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  1. #1
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    Question on XC riding and local trails

    So now that I have finally put some money into my bike and got it to the point of where it is more confindence inspiring and easier to ride I am trying to work on my skill set. While I am not young (getting ready to turn 38) it is bad when I see some 40+ year old person just flat out leave me in the dust on the trails.

    Straight stuff and drops are fine, I have the most problems in the turns (something I never had in riding sport bikes on the track, principles are opposite in this case though) to where I feel like I am going wide and cant seem to get the bike to get in the right line.

    Part or should I say most of it is me, before I replaced the stock tires and shock I was tossed on my side a bunch of times due to riding to close to the inside of the corners and washing out on inside lip edge of the corner, that i have fixed by trying to stay in the center of the trail and going wide in the turns to keep from getting washed out.

    So what does one do to theri technique to get better in the curves or is it just a time and experience thing?

    Also why is is the local clubs love putting sand in the corners, most of the ones that I have issues with have crap loads of sand in them, does nothing but make the front end loose and or want to wash out. Is this suppossed to help with making you a better rider or to just slow the course pace down some?

    I really want to get better, not in a "I want to race" type of way but in the inner competitive side of things.

  2. #2
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    You might want to check out Brian Lopes' book, Mastering Mountain Bike Skills. Whole chapter on cornering in it. I'm still working my way through the book, so sorry I couldn't give more constructive advice.

  3. #3
    Vincit qui patitur
    Reputation: owtdorz's Avatar
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    Check you LBS. The ones here in AZ have group rides and skills training.
    Vincit qui patitur
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  4. #4
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    I know when i was starting to ride i couldnt get out of my dirt bike days where you come in hard and flat and power out of the corner. After watching some videos on this site i found it was my technique that was the problem. Your body has to be more vertical and tip/angle the bike so your tires actually work. I just kept washing out my front end time after time. Im not sure what video it was that helped me so try and find some on techniques and watch them. they might help you like they did me.

    Hey Coach! Ep. 1 | NSMB.e.MAGAZINE - Freeride, Extreme and North Shore style Mountain Biking
    Last edited by The Highlander; 10-10-2012 at 08:35 PM.
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  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Are you having trouble on the way up or on the way down?

    Regardless, there are some things that can help.

    As mentioned above, you can tip the bike pretty far over. Further than you think, probably. With the really sharp climbing turns, sometimes it's necessary even at really low speed but it's spooky to do it slowly.

    Also, look for anything that can help you corner. The way trails wear, there's often berms around the outsides of turns. Ride 'em. Builders often make pretty big berms on purpose. They're fun and they'll help you corner. Definitely ride those.

    I can't imagine why your local club would put sand in corners on purpose. But if that's what the soil content is, that's what you'll get when the weather's dry. It's not too uncommon to reinforce high-traffic trails with gravel, though. Kind of a crappy surface, but it beats having trails fall off the side of the mountain.

    Finally, it just takes riding a lot. Those guys that are leaving you in the dust may have been working on it for the last thirty years.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    These two videos by a DH pro will give you some technique tips---
    Cornering with Fabien Barel - YouTube
    Straight Lines with Fabien Barel - YouTube

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone, I watched the cornering video last night and will apply that to my technique. And as far as the sand goes it has been added and it is completely out of the norm for the soil content for the area we live in.

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