *always* be in neutral position - weight centered over bottom bracket, chest low, elbows up, eyes forward - you do get back a little to maintain a neutral position on DH's, but this doesn't require you to move back so far you have straight elbows, except maybe on super-steeps. Having chest down and looking forward certainly has made my dh's a lot less sketchy and more enjoyable. (Having front of the board weighted is also recommended in snowboarding - except in deep powder). I can't picture however why you would think that being able to move your seat down on demand would prevent someone from doing this skill properly. I think the greater impediment to people descending improperly is not having anyone explain to them the benefits of doing it this way, or not having practiced it. I am glad you finally brought it up!
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  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    Hips back? So is the nose of your saddle jabbing you in the tail bone or are you above the saddle?
    Imagine keeping your belly button centered over bottom bracket and adjust position for terrain. Back low and level with hips back keeping a low center of gravity.

  4. #104
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    A great video was just posted today about hip movement while turning:

    How-to: Hip Flexion - Video - Pinkbike

    Anybody else totally better at turning on way than the other? I really suck at right turns but can rail all types of left turns no problem.

    Also notice these guys are wearing knee pads when doing this! Pick up a set if you're really going to be focusing on leaning into corners. Troy Lee 5400's are great if you want to put in some mileage without being restricted and still be protected. You will wash out a few times finding that sweet spot, but it wont hurt!

    edit: on second watch, they aren't looking through the turn in a lot of the shots! They're looking down at their front tire, this is a no no.
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  5. #105
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    So awesome! Don't need to look for hero dirt to practice. Even those crappy, loose fire roads are good for learning techniques.

    fc

  6. #106
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    Dont forget, while you guys are out there practicing, remember that this whole leaning the bike and keeping body upright js only one technique and is only.applicable to certain corners such as sweepers and off cambers. Tight corners and s turns and berms require similar but different inputs.

  7. #107
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    Yes, good point.

    I find that tight series of s turns confuse me more as I get more dialed over the past few years learning new methods like those disucssed in these threads. Specifically, I can't smoothly/quickly switch my stance quickly enough to put the outside pedals down in a series of tight linked s turns. Any thoughts on how to roost linked tight turns? Level pedals and pumping the turns to keep pressure timed to the apexes seems to work pretty good but curious about optimal techniques.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Dont forget, while you guys are out there practicing, remember that this whole leaning the bike and keeping body upright js only one technique and is only.applicable to certain corners such as sweepers and off cambers. Tight corners and s turns and berms require similar but different inputs.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    So awesome! Don't need to look for hero dirt to practice. Even those crappy, loose fire roads are good for learning techniques.

    fc
    +1... I actually think wide trails may be better for initial practice as it give you more room to make errors. I almost hit a tree the other day on a tight section of Blue Blossom... I have ridden that section dozens of times, but that day I was paying too much attention to my technique and not the trees. LOL

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Yes, good point.

    I find that tight series of s turns confuse me more as I get more dialed over the past few years learning new methods like those disucssed in these threads. Specifically, I can't smoothly/quickly switch my stance quickly enough to put the outside pedals down in a series of tight linked s turns. Any thoughts on how to roost linked tight turns? Level pedals and pumping the turns to keep pressure timed to the apexes seems to work pretty good but curious about optimal techniques.
    Pump even harder, you have the idea

  10. #110
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    Maybe these guys need a little cornering practice...

    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuruAtma View Post
    Maybe these guys need a little cornering practice...

    Roadies?
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  12. #112
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    I've been practicing the techniques in this thread. The pull your inside grip off and dip the outside heel tips really make cornering a completely different experience. Corner speeds and comfort go through the roof. Really good stuff.

  13. #113
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    I just did the dirt crit race in Howarth Park, and the cornering tips helped a lot. I didn't come in last!
    功夫大师喜欢骑着他的自行车在山上。

  14. #114
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    Today pointing my belly button in started feeling better. Old loose scary corners a feeling casual now.

  15. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leopold Porkstacker View Post
    Roadies?
    Whistler?

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumblingcrustacean View Post
    Whistler?
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  17. #117
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    Oh lord, 3 hours on the Motorcycle and I'm all screwed up now..........
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    Oh lord, 3 hours on the Motorcycle and I'm all screwed up now..........
    Hell just switching bicycles is hard enough. At least I got all my handlebars the same width now. Wooden plugs for extra width.

  19. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    Hell just switching bicycles is hard enough. At least I got all my handlebars the same width now. Wooden plugs for extra width.
    yeah, it's a big switch, although the bicycle gives me more confidence on the motrocycle......

    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  20. #120
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    Sick! I quit that when I found myself airborn in the middle of a 4 way stop.
    Still drooling!

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    Today pointing my belly button in started feeling better. Old loose scary corners a feeling casual now.
    I was Alum Rock park today for the first time as I tackled a steep, loose, dry descent. Confidence was high!

    A big part of it too is as you understand what's going on with the traction, you're able to ride with more commitment and more traction.

    fc

  22. #122
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    It's hard to shake off street bike cornering techniques to mountain bikes. I haven't ridden sport bikes in years but I still think about cornering on my mtb with Mick Doohan on my head. I think repetition does help out a lot. At Northstar this Friday, I had some pretty fast runs down Livewire moving the bike under me instead of my body leaning into the turns. Elbows out and twisting your torso helps out a lot.

  23. #123
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    Step 1:

    Ride with one of these guys. Observe. Ask questions.

    Drink beer.

    Weed, Hauer, Massey.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Welcome to norcal's cornering clinic-602522_10150962315832475_883249620_n.jpeg  


  24. #124
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    I was riding a familiar trail this weekend. It is a off camber downhill. Just riding down it is not at all technical, but by weight the outside pedal and leaning on the inside grip I could hear my xr4's clawing at the ground. There is something about that counter steer that brings a whole new level of traction. It irritating to be riding all this time and just discover it. I thought I was doing it right. Ha.
    Great thread.

