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Thread: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

  1. #41
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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    I watched the RAD videos on the Joy of Bike YT Channel



    and then measured my mountain bike and dj. The mtn bike was a bit long and I have been wanting to try a shorter stem for a while so I ordered one. The dj bike's RAD is 25mm short. It seems like that is pretty good. Should I still be looking at taller bars?

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Sounds like you already want to try some new bars- doooo it.
    Buying and trying mtb bars is way more fun and less faffing with electrical tape than sampling drop bars, of course you should try something new!

    Don’t be afraid to cut whatever tall new bars you buy down right out of the packaging either.

    740mm or so is as wide as a bar can really be useful when you have a dirtjump-steep head angle.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Quote Originally Posted by rec head View Post
    I watched the RAD videos on the Joy of Bike YT Channel...
    ...and then measured my mountain bike and dj. The mtn bike was a bit long and I have been wanting to try a shorter stem for a while so I ordered one. The dj bike's RAD is 25mm short. It seems like that is pretty good. Should I still be looking at taller bars?
    From what i have experienced, and learned from Lee, if you are going to go plus/minus from RAD, shorter would be the way to go for DJ type situations. That said, 25mm feels like a lot to me.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    The fine folks at Burgtec dropped a 50mm rise bar for 4/20

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    I went out yesterday (Sunday) afternoon. Normally I avoid the trails at the busy times and I forgot how packed they can get. So yesterday's drill: No head on collisions went great. I didn't even come close to a crash. I tried to take it easy but do my best to flow through everything I could without using breaks. That went decently. In other sections I was going slow enough to space out a bit then see a "feature" aim for it and, well, I had to apologize to my rear rim a couple times. Not my best moments.

    Then with just 2 short sections left before the parking lot this guy comes around me (safely in a wide spot) going fasst. Finally, I have someone to follow that can crash head on into other riders for me. So I pick up the pace trying to catch him but he demolished me. I did feel good about getting a little closer in the tech sections.

    Oh, and I had a new 35mm stem to replace my 50. Not sure I really noticed a difference but it definitely wasn't the ride to evaluate such things.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Trails with people on them are the worst if you are trying to keep a calm head, especially bi-directional trail.

    Who here has local, directional bike-only feature rich trail in their local systems?
    If you do have some directional trail, is it always jam packed?

    For how much mtb has grown, trails to safely ride trail bikes like you see in the videos are few and far between.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    All the trails I regularly ride are open to horses, dogs, walkers, bikers and none are directional. I usually avoid them at the busy times. These trails service the entire Chicagoland area and there's only about 30 miles of single-track.

    AFAIK Kettle Morraine in Wisconsin has some directional trails but I think they are open to hikers.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Quote Originally Posted by suspectdevice View Post
    Trails with people on them are the worst if you are trying to keep a calm head, especially bi-directional trail.

    Who here has local, directional bike-only feature rich trail in their local systems?
    If you do have some directional trail, is it always jam packed?

    For how much mtb has grown, trails to safely ride trail bikes like you see in the videos are few and far between.
    We actually have this here in NE Ohio (a very underrated place to ride bikes). Most of our trail is marked directional and the most recent systems that have been built are bike only and feature rich, though somewhat lacking in epic features. Like there will be table tops, berms, skinies, rocks to launch off of, etc. and even some jump lines. but we don't have the elaborate northcoast style wooden features or just massive features in general. everything is very much rollable. but we do have fun stuff to ride.

    The breakdown is basically machine built vs hand built. The machine built trails are jam packed with riders. Last night I rolled into the lot at 6:30 and there were 100 other cars. Reports from friends were a similar story at the other trail network ten miles north. These trails are directional (one alternates by day) and it's strictly adhered to so trail conflicts are minimal. if I want to flow on the bike or be a little bit more social this is where I go. It's especially nice that the one trailhead is a 20 minute pedal from my house.

    the older trail systems are all hand built and it's a different story there. some of them don't have great drainage (our soil is mostly clay) so they aren't open yet from our recent snowfall (last week). most of them are directional but it varies from something that's strictly adhered to (good luck trying to ride certain sections of Vulture's Knob backwards) to more of a suggestion (the last half of the big state park loop). but all of this stuff is open to hikers so you have to be used to keeping your head up. the trails near the city tend to be much busier than the ones in the hinterlands.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Quote Originally Posted by suspectdevice View Post
    Who here has local, directional bike-only feature rich trail in their local systems?
    If you do have some directional trail, is it always jam packed?
    We have a mix of bi-directional, and directional here in the Bentonville area, with more moving towards directional every year. This is a major point of discussion for anyone in the trail planning/designing/building community.

