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  1. #1
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    Tips for unlearning bad habits

    Hi, so at my preferred downhill bike park (Killington). I've been riding all summer. However since I started I've been in the habit of sitting on the seat when descending. Although this has served me well on the green, blue and some of the easier black trails I find it hard to keep control on some of the harder trails. What are some tips you guys have for getting out of the bad habit of sitting and into a proper downhill position?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by tristanm228 View Post
    Hi, so at my preferred downhill bike park (Killington). I've been riding all summer. However since I started I've been in the habit of sitting on the seat when descending. Although this has served me well on the green, blue and some of the easier black trails I find it hard to keep control on some of the harder trails. What are some tips you guys have for getting out of the bad habit of sitting and into a proper downhill position?
    Stand instead?
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  3. #3
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    You just need to practice standing on easier terrain.

  4. #4
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    Deadlifts, squats, pushups to start. Throw in some balance and core work (eg planks)

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  5. #5
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    Sitting on the seat on DH runs is a great way to break yourself. All it took was for me to break my finger doing the same thing. It's a wonderful way to learn

    I also taught myself that I shouldn't pedal & turn when the suspension is fully compressed, I walked away from that without any significant injury, but a pedal spindle is now bent.

    So if you're a slow learner (or have a short memory) like me, a good solid crash will probably be a sufficient lesson. Or, you can skip that & just not do stupid things that you know are wrong.

    But that is sometimes tough to do Good luck & hope you don't learn the hard way!
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  6. #6
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    Once you get thrown over the bars and your taint smashed by the saddle, this is a self correcting problem.

  7. #7
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    Cant sit if your bike doesn't have a saddle.
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  8. #8
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    Tips for unlearning bad habits

    If you get tired and have sloppy form, stop until you’re recovered and can ride with the correct form again.

    You’ll get tired of stopping I did, so I got stronger with exercising (strength training) and skills practice.
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  9. #9
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    Bad habits are hard to break. The best thing you can do is to catch those bad habits early before they become deeply rooted in your muscle memory.

    The next best thing you can do is to be conscious of those bad habits and take every chance you get to stop the bad habit and replace it with a good habit. Then practice that good habit as often as possible to develop the muscle memory to lock it in.

    In your case, sitting on the downhill is likely due to both technique issues as well as strength issues. Standing on the downhill can get tiring if you're not used to it, and even more tiring if you have bad technique. But if you want to progress into riding more difficult trails safely, it's something you have to do, because riding double black diamond trails and pro lines sitting down is a death sentence. If the trail points down you should be standing unless you're just putting along down an easy section taking a breather.

    A lot of good suggestions already given above. Work on your strength, work on standing more, take rest breaks on long downhills until you build your standing endurance etc..

    I would add that you should do some research on proper riding technique and take a skills class from a good instructor. There are plenty of resource out there to get you started like Lee McCormack's book and online skills videos (GMBN's YouTube channel is a good starting point) that can give you some things to work on. But, those resources can sometimes be hard to translate to real world riding. They can for sure help, but what you think you're doing and what you are actually doing may be two entirely different things. It's good to have another set of experienced eyes watching you to see what you might be doing wrong. That is where a skills instruction comes in.

    Do your research and find a reputable instructor. Taking a skills course isn't mandatory by any means, but I'm convinced that most riders could benefit from a really good instructor at a skills clinic tailored to their level of riding.
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  10. #10
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    If you are running the blacks at Killy like Scarecrow, upper Panther, Yo Vinny, Black Magic... and moving at reasonable speed - well, you must have some skills if you are doing it in the saddle.

    Biggest thing I do to train for the dh season is squat, deadlift, squat... oh, interval-hill sprints too. If I'm paying for a pass and driving to a hill, and sitting on a lift, I want to be able to ride it all day long, for days in a row.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tristanm228 View Post
    However since I started I've been in the habit of sitting on the seat when descending. What are some tips you guys have for getting out of the bad habit of sitting and into a proper downhill position?
    Sitting while descending DH is a great way to get your taint cracked clean in 2.
    Fun aside, what worked for me was take a lesson from a reputable instructor, and then practice, practice, practice.
    The instructor gave me tips on what my form was doing that tired me and made me want to sit. With good form, and balance, the majority of the weight is in your feet, balanced with your hips over the bottom bracket, and a good low hinge position. Maybe not all the time, but that is the position that you want to be your neutral you work from.
    How do I practice? I roll around in my culdesac just screwing around with the different positions. Roll the bike way right, left, run my weight way back, do super tight circles, whatever to be comfortable to feel the bike under my feet and arms, and away from my butt. Spend 10 minutes, half hour, whatever, just do it.
    Last year, I was dicking with my seat position on the DH up and down, and stuff. This year I was most of the way through my first day, and noticed that I was ignoring my seat. Sweet!
    Crossover to trail riding, absolutely!



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    Last edited by davez26; 1 Week Ago at 08:39 PM. Reason: Poor math on cracked body part.

  12. #12
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    Get in better shape !! Period...you are too tired on long runs....I cheat and sit in smoother areas....but in order to go fast you have to be in the attack position or you will get thrown or go way slow..

    Right now do shorter runs (stop more often) .....stand and ride with flow till you are too tired - then take a break.....after resting repeat
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

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