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  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Step 1:

    Ride with one of these guys. Observe. Ask questions.

    Drink beer.

    Weed, Hauer, Massey.
    Heh, well, if you wanna rail corners like Massey, you can. Shameless plug for a friend: Bikeskills Bay Area Mountain Bike Skills Instruction
    YouTube | #1 Rule for California mtb: If you're having fun, it's illegal.

  26. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeBMX View Post
    Heh, well, if you wanna rail corners like Massey, you can. Shameless plug for a friend: Bikeskills Bay Area Mountain Bike Skills Instruction
    That is really the next step. Take a class or get a coach. Feel free to recommend good skills/cornering classes.

    fc

  27. #127
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    It's sad how there are thousands of riders who aren't interested in improving. These cornering tips are so easy to get down and add so much to the riding experience. I just turned 50 and want to get a little better every ride. Not because I race but to have more fun. Carrying more speed and holding momentum make riding a breeze.

  28. #128
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    Felt it!

    Thanks, good stuff! Tried it yesterday. Easy to do and smooth. Felt like my usual method with exaggerated inside grip push, lean in, torso turn, outside elbow lift. Old dogs CAN learn!

  29. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeBMX View Post
    Heh, well, if you wanna rail corners like Massey, you can. Shameless plug for a friend: Bikeskills Bay Area Mountain Bike Skills Instruction
    They just had one this past Sunday @ Tamarancho. I'm not sure who instructed though. I'm due for another class, but really want my injuries to heal up before I go in to get the full benefit of it....otherwise it's like watching videos on the internet.

  30. #130
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    I want to go around some corners fast. I think I'll hit up ye old demo this weekend or next!

  31. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by bayareamtnbiker View Post
    Thanks, good stuff! Tried it yesterday. Easy to do and smooth. Felt like my usual method with exaggerated inside grip push, lean in, torso turn, outside elbow lift. Old dogs CAN learn!
    This is the key. Look for it and feel it. Open your mind and you will learn. For a decade, I've been getting faster by taking more risks and getting more familiar with the trail. But that's not really learning better technique. If you seek and find the cornering traction, you will be safer and faster.

    fc
    Last edited by fc; 07-23-2012 at 09:43 PM.

  32. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Step 1:

    Ride with one of these guys. Observe. Ask questions.

    Drink beer.

    Weed, Hauer, Massey.
    ...Or watch them ride by at least. As nice and friendly as those thre guys are, they would probably, actually wait for you, so you could see them ride, that is if there wasn't a fistfull of dollars on the line. And as sketchy as that race was, the term "pro" is fitting for each of them as fast as their times were.
    I learn something every time watching either of those guys ride or race.

    props.

  33. #133
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    Went out this evening and put some of this to practice,...what a difference. Had an absolute blast, this is one of many reasons why I love Mountain Biking.

  34. #134
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    Tried out some more aggressive cornering techniques today at CCCX #8. I think I am just a tad faster through the loose off-camber turns now… but not too much faster.
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  35. #135
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    What is the difference between pushing on the inside grip vs pulling on the outside grip?
    Also, is not either of these just putting an unnecessary torque on the handlebar?
    If riding in a straight line (for example only) you can see that pushing on one grip and pulling on the other doesn't really accomplish anything.

  36. #136
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    If you stand on your outside pedal and lean the bike over between your legs you have to torque the bars to keep the bike layed over. Try it in a straight line on the street. It's much harder for me to lift the outside bar than try to pull the inside bar grip off. When I get the bike all set up in the corner I tense my core muscles and lift the outside bar. I got some great practice on the Truckee Super D last week. There must be fifty sweet berms on that DH! They're all made by motos so the flow is insane.

  37. #137
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    Jay Hoots and Shandro said they will show me the way. I will report back

    fc

  38. #138
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    I swear cornering is like golf for me..........I get a few great shots then bogey for a while.......hehe, too much thinking still..........it's working though, I just gotta get it to become second nature
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  39. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    I swear cornering is like golf for me..........I get a few great shots then bogey for a while.......hehe, too much thinking still..........it's working though, I just gotta get it to become second nature
    This is actually great insight. Golfers spend a lot of time and money working on their stroke. They get coaches, have all kinds of machines and tools to help analyze what they're doing.

    Us mountain bikers on the other hand do very little to improve our technique. We just ride. Well I think it's time to change that and make an effort to improve again and learn. Break down what we're doing and build it back up and leave the bad habits behind.

    Who's with me?

    fc

  40. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    This is actually great insight. Golfers spend a lot of time and money working on their stroke. They get coaches, have all kinds of machines and tools to help analyze what they're doing.

    Us mountain bikers on the other hand do very little to improve our technique. We just ride. Well I think it's time to change that and make an effort to improve again and learn. Break down what we're doing and build it back up and leave the bad habits behind.

    Who's with me?

    fc
    This thread transformed my riding lately. I'd love to find a coach to make an investment in.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2

  41. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    This is actually great insight. Golfers spend a lot of time and money working on their stroke. They get coaches, have all kinds of machines and tools to help analyze what they're doing.

    Us mountain bikers on the other hand do very little to improve our technique. We just ride. Well I think it's time to change that and make an effort to improve again and learn. Break down what we're doing and build it back up and leave the bad habits behind.

    Who's with me?

    fc
    I'm in! Every ride every corner. I pulled off most of the right techniques in a clutch situation the other day.

  42. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    This is actually great insight. Golfers spend a lot of time and money working on their stroke. They get coaches, have all kinds of machines and tools to help analyze what they're doing.

