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2nd day at swinley forest "blue trails"

core00core00 Posts: 169
edited May 2017 in MTB beginners
First downhill on my first day was slow which is expected and today feels more confident but feels hard to turn when going downhill on berms I feel like my arms are locked.

Also I know someone who has 5"7/5"8 with bizango, do you feel like the bike is tall due to being a 29er? I feel like its tall which maybe I find it a little difficult to turn or just not used to it yet.

Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,868
    Don't lock your arms out, you should stay loose to follow the trail. When you go downhill ideally use the attack position, bent arms and lower the body a bit. Go on YouTube and study the various how to ride video clips on downhill or berms etc. If you new to mountain biking it can be a bit overwhelming when you start if no prior experience. Swinley forest can be fast rolling and quite scary If your not used to it.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • chrisdouglaschrisdouglas Posts: 114
    Something else you'll find/notice on others, is that they don't turn their bars much when going around fast berms, fast corners downhill. They will but they'll also lean the bike underneath them to help it turn in. It's something that can feel a bit alien but like oxoman said check out youtube for the various how-to videos.
    2013 Kona HeiHei - 29 Life

    http://www.lakesrider.weebly.com
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    Thanks guys, surely I will loosen soon haha its like when I was learning to drive my arms were so stiff on the steering wheel.

    Another thing I found out on my first ride my tyres wasn't as grippy as some rocks are slippery then I lower the tyre pressure today it a little bit better than my first ride.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,868
    I learnt to ride off road on old racers with straight bars as a kid then didn't ride for years, family / work etc but started riding with my eldest about 8yrs ago. When I started i was riding on my own then started going to cannock with a mate, I tended to just ride the bike as I always did all be it was a proper mtb this time. I had a few silly offs and couldn't keep up with my mates who had more experience, so in order to improve I read up, searched youtube and did a skills course with chase skills. The skills course was the best thing I ever did, Alex taught me how to corner on berms / do drop off etc. I'm now faster than my mates most of the time and would recommend a skills course to anyone fresh to proper mtbing. Things like grip etc are down to the tyre and pressure choice and riding position for the ground conditions, again experience will help you on this. Don't ride to low a pressure or you will get pinch flats, to hard a pressure you will skip over the ground and lose grip and it will be uncomfortable. I'm pretty sure that the bike shop at Swinley will do skills courses or know someone who does. Good luck on learning on how to ride a bike off road.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • wilberforcewilberforce Posts: 210
    Link to skills courses at Swinley http://www.mountainbiketuition.co.uk/
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    Thanks, been on youtube last night and just watching basic stuff including cornering on berms. I will try those techniques in the forest near my house it wouldn't be similar to Swinley but would give me the foundation.

    Regarding tyres, what kind of tyres do you recommend for blue and red trails? Would be nice if its tubeless ready then I can try how it feels riding on tubeless and would allow me to ride low psi without worrying pinch flats.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    edited May 2016
    Swinley is pretty smooth except the 'cobbles' can be slippery when wet. I use anything from Kenda Small Block 8s to Panaracer Rampage, but any not too knobbly tyre will be fine.

    Swinley FB page is a good place to find out what's going on, if you ignore all the 'what tyre' threads (not a dig at you - it's a standing joke), and find people to ride with. Swinley Bike Hub organises rides as well.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SwinleyforestMTB/

    We do a bit as well via London Calling (link down there vvvvvvvv).

    There's some nice more natural off piste stuff if you know where.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    ps the red trails are no harder than the blue really, just a bit longer and pedally in places. Don't be shy. Even the single black is about the level of a green Welsh trail (ex Satans Grotto now sanitised.)

    Arrange to ride with some locals and you'll pick up some skills quickly. More welcome to join us when we go, but ours tend to include a lot of talking and resting. Or just post up something and see who bites.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    cooldad wrote:
    ps the red trails are no harder than the blue really, just a bit longer and pedally in places. Don't be shy. Even the single black is about the level of a green Welsh trail (ex Satans Grotto now sanitised.)

