Challenge proposition for you young free-riders- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Challenge proposition for you young free-riders

    This thought occurred to me after making the previous post.
    I suspect there is a growing number of you who started mountain biking on a full-suspension freeride type mountain bike with plenty of cushy travel. Much of you have tried the single-track of Ontario, and have gone away feeling O.K. to disappointed. However, the few freeride parks, special built up sections, and some downhill specific runs you have found captured your passion and left you wanting for more.

    I challenge you with this proposition.

    Borrow, buy, or rent one of those retro hard tail bikes with limited front suspension travel. You know the ones, fairly light with small diameter tubes and elastomars in the fork suspension.

    Now head out to some classic single-track trails that are in abundance here in Ontario, especially some nice and tight and twisty stuff (Albion Hills, Hardwood Hills, Mansfield Outdoor Center, Durham Forest, etc.).

    Then, instead of taking your time, ride them as fast as you can. If the hills hurt too much, then just focus on the flats and downhill sections. When I mean fast, try to ride them at least 20km per hour. Not much slowing down for corners and downhills allowed.

    After doing this for about an hour, then tell me what you think. You just experienced XC riding, the way it was meant to be ‘in the beginning’.

    Possible experiences to watch for:

    - Higher level of adrenaline and focus. Throw in some high speed, and suddenly lame looking trails becomes a challenge. Avoiding trees around corners, controlling your tires from wiping out, and keeping your reflexes on high alert. Kind of like driving a curvy country road in your car at 140km per hour vs. the speed limit of 80. Get my drift???

    - Maintaining control on what seems like a rigid bike. After being used to riding a cushy sofa bike, the hard tail bike will make even the smallest bumps, rocks, roots, and roller coaster berms feel like they were much bigger. And then riding these at high speed, you will find that bike bucking and bouncing all over the place as you fight to maintain control. You will spend less time on the saddle and more time time on your pedals, with a death grip on the handlebar.

    - Wilder downhill runs. Go down what you consider a mild downhill run (with rocks, gravel, bumps, etc.). So how did that feel on a hard tail. Pretty scary, yes?

  2. #2
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    Well said,

    I race DH on an 8 and 8 bike and ride trails on a rigid singlespeed. I can honestly say that at times I am feeling just as much of a rush hammering on the singletrack as when I bomb a DH race run.

    I've got quite a few friends that I am trying to convince to try the XC thing. I've been doing it for nearly 10 years now and the rush is still there.

    Simon

  3. #3
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    can i please do all this on my FS?

    i could go as fast as you on the HT but it'll be more fun???

    please?



    Quote Originally Posted by Ricksom
    This thought occurred to me after making the previous post.
    I suspect there is a growing number of you who started mountain biking on a full-suspension freeride type mountain bike with plenty of cushy travel. Much of you have tried the single-track of Ontario, and have gone away feeling O.K. to disappointed. However, the few freeride parks, special built up sections, and some downhill specific runs you have found captured your passion and left you wanting for more.

    I challenge you with this proposition.

    Borrow, buy, or rent one of those retro hard tail bikes with limited front suspension travel. You know the ones, fairly light with small diameter tubes and elastomars in the fork suspension.

    Now head out to some classic single-track trails that are in abundance here in Ontario, especially some nice and tight and twisty stuff (Albion Hills, Hardwood Hills, Mansfield Outdoor Center, Durham Forest, etc.).

    Then, instead of taking your time, ride them as fast as you can. If the hills hurt too much, then just focus on the flats and downhill sections. When I mean fast, try to ride them at least 20km per hour. Not much slowing down for corners and downhills allowed.

    After doing this for about an hour, then tell me what you think. You just experienced XC riding, the way it was meant to be ‘in the beginning’.

    Possible experiences to watch for:

    - Higher level of adrenaline and focus. Throw in some high speed, and suddenly lame looking trails becomes a challenge. Avoiding trees around corners, controlling your tires from wiping out, and keeping your reflexes on high alert. Kind of like driving a curvy country road in your car at 140km per hour vs. the speed limit of 80. Get my drift???

    - Maintaining control on what seems like a rigid bike. After being used to riding a cushy sofa bike, the hard tail bike will make even the smallest bumps, rocks, roots, and roller coaster berms feel like they were much bigger. And then riding these at high speed, you will find that bike bucking and bouncing all over the place as you fight to maintain control. You will spend less time on the saddle and more time time on your pedals, with a death grip on the handlebar.

    - Wilder downhill runs. Go down what you consider a mild downhill run (with rocks, gravel, bumps, etc.). So how did that feel on a hard tail. Pretty scary, yes?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    i could go as fast as you on the HT but it'll be more fun???

    please?
    I think his point was that young free riders "do what they do" for the challenge and excitement/adraneilene. So by taking a non-free ride bike on xc trails, you can add the same elements to the ride that maybe some people think you only get with stunts and downhill.

  5. #5
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    maybe, maybe...

    Quote Originally Posted by noonievut
    I think his point was that young free riders "do what they do" for the challenge and excitement/adraneilene. So by taking a non-free ride bike on xc trails, you can add the same elements to the ride that maybe some people think you only get with stunts and downhill.
    but my point was that all that he described could be done with the full suspension bike as well and have more fun... this is coming from a hardtail apologist who switched to full suspension.

  6. #6
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    I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    but my point was that all that he described could be done with the full suspension bike as well and have more fun... this is coming from a hardtail apologist who switched to full suspension.
    I use a hardtail and while I have fun, I find maintaining control on rough decents to be a challenge. However, I ride my hardtail on the road a lot, with slicks, and I don't see myself getting a FS anytime soon (though I would like one for the trails).

