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  1. #1
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    trials riders - makeshift equipment

    I've been wanting to improve my technical riding ability and ballance, so I thought I'd try setting up an older bike for trials sort of riding. Yesterday while practicing trackstands, and trying to get my back wheel off the ground when I got bored with the former, and it dawned on me; I have no skill whatsoever. I can trackstand for maybe 5 seconds. Without the front brake... I can feel the back wheel coming off the ground but I'd need calipers to determine how much - maybe if there was a sheet of tissue paper in the trail that I had to get over I could manage.

    anyhow, I don't want to put my utter lack of skill to equipment, but I want to make sure I'm not sabotageing myself either. To that end, I wanted to put a couple questions to the experts:

    1: What is a typical steering geometry for a stock bike? I see frames with head angles of 71-72; pretty typical of an older XC bike (though this frame is old enough they wheren't called that; it was just a mountain bike - there wheren't many different kinds of bikes back then). I can't find any info on offset or rake, therefor I can't figure trail. I'm wondering if my setup is making it harder to ballance?
    2: Also related to trackstands, I'm using a M910 XTR hub (that's been on 3 bikes now). I'm not sure how many engagement points it has, or how much it matters; any thoughts? Reason I ask is, before it died, I could trackstand pretty much all day on my fixed gear roadie (I guess you'd call it a track bike). Obviously that gear never disengaged - I could always apply a little pressure if I found myself moving backward. With that bike I could trackstand with my pedals in any position because I pretty much had to. I wonder if that bike had more appropriate steering geometry as well, because I hardly ever felt like the bike was falling over.

    3: In regard to lifting the wheel, I'm using these pedals: http://www.webcyclery.com/product.ph...cat=343&page=1 and some Adidas indoor soccer shoes. Should I switch to somthing grippier or is it lack of skill? The Odyessy pedals do work a lot better than the plastic wellgos I tried before (I know... I didn't really think those would work, but my inital budget for this bike was $0 and that was what I had).


    so... any ideas? Or should I just go practice more?

  2. #2
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    If you can't trackstand for more than 5 seconds, a slight change in your headtube angle won't make a difference. Hub engagement points don't matter either. Trackstanding just takes a long time to do well when and a lot of patience and practice when you're starting out trials. Try lowering your seat and trying running a gear ratio like 22-19. What size is your frame?

  3. #3
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    I'm running a 24/16 gear (the lowest chainring I had on hand, crank has a 74mm bcd, so I don't think I could go lower). Frame is supposedly a 21", though it's smaller than some 20 or even 19" frames I've seen. I know that's big, but it's what I have (I also have a 38" inseam, so it's not as huge on me as it may sound like). Seat is all the way down. I wasn't sitting while trying, should I be, at least at first?

    I just found it weird that I could easily trackstand for a traffic light cycle; 5-6 minutes, while removing a bottle from a cage and taking a drink on the fixie, but I can't trackstand at all on the MTB - seems like there has to be some difference?

  4. #4
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    Trackstands should definitely be learned standing up, and If you can trackstand for 5 minutes while getting and drinking water thats pretty crazy.

  5. #5
    I'M A CHEAPSKATE
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    Trackstanding with a fixie or track bike is very easy compared to freewheeled bike. The reason is that you're able to apply forward AND back pressure to the pedals in addition to weight shifting.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cabdoctor
    Trackstanding with a fixie or track bike is very easy compared to freewheeled bike. The reason is that you're able to apply forward AND back pressure to the pedals in addition to weight shifting.
    I verified this last weekend (before reading this), as I said earlier I can TS easily on on the fixie, since I have a filp flop hub with a freewheel on the other side I tried doing a TS on the same bike with a freewheel - MUCH harder. Ok, so I now know it's not the geometry. I tend to agree that it's the ability to pedal backward.

    Guess I just need more practice. Anyone have any tips on getting my wife to let me practice trackstands inside the house (I hate the end of daylight savings time)?

  7. #7
    www.ntxbmx.com
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    You could always make your MTB fixed as well. (Just don't go down to many really long steep hills)

    www.ntxbmx.com North Texas BMX

  8. #8
    I post too much.
    Reputation: snaky69's Avatar
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    I practice my trackstands brakeless, anywhere, anytime, especially at red lights. I can hold them a minute or two pretty easily.

  9. #9
    Bend, OR
    Reputation: Ross W.'s Avatar
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    practice.
    pretty much all basic trials moves can easily be done on a mtb bike. Engagement, geometry doesn't really matter, although lowering/removing the seat helps. If you get into it more, you will want a smaller gear. 22-18 is about the most I can handle. You really only need a trials bike if you're getting into it or want to start going bigger.

  10. #10
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    i can do a no handed trackstand and talk on my phone and eat. its all skills. and geta used trials bike. there is/was an echo for 375 on ridemonkey a wee while back

  11. #11
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    When track standing with a freewheel, there is that "weightless" feeling when the cranks rotate backward. That feeling threw me off when switching from a fixed to a free bike, until I accepted it was going to happen and relaxed.

    Get on your bike and practice until you instinctually know what your motions will do to the bike's postition.

    Good luck getting the wife's permission, but if you do; remove all the breakables from the room that you are in. Unless you want to see exactly how much you can get away with.



    Quote Originally Posted by Joules
    I verified this last weekend (before reading this), as I said earlier I can TS easily on on the fixie, since I have a filp flop hub with a freewheel on the other side I tried doing a TS on the same bike with a freewheel - MUCH harder. Ok, so I now know it's not the geometry. I tend to agree that it's the ability to pedal backward.

    Guess I just need more practice. Anyone have any tips on getting my wife to let me practice trackstands inside the house (I hate the end of daylight savings time)?

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