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  1. #1
    mm9
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    Tell Me About Super D

    Would someone mind telling me the differences between downhill and super D? How long (minutes) is a typical super d race. Are they gaining in popularity or a fad? How much pedaling in a typical super D? Have you raced in one - are they fun?

  2. #2
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    do a google search for megavalanche, that is thought of as a DH marathon...

    Super D's vary in length. I'd say maybe 10+ minutes to an hour.

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    I thought super D is something where a little climbing is involved?

    Lifted from wiki:
    "Super D - Super D (SD) is a blend of cross-country and downhill. Most of the race is downhill, on trails similar to the downhill segment of a cross-country race. There are also short (100500 m) uphill sections which make the use of downhill bicycles difficult, as a result, most riders use cross-country or 'trail bikes'. Depending on the trail and race venue, the start may either be seeded (riders start in short intervals), or Le Mans mass start (riders run to their bikes, timing is started when the riders start running). Probably the most famous of this type is the Megavalanche."

  5. #5
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    Essenmeinstuff pretty much summed it up. The courses do vary. The last Super D I raced had a track a few miles shorter than the one I did before. Some courses have some heavy pedaling, some don't. A good trail bike with 5-6 inch suspension will handle Super D courses. The thing about Super D is the race is won in the hills and the pedaling so if you try and win by just bombing the downhill, you'll end up being disappointed.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjsca07
    The thing about Super D is the race is won in the hills and the pedaling so if you try and win by just bombing the downhill, you'll end up being disappointed.
    where's the fun then
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  7. #7
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    I did the Ashland Super D this last summer and it was super fun. I usually try to avoid the race thing as I don't want to think of riding in a competitive manner. But I heard so many great things about the Ashland race that a group of us went and checked it out. What I loved about it is that it felt like a trail shuttle ride we would do around home. Mostly down, some ups, and a whole lot of fun with a chill atmosphere. The race was around 12 miles long, fast people were under 40 minutes.
    I was discussing Super D vs Downhill format with a few people after the race. On a DH race, you only have around 3 minutes and have to nail every corner. Riding right at the edge the whole way to get that fastest run possible. Super intense, possibly dangerous. On a super D, you don't have to give it all in that sketchy, consequence ridden corner in order to be competitive. The race is not won or lost on that spot so you can reign it in here or there and still have a good hard run.
    I did it on a 41 lb bike with a dual ring setup and would not do that again. Worked really hard on the climb and still got passed twice. Got passed again on the fire road (yeah, the fire road that is going downhill) by a guy on a trance with a tripple ring who was pedaling away. I had spun out and was in a tuck coasting and he just motored on by. 30 lbs, maybe a 36 tooth ring up front and a gravity dropper seatpost are a must if you want to finish well. But not at all necessary if you just want to have fun. I had to stop twice to adjust my seat up, and would have utilized a dropper post at least a dozen more times if I had one. But I finished with a huge smile and plan to do it again.

  8. #8
    GUIDANCE COUNSELOR
    Reputation: NoahColorado's Avatar
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    Super-D is a great concept, but results can vary. I've done some awesome ones, but a lot of crappy ones.

    I like the Bootleg races, the old Keystone Climax, the Moab ones, Angelfire and similar. I'd love to do Ashland and Downieville (though it is becoming a bit of a scene). Whistler is hosting the Enduro of Nations next year - that too!

    I can do without Sol Vista, Crested Butte, and Snowmass.

    My take:

    Longer (generally) = better

    Races that are under 10 minutes are whack.

    Don't forget the "D"
    At most courses should be no more than 30% climbing. Any more than 30% and it's basically an XC race.

    Mass start on doubletrack or time-trial on singletrack...pick one
    If it's gonna be a mass start there has got to be room to pass - or at least make the race long enough to spread folks out. For shorter events, TT is the way to go.

    I'd really be into seeing more endurance DH events - loooooong downhills on bigger bikes.
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  9. #9
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    Downhill course will not vary nearly as much as Super D courses. I've seen Super D courses where the fastest bike down the mountain was a 29'er Hardtail. Of course, in our opinion, that is not a Super D. Again, just our opinion.

    With DH, there are opinions, but what makes a "good" track versus a "bad" track is usually pretty close to consensus. On the otherhand, Super D is so new, and so many people are trying to shape it, that opinions will vary as widely as which bike is fastest on which course.

