Tips for a Downhill Beginner

joshmadeiros Posts: 7
edited July 2014 in MTB beginners
I am looking at purchasing a full suspension bike to ride DH trails, and I was just wondering if anyone had any tips at all. I've ridden some relatively simple singletrack (small kickers, technical sections, small drops) but I have no experience with downhill riding.
Thanks :D


  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Get on some uplift days. Meet other people. Don't try to keep up with riders wearing jerseys covered in sponsors logos :-)
    It's a lot of fun but you WILL get injured and break your bike, don't be put off by that, it's all part of the learning process.
    The best tip I have ever had to improve my riding is keep your eyes looking well ahead or to the corner exit. Don't worry about anything closer, it's already too late to react by the time you see it.
  • paul.skibum
    paul.skibum Posts: 4,068
    Similar tip to Rockmonkey but what he calls looking ahead I refer to as trail scanning.

    If you imagine a rabbit running along the trail ahead of you, the faster you go the further ahead he gets so in slower tech he is closer to you, higher speed stuff he is further ahead, you are reading the trail then based on the speed you are going and what is coming up. In corners the rabbit is exiting as you are entering so you are looking for him and the exit all the way through the turn.

    But what you need to do when riding is scan back and forth on the trail - you need to know obstacles are coming and have evaluated them for what you need to do but if its a jump then timing your launch requires you to look back to closer to your wheel even at speed otherwise timing is off and a dead sailor into the ground will follow.

    Try riding a section staring one to two wheel length ahead, you will find it easy to time pumps and wheel lifts but your speed will be lower and you will find line choice tough, try riding with your eyes focussed way off down the trail and line choice will become easier but pumping terrain and timing lifts will be harder, so you find the middle ground - look down the trail to read where you are heading and check back in close up with obstacles that need your attention.

    Works for me when I remember to do it right - I still get suckered on very tech terrain into never lookign ahead as I get into sensory overload/sh*tting myself mode!
    Closet jockey wheel pimp whore.