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  1. #1
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    Rough Trail Riding Techniques

    Okay so where i ride, there can be as much smooth wooded ares as there heavily rooted areas. I know how to ride the smoother areas and im getting quite fast on the roots, but let me know if my technique is right cus this is what i do.

    Most of the roots i take are down a steep incline. They are like going down a steep set of stairs, only unprodicable.

    I currently move my weight (My Butt) more over the rear wheel, keep a light grip on the handle bars, and then point my bike in the direction in the way of where im going when im trying to clear the steep rooty decline. Im mostly showing the bike where to go, and letting the fork soak up the impacts.

    Is this correct? And if there is anything else to ad, please let me know... Thanks

  2. #2
    Brant-C.
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    sounds like you've got the technique down...

    as long as you're not falling and are making it down the incline you're good. if you want to get faster, try without brakes...he he he!
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  3. #3
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    Ha ha yea im trying to get it smoother, and faster. So if i do as i stated above should my bike be able to basically do the work for me?

  4. #4
    Can't feel my legs
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildkyle90
    Ha ha yea im trying to get it smoother, and faster. So if i do as i stated above should my bike be able to basically do the work for me?
    Exactly, you should guide the bike, but let it move independently from your body. Sounds like you are doing this

  5. #5
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    I try and think of it this way, if you were to place one hand one the saddle standing by the bike and gently push would it roll down? if so then all you have to do is not interfere with this process! So yes weight to the back and no sudden movements. You be surprised what you can roll down.

  6. #6
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    I also find it helpful to not "focus/lock-in" on a given obstacle. I choose my line and keep looking ahead.

  7. #7
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    yes i set my line, depending on what im riding, and try to follow it. Usually the bike follows it haha

  8. #8
    GIANT RIDER
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    wildkyle90 - "a light grip on the handle bars"

    not sure i would do this on a rooted downhill. any slight jerk of the front wheel one way or the other can take the bars out of your hands.
    i`m not saying i use a death grip but, i make sure i have the front of the bike in control at all times.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flat Ark
    I also find it helpful to not "focus/lock-in" on a given obstacle. I choose my line and keep looking ahead.
    That's one of the problems I have..

    I always end up hitting the exact line I was trying to avoid.

  10. #10
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Shifty
    all you have to do is not interfere
    Same idea as in this clip (although this is not XC...)


    Bike Finishes Race Without Rider - Watch more free videos

  11. #11
    ups and downs
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    The other thing you might do is take the Geoff Kabush Challenge and try wider bars to improve the leverage. He found that his speed in technical DH sections of XC courses improved dramatically this year with a wider bar and that was where he had been losing time. I think he's running something crazy wide like a 710mm bar, but he's a tall guy with a huge wingspan so a 660mm or 685mm low rise bar might be a sensible thing to try. I switched from a 600mm bar to a 660mm bar and found a huge improvement in handling confidence when pointed downhill.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by giantbldrse
    wildkyle90 - "a light grip on the handle bars"

    not sure i would do this on a rooted downhill. any slight jerk of the front wheel one way or the other can take the bars out of your hands.
    i`m not saying i use a death grip but, i make sure i have the front of the bike in control at all times.
    No its not that loose, but loose enough i sorta let the front tire guide me. Not that im going to let it guide me where i shouldnt go, but you get the picure

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildkyle90
    Okay so where i ride, there can be as much smooth wooded ares as there heavily rooted areas. I know how to ride the smoother areas and im getting quite fast on the roots, but let me know if my technique is right cus this is what i do.

    Most of the roots i take are down a steep incline. They are like going down a steep set of stairs, only unprodicable.

    I currently move my weight (My Butt) more over the rear wheel, keep a light grip on the handle bars, and then point my bike in the direction in the way of where im going when im trying to clear the steep rooty decline. Im mostly showing the bike where to go, and letting the fork soak up the impacts.

