Tips on descending safely

UK2004 Posts: 137
edited September 2010 in MTB general
Not had a fall for a long while but took a wallop today! Wanted to do a hill for a while that starts at the top just near road so short roll up to it then bit rooty at top almost a small dropp off just below the top then a 25 foot or so down the hill. I came past the drop bit and suddenly the bike was somewhere else i flew off sideways and had to use my arm to break my fall instead of flying down the hill, consequently arm and leg cut up, did the one nearly same height nearbye but no rooty drop bit at the top, am I right in thinking it's a mental thing that must attack it with some speed and not touch the brakes?


  • cavegiant
    cavegiant Posts: 1,546
    ok, you might want to phrase your question a bit clearer.

    for general tips you can get anywhere, your weight should be lower than you think and keep light on the bike.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?
  • UK2004
    UK2004 Posts: 137
    Sorry should of put the question part better, essentially want tips on going down steep hills that have a rooty bit or drop off at top and bit of a curve.
  • cavegiant
    cavegiant Posts: 1,546
    So you are going from a technical drop landing into a difficult corner?

    if you do find out how to do it, tell me, one of my main issues is with those.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?
  • cooldad
    cooldad Posts: 32,599
    I don't do smileys.

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  • Beardface
    Beardface Posts: 5,495
    Keep your weight back.. over the back wheel, should save nose-diving!

    Lower your saddle, so that it doesn't get in the way/hit the jewels.. also helps with the weight over the back issue.

    Cover the brakes.. ideally the back one, for obvious reasons.

    If you're unsure, walk the run first, to get an idea of what the trail is like, where the trail turns, any dips/jumps/roots are located etc.

    Again, if unsure, go at it slowly to start with, as cooldad says, practise makes perfect :)

    However, if it is has a hangover of roots, which leads into to a slight drop, you may not want to go too slow, as your front end might drop, causing you to go over the bars.. thats never fun!!

    Or, full face lid, body armour and a can of mtfu :lol:
  • UK2004
    UK2004 Posts: 137
    Unfortunately it's too steep to walk, I think you're right the overhang means I need some speed, need to take my helmet at least was stupid to try without, I applied brake a bit as got to the twisty bit and all went wrong there, I wonder as well if the tyre slips being 2.1 thickness maybe would be better with a more downhill focused tyre. I saw it done about 18 years ago so I think it is very much still doable by people of more skill than me!
  • Beardface
    Beardface Posts: 5,495
    Yea, practise will be the way forward then.. you're gonna fall off your bike at some point, so it may as well be trying something like that!! :lol:

    Also forgot to say, look where you want to be, not where you don't want to be. Looking at the tree at the bottom of the run will mean you'll end up wrapped around it.. :P
  • tsenior
    tsenior Posts: 664
    theres something simlar sounding near me, a small almost vertical drop where you bounce over some roots before a steep slope but a bit shorter -6-7m: mine then heads back up another bank opposite (its actually a profile through an old railway cutting).

    i had a bit of trouble on it at first as the roots would bounce me about putting me off-balance then i'd try and brake as i was heading down to try and regain controll and i'd loose it.

    IF there is a safe run out my advice is this:

    Seat down.
    Dont crawl over the lip, at least fast walking pace, attack position, weight back
    look at where you want to end up not at the roots
    dont touch the brakes, concentrate on holding your line.
  • mac_man
    mac_man Posts: 918
    I did a skills day recently... their advice was think of you and the bike as a glass of water. Basically when you move a glass of water around, the water always stays level. The similarity being that you always keep your centre of gravity down through the centre of the bike (ie the pedals/BB).

    So you should move your body back, (drop the seat down if it's really steep), but don't have your ass hanging out over the back wheel. This has the tendency to unweight the front end giving you less control. plus if your arms are at full stretch you won't be able to steer properly. Keep your momentum up and do any braking before you get to the obstacle. Don't brake when traversing the obstacle... your wheels can only do one thing at once ie you can't corner and brake at the same time.

    And keep your eyes on what's ahead... not what's right in front of you.
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  • UK2004
    UK2004 Posts: 137
    I think you summed up well what I felt happened, my ass was so far back that I had no control of the front end and it went very wrong! Out of interest anyone else ridden this it's at Spaniard's Heath, if you go through the narrow bit past the Spaniard's pub its a drop onto the heath direct from the road, the steepness changes very quick, past the initial steep one they are all very doable but the first one is the nasty one.
  • UK2004 wrote:
    need to take my helmet at least was stupid to try without

    That's the best comment in this thread.