Riding tips for MTB Noobs

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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:18 am

I keep panicking and grabbing too much rear brake. :oops:
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by BNA » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:44 pm

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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:44 pm

trailgumby wrote:I keep panicking and grabbing too much rear brake. :oops:


Hmmm - can't say I blame you. It does feel very strange. Might try the downhill slope "rolling manual" as in the Youtube video and see how that goes first.

I'd quite like to be able to do a short manual for step-downs and feel comfortable about it. Won't help in the mud though (my nemesis).
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:49 pm

It's a bit hard to describe what I do with step-downs, but I'll have a go: If I've got the room in the landing zone and it's a single step-down, I'll accelerate up to pace and lift the bike up and forward in a kind of forward throwing action with a slight forward roll of the wrists just as I run off the lip. The idea is to project the bike forward and keep it level in flight so that I land both wheels at the same time.

There's a nasty one running into 19th Hole at Manly Dam that catches so many people out... they go too slow and drop a front wheel into a set of eroded-out tree roots, and it often doesn't end well.

I managed to do a PB around Manly Dam today... 41:38, after a warm-up/sighting-in lap of 42:27. It was a pleasant surprise, especially since midweek training has consisted almost entirely of spin classes for the last month. Imagine if I was actually fit! ;)

The bike just seemed to flow really well especially over the singletrack sections. Dunno if the track was easier today or if it was me... maybe the core strength stuff I've been doing for my lower back rehab has helped with bike control? It felt really good.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:06 pm

trailgumby wrote:The bike just seemed to flow really well especially over the singletrack sections. Dunno if the track was easier today or if it was me... maybe the core strength stuff I've been doing for my lower back rehab has helped with bike control? It felt really good.


I like that word "flow" - that's certainly what it feels like to me when you're sighting the track well. Although, perhaps, you know the track (subconsciously) and have tuned it in, like a video game where you know where the traps/bad guys are about to jump out 8)

There's definitely something to the core strength thing though - I am hopeless at the moment as I broke my jogging/running partner and I can feel my mid section getting soft just out of not running for 6 weeks. Must get back into it. I feel like my road racing is suffering from all the MTB shenanigans too which is a bummer.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby jheeno » Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:27 pm

trailgumby wrote:I keep panicking and grabbing too much rear brake. :oops:

i am still learning too but i get more confidence watching others

here's some clips for you

(I think they're going too slow ... they can easily clear it by going faster and lifting the front instead of letting it fall)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxwM4t2kuyU
like this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtR_7PAfIdw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH7neVwC ... re=related


(@0:27 is the technique I want to perfect)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIUilbOQ ... re=related

this guy ... well thought of tutorial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzbRI6qC ... re=related
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby jheeno » Sun Sep 25, 2011 1:27 pm

trailgumby wrote:I keep panicking and grabbing too much rear brake. :oops:

i am still learning too but i get more confidence watching others

here's some clips for you

(I think they're going too slow ... they can easily clear it by going faster and lifting the front instead of letting it fall)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxwM4t2kuyU
like this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtR_7PAfIdw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GH7neVwC ... re=related


(@0:27 is the technique I want to perfect)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIUilbOQ ... re=related

this guy ... well thought of tutorial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzbRI6qC ... re=related

Manly Dam - I'm sure you would have already seen these
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzkj7sO2 ... re=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl-uyzh5 ... ure=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkKHsw2f ... ure=relmfu
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby lucifuge » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:15 am

I'm fairly new to mtb-ing and have hit Stromlo/Kowen in the ACT about 10 times all up. During this time I've learnt a lot, mainly by making mistakes. I'd like to point out two findings that I'm not sure have been mentioned and I feel are important/interesting:

1. Flats vs clipless.

At the end of the day this is totally a personal preference based on many things. My experience has been interesting. I started with clipless and it was quite unnerving when I was about to fall, or, wanted to quickly get off the bike due to some upcoming technical terrain. I persevered, but always questioned if using them was a good idea. About a week ago, I replaced them with decent quality flats with the raised metal screws for grip. I hit Stromlo again and I noticed two things very quickly with the flats; (i) after even minor elevation changes when the bike would re-settle I noticed my feet position kept moving on the pedals. This was dangerous in that I had to look down to correct the pedalling position. I tried to be mindful of it recurring, but with everything going on around you its near impossible to stop. (ii) I was hitting so many more things with the flats!! They must extend wider than the clipless. This was seriously disrupting the bike and it was unpleasant. I immediately returned to clipless and rode next day. The improvement was dramatic. So much better. In short, the fear of being clipped in (and all that is associated with that) was far less an evil than using the flats. Not trying to convert anyone on basis of my experience, but I have to say I was very surprised. The experiment in itself has boosted my confidence interestingly.