    This is from last night's drops practice. In the spirit of progression, nothing calms the adult lizard brain like “reps” (time under task). Lots o reps in the controlled environment as I scale it up on the trail.
    IMG_9997.jpg

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    I guess i should redirect this back to skills. Doing trackstand practice has really helped me out with low speed balance. When i'm coming up on slower or stopped riders on the trail I'm better able to just relax while they move to let me pass, say something encouraging, and get back on my way. I still can't find the pedal pressure consistently and I'm not comfortable with the backwards roll to keep the bike in one spot if I do overshoot it, but it was a worthwhile time investment. Once I find the balance point I can hold it for 15-20 seconds which is all I realistically need.

    drops are the next thing I want to work on. the problem I'm having is finding spots to get comfortable with in a safe progression. I'm comfortable rolling off curbs with good technique. I'm also happy with how I'm doing on the rollable drops on the local loop. but those are roughly 24" with a nice enough transition that you can't screw it up too badly. the jump to the 4 footer with a less good transition seems just a bridge too far at the moment.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Quote Originally Posted by zachateseverything View Post
    drops are the next thing I want to work on. the problem I'm having is finding spots to get comfortable with in a safe progression. I'm comfortable rolling off curbs with good technique. I'm also happy with how I'm doing on the rollable drops on the local loop. but those are roughly 24" with a nice enough transition that you can't screw it up too badly. the jump to the 4 footer with a less good transition seems just a bridge too far at the moment.
    This is key. Good technique applied in a controlled environment of increasing level of drops.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Quote Originally Posted by suspectdevice View Post
    Trails with people on them are the worst if you are trying to keep a calm head, especially bi-directional trail.

    Who here has local, directional bike-only feature rich trail in their local systems?
    If you do have some directional trail, is it always jam packed?

    For how much mtb has grown, trails to safely ride trail bikes like you see in the videos are few and far between.
    We have a few options for directional trail systems. There's a suggested direction at least and it's 99% adhered to. There is one trail that's a little hairy, bench cut and you can hit 30+ on the straights that seems to attract the occasional hiker and let me tell you...coming around a corner to see someone walking up trail is a true load your pants moment. Generally it's pretty great that even when the parking lot is jamming, you don't often come across people on the singletrack save for the one chunky area where most people get off and walk.
    Sean Chaney
    www.vertigocycles.com
    a peek behind the curtain

  13. #53
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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    We definitely don't have the drop progression. I'm afraid of drops because I never do them. Rolling of picnic tables won't be happening.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Quote Originally Posted by rec head View Post
    We definitely don't have the drop progression. I'm afraid of drops because I never do them. Rolling of picnic tables won't be happening.
    Rolling off picnic tables, or loading docks, etc, sounds like hell to me. Last night's 6' drop to a proper landing was like butter, and only gets smoother with more speed.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Our local trails are a total mess, lots of non directional trails, not many miles either, and tons of walkers on some. Then add in 100+ NICA riders most times and it's a bit crazy.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Quote Originally Posted by jscottyk View Post
    This is key. Good technique applied in a controlled environment of increasing level of drops.
    yeah, I might just table it for the winter if I don't find a goldilocks drop on one of the other trails. there's a nice feature at Ray's that I could session.

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    I'm heading to Flagstaff next Friday where I'll probably just do Soldier's Loop because of the time frame. Lots of turns through the woods with some fast sections, most people do clockwise, but I have a bell that rings constantly when unlocked. Sedona on Saturday and Sunday, good visibility down the trail, much better.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbill View Post
    ...I have a bell that rings constantly when unlocked.
    This. We have lots of blind spots, and nothing beats a proper "ding ding" as one approaches.

  19. #59
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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    ^^^ Thanks for the reminder. I need to get one of those bells for my mtb.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: What mountain bike skills are you working on?

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    ^^^ Thanks for the reminder. I need to get one of those bells for my mtb.
    I have one of these. https://www.universalcycles.com/shop...10&category=70
    Weight Doper

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