Tips for DH racing- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tips for DH racing

    i have my first actual dh race coming up. i ride dh all the time and i've gotten pretty fast but any tips? don't know what the condition of the course will be like but anything would maybe help.

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    dont die.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfreerider510
    i have my first actual dh race coming up. i ride dh all the time and i've gotten pretty fast but any tips? don't know what the condition of the course will be like but anything would maybe help.
    pin it to win it

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfreerider510
    i have my first actual dh race coming up. i ride dh all the time and i've gotten pretty fast but any tips? don't know what the condition of the course will be like but anything would maybe help.
    go faster than all the other people.

    what race are you doing, and also what class/age group?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfreerider510
    i have my first actual dh race coming up. i ride dh all the time and i've gotten pretty fast but any tips? don't know what the condition of the course will be like but anything would maybe help.
    pedal
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    Didn't you read the sticker on that shock? It said not to do whatever you did.

  6. #6
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    practice the course alot, find the fastest lines, and rail the corners.

  7. #7
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    In a nutshell. Pedal every single place you can. Stay off the brakes unless absolutely nessesary. And most importantly, Dont fall. A crash can set apart 3rd from 13th. Good luck.

  8. #8
    Chinky on a Stinky
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    follow everything else every1 else has said but also be sure to practice tons and tons on the course so you can plan your routes through rock gardens and such.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfreerider510
    i have my first actual dh race coming up.... any tips?
    If it's best run of two, I try to go just a tad conservative my first run and not get greedy in areas that challenge me. My goal is to put a clean run in the books. Then step it up the second run, take a few more chances, and improve on the first.

    This may be especially useful for Beg/Sport riders who, in the excitement of racing, go a little too hard and make time consuming mistakes/crashes. Having a somewhat conservative mindset the first run can help take some pressure off and promote a smoother faster run.

    Having a good clean run in the books will also take some pressure off the second run too.

  10. #10
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    if your skill and athletic level has plateau'd, take performance enhancing drugs and cheat alot....
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  11. #11
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    RELAX. HAVE FUN.

    no seriously, if you get all worked up about trying to win, you'll crash and end up with a worse time. just relax, plan to have fun (if you don't have fun, then why race?), and pedal your f**king ass off all the way to the bottom. concentrate on being smoother through the rough sections, not faster. practice as much as possible the day before, but relax and don't tire yourself out. when you're waiting for your start time, warm up your legs by pedaling around a bit about 10min before you go off.

    have fun, and let us know how you did!

  12. #12
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    most important have fun....

    the day before load up on water...and before the race....maybe go down a size on the tires(faster acceleration / easier to pedal) Make sure your bike is in top working order. A miss shift riding with friends is no big deal, but on the course in can cost you time.

    Have fun
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  13. #13
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    1. Pedal where ever you can!!!

    2. Lay off your brakes! Most sections are sooo much easier carrying speed through them.

    3. During practice, get off your bike. By this I mean, if there is a section that is giving you trouble, hike it. Go to the bottom of the section and look up it. Also, watch what others are doing and get a different perspective on the section.

    4. Relax and have fun!
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  14. #14
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    I'm not a DH racer but I'm considering entering my first one here in October and have been reading up on the tips from Brian Lopes' book, which has tips on all types of racing. He suggest walking the course before you ride it, not wasting too much time on any one section of the course, and that there is nothing wrong with taking the bail out option on a section you don't have the utmost confidence in riding. If you can't picture yourself riding without crashing through a section then you need to bail on that section and make up time on the rest of the course or you'll end up giving the ambulance a workout. Most importantly, ride the course again and again, building up speed and getting to know the course to the point where you can go over the lines you want to take in your head. Be prepared to be flexible though as conditions could change from your practice runs to the race runs and the corner you railed before could be washed out and sketchy by the time it counts.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebfreerider510
    i have my first actual dh race coming up. i ride dh all the time and i've gotten pretty fast but any tips? don't know what the condition of the course will be like but anything would maybe help.
    Don't do anything radical to your setup (i.e. switch to new tires that you are not familiar with, or mess with your brake modulation, i.e. dial them all the way out- right before your race run. Trust me...

    Most importantly, have fun and try to run a smooth race. Visualize yourself cleaning every section and don't get too caught up in other people's previous times. Ride your own race.

  16. #16
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    oh yeah, also the day before (assuming you get to practice all day), walk the course once. you'll see a LOT of lines that you wouldn't normally when you're trying to rip through at high speed (similarly, I usually start out practice runs pretty slow looking for lines as well). this also allows you to see lines that other people are taking, and which is generally faster.