    We've heard and read great things about the Ashland Super D, and we all want to go next year and race it. From what we've heard, it is the most fun you can have on your mountain bike outside of going to the Alps for a MegaAvalanche.

  10. #10
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    I'm with Noah. The longer the better and no more than 25-30% should be climbing. This means that folks who bring a FR/DH bike will be suffering the most on the climbs.

    Also, the course should have technical aspects to the descent to ensure that most folks racing will be on the most common type of bike - the trail/AM bikes - and the folks that bring the hardtail racer XC bikes will be losing time on the descents. If the descent is just buff singletrack, then it doesn't reward those with better bike handling skills.

    If you look at folks that are successful in these events (Mark Weir, Adam Craig, Nathan Riddle, Rene Wildhaber, Ross Schnell, etc), they're all super fit dudes that have DH level racing skills. It rewards a more well rounded rider, IMO.

    EB

  11. #11
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    Here's some chest-cam video from a Winter Park Super D:
    <object width="400" height="300" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/774804279010" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/774804279010" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="300"></embed></object>

    edit: privacy settings changed so people can actually watch the video
    Last edited by mtg7aa; 11-29-2009 at 10:29 PM.

  12. #12
    mm9
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    Sounds like it would be a fun form of racing. Enough uphill that you'd still need to train and be fit, but not extreme fitness that rewards the pure endurance athletes. Enough downhill to have a thrill but not as extreme and dangerous as DH racing. Also, you can race it on the bikes most of us already have.

    Thanks for the replys.

  13. #13
    mm9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtg7aa
    Here's some chest-cam video from a Winter Park Super D:
    <object width="400" height="300" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/774804279010" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/774804279010" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="300"></embed></object>

    edit: privacy settings changed so people can actually watch the video
    Cool video! Look like a very fun form of racing.

  14. #14
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    mtg7aa,

    How did your race finish? Looks like you were leading.
    As mm9 mentionned, looked like a lot of fun.

    Eric

  15. #15
    LDH
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    what a course, great video. thanks for sharing.

  16. #16
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    No one has really answered the question as to whether it's a growing trend or a fad. I don't know, but just the proliferation of this type of event tells me it's growing. I, for one, am very interested in it.

    Another tangent or extension of the Super D idea is the Enduro format. You do a long AM type loop 25-35 miles where you climb at your own pace (not timed) then bomb 4-6 timed mostly downhill sections that are anywhere from 2-10 minutes long. These are done on regular, fun trails, not DH courses. An example of this is the Fears Tears and Beers MTB Enduro. What a hoot.
    Last edited by KRob; 12-07-2009 at 11:00 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rugbyred
    mtg7aa,

    How did your race finish? Looks like you were leading.
    As mm9 mentionned, looked like a lot of fun.

    Eric
    I won, the GoPro just quit recording with about a minute left in the race

  18. #18
    meow meow
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtg7aa
    Here's some chest-cam video from a Winter Park Super D:
    <object width="400" height="300" ><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="movie" value="http://www.facebook.com/v/774804279010" /><embed src="http://www.facebook.com/v/774804279010" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="400" height="300"></embed></object>

    edit: privacy settings changed so people can actually watch the video
    wow that was so sick. you dropped that dude on the climb! ahaha

  19. #19
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    I'd love to try racing Super D, just don't know of many East coast options.

  20. #20
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    theres an annual super D race at massanutten in virginia
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  21. #21
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    We're doing the mega avalanche in 2010 cant wait should be a blast! Just built my mega bike altho @ 36lbs i'll need to be v.fit.
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  22. #22
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    i raced two different super d series in so-cal this last summer on 3 different courses.

    i also did the races on 4 different bikes through the year too.

    i won't say it is a fad, but i won't also day that it is growing either.

    i like this style of racing quite a bit. but i prefer the races that are what i would call dh-lite rather than the ones that seem xc-lite.

    but hey, racing is racing and ill do whatever they throw in front of me.

    i have been on courses that took from 3min to 20 min. had 30 seconds of climbing to 2 miles of climbing on a 4 miles course. courses where your tires never leave the ground to a course with 4 big table tops in a row.

    i like the variety, the speed and the shorter time. i also like that for the most part my am 6" bike works great no matter what course.

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