Hilton Falls first ride of the year- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hilton Falls first ride of the year

    I went to Hilton Falls for my first ride of the year on Saturday. It was cold in the morning, but otherwise a great riding day. I brought my Inbred SS rigid bike geared at 32:20.

    It is true, Hilton Falls has no climbs. If you stick to the easier routes (like the routes for the Hilton Falls time trials), you would be better off 32:16 because much of the ride is flat fire roads.

    I was there for 3 hours and I tried almost all trails. When Hilton Falls puts a black diamond on their trails, expect real challenging rocks. The 32:20 gearing was just right in many of those section. But they are ridable by an experienced rider.

    But when Hilton Falls puts a double black (like on the Bent Rim trail) they are not kidding. Ryan Leech would have trouble staying on the bike on that freaking trail. That was one of the most difficult/frustrating trails I ever rode. I just don't see how one can be clean on that trail without expert trials skills.

    Anyway, all my winter training paid off big. After 3 hours (riding a rigid) I felt fine. Even my wrists and arms are OK, despite some real rough going on those damned rocks.

    But Hilton Falls falls somewhat short of a place like Albion Hills. Albion is a climber's paradise, while Hilton is flat and either very easy or very hard (super rocky). In Albion you can test your general XC riding skills, in Hilton you can test your technical/trials skills, but little else. I can see however, the attraction to the Hilton Falls times trial race.

    Anyway, I am not ready to give a more detailed review to my new On One SS. For now, I am simply blown away by how forgiving steel can be. Sorry for rambling on. In the end it was simply fantastic to be back on a mountain bike after a winter of spinning my brains out. I miss skiing, but biking outdoors certainly makes up for it.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SS
    RM Suzi Q 90 RSL
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by serious

    But when Hilton Falls puts a double black (like on the Bent Rim trail) they are not kidding. Ryan Leech would have trouble staying on the bike on that freaking trail. That was one of the most difficult/frustrating trails I ever rode. I just don't see how one can be clean on that trail without expert [b
    trials[/b] skills.
    The more you try it the easier it gets, I know a couple of mortals who can clean it, but not on a rigid single speed, 6 inchs of travel and gears seems to be prefrable.

    Sorry you didn't like it compared to albion, I am the exact opposite, I'd rather screw around on technical trails that climb up hills to see what shape my lungs are in. but to each his own.
    it tied the room together man!

  3. #3
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    i appreciate the review. hilton is on my list for this season as i am looking for a more technical place to ride. i dont expect it to top albion for me but as i travel it is obvious i am no technical rider...
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  4. #4
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    nogearshere,

    In Albion I normally ride the full black loop one or twice (and you probably know that a single loop comes to almost 24km if you take every section). The challenge is in the "conditioning" department, not so much in the "technical skills" department. Hilton Falls is somewhat the opposite. Conditioning does not have to be top notch to enjoy the place, but some of the single track has enough rocks to humble many riders. I think you will find some of the single track quite challenging but doable - except Bent Rim, which kicked by butt.

    cdn-clyde,

    I don't doubt that there are riders who can clean Bent Rim, but not yours truly. I now realize that I only did the section between the fire road (Beaver Dam Trail) and the reservoir. And I did it in the wrong direction. I have no idea what the other section is like. If it has bridges and skinnies and "north shore" stuff, then it is definitely not for me. I stop at nasty rocks.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SS
    RM Suzi Q 90 RSL
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  5. #5
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    The problem I have with Hilton Falls as you all mention is that it goes to both extemes. From super-easy wide gravel footpaths to rock gardens that are basically a trials course. There is very little in between. However, the stuff in between is very good, albeit flat.

    The map they give you is not updated and their is lots of other trails that are not that easy to find. I got hopeless lost in the fall, and ended up at the Flamborough race track. Nothing on the map and no signs to help.
    It's only pain......

  6. #6

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    They are open already? Wow.. I should make a trip up there since I get to ride for free.

  7. #7
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    Oh my god... that bent rim trail! I tried it last year with a buddy... I would love to see someone clean that. It just goes on and on and on. All I ended up with was a broken derailleur hanger. Then again, I was trying to do it in my crappy Trek hardtail

  8. #8
    I already rode that
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    Sounds fun. I'll have to ask my chauffuer to take me there sometime this year. Anyone know how long bent rim trail was there? Been a couple years since I was rode halton falls so I was just wondering if maybe I rode it before or not.

  9. #9
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    Bent rim trail has been there since I've been riding there 2000 ish, and recently the folks at wow and frewheelin bikes from durham did some work on bent rim to tame it some. Most obvious bit was by the bridge on the lower half, its much mor flowing now.

    A nice comprimise between bent rim and the double track is 5 bridges and the area west of the falls still rocky but not so bad, and rolls like a little rollercoaster I find it super fun, but I also regularly attempt Bent Rim, getting closer to cleaning some sections, way far from the nutteir stuff
    it tied the room together man!

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