2. Body geometry

I had noticed that in a number of situations that my front wheel had always felt quite twitchy. I simply blew this thought away by assuming my bike (a 2009 Giant Anthem X1) was a fairly edgy bike and I had to get used to it. Naturally, my speed has increased with each run and I was finding the situation with the wheel twitchy continued. What I've learnt from a friend since, is that my body balance on the bike was more upright than it should have been so I was effectively imbalanced with more weight towards the rear. But more importantly, I had LESS on the front, so my front wheel was light and wandering in certain situations. Now this is important; as my seat was basically at the correct height relative to my pedalling stroke, I needed to lower the handlebars. This was done by reversing the order of the gooseneck sleeves with the handlebars so that now, they are all above the bars and I am correctly balanced with adequate downward pressure on the handlebars which gives my front wheel the force it needed. This is not something that is intuitive to an amateur and i hope it helps others fine tune their body geometry.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Nobody » Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:58 am

lucifuge wrote:I'm fairly new to mtb-ing and have hit Stromlo/Kowen in the ACT about 10 times all up. During this time I've learnt a lot, mainly by making mistakes. I'd like to point out two findings that I'm not sure have been mentioned and I feel are important/interesting:

1. Flats vs clipless.

At the end of the day this is totally a personal preference based on many things. My experience has been interesting. I started with clipless and it was quite unnerving when I was about to fall, or, wanted to quickly get off the bike due to some upcoming technical terrain. I persevered, but always questioned if using them was a good idea. About a week ago, I replaced them with decent quality flats with the raised metal screws for grip. I hit Stromlo again and I noticed two things very quickly with the flats; (i) after even minor elevation changes when the bike would re-settle I noticed my feet position kept moving on the pedals. This was dangerous in that I had to look down to correct the pedalling position. I tried to be mindful of it recurring, but with everything going on around you its near impossible to stop. (ii) I was hitting so many more things with the flats!! They must extend wider than the clipless. This was seriously disrupting the bike and it was unpleasant. I immediately returned to clipless and rode next day. The improvement was dramatic. So much better. In short, the fear of being clipped in (and all that is associated with that) was far less an evil than using the flats. Not trying to convert anyone on basis of my experience, but I have to say I was very surprised. The experiment in itself has boosted my confidence interestingly.
All this says is you haven't spent the required riding every couple of days to get used to them and know the different techniques to get the best out of them. Like you need to drop your heels to get the best out of them for grip. Bunny hopping requires a different technique as listed above. I went from SPDs to flats, then have swapped back and forth at different times. The main thing I can say is, as the terrain gets more slow and technical, you'll value these pedals more. Exits are cleaner and faster which gives confidence. I haven't seen the trials guys using SPDs yet.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Mugglechops » Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:12 pm

drubie wrote:
trailgumby wrote:The bike just seemed to flow really well especially over the singletrack sections. Dunno if the track was easier today or if it was me... maybe the core strength stuff I've been doing for my lower back rehab has helped with bike control? It felt really good.


I like that word "flow" - that's certainly what it feels like to me when you're sighting the track well. Although, perhaps, you know the track (subconsciously) and have tuned it in, like a video game where you know where the traps/bad guys are about to jump out 8)

There's definitely something to the core strength thing though - I am hopeless at the moment as I broke my jogging/running partner and I can feel my mid section getting soft just out of not running for 6 weeks. Must get back into it. I feel like my road racing is suffering from all the MTB shenanigans too which is a bummer.



I think this guy knows how to "Flow" :D I wish I had 1/1000th of his skills.

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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby bjeck14 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:12 pm

Thanks to everyone who posted in this thread - some seriously good tips in here.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:42 pm

Any ride longer than two hours - you're gonna need magnesium and some sort of food. My Little Pony fruit snacks are not a decent substitute. Watched my team mate enter the hurt box today (cramps, fatigue) on a big test ride today, it was pitiful. Sure, it was the first time he'd done 50+ km on some truly horrifying climbs, but it's easy for an experienced rider to forget just how much work over the years has gone into a body that can take that kind of punishment.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:56 am

Yep, 50+ km is a good way to find all the shortcomings on your fitness levels and nutrition strategy. :wink:

I have a work mate who is technically much more proficient than I, and outclimbs me easily at the start of the ride, but I always put him in the hurt box big time on the climbs back out in the second half of the ride. He usually just throws a Gatorade bottle on the bike and doesn't bother eating anything. I don't think he helps himself much there.