    Us mountain bikers on the other hand do very little to improve our technique. We just ride. Well I think it's time to change that and make an effort to improve again and learn. Break down what we're doing and build it back up and leave the bad habits behind.

    Who's with me?

    fc
    I have done a bunch of clinics already, and it's good to get feedback from a pro, but you have to practice and apply what you learn or you lose it. Gene Hamilton recommends to focus on at least one skill on each ride, and it's really, really good advice. My first sport was snowboarding back in the 90's, and on ski hills there are always all kinds of lessons available. I'm surprised it's not more popular for mountain biking. I think it would be hella fun to organize a trip up to Whistler and do a co-ed Dirt Series up there!

    In lieu of that, having skills threads up on mtbr is also a great refresher and reminder to continually improve.
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  43. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeng View Post
    braaaaap noises help
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    This reminds me of a South Park episode.
    garth marenghi's darkplace - bike chase scene - YouTube

    The entire show is brilliant. Fantastic humor. All six episodes can be found on this channel:
    xbobandrose's channel - YouTube
    To ride this trail is completely free.
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  44. #144
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    Hmmm, there needs to be a NorCal Cornering Clinic Meetup, ride, and after ride beer tasting.......
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  45. #145
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Jay Hoots and Shandro said they will show me the way. I will report back

    fc
    Been waiting for some Shore ride reports, where are they? Whatya working or something?

  46. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    Hmmm, there needs to be a NorCal Cornering Clinic Meetup, ride, and after ride beer tasting.......
    My vote is the Truckee super D. Perfect for laying down corners.

  47. #147
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    We need some coaching/camp recommendations. Coaching reviews!!

    For a group ride, we will need some volunteer coaches who know what they're talking about.

    For IPA coaching, I'm your man.

    fc

  48. #148
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    Matt Cain is a mtb'er?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Welcome to norcal's cornering clinic-matt.cain.mtb.jpg  


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    On off camber turns wouldn't the tire contact area be greater if you leaned your body into the turn more than your bike and thus have greater traction?

  50. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by michael1 View Post
    On off camber turns wouldn't the tire contact area be greater if you leaned your body into the turn more than your bike and thus have greater traction?
    Edit... Misread your post. Have had coffee now. Disregard post. :-)
    Last edited by ask; 08-16-2012 at 09:35 AM.
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  51. #151
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    Good thread!
    As an motocross/enduro rider we always emphasize weighting outside peg and elbow high (which not only opens chest but also allows more control when the front end moves up/down on terrain) but the difference is that the m/c pegs don't move. I'm having to learn to 'drop' that outside pedal in a turn whereas I've been positioning my pedals at even height til now. Good stuff on those vids!

  52. #152
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    Here is a very good photo of Heather Irminger training with the great Lee McCormack.



    A lot of things can be gleaned from this photo.

    1) You can be a top level pro but still have great opportunity to improve your handling

    2) It is only when you're willing to be open to learning and allow someone to break down your technique that you can actually learn.

    3) You can practice on the street.

    4) Weight on the outside leg

    5) Torso and navel turned towards the corner

    6) Elbows out

    7) Eyes way out front.

  53. #153
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    oh, i made a silly video this morning of some of the things I'm working on at off camber turns of freakmont older.



    gear:
    29er Schwalbe tires
    dropper post
    flat pedals

    technique:
    elbows out
    look ahead
    torso rotate
    outside leg down with weight on it
    heel down.

    rinse,repeat

  54. #154
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    oh, i made a silly video this morning of my inane techniques.

    perfect form .......... no splash, I give it a 7.89
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

  55. #155
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    Francois' vid reminds me of this move in 0:43 -

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  56. #156
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    Francois, just small observations; when running flats you put your foot more forward on the pedal, your toes should be hanging off the front of the pedal a lil more than what it looks like when i paused that video.

    Second, you took the outside/inside line. You can see right when you turn-in, your front tire nearly loses traction as you dive across the trail to the apex. Sometimes its easier to just take the turn midtrack, and hug the inside line and let the bike two wheel drift a lil bit on the exit (as long as you have that outside leg/foot planted) rather than risk the do or die of darting all the way across on the entry.

    Third, sticking your foot out made you look nervous,and at that speed/lean angle did not look necessary. You were carrying some good speed but I'm sure you could of pulled that off with the foot on the pedal.

    Hope that doesn't sound too preachy. I know its easy to armchair quarterback but fwiw some food for thought.

  57. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Francois, just small observations; when running flats you put your foot more forward on the pedal, your toes should be hanging off the front of the pedal a lil more than what it looks like when i paused that video.

    Second, you took the outside/inside line. You can see right when you turn-in, your front tire nearly loses traction as you dive across the trail to the apex. Sometimes its easier to just take the turn midtrack, and hug the inside line and let the bike two wheel drift a lil bit on the exit (as long as you have that outside leg/foot planted) rather than risk the do or die of darting all the way across on the entry.

    Third, sticking your foot out made you look nervous,and at that speed/lean angle did not look necessary. You were carrying some good speed but I'm sure you could of pulled that off with the foot on the pedal.

    Hope that doesn't sound too preachy. I know its easy to armchair quarterback but fwiw some food for thought.
    Awesome!!!

    Yes, I'm just discovering that when I run flats, I should be in the middle of the shoe more when descending. It feels much better, specially when jumping.

    Line selection.... definitely.

    Sticking the foot out. Yes again, I want to keep that on and corner better with the foot on the pedals.

    I'll keep working on it.

    fc

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    Sweet, sounds like you're on the right track. I usually save foot out for the super sketched out/ guaranteed a nasty drift, and/or super tight loose turns. Or if the trail is narrow and off camber and is crumbling away. When in doubt, better to leave it on the pedal and use the right technique to get through it, but have it ready to kick out for emergency maneuvers. In the vid it looked like you were ready for a nasty drift but when it didnt' happen you were kinda just tripod'd and not drifting and it killed your exit. All just my opinion of course

    Nice way to keep the thread goin

    PS the entry to that corner looks tricky, as its fast and then drops down and away.

