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Thread: confidence

  1. #1
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    confidence

    I feel like I am riding awful slowly lately. i could ride faster, but I just don't have the confidence. when i push a little harder, I find my front wheel washing out a lot. scary. it's been warm here in GA so I have been getting plenty of riding in. I ride with guys on ht geared bikes and get left in the dust a lot, but I know I have the endurance to keep up, just not the confidence to ride faster. I recently bought a Karate Monkey, which is my first 29er. it's set up with a Surly rigid fork and some really fat tires. I also took off the riser bars and put on some Carnegies, and lowered the stem.

    so I would like to experiment with handlebar height. the Carnegies have a little bit of rise and the rise felt nice on my old 26" bike, but not so much on the 29er. my next step would be a suspension fork, but i am not ready to commit the $$ to that. what affect might lowering the bars a bit more have on handling? more weight on the front should mean more bite while corning right?

  2. #2
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    Lowering the weight will get you a bit more bite but you can change your body position more in the corner and reap better gains than fiddling with spacers. As you enter the corner you can lower your head, keep your eyes up, bend your elbows a bit and let your chest dip with your head. You will be in a little more aero feeling tuck but it will be subtle. Start small and test that front tire. As you learn the technique you will really begin to feel the limits of your front tire and your traction.

    This is an old DH technique and if you look at DH riders they use it a lot in corners but it also really works well on rigid bikes. The only caveat I have is that while DH riders have a lot of travel to compensate for unseen bumps, drops and logs you only have your arms and they are already bent so attack those corners more aggressively on trails you know and less on those new fast trails. Just in case.

    this is a reasonable example of a non DH rider using the technique. Note the bent arms.
    Try this: HTFU

  3. #3
    one chain loop
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    ^+1 lean. if it is really sketchy and starting to wash out, turn left to go right.
    everything sucks but my vacuum cleaner.

  4. #4
    I'm with stupid
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    Lean the bike farther then your body. Weight inside bars and outside pedal. Make sure you are hitting the apex of the corners right and not trying to dive in to hard or changing your line. Corners are complex way more then just a spacer fix.


    I tapped that

  5. #5
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    Lean the bike farther then your body. Weight inside bars and outside pedal. Make sure you are hitting the apex of the corners right and not trying to dive in to hard or changing your line. Corners are complex way more then just a spacer fix.


    I tapped that
    +1

    lean that bike to drive the outer knobs into terra firma while your body is more upright pushing those knobs down...

    do not lean like a sportbike (moto) unless you are on a berm....you will washout and be sad.

    rent/get the DVD Fluidride like a pro - has many great tips.

    IMO...
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
    http://www.sharingthepct.org/
    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  6. #6
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    A lot of good advice above.
    My mantra is, point the (inside) knee where you want to go. By doing so it forces a lot of the techniques mentioned above relative to body position and weight.
    It's also worthwhile playing with tire pressure. 2-4psi can make a hug difference up front.
    There are a lot of variables at play, isolate 'em till you find the culprit. Best of luck.
    Cheers,
    M

  7. #7
    B.Ike
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    Do all your braking before the turn.

  8. #8
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    thanks folks.

    I don't think my issues are all about cornering, although cornering is a reasonable assumption. Sometimes it's even the flat part of a trail. I just don't feel good going as fast as I did on my 26er (or at least I feel like I am going slower). I run my tires about 30 psi and I am about 145-150 pounds, so I could probably go lower, even with tubes in my tires.

    I will be conscious of body positioning as well. and I am sure that's 90% of it.

    however, I would like to do what can I do before, not during, my next ride. shuffling spacers around and fiddling with tire pressure are free. otherwise, a suspension fork might be in my future.

  9. #9
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    Ok, I may get some flack for this, but maybe try going back to risers or flat bars. I have tried swept bars on dirt many times and on many bikes (any bike I have seems to end up on the dirt) and I have always found flat/riser bars to be the most "confidence inspiring." I was going to ask what PSI you were running, it sounds like you have that covered, you can always drop the front tire a little lower I run 22psi tubed depending on the terrain. As far as suspension goes... naaah, you don't need it..