Weather permiting, you should both do the same ride next weekend, and this time keep up adequate nutrition during the ride. You should see a significant improvement from the effects of both the previous week's ride and better fuelling. Then, take it easy the following weekend and recover. Rinse and repeat. 8)

Can't remember if you took me up on the offer of those training program and nutrition articles by Mark Fenner? Seriously, they work well.
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:01 pm

trailgumby wrote:Can't remember if you took me up on the offer of those training program and nutrition articles by Mark Fenner? Seriously, they work well.


I wish I had!

We're out of time - had planned another big ride two weeks ago but various pressures on each of our time prevented it. We are not doing the 90, will cut back to the 70km race as really only one member of the team looks certain to finish the 90 before the cutoff (hint, it isn't me). I feel bad for him but hey, there's always next year and it's probably best to scope out the "easy" bit of the course before committing to the full distance.

We've got a better idea of what works now (I'm pretty much sticking to my 100km road race strategy for fuelling) although I think that 2 litre hydro pack I bought isn't quite enough if it's a really hot day. Really appreciated the bottle of sweet stuff in the bidon cage though - was a lifesaver.

I ended up surprising myself a bit on the super technical climbs too - ratcheting up stuff, keeping the weight balance right etc. Mud still unnerves me but I'm confident I can climb just about anything. Our beaten up team mate (who looked seriously sorry for himself yesterday) was surprisingly bright today, so I reckon an easy week will finish him off nicely - I got 15 years on him, I think he should be able to recover better than me!
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:27 pm

Good luck :D When's the event?
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:55 pm

trailgumby wrote:Good luck :D When's the event?


Sunday the 30th - I'm gagging for it!
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby hungrypizza11 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 10:02 pm

Any quick tips for a noob like me? Started MBing the local tracks lately up the mountain etc, great fun but a little nerving when you aren't used to it.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:47 pm

Quick tips:
1: Start at Page 1 of this thread
2: When you have read all the posts, click the "next page" icon
3: Repeat Step 2 until end

:mrgreen:
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby hungrypizza11 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 7:46 pm

trailgumby wrote:Quick tips:
1: Start at Page 1 of this thread
2: When you have read all the posts, click the "next page" icon
3: Repeat Step 2 until end

:mrgreen:

Lol sooo many posts though :oops:
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:04 pm

hungrypizza11 wrote:
trailgumby wrote:Quick tips:
1: Start at Page 1 of this thread
2: When you have read all the posts, click the "next page" icon
3: Repeat Step 2 until end

:mrgreen:

Lol sooo many posts though :oops:


But well worth it.

2 freebies for you tho'...
1) Relax.
2) Look at where you want to go, not what you want to avoid.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:31 pm

A hangover is not a good place to be if you're starting a 70km MTB ride. Especially if you can't keep anything down.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby silentbutdeadly » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:46 pm

drubie wrote:Sunday the 30th - I'm gagging for it!


drubie wrote:A hangover is not a good place to be if you're starting a 70km MTB ride. Especially if you can't keep anything down.


So you were actually gagging for it! Very impressed!
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby drubie » Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:04 pm

silentbutdeadly wrote:So you were actually gagging for it! Very impressed!


I'm not - I mean the night before was lots of fun but if you can't drink or eat, you run out of energy very quickly. One vanilla gel set me off and the whole system just shut down. It wasn't until I chundered for the last time that I finally was able to sip enough water to limp to the finish. Unbelievably stupid. Fun, but stupid.

Plus, I broke a spoke and cracked the bridge on my forks.
So we get the leaders we deserve and we elect, we get the companies and the products that we ask for, right? And we have to ask for different things. – Paul Gilding
but really, that's rubbish. We get none of it because the choices are illusory.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby trailgumby » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:12 pm

An olde, but a goodie:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7dnXiNBDXE&feature=g-vrec&context=G2d1731cRVAAAAAAAAAQ[/youtube]
"People have a right to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight." -- James W Loewen

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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Jan 29, 2012 2:35 am

Watch and repeat...you might need to rinse afterwards as well :P ...I get goosebumps watching it.
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Re: Riding tips for MTB Noobs

Postby Gabe » Sun Jan 29, 2012 12:56 pm

Bloody hell! Even if it had been dry that would have been an impressive run, but in the wet.... :?
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