  59. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    oh, i made a silly video this morning of some of the things I'm working on at off camber turns of freakmont older.



    gear:
    29er Schwalbe tires
    dropper post
    flat pedals

    technique:
    elbows out
    look ahead
    torso rotate
    outside leg down with weight on it
    heel down.
    Looks good, here is what I'm seeing:
    What I'm seeing is you sitting in the saddle...stand up some to get all of your weight on that outside pedal. And weight the inside hand...I think you should be able to wave to the camera as you zip by (don't, but it's that much weight, the outside hand is more of a guide)

    Torso rotation should be at the hips...as a previous vid mentioned, "point yer pecker". What I have found is that you can almost feel the back tire want to step out, before it lets go using this technique. You seem to be rotating at your shoulders...just pay attention to your position (hard to when cornering)

    As others have said, keep that foot up unless it's real loose...that dirt looks like a dream sliding surface...get that front wheel drifting!

    Also, lean the bike, not your body...This does 2 things:
    1) faster reaction times because your arms are forced to be bent
    2) your mass forces the tires down into the dirt, not out at an angle.

    I have found that slalom turns down a mild-grade gravel road really help the learning process...within 5 minutes, I was to a point where I was scaring myself, because of how fast I could turn and remain in control...I was slowing myself down, but my tires held. The weighted inside hand allows you to instantly counter any front wheel wanderings that may occur.

    Lookin' good!

  60. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    Francois, just small observations; when running flats you put your foot more forward on the pedal, your toes should be hanging off the front of the pedal a lil more than what it looks like when i paused that video. some food for thought.


    Shoe, Pedal and Foot Placement Tips for Flat Pedals - YouTube

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    Good video, Luc! That just confirms what I've ended up doing when I switched from clips to flats. BTW, "Ether" has been my go-to coffee blend since you made the recommendation. Lol!

    @Francis: It may seem odd in the beginning but you'll get used to flats. As some people have pointed out (and what the video suggests), you may want to move your foot a tad bit forward. It may even rub the front wheel if you're riding a steeper bike, but you will get used to it. The other thing I found was switching to flats definitely improved my overall bike technique, especially when I go airborne. Just be patient and you'll get the hang of it. Now I switch between flats or clips depending on the type of riding I do. Looking good, pare!

    PS: Five-Tens... don't even dork around with any other shoe brand.

  62. #162
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    Damn guys. I want to go there again and session that thing. Lots of nuggets here!
    Last edited by fc; 09-11-2012 at 08:20 AM.

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    Notice how in the photo of Heather how bent her outside leg is? That's getting her center of gravity way low. Francis it looks like your seat is hanging you up. See how Heathers seat isn't between her legs it's on the other side of her body.
    I'm still having fun trying to improve and got a riding partner interested in the techniques.
    Thanks.

  64. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by ron m. View Post
    Good video, Luc! That just confirms what I've ended up doing when I switched from clips to flats
    you are welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by ron m. View Post
    BTW, "Ether" has been my go-to coffee blend since you made the recommendation. Lol!
    had two cups of it this morning before my ride

    Quote Originally Posted by ron m. View Post
    PS: Five-Tens... don't even dork around with any other shoe brand.

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    skiing comparisons?

    Not sure what I'm reaching for here, but I'll put it out as a general question.

    How does carving on skis translate to mountain biking cornering for people? And how can I work to translate what I know from skiing to cornering on a mountain bike?

    Here's where I'm coming from as this thought occurred today:

    I'm an expert tele skiier, can carve hard, comfortable in variable terrain, understand how edges work, etc. Spent a couple winters in a mountain town in my misspent youth getting a solid base, and learned through many days on the hill and in the bc, so earned this level of skill, although it's atrophying.

    I'm doing much more mountain biking now, and realizing how far I am in my cornering skills and comfort in mountain biking from where I am as a skier.

    Now, I'm no slouch on the downhills, but I have to admit that I haven't taken the step to where I have the same, how to put it, *kinesthetic understanding* of how to make the side knobbies carve on a hardpacked trail as I do with skis strapped on. I trust my ski edges to carve as hard as I can lean them over. I don't yet *trust* the knobbies in the same way, although I'm starting to experience the delightful buzz of the tires and accompanying adrenaline when I can line up the tips in this thread and from my clinic.

    Aside from blasting away and taking a few diggers to find the edge, are there any other thoguhts about how I can translate skiing experience more directly to mountain biking?

    Thanks for bearing with a vague question!

  66. #166
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    Not to detract here and with all due respect FC, (That is indeed a good tool to use as far as impacting on a rider to learn to move the body into a better position and lighten up on the downside of the bars.) I see one seriously glaring fault in the image of Heather. In her subconscious move to "lighten the inside" (downward) bar-end she's putting her fingers in harms way. Dislocated fingers happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Here is a very good photo of Heather Irminger training with the great Lee McCormack.



    A lot of things can be gleaned from this photo.
    Last edited by Obi; 09-20-2012 at 12:23 AM.

  67. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Not sure what I'm reaching for here, but I'll put it out as a general question.

    How does carving on skis translate to mountain biking cornering for people? And how can I work to translate what I know from skiing to cornering on a mountain bike?

    Here's where I'm coming from as this thought occurred today:

    I'm an expert tele skiier, can carve hard, comfortable in variable terrain, understand how edges work, etc. Spent a couple winters in a mountain town in my misspent youth getting a solid base, and learned through many days on the hill and in the bc, so earned this level of skill, although it's atrophying.

