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Wobbly single track

Ben_morrisBen_morris Posts: 61
edited June 2013 in MTB beginners
Hi,

I can not ride narrow single track (up hill) for sh*t. I can not keep in a straight line. Im fine down hill just up hill.

Any advice or would a MTB biking coarse be a worth while investment? Ive been out of biking for a good few years and started back a few month ago. I upgraded my bike as i do intended to go out at least 2 or 3 times a week.

Noob here. :oops:

Ben.

Posts

  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    Does it matter?
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • Ben_morrisBen_morris Posts: 61
    Yeh, because its annoying. Esp when my mates can fly up and im frigging about at the bottom.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    If they are flying up, they are going fast and it's much easier to keep a bike straight at speed.
    Sounds like you just need to work on strength/fitness so you can fly up as well.
    Just get in a low gear and spin. And keep your weight forward.
    If it's a short hill stand.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

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  • bennett_346bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    Skills course won't do anything. Just practice.
  • 16mm16mm Posts: 545
    Get your mates to advise? Assuming they're not just gonna take the piss.
    You need riding mates who will give you good, accurate feedback. Then you'll all get better much quicker.
  • Ben_morrisBen_morris Posts: 61
    I went out on my own tonight and i was pretty poor. I will get them to stand watch and see if i am doing something obv wrong,

    i probably just need to get out more and on steeper stuff and practise.

    ben
  • bennett_346bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    Is it a fitness issue or are you scared? If it's fitness just ride more and you'll get better, but if you're actually scared of a certain thing you need to think about it a bit more and build up some courage as just continuing with bad habits won't help in the long run.
  • Ben_morrisBen_morris Posts: 61
    I think its a fitness issue, i dont have a problem going downhill sometimes i make mistakes but dont feel out of control or scared.

    I think ive got to get my fitness up and as 'cool dad' said its easier going faster uphill.

    Ben
  • Some good videos on the web about body position and keeping pedalling at a consistent speed.

    Helped me out a bit...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PiQGFX_RlW4

    Some say that climbing is allll about fitness, but there is a bit of technique to think about too.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    There's a lot of technique, especially on loose, rooty or rocky stuff. You need to keep your weight forward enough to not go over backwards, but enough over the back to keep the wheel from spinning.
    Unless you are just powering up a short slope, you also need to balance between stalling and spinning.
    Smooth is good. And low gears.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • Ben_morrisBen_morris Posts: 61
    The section i seem to have a problem is a long uphill single track with a middle rut about a foot wide and 6 to 10 inch deep. There are parts to ride at the side but other parts you have to ride in the rut.

    I ride in the peak district so theres alot of uphill. I am fine with wider uphill tracks and now ive gone to a 29er its even easier but still have the problems with the narrow ruts.

    My issue probably sounds daft.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    JUst look ahead to where you want to be and don't concentrate on the front wheel.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

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  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    stand all the way lean forward a bit and give it all you got. :lol:
  • May be your in to high a gear so each pedal stroke is a struggle which makes the bike weave each way.

    As Cooldad says pick a lower gear and spin up with higher cadence. less struggle which each stock.

    Just a thought
  • scarbs85scarbs85 Posts: 170
    If you have a lot of spacers under the stem, or a high rise stem/bars it could be making it harder to keep your weight forward over the front. If you can't keep your front wheel weighted when climbing the bike will wander.

    Try taking some spacers out to see if lower bars help you keep your weight forward. Easy enough to put back on if it doesn't help.
  • bennett_346bennett_346 Posts: 5,029
    Nah don't do that, just learn to do it properly.
  • Ben_morrisBen_morris Posts: 61
    Hi,

    Ive just had a quick blast round and i think my problem is i dont go fast enough through/over narrow, rutty or rooty stuff. I suppose it all boils down to fitness and having the balls.

    I went up a steep-ish section with roots and the same thing happened, my bike was all over the place. I think if i really went for it, it would not be an issue so its also a confidence thing aswell.