  10. #10
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    For some time I practiced cornering every time I was out on my bike. Really exaggerated leaning into turns etc until it became second nature. Now I feel confident on fast trails to go fast. It made a big difference.

    What trails in GA are you riding?

  11. #11
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    GA trails- Big Creek, Waterworks (North Decatur, close to home), Yellow River, Harbins. I have visited Yargo, Blankets Creek, and Chicopee Woods each once in the last few months.

  12. #12
    Dive Bomber
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    I learn from this video, a real big help.
    All Mountain Biking Basic Skills - YouTube

  13. #13
    B.Ike
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    I think a lot of whats going on, is your new ridgid fork. I ride very diffenrently on the same trails with my ridgid ss and my geared ht. the front wheel on a suspension fork offers better traction through a turn. I pick cleaner lines in order to go faster on my ridgid.

  14. #14
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    Big Creek is tough on a rigid. I am not surprised that you can't follow your friends on bikes with suspension Same goes for large parts of Chicopee. You should be fine at YR but it also depends on your friends.

  15. #15
    B.Ike
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    Theese skills will make you a better rider on your suspension bike

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    Lowering the weight will get you a bit more bite but you can change your body position more in the corner and reap better gains than fiddling with spacers. As you enter the corner you can lower your head, keep your eyes up, bend your elbows a bit and let your chest dip with your head. You will be in a little more aero feeling tuck but it will be subtle. Start small and test that front tire. As you learn the technique you will really begin to feel the limits of your front tire and your traction.

    This is an old DH technique and if you look at DH riders they use it a lot in corners but it also really works well on rigid bikes. The only caveat I have is that while DH riders have a lot of travel to compensate for unseen bumps, drops and logs you only have your arms and they are already bent so attack those corners more aggressively on trails you know and less on those new fast trails. Just in case.

    this is a reasonable example of a non DH rider using the technique. Note the bent arms.
    I remembered reading this yesterday when I was out on a ride on Desert Classic in AZ. There are some sections where you can carry a lot of speed but also wash out if you go too fast. I put down my fastest time to date on a section that has about half grind and half fast stuff. I know I was pretty slow climbing so I really added a lot of speed on the faster stuff.

    Thanks for the tip. Also lately I try to "pump" and unweight the bike on rough sections, another DH technique that lets you maintain speed through shorter sections of GNAR.

  17. #17
    A Gentleman and a MTBR'
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    Great Video!

    Quote Originally Posted by jackspade View Post
    I learn from this video, a real big help.
    All Mountain Biking Basic Skills - YouTube
    Wow, that was actually a great little tutorial. It got a little tedious after a while, but I spent yesterday practicing some of those tips and really rode my local trails at my fastest pace yet! Thanks

  18. #18
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    My last couple of bikes felt like this. Played with different stem lengths and hight, nothing felt right. Then I got an ss rigid and learned I was running my seat to high, I was even fit to the bike with it to high because I was pointing my toes to much to get the right leg extension. Felt like I had lots of power but realized I had too much weight on the seat and no control at the bars. By accident the seat post slipped lower one day and I was suddenly riding a lot faster than normal. The ah, ha moment came when I noticed I was hovering over the seat in corners, not sitting so that my weight is on the crank (low) not the seat (high).
    2011 Kona unit with some carbon.

  19. #19
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Man, I am not going to give you riding technique advice, cause as far as I know, you're ****ing faster than me....

    I don't ride to go fast (though that belongs in the subset of goals) but to have fun. Usually I feel good about the ride if I clear some tech sections that I know are difficult- which sometimes means sessioning.

  20. #20
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    Take the practical advice that many of the comments here have offered and also this tip: externalize your focus on a point several feet/meters down the trail. Until they start selling helmets that apply electrical current to the brain that is: Zap your brain into the zone: Fast track to pure focus : science

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