    I'm doing much more mountain biking now, and realizing how far I am in my cornering skills and comfort in mountain biking from where I am as a skier.


    Now, I'm no slouch on the downhills, but I have to admit that I haven't taken the step to where I have the same, how to put it, *kinesthetic understanding* of how to make the side knobbies carve on a hardpacked trail as I do with skis strapped on. I trust my ski edges to carve as hard as I can lean them over. I don't yet *trust* the knobbies in the same way, although I'm starting to experience the delightful buzz of the tires and accompanying adrenaline when I can line up the tips in this thread and from my clinic.

    Aside from blasting away and taking a few diggers to find the edge, are there any other thoguhts about how I can translate skiing experience more directly to mountain biking?

    Thanks for bearing with a vague question!
    In short, yes and no...with a lot of both.

    I ski raced for 4 years, and one technique that was "drilled" into us was body angle. While turning on alpine gear, proper form keeps your knees, hips, and shoulders "stacked" on top of each other, and pointing downhill (for slalom and some GS). When you turn your hips into a ski turn, you don't have as much pressure being transferred to the ski edge. I'm sure you have felt like your skis are turning "late"...this is what causes that phenomenon (sometimes).

    With mountain biking, the angle of applied force is different. By rotating your hips into the turn on a bike, you create a pivot point that your bike "rotates" around. When you start using this technique, you can feel the back tire let go and pivot around your body. While skiing is similar in that your body is the pivot point, you have to keep your body pointed down the hill. Not so with mountain biking.
    EDIT: mountain biking is not always downhill. Of course leaning downhill helps in those circumstances. Pointing your hips into the turn will help your legs steer the bike through the turn...

    The similar techniques are: looking where you want to go with your eyes, and keeping a vertical upper-body position, while you angle your bike and legs (or skis and legs).

    The difference, again, is your hip position...keep them still on skis, turn them on the bike.

    With the trust issue...it takes loosing control. Again, when skiing, I learned that I had to ski even more aggressively on the ice to make my edges hold. But the type of ski makes a big difference. The same goes for bike tires. Some let go unpredictably, others can slide with as much control as if they were still hooked up. I would suggest you learn where the "release point" is for your tires, and that usually takes falling a few times (or coming pretty darn close!). Just like with skiing, falling helps you learn what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.

  68. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSC View Post
    In short, yes and no...with a lot of both.

    I ski raced for 4 years, and one technique that was "drilled" into us was body angle. While turning on alpine gear, proper form keeps your knees, hips, and shoulders "stacked" on top of each other, and pointing downhill (for slalom and some GS). When you turn your hips into a ski turn, you don't have as much pressure being transferred to the ski edge. I'm sure you have felt like your skis are turning "late"...this is what causes that phenomenon (sometimes).

    With mountain biking, the angle of applied force is different. By rotating your hips into the turn on a bike, you create a pivot point that your bike "rotates" around. When you start using this technique, you can feel the back tire let go and pivot around your body. While skiing is similar in that your body is the pivot point, you have to keep your body pointed down the hill. Not so with mountain biking.
    EDIT: mountain biking is not always downhill. Of course leaning downhill helps in those circumstances. Pointing your hips into the turn will help your legs steer the bike through the turn...

    The similar techniques are: looking where you want to go with your eyes, and keeping a vertical upper-body position, while you angle your bike and legs (or skis and legs).

    The difference, again, is your hip position...keep them still on skis, turn them on the bike.

    With the trust issue...it takes loosing control. Again, when skiing, I learned that I had to ski even more aggressively on the ice to make my edges hold. But the type of ski makes a big difference. The same goes for bike tires. Some let go unpredictably, others can slide with as much control as if they were still hooked up. I would suggest you learn where the "release point" is for your tires, and that usually takes falling a few times (or coming pretty darn close!). Just like with skiing, falling helps you learn what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.
    Yes, this all rings true. I think a key difference is the hip orientation. Counter-rotating in skiing to keep belly button pointed down hill vs pointing the pecker on a bike.

    Whether I sack up to get out there and crash is another story. I love a good two wheel drift, but only when it's small and manageable. Can't yet order those up on demand...

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  69. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Yes, this all rings true. I think a key difference is the hip orientation. Counter-rotating in skiing to keep belly button pointed down hill vs pointing the pecker on a bike.

    Whether I sack up to get out there and crash is another story. I love a good two wheel drift, but only when it's small and manageable. Can't yet order those up on demand...

    Thanks for the thoughts.
    Best practice surface I have come across: flat, packed gravel or dirt road. Speed and turn angle is easily controlled. Just pull slalom turns at 15-20 mph, and apply the techniques that have been bounced around here: hips turned, pressure the inside hand, and keep knees and elbows bent. You will either quickly learn your tires' limits, or will find that your tires will hold at speeds faster than you are comfortable at. Either way, you can quickly gain information about your equipment w/o going "balls to the wall" and railing some gnarly single-track corner at 30 mph and either chickening out and locking up or eating dirt.

    Happy Riding!

  70. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Step 1:

    Ride with one of these guys. Observe. Ask questions.

    Drink beer.

    Weed, Hauer, Massey.
    The guy in the red shirt passed my on a practice run. He disappeared after one turn. Three turns later he was on the side cheering me on like he had been waiting for a minute or two. It was nice of him to cheer on the old slow guy stopping in all the turns.

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    Your question is far from vague. For those who have not skied or boarded at all it might be difficult to relate to though they can likely visualize skiing. Are you reaching for any of these parallels??
    Keep the head level to the horizon.
    Keep the eyes looking near, far, near, far, near,farnearfarnear, find horizon, near, far...
    Breathe. Use more breath, deeper slower while carving on bike or boards. Exhale at the apex/peak of the most energized moments of the turn.
    Keep the hands low and in front. Outside hand advances.
    Quiet, supple upper body. Awake abs, very active psosas muscle...
    As evenly as possible distribute edge gripping forces via the angulation of the pelvis/femur, knee, ankle, foot. "Lean" the lower extremities a lot.
    Focus weight on the big toe mound and around the ball of the foot/feet.
    Be like a cat, or other graceful animal of your choice.