  7. #7

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    cau us old freeriders be challenged too?

    I prefer to ride the trails you metioned on my medium travel, 4x4 "all mountain" xc bike. Yes I consider a 4x4 cross-country. After years of riding ontario on a HT with 2 or 3" front travel, and then even more years on a 5" full suss, and the past few years on a 40lb freeride "couch", I find my 34 year old lower back has settled nicely into the idea of ripping singletrack with just that little bit 'o cush to smooth things out a bit. XC races are won these days on 3x3 and 4x4 bikes. The technology is that good, my friend. We don't need to have our balls and spleens pounded any longer...REJOICE!! I still feel all the stimulation you mentioned to "look out for" while riding any of my 3 bikes on any of the wonderful trails you mentioned. All bikes are good, and most riders are good, young, old, freeriders, spandex boys, whatever man. Challenge yourself dude. Do "coffee run" or any of radical @ hardwood on a full susser. Go to Blue or Bromont, rent a 7x7 and just try to hang on. I guarantee at least a 4x4 bike in your shop within a year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricksom
    This thought occurred to me after making the previous post.
    I suspect there is a growing number of you who started mountain biking on a full-suspension freeride type mountain bike with plenty of cushy travel. Much of you have tried the single-track of Ontario, and have gone away feeling O.K. to disappointed. However, the few freeride parks, special built up sections, and some downhill specific runs you have found captured your passion and left you wanting for more.

    I challenge you with this proposition.

    Borrow, buy, or rent one of those retro hard tail bikes with limited front suspension travel. You know the ones, fairly light with small diameter tubes and elastomars in the fork suspension.

    Now head out to some classic single-track trails that are in abundance here in Ontario, especially some nice and tight and twisty stuff (Albion Hills, Hardwood Hills, Mansfield Outdoor Center, Durham Forest, etc.).

    Then, instead of taking your time, ride them as fast as you can. If the hills hurt too much, then just focus on the flats and downhill sections. When I mean fast, try to ride them at least 20km per hour. Not much slowing down for corners and downhills allowed.

    After doing this for about an hour, then tell me what you think. You just experienced XC riding, the way it was meant to be ‘in the beginning’.

    Possible experiences to watch for:

    - Higher level of adrenaline and focus. Throw in some high speed, and suddenly lame looking trails becomes a challenge. Avoiding trees around corners, controlling your tires from wiping out, and keeping your reflexes on high alert. Kind of like driving a curvy country road in your car at 140km per hour vs. the speed limit of 80. Get my drift???

    - Maintaining control on what seems like a rigid bike. After being used to riding a cushy sofa bike, the hard tail bike will make even the smallest bumps, rocks, roots, and roller coaster berms feel like they were much bigger. And then riding these at high speed, you will find that bike bucking and bouncing all over the place as you fight to maintain control. You will spend less time on the saddle and more time time on your pedals, with a death grip on the handlebar.

    - Wilder downhill runs. Go down what you consider a mild downhill run (with rocks, gravel, bumps, etc.). So how did that feel on a hard tail. Pretty scary, yes?

  8. #8
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    Pssst.....don't tell anyone

    I normally ride a 3x3 bike because my 45 year old back can't take my hard tail very often.
    We are blessed with great single-track here in Ontario which the folks of B.C. envy, so I thought there could be something for those freeriders to think about before they call that same single-track "lame".

  9. #9
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    busted! heh

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricksom
    I normally ride a 3x3 bike because my 45 year old back can't take my hard tail very often.
    We are blessed with great single-track here in Ontario which the folks of B.C. envy, so I thought there could be something for those freeriders to think about before they call that same single-track "lame".
    hey, if you want to put a good 200+ team for one of the 24hrs events next summer, count me in... i have a team for the chicoracing opener in June, but anything else is wide open... oh, yes... i am 41... 4x4 is just perfect for what i am talking about...

  10. #10

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    I hear ya, Ricksom

    It's hard to please the kids these days! I've never seen anyone on this board call Ravenashoe, Hardwood, Albion, Durham, Glen Major, Mansfield, 3 Stages, The Don, or Kelso lame, though...maybe I missed it. I know one thing: once you try riding over 30kmh down an extremely tight and technical singletrack DH run on a confidence inspiring full sprung 7", and just having a blast and smoking stuff you never thought possible, you might no doubt become displeased with a trail that offers you anything less. I'm extremely jealous of those Montrealers, XCers and DHers, who call Bromont their local, nevermind the BC boys.
    Cheers,
    Gabe
    Quote Originally Posted by Ricksom
    I normally ride a 3x3 bike because my 45 year old back can't take my hard tail very often.
    We are blessed with great single-track here in Ontario which the folks of B.C. envy, so I thought there could be something for those freeriders to think about before they call that same single-track "lame".

  11. #11

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    well, I have my Kona Shred, and I do all the trails around here that I can find... I find it really hard to keep up with an average speed of 20 Km/h, because of all the hills.. But then again, I just started to bike a few months ago... My bike is hardtail with 4" forks, going to be 6" as soon as I can get the money fotr them... I still do lots of Freeride though... I do 4" drops, dirt jumps, and all the like... I have not found any true downhill yet, the only downhill I have done is a ski hill. flew down it doing 40 KM/h all the way down.

    My friend tried to follow me down on his supercycle, and he now has a broken wrist, and a fractured elbow....

  12. #12
    I already rode that
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    Quote Originally Posted by lambhead
    Challenge yourself dude. Do "coffee run" or any of radical @ hardwood on a full susser. .

    Last time I did coffee run at hardwood they changed it and made it easier but that was like 4 years ago.....

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