XC rider trying downhill- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    XC rider trying downhill

    I'm not new to riding but I feel like a beginner now. I had my first downhill experience at Wisp ski resort last week. Is it normal to have a near death experience every two seconds on the way down? I should have known better when I got on the lift and everyone else had armor on with full face helmets. I felt pretty stupid with my clipless pedals and hydration bag on.

  2. #2
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    albeit you had one hell of fun tho, no

  3. #3
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    I just got my first downhill bike after years of xc. Make sure you have all of the protective gear and platform pedals and you will feel more confident. I intend to continue wearing my camel back.

  4. #4
    Pedaler of dirt
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    Camelbak's make excellent spine protectors. Just remember to wrap your phone in bubble wrap
    It's not enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

  5. #5
    Brant-C.
    Reputation: bcaronongan's Avatar
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    one year i took my xc hardtail to the top of a mountain...yes, rode the lift up. i got lots of stares.

    rode it down...slooooooooow...

    at least you tried it.
    I just like riding my mountain bike.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlepito
    I'm not new to riding but I feel like a beginner now. I had my first downhill experience at Wisp ski resort last week. Is it normal to have a near death experience every two seconds on the way down? I should have known better when I got on the lift and everyone else had armor on with full face helmets. I felt pretty stupid with my clipless pedals and hydration bag on.
    Wisp is pretty tame as far as DH goes. No you shouldn't have a "near death" experience every two seconds. You should have been able to at least ride a good portion of what is at Wisp on an XC bike, just not nearly as fast as DH guys. Maybe you were going to fast, or you don't have the technical skills to handle the terrain.

    Maybe next time go to 7 springs instead, they have a dedicated beginner trail which I do think Wisp is lacking.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, Wisp was pretty lame. The easy trail was all loose rock, so I couldn't go very fast down that. Then the blue trails have very tight switch backs; so no speed there. I'm not used to the type of hills that the black diamonds were on, so I tried to avoid that. So there were only about 3 trails I could ride well, and my juicy 5's were burning at the bottom.

  8. #8
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    A different opinion on Clipless.

    I'm also an XC rider and have been running clipless since the mid 90s. I don't have access to true "Downhill" but I do ride some techy XC downhill sections of trail and for the past 3 years I've been experimenting with running platforms a little more than half the time I ride. In the last couple of months I switched most of my main trail bikes back to clipless. While I got better on the platforms, I just couldn't maintain the confidence going fast over the rough stuff or hitting drops or jumps. After going back to clipless, I'm flying down these sections and having a lot more fun.

    I'm well aware that there are a lot of downhillers, freeriders, and dirtjumpers that swear by platforms and ride amazingly on them (which is why I was trying them for the past few years). But if you're used to clipless, I would consider sticking with them when you go downhill.
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  9. #9
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    Stupid question... Why do you use platforms instead of clipless for DH?
    Besides that, atleast you tried it. Sounds like you just need some more experience!

  10. #10
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    presumably so you can bail from teh bike when things go wrong instead of having it fall on you after trying to jump a gap or jumping off a ledge...
    2010 Trek 4300 Disc

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightridr32
    Stupid question... Why do you use platforms instead of clipless for DH?
    Besides that, atleast you tried it. Sounds like you just need some more experience!
    You can bail quicker, easier to put a foot out while cornering, or you might want to do a superman seatgrab while you're in the air.

    For me, I just wasn't making enough progress on the platforms. As I said, i have been riding them for 2 or 3 years now and they still hold me back (when compared to clipless). I do prefer the platforms for slow techy downhills where I'm very likely to put a foot out, but for the faster stuff or anything that gets me airborne, I have a lot more control on clipless. I still use them on my casual bike and I keep them on a little DJ/street setup I play on occasionally, and will put them back on one of my trail bikes for the winter (I don't like clipless when riding icy trails).
    Warning: may contain sarcasm and/or crap made up in an attempt to feel important.

  12. #12
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    Ah ic... Thanks for the info. Just wondered because I'm going to pick up some new pedals and trying to decide on platform or clipless. Not that I'll be doing any serious DH, just curious as to why platforms are preferred.

  13. #13
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    I have pedals that are clipless on one side and platform on the other. You can switch midride if you want.

  14. #14
    should know better.....
    Reputation: neverwalk's Avatar
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    I race DH, with a full on DH sled, Moto helmet, Leatt neck brace, full body armor etc.
    I use clipless. Lots of others do as well. ride what you are comfortable with. Don't worry what anyone thinks.
    "Always Ride."

    -Anthony S.

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