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  1. #1
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    New member / Big Bear harder than I thought...

    I have been lurking for some time but finally signed up and wanted to say hi. I have a MX background but am relatively new to Mt Bikes. After riding my local trails on a used hardtail I picked up I took a trip to Mammoth a couple of months ago. I was stoked to ride a lot of the black diamond trails with no issue (on a rental). I ended up coming home with a used 2013 Flatline. I don't expect to ride it too much but the price was too good to pass up. After going through the bike and properly setting it up, I just had to take it to Big Bear. Took me about half a day to get the suspension to the point that I liked it and started clearing some of the shorter table tops. Westridge was fun and flowy but there were two paver turns on Party Wave that I sketched over. Also went down the lower half of Miracle mile, another step turn that I chickened out of. I guess I know what I need to work on! Any tips for steep turns. I actually think I would have done them if they were dirt, but for some reason the man made stuff was playing with my head (no problem whatsoever with the wooden bridge, did some of that stuff on Twilight at Mammoth).

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forums! Good, wide tires (2.4")helps diminish some of the sketch factor--like Maxxis Minions, Schwalbe Hans Damph, etc.

  3. #3
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    The Flatline does have 2.5" Minions or at least mine did when I bought it. I know Mammoth switched to Continental as far as a tire supplier but it is not the tires causing the problem. I think it is that gray matter between your ears, lol...It's been 2 years since i have been to BB but I think I know where you are referring. Bottom line is you can't go too slow or you will drop in. Add in the fact all those little grains of sand, rock, etc...and it is like riding on marbles. Once you do it, you will look back and wonder why you were so concerned to begin with.

  4. #4
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    New member / Big Bear harder than I thought...

    Ragged Edge, you are spot on for each account. Flatline came with Minions and when I bought the bike the bike center included a new set of 2.4 Conti's. Ya, I just need to do it. Just like a gap on a mx track, if I don't hit it right away the fear just builds but once I do it, it seems like nothing. At 42 I am a little more fearful than I used to be.


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  5. #5
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    Try it when your 50!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragged edge racing View Post
    Try it when your 50!
    Try it when yer 60!
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Ray View Post
    Try it when yer 60!
    If I am still alive, I should be an expert by then

  8. #8
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    Try it when your 71.

  9. #9
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    the real culprit is going from a hardtail to a full blown dh bike. all that travel takes some getting used to before you're a regular trail slayer. get out and ride that bike more and then come revisit this thread...


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    the real culprit is going from a hardtail to a full blown dh bike. all that travel takes some getting used to before you're a regular trail slayer. get out and ride that bike more and then come revisit this thread...
    It is interesting that you say that. Part of the reason I was sketching was I couldn't picture in my mind what the bike would do. For me, the turns consisted of a sharp drop followed by a very quick and sharp turn. Part of my fear was that as the suspension would suck up the drop, my balance would be thrown off and I wouldn't be able to negotiate the turn. In all the sports I do, I can generally picture in my head what I want to do-I just couldn't picture it and I think that is part of my frustration. I know I just need to quit complaining and do it.

  11. #11
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    New member / Big Bear harder than I thought...

    Quote Originally Posted by N518LF View Post
    It is interesting that you say that. Part of the reason I was sketching was I couldn't picture in my mind what the bike would do. For me, the turns consisted of a sharp drop followed by a very quick and sharp turn. Part of my fear was that as the suspension would suck up the drop, my balance would be thrown off and I wouldn't be able to negotiate the turn. In all the sports I do, I can generally picture in my head what I want to do-I just couldn't picture it and I think that is part of my frustration. I know I just need to quit complaining and do it.
    I feel the best when the bike disappears from the equation. Hard to explain, but when the bike feels more like extra limbs, I feel more confident. Definitely takes some time with a particular bike to get to this point.
    '14 Lenz Lunchbox
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  12. #12
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    So as I thought about this more, I realized it is completely different than what my body is used to. Motocross, which I have ridden most of my life, you get on the brakes, sit as far forward as you can, throw a leg out for balance, and get back on the throttle not only for speed but also to get the back end to "rotate". Same concept as a car for anyone that auto-crosses or does track days. Without the throttle a car or bike just doesn't turn well and you can end up pushing the front end.

    Going downhill on a bike, none of that applies. So, I assume standing in these turns is the best option to keep your weight back-its just the opposite of what I am used to. Putting a leg out, I am not sure if that would assist is in these turns. I know to weight the outside peg, look where I want to go, and turn my shoulders and hips in the same direction.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by doralswheels View Post
    Try it when your 71.
    So you hit the big runs at Mammoth? I have seen some guys that look older than me(not sure if they are) up there but I don't think I would be doing the runs I do at 71, even if I could. The old bones don't heal the way they use to. I suppose one could operate on the theory if you don't crash you don't need to heal.

  14. #14
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    You should never ever be sitting on your DH bike unless you are resting. Riding a moto is a little bit different since you can use the throttle to control bike pitch, and you have to weight the front end to get any turning traction. The rest is quite similar though. Steer with your hips, lean, and weight the outside foot but keep your feet level. Do not put a leg out on a DH bike, unless you just want to look like a badass.

    Essentially there is no secret, just experience. Once you realize that your bike can handle basically any terrain or feature, it's just a matter of staying loose, pinning it, and keeping your front end up. You just need to internalize the idea that no rock or branch will really slow you down, and that you can actually rail any turn on a trail no problem. It's 99% confidence and commitment.

    If you're used to moto you might want to try jacking your bars higher. The low bar trend is only for people who are midgets, or ride flat trails. Higher bars make things WAYYYY easier on steep trails (but nothing at SS qualifies as steep IMO).

    Quote Originally Posted by N518LF View Post

    Going downhill on a bike, none of that applies. So, I assume standing in these turns is the best option to keep your weight back-its just the opposite of what I am used to. Putting a leg out, I am not sure if that would assist is in these turns. I know to weight the outside peg, look where I want to go, and turn my shoulders and hips in the same direction.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    Once you realize that your bike can handle basically any terrain or feature, it's just a matter of staying loose, pinning it, and keeping your front end up.
    This. Almost all my crashes happen because I try to manhandle the bike around, as opposed to just staying off my brakes, keeping my weight back and letting it roll.
    definite malingerer

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by doralswheels View Post
    Try it when your 71.
    Here is my buddies dad a few weeks ago doing Westridge at 66:

    Jack "Wrecking" Westridge - YouTube
    Ride Bikes, Drink Craft Beer, Repeat.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klurejr View Post
    Here is my buddies dad a few weeks ago doing Westridge at 66:

    Jack "Wrecking" Westridge - YouTube
    Your friend's dad is just a few years older than me, and he's way more skilled in the DH department. I watched that vid and one other one....your friend makes EXCELLENT videos!
    Re-Cycled Person who rides a mountain bicycle.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Ray View Post
    Your friend's dad is just a few years older than me, and he's way more skilled in the DH department. I watched that vid and one other one....your friend makes EXCELLENT videos!
    He is awesome. Back in the day he used to ride most of those trails on a full rigid..... I can only imagine.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by N518LF View Post
    ..standing in these turns is the best option to keep your weight back..
    your front wheel does the turning, that's where you want the weight...


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    your front wheel does the turning, that's where you want the weight...
    Honestly it depends on the turn and the comfort of the rider. I have found that not all riders take the same obstacles with the same body position.

    The only way to get good at it is to try it, over and over until you don't need to put your foot down and you don't fall.
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