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  1. #1
    Trail Ninja
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    Bad riding/bike habits

    For those that are past the stage of denial, what habits do you admit that you have and maybe would like to work on?

    Personally, I need to work on my bad braking habits. I brake late and tend to drag my rear brake if I don't feel confident going through something challenging. There's also a few sections I "lock" my front brake on, which keeps me from even following a gentle curve in the trail, when I know just letting go would be far better. I learned far better braking habits once I got a dropper post and utilized it, but some habits stuck.

    I also need to stop avoiding the heat in the middle of the day, and putting off riding until later.

    A recent habit I broke out almost completely was hosing down my bike when it really didn't need it. It carried over from when I biked on the east coast, and now that I'm in SoCal, it's only dust and sweat really, which I find I can just wipe off.

    Has anyone else gone through similar challenges? What kind of tips/tricks did you use to overcome them? Share your bad habits and experiences with them.

  2. #2
    Ugly As F*ck
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    My worst habit is that I keep riding even though I suck. You would think I'd take a hint, you know?

    But on a more serious note, I brake too often and probably at incorrect times.

    Also, as a somewhat beginner rider, I've had the habit of watching "where I am" as opposed to "where I'm going", i.e. not keeping my line of sight down the trail instead of right in front of me. Something I've gotten better at, but I still find myself reverting to that old habit at times for some reason.

  3. #3
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    I'm really trying to break the habit of trying to go around rather than over or through puddles/mud.

    Also constantly trying to brake before rather than during cornering.

    I'm currently really working on pointing with my laser during cornering.
    ​mountain biking is fun.

  4. #4
    I Tried Them ALL... Moderator
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    PAST = Not enough confidence
    PRESENT = Too much confidence
    "The mind will quit....well before the body does"

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zachariah View Post
    PAST = Not enough confidence
    PRESENT = Too much confidence
    Past = too much confidence, present = not enough confidence. I'll trade you! The only really bad habit is making excuses to NOT go biking.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varaxis View Post
    I also need to stop avoiding the heat in the middle of the day, and putting off riding until later.
    Avoiding mid-day heat isn't a bad habit, it's just being smart.

  7. #7
    Trail Ninja
    Reputation: Varaxis's Avatar
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    I don't consider it bad. You just need to plan for it. Choose a trail with shade, especially one that doesn't have long climbs that's fully exposed to the sun, or maybe choose a trail around the lake since there's usually a cool breeze. Plenty on topics on managing heat, to help with that preparation.

  8. #8
    stoked brah
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    When riding with my wife, I have a very bad habit of looking back over my shoulder to be sure she cleared that section, and didn't take a spill. Unfortunately I realized this after a bad crash that I just had surgery from yesterday. Lesson learned the hard way I guess.
    Adam Christopher
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  9. #9
    TeXaS BoY
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    breaking
    Don't live in fear. Be ready.

    I love my bike like a fat kid loves cake.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
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    breaking frames, wheels, bones....?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by YOUR HONOR View Post
    breaking
    Wind?
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  12. #12
    Ugly As F*ck
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    Breaking brakes most likely. If you brake too hard you can break your brakes. Or at least you could break your brake levers.

    Brake is a funny word. So is break.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
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    ...if you have a "bike habit", there's no such thing as "bad-riding".
    "...emptybe_er's just a nice-guy."

  14. #14
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    ^ 13th post noticed it.

    Anyway, my bad bike riding habit would be

    I tend to follow the bad habits of my co-riders when I'm on a group ride. I should find the courage to say "No, crossing an intersection on a red light or going against the traffic direction or chatting three riders abreast is wrong."

  15. #15
    Hi There!
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    Quote Originally Posted by docter_zab View Post
    I

    Also constantly trying to brake before rather than during cornering.
    Are you braking before the corner or during? I can't figure it out but I think you should be braking before the corner, not during?
    NTFTC

  16. #16
    mtbr member
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    Bad riding/bike habits

    Cool topic. Mine is definitely braking too much coming into corners. My riding has improved vastly in all other areas, but for some reason I still can't get myself to take a corner at speed, mostly because washing out here in AZ means a not-so-fun run in with cactus usually

  17. #17
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    Re: Bad riding/bike habits

    Bike neglect (still covered in 3 week old mud), forgetting to look up in the rocks but my worst habit has got to be forgetting to air down at the trailhead, understeering wildly and winding up in a bush/ditch/sewer (melbourne has some sketchy trails).

