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Thread: Singletrack

  1. #1
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    Singletrack

    I can climb the long uphills fairly well, for me, but whenever I get to the singletrack portions, I get winded quite quickly. Even on small climbs that are not even as steep as the fireroads. What am I doing wrong or not doing? Thanks.

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    Are you new to singletrack? The only answer that I have is that you are nervous and tense on the singletrack, so you are working harder in maintaining your line. If this is the case, keep working on it and try to relax and let it come to you. Think smooth and the fast will follow.

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    Depends on the singletrack too. In my area, singletrack is almost always more or less bumpy. Every irregularity steals some forward momentum.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

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    Climbing is legs and lungs. Singletrack, especially more technical stuff, requires a lot more upper body and core strength which is probably taxing you. Focus on riding a lot more singletrack in your training. Singletrack climbing is usually much more intense than climbing a fireroad. The grades are steeper and will require a lot more power to get over roots and rocks.

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    I have been riding alot of singletrack lately to get to know a certain section. It seems better on that particular section, but I started on another, new to me section, and I feel like I did the first time out.

    Do alot of people stay in the same gear on most singletrack, and stand when extra power is needed to clear a certain obstacle? I ask because, I tend to shift to a proper gear for what I see ahead, only to lose momentum, and have to power up it sitting anyway. Too small a gear to stand. If you know what I am trying to say.

    I could leave it in a granny gear and pedal a long time. Ok for getting to know the trail, but not for making a time to be competitive. I have not raced yet, but I bet you would hate to be stuck behind me on any singletrack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bdabike View Post
    Do alot of people stay in the same gear on most singletrack, and stand when extra power is needed to clear a certain obstacle? I ask because, I tend to shift to a proper gear for what I see ahead, only to lose momentum, and have to power up it sitting anyway. Too small a gear to stand. If you know what I am trying to say...
    I change gears all the time on single track. Most fireroad climbs are simple sit and spin issues with little to no effort other than keeping the pedals going. Single track climbs tend to have more grade changes and more features to climb. Which gear you use is dependent on too many factors to post here. I ride the what ever gear I can keep moving at the max speed I can. Some places will need a stand and power over it. Other will require dropping a gear or two and spin like mad to keep the speed and momentum going. Sounds like you need to just ride more single track to get a feel for what gear you need for each bit of terrain. Also if you approach a spot where yo need to do power move and you are pegged at 100% you may not be able to pull the move off.

    I as what will happen when you race? You will get passed on singletrack if you are slow and will do fine if you are a group if similar ability. Most races have all kinds so don't really worry about holding people up.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    Sounds like you could use some practice riding unfamiliar singletrack. The more often you ride a new or unfamiliar trails, the better your on-the-fly skills will become and you will be able to judge how to ride sections quickly. Eventually you won't really think about what gear you are in or even realize you are shifting, but rather know you are in the right gear by how it feels.

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    "The more often you ride a new or unfamiliar trails, the better your on-the-fly skills will become "
    Yup; riding unfamiliar trails at speed is a skill all by itself, and it's necessary to develop that skill for those times you can't pre-ride. I enjoy racing a course I haven't ridden before, and I generally don't pre-ride a course. I really have to concentrate on looking ahead as far as I can, along with seeing the trail right in front of me. On my training loop that I've done hundreds of times it's easy to get lazy and go on auto-pilot, the challenge there is to practice looking ahead more.

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    That is more than likely why I am so tense. My first ride on single track was not horrible. Early march, before the trails have been ridden by anyone. I was going to give a section a try, as fast as I could go. Came around a little drop and into a tree across the trail. Ass over bars. Spooked me a bit.

    I will stick with the single track more, with more speed. I feel like I do better sticking with a mid gear, and powering through most parts. When I get gassed, do I just drop the pace until I get some energy back, or should I maintain a certain pace throughout the section?

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    Re: Singletrack

    Quote Originally Posted by Bdabike View Post
    When I get gassed, do I just drop the pace until I get some energy back, or should I maintain a certain pace throughout the section?
    IMO, that is something that you are going to have to figure out by trial and error...only you know what you are capable of, and you will learn how hard you can push with experience.

    You don't want to completely blow yourself up, but you also don't want to relax too much during a race because the guys you are racing against are probably still pushing hard. Gotta find your own happy medium

    Sent from my DROID RAZR HD using Tapatalk 2

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    Do you mostly ride road? Road and singletrack use different energy systems.

    Road usually provides smooth, steady power curves.
    Singletrack requires multiple bursts of power followed by sections of recovery.

    The fact that you feel good on long steady efforts makes me think you need to train your "burst and rest" anaerobic system. Dont know what the technical term would be.

    Most people would tell you to do short, low rest intervals on the road... But in recent months, I have been thinking that the most wholesome training you can get for MTB is on the trails. Specificity...

    Try 5 mins full blast on the trails, followed by 5 mins easy pedaling. Repeat as many times as you feel like it.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

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    No road biking for me. Fireroads or singletrack.

    I really like to climb. The satisfaction of reaching the top. Or the end of what I set out to ride.

    I do feel better with the Burst and rest theory. Need to build on that, because I feel I may burst too often. Not giving myself enough time to recover. I always have myself on a clock. I look ahead while recovering, and think about how much time I will lose with easy pedaling this incline ahead, and I go ahead and burst forward again. Therefore, I am wore out quite quickly. Seems simple now, but how do I remedy that mindset?

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    I think you need to spend more time on single track climbs. You need to learn how hard you can push while maintianing some reserve to make power move. So you need to be albe to ride at high aerobic pace and know when to spike the power to anerobic level for a short move and the settle back to aerobic max. I thing the only way to learn this is to ride single track on the clock and hard. Do it over and over on different trails until you get a feel for what you body can do. Just remember blowing up ona climb probably will cost you more that going a bit slower, but being able to maintain a moderately high pace.

    I don't race a a lot, but I ride hard every ride. I have come to know how hard I can push and have reserve for this spots the grade pitches up or I have to lift the front wheel and power over waterbar or rock. It takes time to know how much you can sustain.

    I find fire road climbs rather boring for the most part and predictable. Most have constant grades with out too much ramping and don't have super steep 25 grades over short distances like on single track.

    Also since I run a 3x9 I will use the small chainring for longish and more demanding single track climbs. I could run my middle ring and by big cog, but the small ring smaller cog gives me a easy acces to lower gears should the grade go from steep to holy f?king s,.t steep for a little bit. I have the choice stand and power it or drop gears and spin it to keep me in my aerobic range. Then as soon as the grade relents and I feel I am not longer at 95% I drop to a smaller cog and push back to 95% to get my speed back up.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bdabike View Post
    No road biking for me. Fireroads or singletrack.

    I really like to climb. The satisfaction of reaching the top. Or the end of what I set out to ride.

    I do feel better with the Burst and rest theory. Need to build on that, because I feel I may burst too often. Not giving myself enough time to recover. I always have myself on a clock. I look ahead while recovering, and think about how much time I will lose with easy pedaling this incline ahead, and I go ahead and burst forward again. Therefore, I am wore out quite quickly. Seems simple now, but how do I remedy that mindset?
    Sounds like you are doing it right. All you need now is time to adapt.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

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