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XC to DH begginer

jonniorrelljonniorrell Posts: 43
edited January 2013 in MTB beginners
Hi everyone
Looking for some advice i currently ride a ghost 5700 full sus for going round trail centres etc but i have found myself looking for jumps drop offs and steep downhill as only going to xc trail centres i dont really get anything to extreme and obviously my bike would probably suffer at a main downhill site. im just wondering how to train myself ready for downhill riding i dont want to buy an expensive rig to find myself unable to get over the learning curve could anyone give me some advice on how they started in the downhill scene as i never seem to see anyone learning :roll: . i live in bolton so any good learning sights or people willing to teach me would be appreciated :mrgreen: cheers guys.
Always take spare socks!!
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  • querhochquerhoch Posts: 111
    we're all learning all the time. the standard response is that you have to start small and work up to the big stuff. some people never get over The Fear, but you'll never know if youre one of them until you try. I know riders who will happily attack a 5ft drop then back out of a 6 footer. its all in the mind.

    A complete disregard for your own personal safety is a bonus, but not a must have, for DH. if you approach stuff with the same mindset as you would on an XC bike then youre going to run into trouble. you cant pick your way through a DH route, you have to commit to it and hit it as hard and as fast as you dare. youre going to get hurt, hopefully not too badly, so armour is absolutely essential. the best thing to do is to go to your nearest trail centre or locally built trails and just talk to the people there. fitness is important too, but not as important (IMO) as explosive power and upper body strength. DH trails are physically very demanding but, thankfully, usually not that long. A 5 minute DH will take as much out of you as a 20k xc loop i reckon, although its impossible to quantify due to the many variables. if youve been doing xc loops then you ought to be pretty fit already, so you might just need to work on your strength and learning how to handle a big heavy bike at speed, which will only come with practice and you should only practice on tyhe small stuff and work your way up to your own level. (see above)

    the most important advice I can give is that you should never, ever, EVER give in to peer pressure and try something youre not ready for or sure of. if you dont want to hit that gap/drop/jump then dont. you dont get extra points for breaking your neck.

    actually, thats the second most important thing, the most is to have fun and dont worry too much.
  • thanks for the advice querhoch my closest down hill centre is bout an hour away in leeds so my aim was to go with my xc bike and chat to a few of the riders but hear it would be a waste of time taking it. i used to ride motocross thats why i feel xc is not giving me the right buzz ive found a few 4 footers that didnt seem to faze me i suppose the only way is to try it out just need to get a decent rig.
    Always take spare socks!!
  • querhochquerhoch Posts: 111
    you ought to buy a saracen myst pro, theyre really good DH bikes and you can get a 2012 one for about £1400. a lot like the one Im selling as it happens.
  • haha like your sales pitch i will take a look and get back to you thanks
    Always take spare socks!!
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    querhoch wrote:
    the most important advice I can give is that you should never, ever, EVER give in to peer pressure and try something youre not ready for or sure of. if you dont want to hit that gap/drop/jump then dont. you dont get extra points for breaking your neck.

    Over the years I have observed that chaps tend to be a bit worse at the whole personal risk-assessment thing than girls (or that girls are more oblivious to peer pressure).... On my very slow and rubbish dabblings with the odd DH trail it's more often than not the girls who give the odd drop a miss or walk down a sections first, whereas the chaps tend to give it a go anyway - sometimes clear it, and sometimes land in a snotty heap. Not sure which is the better technique but just an obervation!

    I see it all the time but it's more obvious on DH trails.
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    I must be a large proportion of girl then. I often ride round things, and take chicken runs.
    Now I feel so inadequate.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    But the best riders I know are very cautious. Faced with a serious obstacle, they study it, maybe walk it, think about it, decide on speed, lines and landing points, maybe even do a few run ups.
    The heroic types doing Red Bull Rampage and suchlike don't just head off from the top blind and hope for the best.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • miss notaxmiss notax Posts: 2,823
    I would also like to add that my post is a huge generalisation!
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away....

    Riding a gorgeous ano orange Turner Burner!

    Sponsor the CC2CC at http://www.justgiving.com/cc2cc
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,904
    Those are the best sort of generalisations.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    miss notax wrote:
    or that girls are more oblivious to peer pressure
    Maybe when it comes to riding.....

    When it comes to clothes, hair, makeup etc Peer pressure is king!