    Is this correct? And if there is anything else to ad, please let me know... Thanks

    Sounds good, try steering from the hips as well, kinda like you are riding with no hands.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Sounds good, try steering from the hips as well, kinda like you are riding with no hands.
    thanks for that advice, im going to try that

  15. #15
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    These guys are pretty good at riding rough trails:

  16. #16
    GIANT RIDER
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle
    These guys are pretty good at riding rough trails:

    yea, i`d say.

  17. #17
    ups and downs
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    8" of suspension travel sure helps.

    Here's some better examples of XC race descending

    http://freecaster.tv/mtb/1007115/nis...-offenburg-xco

    http://freecaster.tv/mtb/1007119/nis...xco-highlights
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    8" of suspension travel sure helps.
    I knew some dweeb would come whining with that cop-out.

    As if those guys wouldn't rip with 4", or even no inches, of travel.

  19. #19
    LMN
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    The ability to be smooth in rough is what separates riders.

    My advice is:
    1. Jumping is just about always the smoothest way.

    2. Start with a neutral stance and stand tall on the bike. As you go through rough section slowly move to a squatted stance to float the bike, when ever you get to a smooth section stand tall again.

    3. Don't shift your weight back until it is absolutely necessary. Once your weight is back you have made your move all you can do is hang on and hope for the best.

    4. Speed is your friend, the faster you are going the smoother the trail is.

  20. #20
    The Krazy Never Die
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildkyle90
    Okay so where i ride, there can be as much smooth wooded ares as there heavily rooted areas. I know how to ride the smoother areas and im getting quite fast on the roots, but let me know if my technique is right cus this is what i do.

    Most of the roots i take are down a steep incline. They are like going down a steep set of stairs, only unprodicable.

    I currently move my weight (My Butt) more over the rear wheel, keep a light grip on the handle bars, and then point my bike in the direction in the way of where im going when im trying to clear the steep rooty decline. Im mostly showing the bike where to go, and letting the fork soak up the impacts.

    Is this correct? And if there is anything else to ad, please let me know... Thanks

    Id say your riding style is very similar to mine. As flat ark stated dont focus on one obstical on the trail. When im doing down a steep rocky decent im hanging my butt out over the rear tire looking approx 8-10 ft in front of me choosing my line and doing my best to keep the bike aimed to that line. as long as im looking were i want the bike to go far enough out in front of me i can usually get the line i want

  21. #21
    think
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    8" of suspension travel sure helps.
    Yea, and it helps to have an 18 pound bike to race XC.

  22. #22
    ups and downs
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad news
    Yea, and it helps to have an 18 pound bike to race XC.
    I was referring to the bikes in the Isle of Skye DH video post. It is easy to pick a smooth line on a bike with 8" travel, it's always just straight ahead. Not representative of the technique it takes to ride an XC bike down technical descents.
    I'm a member of NSMBA and IMBA Canada

  23. #23
    local trails rider
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    It does not necessarily take a lot of suspension travel to ride rough spots. In a race, picking the difiicult line might not be the smart thing, if you have a choice. The rough spots tire you and there is a bigger risk of crashing there.



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv7TyakE8qw

  24. #24
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    I will tell you what I do, same as ridding my MX bike, grip with your inner thighs. When I stand and I am descending a fast tech section I grip my seat with my thighs, try it adds alot of control.

  25. #25
    think
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockyuphill
    I was referring to the bikes in the Isle of Skye DH video post. It is easy to pick a smooth line on a bike with 8" travel, it's always just straight ahead. Not representative of the technique it takes to ride an XC bike down technical descents.
    Of course, that's why it's so easy for anyone to do well racing downhill. Buy yourself a big bike and ride straight down the trail and onto the podium.

    I have been feeling as of late that I'm not carrying the speed I should through corners on descents so I read the downhill - freeride forum for tips and info and guess what? The techniques described in there work just fine on my trail bike.

    You can learn something from almost anyone (even if, in some cases, it's what not to do).

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