    Visualize you are carving on skis. Soak up the terrain. Happy cornering and carving and controlled drifting!

  72. #172
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    Things are progressing. I now know enough to say that this guy knows what he's doing.

    Ashes to Dust with Emanuel Pombo | Mountain Bike Review



    Emanuel broke his back in 2010 at the World Cup race in Val di Sol. His local trail on an island in Portugal burned down last year. This video is how nature and the body can heal and recover from adversity.

    fc

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    Nice riding by Emanuel, but if you want to see really amazing skills check out this Kovarik video - Video: Chris Kovarik - Summer of Summit - The Dirt Chronicles - Pinkbike

  74. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    Nice riding by Emanuel, but if you want to see really amazing skills check out this Kovarik video - Video: Chris Kovarik - Summer of Summit - The Dirt Chronicles - Pinkbike
    Niiiiice. And here's how to handle the wet. Hans Dampf tires!

    Shaperideshoot’s Gaëtan Rey and Vincent Tupin | Mountain Bike Review

    fc

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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Niiiiice. And here's how to handle the wet. Hans Dampf tires!

    Shaperideshoot’s Gaëtan Rey and Vincent Tupin | Mountain Bike Review

    fc
    Could someone describe the how and why for the little sideways counter-steer slide that they do before entering a turn? I've seen it done before and would like to learn it for scrubbing off speed, apparently?

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    Generally you drift the rear to scrub speed, tighten your turning radius and/or setup to bust a berm. Sometimes you also do it just for fun, like slashing on a snowboard, which these guys are doing a bit of in that video as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Could someone describe the how and why for the little sideways counter-steer slide that they do before entering a turn? I've seen it done before and would like to learn it for scrubbing off speed, apparently?
    Yes, like at 1:18. I've only ever been able to do something approximating that by accident
    It reminds me of how I will often set myself up for a hard turn when skiing, winding up energy to snap around the other way. Curious to hear thoughts on this.

  78. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Yes, like at 1:18. I've only ever been able to do something approximating that by accident
    It reminds me of how I will often set myself up for a hard turn when skiing, winding up energy to snap around the other way. Curious to hear thoughts on this.
    Perhaps this is fine in places like Northstar or Whistler, or in lands which are mountain bike friendly, or trails which are not prone to erosion. But in my local riding area, he skid marks left on the trail do not help our image. Especially when they are left all over hiking-only trails showcasing illegal use. If people are gonna break the rules, they need to at least be stealth about it. (As a side note: I might have the name shredchic, but I don't condone the literal shredding of trails. It's just a moniker from my snowboarding days.)

    ...just want to add - certainly not a rant directed at anyone here. I just came across obvious skid marks on some hiking-only trails this morning (I was on foot, btw).
    Last edited by shredchic; 11-16-2012 at 02:03 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chomxxo View Post
    Could someone describe the how and why for the little sideways counter-steer slide that they do before entering a turn? I've seen it done before and would like to learn it for scrubbing off speed, apparently?
    As for how:

    - To initiate, turn the handlebar in the opposite direction you are intending to turn, initiating with your inside hand (ie, if you're planning on turning right, press down with your right hand, turning the bars slightly left, your bike will naturally fall/lean to the right)
    - Unweight the rear end of the bike by shifting your weight forward. This should be a very controlled movement as to some extent you control the drift with your weight distribution.
    - Whip the rear end out with your hips if necessary (ie busting a berm)

  80. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    As for how:

    - To initiate, turn the handlebar in the opposite direction you are intending to turn, initiating with your inside hand (ie, if you're planning on turning right, press down with your right hand, turning the bars slightly left, your bike will naturally fall/lean to the right)
    - Unweight the rear end of the bike by shifting your weight forward. This should be a very controlled movement as to some extent you control the drift with your weight distribution.
    - Whip the rear end out with your hips if necessary (ie busting a berm)
    Surface conditions also affect how well the above technique works.
    For example, a loose surface material, such as gravel or bark, will allow the bike to drift with minimal rider input...just center your weight, and get ready to use your inside hand to push the bar into a counter-steer when the tires let go. Quite fun, once you get the hang of it.

    With the skiing question...sort of. When linking fast carving turns (on skis or bike), such as in a slalom course, throwing (as in leaning..lurching forwards on a bike at 20+ mph halfway through a slick turn usually ends poorly) your weight into the next turn speeds up the transition from edge to edge (skis or tires). The difference is: skiing=hips forward or out; bike=hips turned into the turn.

    And living in a mtb-friendly area helps...especially if people do trail maintenance.

  81. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    Generally you drift the rear to scrub speed, tighten your turning radius and/or setup to bust a berm. Sometimes you also do it just for fun, like slashing on a snowboard, which these guys are doing a bit of in that video as well.
    That's all fine if you built the trail and maintain it. You are sliding around on your own trail. Aren't you. Coming into the corner at the right speed and a little 2 wheel drift with no brakes is a win for me.

  82. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    That's all fine if you built the trail and maintain it. You are sliding around on your own trail. Aren't you. Coming into the corner at the right speed and a little 2 wheel drift with no brakes is a win for me.
    Actually I usually do it on illegal trails and mostly to try and roost mud on hikers...and babies.

