First time downhill advice please.

andymc06
andymc06 Posts: 245
edited February 2013 in MTB general
I am going to have a crack at the downhill courses at Cwmcarn in a couple of weeks. First ever uplift day for me and my brother. I'll be riding my Trance x3 with 140mm forks on it for info. Has anyone got any top tips or critical advice?

I picked up a bargain full face helmet in the sales so that's sorted. However I only have riding glasses. How much benefit is there to wearing goggles?

Thanks in advance

Andy
If at first you don't succeed, spend some more money on kit!

Giant Trance X3 2011
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Comments

  • dusk
    dusk Posts: 583
    Glasses are fine if you don't have goggles, there aren't any major benefits
    YT Wicked 160 ltd
    Cotic BFe
    DMR Trailstar
    Canyon Roadlite
  • ilovedirt
    ilovedirt Posts: 5,798
    Just have fun!
    Production Privee Shan

    B'Twin Triban 5
  • milko9000
    milko9000 Posts: 533
    Just check the glasses fit inside the helmet, if it's tight they won't be comfortable.
    Have fun!
  • welshkev
    welshkev Posts: 9,690
    take your time and take it steady on your first run. everything there is rollable, but there are a few things that could catch you out.

    the road drop isn't as bad as it looks from the top btw :)

    have fun, it's a great track
  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Relax, take it steady and enjoy it. Start slowly and build up speed through the day.
    Other than that it's just weight back, try to keep speed up for any technical bits and always cover the brakes with one finger. Make sure you have plenty of material left on your brake pads, it's a fast track.
    Might be worth taking a shock pump and track pump, you might find your XC set up isn't right on a DH track.
    Try to set off on the trail after all but the slower riders just so you don't have some one sat right on your back wheel putting you off.
  • miss notax
    miss notax Posts: 2,572
    Wait for the fast guys and girls (or those that look fast :wink: ) to go first.

    Cwmcarn is lovely and all rollable but it's not much fun with a faster rider up your @rse and that's when mistakes happen in my experience....

    (Says me who lets everyone go first on a DH track because I ride down them at about 2mph :oops: )
    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
  • The Rookie
    The Rookie Posts: 27,812
    And we'd heard you were a fast girl........ ;-)
    Currently riding a Whyte T130C, X0 drivetrain, Magura Trail brakes converted to mixed wheel size (homebuilt wheels) with 140mm Fox 34 Rhythm and RP23 suspension. 12.2Kg.
  • andymc06
    andymc06 Posts: 245
    Cheers guys. Looking forward to it!
    If at first you don't succeed, spend some more money on kit!

    Giant Trance X3 2011
  • welshkev
    welshkev Posts: 9,690
    And we'd heard you were a fast girl........ ;-)

    fast and loose some say :wink:
  • miss notax
    miss notax Posts: 2,572
    :lol::lol::lol:
    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
  • jimothy78
    jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    welshkev wrote:
    the road drop isn't as bad as it looks from the top btw :)

    At the HWU meeting last night, Mike was saying Lewis had done it on his sledge!
  • EH_Rob
    EH_Rob Posts: 1,134
    jimothy78 wrote:
    welshkev wrote:
    done it on his sledge!

    This would be an excellent way to spice up the monotony of Red Bull Rampage. Second runs must be done on sledges.
  • Stevo_666
    Stevo_666 Posts: 57,802
    All good advice above.

    Might be worth having a gander on youtube so you can see what the course looks like in advance. If you're accident prone like me then body armour and decent knee/shin pads are a worthwhile investment, the track is generally hardpack with a few rocks mixed in.

    Might take a few goes before you have a crack at the road jump but like was said above, looks worse than it is and there's a chicken run next to it. A few bits that caught me out first time round were the first switchback and the plastic matting going into the road tunnel when its wet :)

    PS: glasses are OK but goggles are definitely better.

    Have fun.
    "I spent most of my money on birds, booze and fast cars: the rest of it I just squandered." [George Best]
  • EH_Rob wrote:
    jimothy78 wrote:
    welshkev wrote:
    done it on his sledge!

    This would be an excellent way to spice up the monotony of Red Bull Rampage. Second runs must be done on sledges.

    Until someone comes along and double backflips it on a luge. Or a bobsleigh :lol:
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    I don't get on with glasses in a full face personally, seems to blow the air around the sides or something. You can test that easily on the road though before you go.

    What tyres do you have? You don't need to run out and buy dualplies but if you've got skinny XC numbers on you're more likely to suffer punctures and might wish for more grips. If you've got nice hard-use tyres anyway then they should be fine.