  17. #17
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    Here's some basics:

    1. Go over you bike in detail at least 2 days before you leave for the race. You will probably find something that needs to be replace or repaired and you don't want to wait to find out at the race. Example: put a wrench in every bolt to check for tightness, check your wheels for loose spokes, check your brake pads for wear, clean and lube your chain and check for any damage to the derailleur, check your tire pressure, etc.

    2. Make a check list of all the gear you need for the race and get your gear together a couple days before you leave. Racers forget things like gloves, helmets, tools, tubes and even wheels all the time.

    3. Pre-register or register as soon as you get to the race. Don't wait until practice is over and hope they still allow you to register. Get it done right away so you can focus on practice.

    4. Don't win the race on your first practice run. I aways start by taking one or two really slow runs to look at the course. I also stop and watch other riders go by to look for lines I may have missed. This is actually something that takes a long time to get good at. Having raced for 8 years I usually see the good lines before they even exist by just going slow and looking.

    5. Try to get faster with each practice run. A little more speed each run.

    6. If it is an all day practice take a break mid-day and go back up for a slow run or two near the very end of practice. New lines always show up by the end of the day.

    7. Take at least one all-out race run on your practice day and during the race day practice. Unless you simulate a race run (95%) you won't know how tired you will get during the actual race. This lets me know how much I want to pedal or not. I have been to a few races that were either so long or at such high altitude that I only did about a 90% run as not to blow myself out for the race.

    8. I rarely do more than 5 (sometimes 6) runs in a day, unless I'm really struggling to memorize the course, or just having too much fun.

    9. Don't go past your cardio red zone. Other riders have commented to pedal everywhere. That may be possible on short courses or at sea level, but on a long course or at elevation pedaling too much is actually slower. There are always critical sections to pedal, but there is usually a rest section or two also. Plus, if you pedal too much and get winded your bike handling skills will suffer greatly and you will be slower. What usually happens when you go past your red zone is you blow corners and then have to pedal even more to make up for your mistakes. Learning when to pedal and not to is also something that takes a lot of time.

    10. When you are learning to race, don't race faster than you practice. Your timing will be off and you will make mistakes. It is a rare that you will be able to magically no-brake some gnarly section in your race run, that you have been practicing at walking speed. In most cases you will crash. I see a lot of racers get injured in a race run trying to go faster than they practiced.

    11. HAVE FUN...HAVE FUN...HAVE FUN... this is more important than anything else. If you are getting nervous, or feel like you aren't riding well or as well as your competition, remind yourself to HAVE FUN. If you are too nervous you will ride tight, get tired and go slow, plus not have fun. As you learn more about your personal racing style you may find that getting a little angry can help too, but for most novices riding angry usually leads to a big crash. It takes time to learn to balance agression will fun.

    Good luck and remember to buy your parts from Go-ride.com
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    Good luck and remember to buy your parts from Go-ride.com
    theres always a moral to every good story lol
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslingger
    no doubt you must have majored in english or something rad!!!

  19. #19
    Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz
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    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    Here's some basics:
    Also, scratch buying Brian Lopes' book, but instead, be sure to buy Scott Crabill's book on DH racing. Or download it from this page.

    Take Scott's advice, I'd be willing to bet that he is better prepared for a race than almost anyone around.

    PS. also keep an eye out for dwarves on unicycles dropping to flat.
    This election is like a turd in a bag on your porch... whether its a blue bag or a red bag, it's still a turd on your porch.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS
    most important have fun....

    the day before load up on water...and before the race....maybe go down a size on the tires(faster acceleration / easier to pedal) Make sure your bike is in top working order. A miss shift riding with friends is no big deal, but on the course in can cost you time.

    Have fun

    Yes, make sure you drink lots of water the night before. It's a lot easier when youre hydrated. And make sure to use the bathroom before the race

  21. #21
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    thanks for all the help. i've taken it all in and think i know what to do. just stoked to race and hopefully i'll pin-it!

  22. #22
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    Relaxing is the most important thing on DH racing. If you didnt have the skills...you wouldnt racing in the first place...so relax and do what you do. I raced downieville this year...and it was my first race. Like you, I have been doing DH for a while and am pretty fast...corners being my strong point. So...when I got to the race, I focused on putting my corners together and tried too hard. I already corner well...so trying to change things up or getting excited just made my corners not flow too well. Then when things don't flow...you get pissed at yourself...and/or fall. Have a good time, ride how you ride and things will be good. Oh....and like the go ride guy said...go over your bike with a fine tooth comb.
    Good luck

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