    On the plus side i moved up my strava from 35th to 7th for a downhill cobbly single track in Chesterfield :lol:

    ben
  • WoodmonkeyWoodmonkey Posts: 412
    Make sure you're looking where you want to go not just in front of
    Your wheel, you can't ride in a straight line looking down!
    pity those who don't drink, the way they feel when they wake is the best they will feel all day


    voodoo hoodoo
  • scarbs85scarbs85 Posts: 170
    Sorry Bennet, I thought a well set up bike might just be part of "doing it properly". But hey, forget setting your bike up right. MTFU and overcome it with your gnarly skills. :roll:
  • pilchpilch Posts: 1,136
    Skills course won't do anything.
    just learn to do it properly.

    Great bit of advice there...
    A berm? were you expecting one?

    29er race

    29er bouncer
  • Hi Bennet, the video is currently unavailable. Could it have been taken down?
  • kevinharleykevinharley Posts: 554
    I guess other issues might have an impact ... are you the right size for your bike for example? How high or low is your seatpost? (Ideally, for climbing, you want to be able to sit on the seat, with your legs almost, but not quite straight at the knee when the foot is at the bottom of the pedal stroke)

    What is your bike? Is it a heavy, DH or heavy trails oriented bike with slack geometry? Such a bike would be great on the downs, but harder to climb with. It might be worth playing around with the spacers, rise / length of the stem (ie reduce number of spacers under the stem, use a lower angle and / or longer stem ... this will make it easier to shift your weight forward a bit to keep the front wheel planted, but will, of course, have an impact on your position on the bike for when you go down hill.

    Do you have a decent fork that can absorb some of the bumps in the trail as you're climbing rather than get deflected by obstacles? What tyres are you running and at what pressure? if they're cheap tyres, or tyres that don't suit the conditions you ride, or pumped up too hard, then they'll slip and skip and not give you the necessary traction.

    What pedals do you use? I prefer spd's anyway, but these can have a benefit if you're about to get stuck going up, as you can use a little bit of pulling power on the upstroke as well as pushing on the downstroke to get you through a particular obstacle.

    It sounds like its more of a technique / fitness issue, but the above may be factors ...

    I usually find that the things to concentrate on when climbing (which others have also advised) are:

    - keep bum on saddle as much as possible, but also lean forward and use your upper body weight and arms to keep the handlebars planted. Sometimes you need to get out of the saddle to get some more power down, but the trade off may be lack of weight over the rear wheel, and therefore traction)

    - try to power through the legs only, rather than using your arms / whole body to wrestle the bars about; this can unsettle the bike, and make it difficult to keep in the right direction;

    - get in the right gear before the start of the climb ... too high, and needing to change down part way through can cause you too lose momentum. Too low and you might not carry enough speed to get your momentum going;

    - look ahead, ie at where you want to go; try and anticipate the obstacles in your way ... some stuff you will have to steer round, other stuff you will learn to be able to ride over and still maintain a straight line.

    if you focus on these, improve your fitness / strength, and keep practising, it will get easier! :)

    (Most of the time, I have to ignore all my advice above, as I ride a SS hardtail, so the option of smooth and controlled grinding up in the granny ring is not an option! :wink: ... but on the occasions I do ride geared, then the suggestions above are what I concentrate on ...)
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,756
    The one thing I don't see mentioned is gearing , if you run a higher gear and sit there becomes a tendancy to 'zig-zag' due to opedal inputs, running a lower gear or standing in the right attitude (weight forward) reduces/prevents this.
  • Gibbo3771Gibbo3771 Posts: 145
    For very steep and uneven hills, lean more forward and slide your censored up to the front of the seat until the nose is almost ramming up in you, chest down, head up, weight back.

    This will balance the weight between the front and the back, allowing for more friction, even pedaling and over all you will be able to tackle the hill at a slightly higher gear.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,599
    The one thing I don't see mentioned is gearing , if you run a higher gear and sit there becomes a tendancy to 'zig-zag' due to opedal inputs, running a lower gear or standing in the right attitude (weight forward) reduces/prevents this.
    Er did you miss the previous page?
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
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