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    Yeeeeaaaa Boyyyyy!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    Perhaps this is fine in places like Northstar or Whistler, or in lands which are mountain bike friendly, or trails which are not prone to erosion.
    Fair enough, but still, I love the looks of this move and want to learn the skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    As for how:

    - To initiate, turn the handlebar in the opposite direction you are intending to turn, initiating with your inside hand (ie, if you're planning on turning right, press down with your right hand, turning the bars slightly left, your bike will naturally fall/lean to the right)
    - Unweight the rear end of the bike by shifting your weight forward. This should be a very controlled movement as to some extent you control the drift with your weight distribution.
    - Whip the rear end out with your hips if necessary (ie busting a berm)
    Quote Originally Posted by CSC View Post
    Surface conditions also affect how well the above technique works.
    For example, a loose surface material, such as gravel or bark, will allow the bike to drift with minimal rider input...just center your weight, and get ready to use your inside hand to push the bar into a counter-steer when the tires let go. Quite fun, once you get the hang of it.

    With the skiing question...sort of. When linking fast carving turns (on skis or bike), such as in a slalom course, throwing (as in leaning..lurching forwards on a bike at 20+ mph halfway through a slick turn usually ends poorly) your weight into the next turn speeds up the transition from edge to edge (skis or tires). The difference is: skiing=hips forward or out; bike=hips turned into the turn.
    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    Generally you drift the rear to scrub speed, tighten your turning radius and/or setup to bust a berm. Sometimes you also do it just for fun, like slashing on a snowboard, which these guys are doing a bit of in that video as well.
    Good descriptions. Any more insights on the linking of the two moves (in this case, the right wheel kick out first, then right hand turn following on that). It seems that this first move is probably not done with as much lean as the second part. I guess I'll have to try (and wreck a few times probably).

  85. #185
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Fair enough, but still, I love the looks of this move and want to learn the skill.

    Good descriptions. Any more insights on the linking of the two moves (in this case, the right wheel kick out first, then right hand turn following on that). It seems that this first move is probably not done with as much lean as the second part. I guess I'll have to try (and wreck a few times probably).
    I'd say that the rear wheel stepping out and the right hand counter steering occur at the same time...unless you are purposefully locking the back, sliding into a turn, then counter steering, though usually your back tire will hook up before you get to counter-steer much.

    I'd say find a flat gravel road, and practice linking turn over the gravel strip that runs down the middle. That way you get a chance to slide around a bit, but if you over do it, your tires will catch you in the tire wash (the packed part where cars drive). And a bit of blood is part of the sport...I'll never forget the time I came in hot into a hard 90 degree, off-camber, freshly paved corner at 25 mph and my bike let go...road rash, cut lip, chipped tooth, and sprained thumb (it got caught in between the brake lever and the handlebar...not sure how).

  86. #186
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Fair enough, but still, I love the looks of this move and want to learn the skill.







    Good descriptions. Any more insights on the linking of the two moves (in this case, the right wheel kick out first, then right hand turn following on that). It seems that this first move is probably not done with as much lean as the second part. I guess I'll have to try (and wreck a few times probably).
    You love the looks? If you just go out and skid and try to whip the rear of the bike on local cross country trails youre just gonna look like a tool.
    Last edited by Yody; 08-02-2014 at 08:27 AM.

  87. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by gurp View Post
    Actually I usually do it on illegal trails and mostly to try and roost mud on hikers...and babies.
    I bet your tires are made from Baby Seal skin too..........
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    Fair enough, but still, I love the looks of this move and want to learn the skill.
    For cornering, since we live in the Bay Area, I would suggest working on your pump track skills and earn traction in a corner where there is none. It is a beautiful thing and you will ride much faster without breaking traction.

    For looking good, the key thing to learn is going sideways in mid-air or steering in mid-air. Aside from looking awesome, it actually has a very good purpose. It releases and directs flight energy where needed. And it prepares the bike and body for any incidents on take-off, mid-air or landing. Most of us xc rider jump stiff and are dead sails in the air. If something goes wrong on take-off, we are dead meat since we have no skill to make adjustments.

    Look at Pombo's video really closely and you'll see he all the tools.

    Also, this is very, very informative.

  89. #189
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    Quote Originally Posted by digthemlows View Post
    I bet your tires are made from Baby Seal skin too..........

    And filled with unicorn blood to prevent punctures.

    But in all seriousness, the video above is well done, and brings up a few concepts that some of you can pull from skiing (people keep trying to tie these two sports together).

    With jumping, skiing and mtb are very similar. When going for altitude on a bike, you want to spring off the lip of the jump. This is accomplished by loading the bike's suspension and your body. On skis, we load up our take-off by flexing our knees and hips, then extending our bodies as we leave the kicker.

    At higher speeds, when there is a chance of "over jumping", or if we want to resume ground contact sooner (at high or low speeds), allowing the bike to rise up into your body will keep your overall center of mass closer to the ground, shortening your flight distance. This is similar to allowing your skis and knees to rise up over a jump, but forcing your torso to remain at the same level, effectively flattening your flight arc.

    Here's an example for the skiers (0:35 for example) Visa Ski Cross Finals - YouTube

    Same concept...lead with the hands.

    I think jumping causes problems because so many of us started by hopping off of curbs, which are great ramps, but with flat landing zones. This encourages landing on both wheels (or even the back, to reduce the impact), and discourages landing on the front wheel first, which is the proper way to land a purpose-built jump.

    An exercise I found helpful is to ride down a sidewalk like you are going to hop off the little ramps after a driveway, but instead of jumping, let the bike roll over the ramp. This helps get you used to the feeling of keeping your body centered over the bike in an active, instead of locked, position (in order to keep the front tire from flying up in the air, you need some forward weight, which you obtain by leading with your hands). Once you get used to this sensation, a larger jump is just a larger version of the same motion.
    Last edited by CSC; 11-19-2012 at 01:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    You love the looks? Thats a pretty ghey thing to say. If you suck at cornering and just go out and skid and try to whip the rear of the bike on local cross country trails youre just gonna look like a tool.
    Plus one. Any decent rider will think. Idiot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yody View Post
    You love the looks? Thats a pretty ghey thing to say. If you suck at cornering and just go out and skid and try to whip the rear of the bike on local cross country trails youre just gonna look like a tool.
    easy there cha cha. let me rephrase - it looks fun.