    (OK generalisation, my elder daughter never gave a stuff and just rode her MTB, the younger is the complete opposite except she still has an MTB!)
  • anj132anj132 Posts: 299
    thanks for the advice querhoch my closest down hill centre is bout an hour away in leeds so my aim was to go with my xc bike and chat to a few of the riders but hear it would be a waste of time taking it.

    Just go with what you've got. Some DH runs/lines may require a burlier bike but give it a go and see how you get on. You can always put a shorter stem on, wider bars, DH tyres on the bike to make it more suitable. I wouldn't not go because you don't have a DH bike. read this re: short travel etc...

    If you really want to get into DH after messing around for a while then it would make sense to get a DH bike but an AM bike would probably suffice unless you wanted to get into racing.

    Pad up as you will come off at some point. Go down the full face route, it's better to get one before learning by experience. (As I have found out in my own experience :( !)

    As for learning skills...
    It's generally best to hang out with people who are interested in doing the same sort of riding. Meeting said people could be a case of turning up at the local DH woods/trails and just chatting with some locals they might offer some tips. I've meet people this way and there is usually a few local facebook pages and groups for certain areas/tracks and types of riders.

    Generally best practice to go riding out with someone though at least in case you do have a bad off.

    A skills course at some point down the line wouldn't hurt if you want to progress further/quicker (subjective).

    A good skill books such as Lee McCormack can help point you in the right direction. There was a half decent dvd out there as well, think it was called 'flow like a pro'(?)
  • good advice anj132 i put dh bars and tyres on already just due to me hitting whatever hills i come across i think a trip to a dh track is in order ive bin out today doing drop offs and jumps and unfortunatly the ghost came off worst for wear with two buckled tyres. i will defo check out the book to cheers :D also women seem to be alot clever at the whole danger aspect by actually looking at things before doing them im a typical young bloke and try before i study :usually ending in a FAIL . cheers for your comments guys gives me a clearer view of what i need to do. :mrgreen:
    Always take spare socks!!
  • great link anj132 just had a read and makes alot of sense cheers
    Always take spare socks!!
  • was http://fluidride.com/fluidride-like-a-pro/ the dvd you were thinking of?
  • anj132anj132 Posts: 299
    yeah that was the dvd
  • Thanks for the link ;)
    Always take spare socks!!
  • I went on my first DH track on sat, I have a Santa Cruz Heckler which is classed as an AM bike, i wouldn't bother getting a DH bike unless i felt my bike was holding me back, at the moment it's my ability that needs to improve and not the bikes! There's a couple of drops and some jumps on the track and the bike didnt struggle takling any of it
  • Rambo_123Rambo_123 Posts: 183
    anj132 wrote:
    read this

    The video is quality! Cant wait till i show it to my friend who has a DH rig. I don't think he has ventured much further than the moray monster trails and I can keep up with him on my 120mm travel hardtail with half the effort when climbing! :D
  • If you're near Bolton try going to Farmer John's DH in Marple near Stockport, I wouldn't really call it full on dh and there's plenty of people who ride there on all mountain bikes. a plus side is that everything is rollable and yet there's somethings that can be 5 ft + drops if you want to go for it. It's really great for progressing your riding
  • fyldesmurf wrote:
    If you're near Bolton try going to Farmer John's DH in Marple near Stockport, I wouldn't really call it full on dh and there's plenty of people who ride there on all mountain bikes. a plus side is that everything is rollable and yet there's somethings that can be 5 ft + drops if you want to go for it. It's really great for progressing your riding
    Cheers for that thats perfect just the kind of thing im looking for :wink:
    Always take spare socks!!
  • I went on my first DH track on sat, I have a Santa Cruz Heckler which is classed as an AM bike, i wouldn't bother getting a DH bike unless i felt my bike was holding me back, at the moment it's my ability that needs to improve and not the bikes! There's a couple of drops and some jumps on the track and the bike didnt struggle takling any of it
    Yeah im the same as you i dont feel its holding me back i just dont want to trash it ive already had to replace both rims due to bad buckiling .. but as you say its more my ability as i have little experiance of the big stuff
    Always take spare socks!!
  • fyldesmurf wrote:
    If you're near Bolton try going to Farmer John's DH in Marple near Stockport, I wouldn't really call it full on dh and there's plenty of people who ride there on all mountain bikes. a plus side is that everything is rollable and yet there's somethings that can be 5 ft + drops if you want to go for it. It's really great for progressing your riding
    Can you ride midweek as i hear you have to pay to go on?
    Always take spare socks!!
  • DodgeTDodgeT Posts: 2,255
    You have to pay no matter what day you go.

