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  1. #1
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    First time DH tomorrow

    Going to NH to try downhill for the first time, I'm renting a bike and doing the 1hr class at Highland Mountain.

    Stupid questions, what gear should I bring with me? I normally trail ride a Trek Superfly 100 so this is out of my comfort zone. I have dirtbike gear, helmet and googles, neck brace, armored jacket but nothing as far as knee pads or longer pants (mx pants are short to fit inside mx boots). On my bike I just wear a dirtbike jersey,shorts, gloves and a open face bicycle helmet. Website says I can rent gear, which is fine, but what do I wear for shoes (I'm a clipless guy)?

    thanks for any pointers
    2013 Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite
    "It's not us, it's the mud!" - foxhound.rank

  2. #2
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    Flat shoes (A Skate Shoe), more than likely they wont have clipless pedals on a rental. Helmet and goggles are a must. If you have shin protectors, it never hurt to wear them. Best of luck, have fun! I road my first dh course this week myself as well. I come from an XC background as well.
    When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

  3. #3
    CAN YOU DIG IT??!!??!!!??
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    Take your pedals w/ you & use them & your shoes till you fill a lil comfortable, stay loose & don't let the "social pressures" stop you from making a "slow run 1st to check things out". Baby steps will get you where you wanna be safer than just going blindly balls out...and above all ENJOY, or itz gonna SUCK.
    "Why are you willing to take so much & leave others in need...just because you can?"

  4. #4
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    Just one note about mx helmets and neck braces. It may be a good idea to bring it, as you're presumably comfortable riding mx with one. But it may cause some problems when being used on a bike. In mx (I raced for years, still miss it), you are in a much more upright, sitting position, so the back of the helmet clears the brace easily, until it's needed. On a dh bike, you are much lower, in a forward-leaning prone position. This can create issues with mx-designed neck braces, as the back of a helmet will usually hit the back bill of the neck brace, causing you to not be able to look up and forward quite enough. If you notice, Leatt, Atlas, Omega, etc all make a bike-specific model brace that has a lower back panel to allow you more clearance between it and the back of your helmet. Just something to take into account.

    And any cheap skate-type shoe will get you by. Try to choose something with a lot of rubber surface area on the bottom, so the pins will have something to grip on. The open, pockety bottoms of some shoes (like Vans slip-ons) can feel kinda loose and insecure, as the pins have less rubber to dig into.

    And definitely look into some knee guards, if not the knee-shin combos. You'll probably have a few falls, and it's nice to walk away from minor tumbles or wash-outs without getting banged up. I use a set of 661 Rage knee pads, and they're super nice, while not being intrusive while riding/pedaling.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  5. #5
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    I'd say +1 on at least bringing your XC clipless pedals and shoes if you have little or no experience on flats. I started off BMX racing as a kid, so grew up on flats, but swapped to clipless for XC many years (decades) ago, The transition back to flats wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

    While a set of XC clipless pedals and shoes may not be ideal for DH, trying to ride new terrain on a new bike with a new pedal/shoe combo isn't ideal either. Of course, you may be just fine on flats, but you probably want to take it real easy, particularly while jumping, until you get comfortable in the air on the flats. Nothing like launching into the air only to find that your feet are inadvertently out of contact with your bike.

  6. #6
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    Awesome replies, I hadn't thought to bring my own pedals and shoes, I will grab them for sure.
    2013 Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite
    "It's not us, it's the mud!" - foxhound.rank

  7. #7
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    I did the Find Your Ride thing a couple of weeks ago and only brought my shoes (5tens). The price includes everything... All the safety gear, bike and lift ticket.

    So if you want just shin guards or any other single item, it is already included in the package.

  8. #8
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    Good thing I went with someone more experienced at suspension setup, the rental bike came with 1/8" of fork preload. Had a good afternoon once we found a setup I liked. I have to say, the mechanic I dealt with wasn't newbie friendly at all.
    2013 Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite
    "It's not us, it's the mud!" - foxhound.rank

  9. #9
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    So...ride report!
    How was it? You selling all your XC **** and coming over to the dark side?
    Naysayers never apologize. Critics go to their grave thinking everyone else is wrong.
    ╭∩╮( . )╭∩╮

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau11y View Post
    So...ride report!
    How was it? You selling all your XC **** and coming over to the dark side?
    LOL not quite! I can do the XC stuff 1.5 miles from where I live. Assuming I don't break much, it's all free riding as I don't even drive there. The time requirement is hard to beat. DH is fun, but ski lifts suck when you're afraid of heights lol!

    As for Highland itself, its small. The lift is very slow, so the line can take a while. It's 12 minutes up and only 5-6 down assuming you're not riding at a glacial pace (like I was). They don't seem to do any trail grooming during the season so the braking bumps on the beginner trails (green) were pretty nasty. They have numerous blue and black and even double black trails that have a B line that goes around the man made features (wooden ramp drops and wall rides etc). It was actually easier riding the blues and blacks then the greens. The worst trail I rode (crazy rocks, roots and had to walk down two parts) was rated blue do to the lack of jumps.

    Overall, not sure I'd go there again but I do want to try it again at some point.
    2013 Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite
    "It's not us, it's the mud!" - foxhound.rank

  11. #11
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    Braking bumps are so nasty, aren't they?! I raced mx for many years, and I've never had my forearms hurt as bad as after my first 8 hours at Whistler. But hot dang, it's so much fun! Glad you're still in one piece, and hopefully you'll be able to check out other areas and continue to develop your skills.
    tangaroo: What electrolytes do chicken and turkey have again?
    rck18: All of them, because they're meat.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by yzedf View Post
    The worst trail I rode (crazy rocks, roots and had to walk down two parts) was rated blue do to the lack of jumps.
    That was probably Meadow's End. Yep, it's rough, I love it.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by StiHacka View Post
    That was probably Meadow's End. Yep, it's rough, I love it.
    No, it was Happy Hour to Shillelagh to Hellion. Shillelagh was brutal, Helion was nice I just didn't have the balls to air it out.
    2013 Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite
    "It's not us, it's the mud!" - foxhound.rank

  14. #14
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    That last section of Shillelagh you come into with all of the "Very Steep" warning signs is a shocker to a lot of people.

  15. #15
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    yeah, some of the blue trails are more challenging than the black ones. i wish they would rank them on terrain and steep, rather than features that you can ride around. anybody could ride down hellion or NE style and go around all the big stuff, but eastern hemlock and shillelagh are rated blue and much harder trails.
    Quote Originally Posted by buckfiddious View Post
    Specialized builds their bikes out of homeless children.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdg3d View Post
    That last section of Shillelagh you come into with all of the "Very Steep" warning signs is a shocker to a lot of people.
    If there had been any dirt left at those signs I'd have tried it. Just rocks and pain.
    2013 Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite
    "It's not us, it's the mud!" - foxhound.rank

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