  92. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    easy there cha cha. let me rephrase - it looks fun.
    I know man. Some dudes are so aggro before their first beer.

    fc

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikemikemike View Post
    easy there cha cha. let me rephrase - it looks fun.
    Of course it looks fun. Dropping your pants in public is fun but it's not something we generally strive to learn.

    That reminds me. I need to drop pants in public more.
    Point is sliding is unacceptable.

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    Nothing has taught me more about bike handling than BMX. Especially flatland (ground tricks).

    Balance, center of gravity, how to turn with handlebar input, etc. We have a move in flatland BMX called "turbine" which is spinning in place, and that is all handlebar input, leaning, and everything you guys are describing.

    Something as simple and basic trials riding, like rock walks, and then moving up to 360˙ bunny hops, all requires timing, handlebar and weight input, etc. even being able to track stand, lift the front wheel and pedal-drop off a ledge is SUPER handy to have. How many of us can complete a true pedal drop without landing face first? Start on curbs and work your way up.

    I would recommend to any and all to go out and spend some time riding trials at a local highschool with a platform stage, even with the bike you normally ride (especially what you normally ride). A BMX or dirt jump is awesome to have - I wish more adults wouldn't shy away from riding BMX, a 20" on a pump track pays gigantic dividends.

    My climbing may suck, but one thing I got going for myself is bike handling. I'm glad I learned that at a very early age. I was riding pump tracks, pools, half-pipes, trials, and flatland at the age of 13. It has really influenced my bike handling today. Point me up a fire road - well, those who have ridden with me know what that is like (), but give me any technical terrain that requires balance, bar input, track standing, wheel position, jumps, drops, bunnyhops, wall rides, etc. and I will ride the hell out of it with a grin.

    Sometimes, I'll go to a local school with planter boxes, stages, etc. in their quad on a weekend, and just practice pedal drops, climbing stairs sideways by side hopping, pedal-ups, rolling drops, 180˙ rollbacks, rock-walks, etc. so come that technical rocky section, I can navigate without hike-a-bike due to rocky conditions.

  95. #195
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    if you want to be better at swimming, you swim...
    if you want to get better at bowling, you bowl..
    if you want to get better at skating, you skate...

    Nothing has taught me more about cornering than to ride my mountain bike on fast dirt trail with a lot of different corners. Flat, bermed, rutted, loose, rocky, hardpack, etc.. and tell yourself "Cornering is FUN". There is no better feeling than punching a corner and slingshotting out of it with more exit speed than entry speed

    - Ride them often
    - Ride them faster and faster
    - Concentrate on your braking (or lack of), body position, entry, apex, exit, etc.
    - Ride the same corners using different lines. Don't always take the Vecro line
    - Look where you want to go, which is the exit of the corner
    - Bend your knees and elbows. Weight centered but you need to ride aggressively (eg chin over stem) if you want to corner with confidence.
    - Ride, Ride, Ride...and ride some more.

    Also pay attention to your suspension setup, tire choice and pressure. You might have a good cornering technique but if your bike isn't setup right or if you run too much air in your tires, it will hinder traction. Remember that tries don't have traction if you brake in corners - learn to trust your tires and do your braking before entering the corner.

    I don't consider a trail "fun" unless there are a good amount of fast corners that flow.

  96. #196
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post
    Of course it looks fun. Dropping your pants in public is fun but it's not something we generally strive to learn.

    That reminds me. I need to drop pants in public more.
    Point is sliding is unacceptable.
    You like dropping your pants in public?

    Point is dragging a locked rear wheel around a trail is...easy...

    Drifting is fun (though tricky...takes some practice).

    Find a gravel or bark-chip path with some turns, and get used to letting both wheels let go...without using any brake in-put.

    I learned much of what I know about cornering while messing around on snow-packed streets in the winter time. The snow is surprisingly consistent, i.e, hit a turn at 15 mph, and you will slide in a similar way every time. The reduced friction also takes away the assumed need to use braking force to begin a drift...just come into a turn in a balanced, active position (butt off of seat, knees and arms bent according to the above vids, and weight centered), lean a bit, and hang on.

    Ice is NOT a good surface to learn how to drift...though it teaches balance.

    Also, the above works with tires with some knobs on the edge...I'd take it easy on bmx/cx/road tires.

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    [QUOTE=CSC;9891402]You like dropping your pants in public? :skep
    Never laughed harder in my life than running half drunk down the street with a party of guys and girls.

    Ice is NOT a good surface to learn how to drift...
    Works for me.

    ice019 by Huck Pitueee, on Flickr


    ice015 by Huck Pitueee, on Flickr

  98. #198
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    [QUOTE=Huck Pitueee;9892142]
    Quote Originally Posted by CSC View Post
    You like dropping your pants in public? :skep
    Never laughed harder in my life than running half drunk down the street with a party of guys and girls.

    Ice is NOT a good surface to learn how to drift...
    Works for me.
    Cheater...you got studs on those tires

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    [QUOTE=CSC;9892261]
    Quote Originally Posted by Huck Pitueee View Post

    Cheater...you got studs on those tires
    Home made studded tires rock. They get more fun when the studs get duller so you can corner with the rear wheel lit. I'd love to see people race on ice hockey rinks! It could be a whole new fringe sport.

  100. #200
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    this is one of the better threads on any bike site!! Awesome collection of info and advice! I wish I could pos rep all of you!!
    Master of Nothing, but dammit if I don't try..............

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