    Have a think about Gisburn Forest. There's the Hope line which is good for practising flowy jumps, tabletops, then there's the downhill/drops area (all around the leap of faith) and there's plenty of decent sized stuff there to practise on.
  • .blitz.blitz Posts: 6,588
    i just dont want to trash it
    As you've found out, trail bikes have a lifetime measured in minutes when used for DH duties. You can use them but it's not really DH its 'rolling down hills' and unless you enjoy rebuilding your bike after every run a big bike is a much more useful tool.

    Slack angles and tough components that you can rely on take your riding to the next level and give you the confidence to hit things harder and faster than you would on a trial bike. Save the trail bike for the trails you won't regret it.
  • fyldesmurf wrote:
    If you're near Bolton try going to Farmer John's DH in Marple near Stockport, I wouldn't really call it full on dh and there's plenty of people who ride there on all mountain bikes. a plus side is that everything is rollable and yet there's somethings that can be 5 ft + drops if you want to go for it. It's really great for progressing your riding
    Can you ride midweek as i hear you have to pay to go on?

    Yeah it tends to be open all year round unless they're preparing for a race, and seeing as the next one's in October I reckon you'll be fine :p you do have to pay, i think it's a fiver for non members or £35 if you want to become a member which allows you to ride all year round for free. Have a look at http://www.facebook.com/fj.mtb?ref=ts&fref=ts for all the info :D
  • or this for a laugh... don't let it put you off though, you'd be very unlucky for it to be that wet :phttp://www.pinkbike.com/video/264470/
  • .blitz wrote:
    . Save the trail bike for the trails you won't regret it.
    Thats my plan really as i would still like to do both its just money at the moment as i dont want to get a fr or dh rig till im sure thats the route i want to go down


    Ive bin gisburn a few times but might be worth a trip down now with more Dh riding in mind cheers :lol:
    and Cheers flydesmurf for info... :)
    Always take spare socks!!
  • fyldesmurf wrote:
    or this for a laugh... don't let it put you off though, you'd be very unlucky for it to be that wet :phttp://www.pinkbike.com/video/264470/
    that fat guy about a minute in made me cry with laughter he jus had no chance from the start :lol::lol::lol:
    Always take spare socks!!
  • fyldesmurf wrote:
    or this for a laugh... don't let it put you off though, you'd be very unlucky for it to be that wet :phttp://www.pinkbike.com/video/264470/
    that fat guy about a minute in made me cry with laughter he jus had no chance from the start :lol::lol::lol:

    That would have been Si he may not be the fastest in the world but fair play to him he'll stick out race weekends when the weather turns nasty and the big boys pack up and go home.

    That was the worst conditions i've ever rode in it was just awful all weekend i did two practice runs and one race run.

    Farmer Johns is a good place to step up from trail centers to DH the top section is all pedally and not really technical but is good fun when you push it as quick as you can, the bottom section over the shed jump into the woods is where i tend to stick around and session thesedays. Word of warning though you will crash and sometimes crash hard but the sense of achievement you'll get at the end of a full run far outweighs the injurys you will suffer, once you move onto the big tracks is where the real fun starts though be it hitting 40mph on the treeless Moelfre or locking the back wheel and just sliding/skidding down the stupidly steep Lllangollen it all leaves you with a massive smile on your face :D
    What if your dreams and fears existed in the same place? What if to get to heaven, you had to brave hell? What if everything you've ever wanted cost you everything you've ever achieved? Would you still go there?
  • Farmer Johns is a good place to step up from trail centers to DH the top section is all pedally and not really technical but is good fun when you push it as quick as you can, the bottom section over the shed jump into the woods is where i tend to stick around and session thesedays. Word of warning though you will crash and sometimes crash hard but the sense of achievement you'll get at the end of a full run far outweighs the injurys you will suffer, once you move onto the big tracks is where the real fun starts though be it hitting 40mph on the treeless Moelfre or locking the back wheel and just sliding/skidding down the stupidly steep Lllangollen it all leaves you with a massive smile on your face :D[/quote]
    Ye fair play to the lad at least he was giving it a go .. got me really wanting to get started now hopefully go soon as snow lets up and meet a few people down there to ride with cheers :D
    Always take spare socks!!
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