Airborne on my first downhill!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Airborne on my first downhill!

    Man what a fall..I was doing an EASY (so it said) downhill trail on Mont Bromont in Quebec..or so it was marked as easy..
    man I would hate to see what hard is like.
    First time there..
    Went down and it was going good...all of a sudden on one of the 'easy' stretches..I lock my front disc..and off I go..
    over the bike and land om upper left side...rash burn on elbow, shoulder and knee..
    but you know what..I got up and I was laughing and what I must have looked like falling..
    All I can say os thabk God I was wearing my helmet..
    Took an impact and I have a few pebbles inbedded in the helmet..
    I think I should invest in some protective gear easy or not easy..when you fall..you fall hard..
    I think I got confused with he beaks because my sport bike GSX-R has the front break on the right hand and clutch on the left..so I probably mixed up the muscle memory somewhere along that line..

    Anyhow..all is well that ends wel..
    I think I shoudl start a little more tame next time around..like cross country at the same place..
    and move from there...

  2. #2
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    Sounds like you did a major nono, grab a handfull of front brake while going downhill. If you feel more comfortable with the front brake on the right hand, you can switch it, just make sure anybody who rides your bike is aware of it so they won't do what you did.

    If you were riding a true downhill trail, even an easy downhill trail will be very diffucult for a beginner. If you're going to be doing this type of riding very often you may want to invest in some pads.

    Some bad news for you, you're probably going to need to buy a new helmet. Bicycle helmets are only desinged to take the impact from a single crash. I think some of the brands have a crash replacement policy. My uncle once crashed and landed on his head and split the helmet. He sent it into Bell and they sent him a new helmet, along with a "Saved by the Bell" certificate. Don't know if they still do that though.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolbiker
    Sounds like you did a major nono, grab a handfull of front brake while going downhill. If you feel more comfortable with the front brake on the right hand, you can switch it, just make sure anybody who rides your bike is aware of it so they won't do what you did.

    If you were riding a true downhill trail, even an easy downhill trail will be very diffucult for a beginner. If you're going to be doing this type of riding very often you may want to invest in some pads.

    Some bad news for you, you're probably going to need to buy a new helmet. Bicycle helmets are only desinged to take the impact from a single crash. I think some of the brands have a crash replacement policy. My uncle once crashed and landed on his head and split the helmet. He sent it into Bell and they sent him a new helmet, along with a "Saved by the Bell" certificate. Don't know if they still do that though.
    Thanks for the tip on the 'easy trail'..and it was indeed a true trail..Mont Bromont is a mtbr's paradise from what I read on the site and many north state USA bikers come to ride it and there;s lots of competitions there as well..

    it was fun and all..but I was definietly NOT prepared for it....
    and I knew this about motorcycle helmets..I wasn't sure if that also applied to bike helmets..I guess it should...why not?

    And the other thing is that on a sport racer bike..the rear brake is NEVER used..or very rarely..its always front break..so I will have to change the mechanics of that habit...

    How do you ride a really tight hairpin (over 90 degrees) turn that is steep as well??
    Do you ride it really slow and break through the whol ebend..or do regular good riders take that turn fast??


    I ll check out what the policy is with the brand I bought..
    Thanks again..

  4. #4
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    Hi, I like your attitude

    The front brake is the most important one to use, but you can use both. It's not good to lock any of the brakes, because if you lock your front brake, you do an endo, and if you lock your rear you might rear wash or whatever it's called. It helps to shift your weight backward when you brake, to make it simpler.

    If you're going down some steps, don't brake when your wheels are in the air, because braking on the air will stop the wheels instantly, and when they hit the ground it's like you don't have wheels nor any control.

    Have fun!

  5. #5
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    BX02

    First of all I'll let you know that 70% of your braking power comes from the front brake. That said obviously you don't want to grab a handfull of it like you did. You want to avoid your tires from skidding so using both brakes will help accomplish that. However you must learn how to shift your weight, when going downhill you need to shift your weight back over the rear wheel. If the hill is really steep you could literally be sitting on the rear wheel.

    For the tight hairpin downhill turns you will typically want to do a "late apex" turn. Stay on the outside of the turn, slow down before entering the turn, then once you pass the apex accelerate out of the turn. Now depending on how much banking the turn has and how well you know how to lean the bike in a corner, you can actually make the turn with more speed and slow down less. To maintain maximum speed, don't slow down until the last moment, and when you do slow down, really shift your weight down into the pedals and use both brakes to slowdown as fast as possible without skidding the tires, then roll through the apex, then start pedaling again to accelerate out.

    If you really want to bone up on mountain biking skills, I suggest you get the book "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills". This is the best book out there on showing how to do all the different skills and techniques in mountain biking.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldskoolbiker
    BX02

    First of all I'll let you know that 70% of your braking power comes from the front brake. That said obviously you don't want to grab a handfull of it like you did. You want to avoid your tires from skidding so using both brakes will help accomplish that. However you must learn how to shift your weight, when going downhill you need to shift your weight back over the rear wheel. If the hill is really steep you could literally be sitting on the rear wheel.

    For the tight hairpin downhill turns you will typically want to do a "late apex" turn. Stay on the outside of the turn, slow down before entering the turn, then once you pass the apex accelerate out of the turn. Now depending on how much banking the turn has and how well you know how to lean the bike in a corner, you can actually make the turn with more speed and slow down less. To maintain maximum speed, don't slow down until the last moment, and when you do slow down, really shift your weight down into the pedals and use both brakes to slowdown as fast as possible without skidding the tires, then roll through the apex, then start pedaling again to accelerate out.

    If you really want to bone up on mountain biking skills, I suggest you get the book "Mastering Mountain Bike Skills". This is the best book out there on showing how to do all the different skills and techniques in mountain biking.
    Thanks a lot..
    It kinda sounds a little like when I ride my Gixxer... trial braking into the curve and then out of the apex you gas it....exept I never did that on mud and dirt
    I Will try again..padded up of course
    thanks for the help guys...

  7. #7
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    Anyone have an author, image, or location where this book can be purchased??

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shad6Bones
    Anyone have an author, image, or location where this book can be purchased??
    Mastering Mountain Bike Skills by Brian Lopes and Lee McCormack.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/073...600965?ie=UTF8

  9. #9
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    Sorry I didn't post the link to the book on my original post. I just figured people knew how to google.

  10. #10
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    Go ahead and swap your brakes. My friends who ride motorcylces all do..

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