    Today I realised I also have a propensity to try dumb **** with no speed while im supposed to be cruising with the gf. Wallride attempt to tree gone right

  18. #18
    MTB B'dos
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    Everyone's got a few and despite learning and knowing better, we all happen to revert back on occasion

    My biggest bad habit was switching to clipless too soon after starting to MTB and not learning properly on flats, so don't keep good weight/contact with the pedals. Learned this last week after having a nice fall and doing my knee in fairly good and possibly tweaked from unclipping, so switched to some flats for a couple weeks while I let it heal - Hit a jump and feet floated off the pedals, not a nice feeling. Did learn though that I like the freedom of clipless and that you get much more "easy" movement than with flats - I find on flats you have to unweight your foot and reposition it, for clipless you can just pivot and use the float in the pedal to change foot placement and weight distribution - learned this riding the flats on off camber trail, wasn't nearly as confident or fast on those off camber corners as I couldn't move about on the pedals like I'm accustomed to.

    Biggest bad habit I broke was the always dragging the brakes instead of modulating them on and off on steep and/or long descents, also to use them like if you do in a race car, pick your spot to brake and lay down full on brakes and then let off and ride, rinse and repeat, feather on occasion when you need to scrub a little speed, easiest thing to stop overheating your brakes and brake fade and hand pump.
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  19. #19
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    Braking for me as well. I tend to come into corners a bit hot. Rather than scrub a bit of speed early and commit to carving i feather the rear brake while cornering.

    Past denial, i know this is an incorrect technique and i am working on it. When i lay off the brakes while cornering i can actually feel the bike pop out with momentum. When i do it wrong i have to mash a few times to get back up to speed.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by donthucktoflat View Post
    Bike neglect (still covered in 3 week old mud), forgetting to look up in the rocks but my worst habit has got to be forgetting to air down at the trailhead, understeering wildly and winding up in a bush/ditch/sewer (melbourne has some sketchy trails).

    Today I realised I also have a propensity to try dumb **** with no speed while im supposed to be cruising with the gf. Wallride attempt to tree gone right
    Sounds like we have the same bad habits, although I don't know what you mean by, "forgetting to air down at the trail head". Do you mean catching your breath or something like that?

  21. #21
    Team Fearless Descender
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    I'll "fess up" to two, one of witch I've corrected. They are both things that I should know better after over 25 years riding the dirt.

    1) The most dangerous(?), but the one I've corrected is, riding too often, both up and downhill with my thumbs on top of the bar, not hooked under (fingers on top, thumb under). I shoot a lot of photos, and from time to time video of rides. Someone, here on MTBR was watching one of my video posts and commented, "how many times have you gone over the bars with your grip like that?" I commented back that I didn't even notice, but "thank you!". So that one was fixed on the next ride, and has been ever since. Where, when, or how I ever got into that bad habit I'll never know.

    2) The other is one that MhzMonster posted here, too often looking back to make sure others (my wife) have cleared a section. Thankfully doing that has never gotten me into anything I could correct out of, but I know if I keep doing it my "number will be up" sometime.

    Good thread going on here.
    .
    "...when your ride is nearly over, it seems to have lasted but an instant..."


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  22. #22
    orthonormal
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    I tend to mash big gears too much of the time. It's an old single speeding habit that doesn't serve me well when I'm riding my 6" travel FS bike.

    I've been riding clipless pedals since 1994 and somewhere along the way lost the ability to bunny hop without them. It took quite a bit of practice and attention to proper technique but I managed to relearn the skill, and can now clear a 12" obstacle with flats. It serves me well on the trail regardless of what type of pedals I'm using at the time.
    The glass is twice as large as it needs to be

  23. #23
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    I read this thread before I hit the trails this am,after reading all the braking stuff I decided I'd try and keep my speed up a little more in corners today. I did fine until a short gentle curve with a tree on my left and didnt use body english around it and down I went. This was after seeing my bike was really low on air in the rear with no spare tube and Target not having a 29er tube.So back home I go to get my back up ride and that one has low pressure in the front, maybe I should have just skipped riding today but that statement seems ridiculous. I dont think I'm going to read this thread anymore before a trail ride in the future.
    2012 GT Karakoram
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  24. #24
    Trail Ninja
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    I had a bad habit not pacing myself on what are supposed to be long rides, doing the whole show up to blow up thing. Not so friendly on the bike parts either, leading to some mechanicals. I've learned the bikes can go surprisingly fast with a much lighter finessing touch, when compared to reckless man handling. Trying for a balance between the two.
    Last edited by Varaxis; 08-12-2013 at 10:10 AM.

  25. #25
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    Not getting my butt off the seat enough!

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