    Rockmonkey and Miss Notax's advice is spot on and not an awful lot to add tbh. it's just riding your bike, just take it easy and have fun.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • andymc06
    andymc06 Posts: 245
    I was planning on Hans Dampf 2.35 Trailstar up front and a High Roller 2.35 60a single ply on the rear. Should do the trick and saves buying any. I'll take a spare High Roller as back up. :)
    If at first you don't succeed, spend some more money on kit!

    Giant Trance X3 2011
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    Aye, should be right. Never ridden at Cwmcarn, so don't know how puncturey it is mind.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    It's quite rocky. You should be ok oon single ply tyres if you take it a bit steady through rock gardens.
  • timpop
    timpop Posts: 394
    Hey there, while you're at it you might want to consider slowing down the rebound on your forks and rear shock a little and take some air out the rear shock to change the angle. I think that'll improve your first time experience. It'll set you back a little (good for descending) and help prevent you bouncing off the jumps too much. Of course that all depends how things are set-up right now.
    Have fun.
    Many happy trails!
  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    timpop wrote:
    Hey there, while you're at it you might want to consider slowing down the rebound on your forks and rear shock a little and take some air out the rear shock to change the angle. I think that'll improve your first time experience. It'll set you back a little (good for descending) and help prevent you bouncing off the jumps too much. Of course that all depends how things are set-up right now.
    Have fun.

    That all sounds like bad ideas. Slowing rebound means the rear end won't recover between hits and your going to be getting bigger hits than normal so softening the rear shock will result in bottoming out.
  • timpop wrote:
    Hey there, while you're at it you might want to consider slowing down the rebound on your forks and rear shock a little and take some air out the rear shock to change the angle. I think that'll improve your first time experience. It'll set you back a little (good for descending) and help prevent you bouncing off the jumps too much. Of course that all depends how things are set-up right now.
    Have fun.

    That all sounds like bad ideas. Slowing rebound means the rear end won't recover between hits and your going to be getting bigger hits than normal so softening the rear shock will result in bottoming out.


    In they sound like completely stupid ideas to me... my shocks run pretty quick to absorb the fast repetative hits,
  • My main advice would be don't let anyone else stop you from having fun. There might be people with all the gear who'll probably sneer at you on your trail bike, it's certainly happened to me before. Just don't forget, you have just as much right to be there as they do, you can't expect to be quickest but you will definitely enjoy the challenge and speed, and that's what it's all about right?
  • miss notax
    miss notax Posts: 2,572
    Completely agree with the above, but for what it's worth I have always found everyone to be really nice on uplift days actually! I was literally terrified on my first one, surrounded by kids (I was probably old enough to be their Mum :oops: ) in all the gear, but they were really nice guys and very encouraging :D
    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
  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Most are pretty friendly on uplifts. Most riders will be pretty slow with the exception of a few racers who will know that it's up to them to make sure that they are first on to the trail if they want a fast, uninterupted run.
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    To be fair I do reckon a lot of people run their rebound too fast most of the time, probably more than run it too slow. But the other one's not smart, if anything you're more likely to find your normal settings are a little soft.

    If you're happy with how your bike rides, don't **** it up! TBH it's better to have an ill-handling bike that you're familiar and comfortable with than a perfect handling bike that feels weird, when you're doing something new.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • Northwind wrote:
    To be fair I do reckon a lot of people run their rebound too fast most of the time, probably more than run it too slow. But the other one's not smart, if anything you're more likely to find your normal settings are a little soft..

    See i find the opposite most people go to slow because it feels good for a single pump of the fork when setting up rather than riding, but then everyone is a bit different too i guess.
  • andymc06
    andymc06 Posts: 245
    I'm happy with fork and shock set up as they are for descending and jumping. I'll have my shock pump in my pack for tweeking on the day if necessary. Don't worry I'll definitely
    be having fun! :)
    If at first you don't succeed, spend some more money on kit!

    Giant Trance X3 2011
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    I did the Golspie downhill on a hardtail with cheap 120mm forks that didn't work, brakes that didn't really stop me and tyres that had no grip all while wearing a waterproof jacket and jeans. It was great fun!

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.
  • Northwind
    Northwind Posts: 14,675
    It's not a downhill line that- great trail, and no picnic, but not the same thing. More descents should end at the beach though.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • declan1
    declan1 Posts: 2,470
    Northwind wrote:
    It's not a downhill line that- great trail, and no picnic, but not the same thing. More descents should end at the beach though.

    I'm just saying that you don't need an ultra-precise DH machine to go downhill. Yes, you'll go faster, but don't worry about it :lol:

    Road - Dolan Preffisio
    MTB - On-One Inbred

    I have no idea what's going on here.