    Arrange to ride with some locals and you'll pick up some skills quickly. More welcome to join us when we go, but ours tend to include a lot of talking and resting. Or just post up something and see who bites.

    Thanks cooldad, I've joined both groups on Fb :)

    Yeah and I found that it has more deeper dips as well in when I took the red route to go back to the look out :D aha. Planning to visit again this weekend if the weather is nice like last weekend, having someone to talk to is good than nobody to talk to :lol: I will ask the people I know as well when they're going to Swinley next.

    I'm going back to the bike hub at Swinley today to return something and I will ask them about what's a good tyre to use on their trails, was looking at continental trail with black chili compound apparently its good and grippy would be good on the front-end.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Added a couple of people this week, so now trying to decide who you are in real life...
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    cooldad wrote:
    Added a couple of people this week, so now trying to decide who you are in real life...

    Aha just posted a comment on the fb page on your sig :)
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,868
    Core, I found racing Ralph's ok for Swinley with nobby nic up front for when it's a bit mushy. Youngest lad runs kenda small block eights with no problems at Swinley in the better weather.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • RedkyteRedkyte Posts: 16
    I found my 29er tricky to get around some of the narrower berms but have since stuck with my 650b as I found it easier to throw around.

    As per the tyre pressure I've asked the bike hub and they recommended 30psi (the same pressure in all the rental bikes) and I found this has worked for me! I've tried 20psi and the rubber felt like it was slipping off the rim and 40 psi was too hard and loose.

    You'll soon build more confidence the more you go around the blue route!
  • core00core00 Posts: 169
    Redkyte wrote:
    I found my 29er tricky to get around some of the narrower berms but have since stuck with my 650b as I found it easier to throw around.

    As per the tyre pressure I've asked the bike hub and they recommended 30psi (the same pressure in all the rental bikes) and I found this has worked for me! I've tried 20psi and the rubber felt like it was slipping off the rim and 40 psi was too hard and loose.

    You'll soon build more confidence the more you go around the blue route!

    Yeah couldn't agree more, but hopefully I'll find my way to build my confidence it will take time surely aha.

    I'm still playing with tyre pressure, might be ideal for me to bring tyre pressure gauge as I'm currently using the "thumb method" aha. Is that 30psi on both wheels?

    @oxoman
    Thanks, I will check that tyre. Any good place to get tyres from? Currently looking on Chain Reaction
  • RedkyteRedkyte Posts: 16
    core00 wrote:
    I'm still playing with tyre pressure, might be ideal for me to bring tyre pressure gauge as I'm currently using the "thumb method" aha. Is that 30psi on both wheels?
    30psi out front and 32/33 in the rear :mrgreen:
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,868
    Chain reaction is who I would normally use. Don't get the cheapest tyre as the basic rubber compound ones aren't the best. Have a word with the bike shop on site for best choice.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • IanWhiteIanWhite Posts: 85
    Redkyte wrote:
    I found my 29er tricky to get around some of the narrower berms but have since stuck with my 650b as I found it easier to throw around.

    As per the tyre pressure I've asked the bike hub and they recommended 30psi (the same pressure in all the rental bikes) and I found this has worked for me! I've tried 20psi and the rubber felt like it was slipping off the rim and 40 psi was too hard and loose.

    You'll soon build more confidence the more you go around the blue route!

    I'm thinking of going to Swinley , as a retaliative new rider would you say leave my 29 er at home and hire something from them ?

    Thank's Ian
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,155
    IanWhite wrote:
    Redkyte wrote:
    I found my 29er tricky to get around some of the narrower berms but have since stuck with my 650b as I found it easier to throw around.

    As per the tyre pressure I've asked the bike hub and they recommended 30psi (the same pressure in all the rental bikes) and I found this has worked for me! I've tried 20psi and the rubber felt like it was slipping off the rim and 40 psi was too hard and loose.

    You'll soon build more confidence the more you go around the blue route!

    I'm thinking of going to Swinley , as a retaliative new rider would you say leave my 29 er at home and hire something from them ?

    Thank's Ian

    Personally your own bike will fit you better than a hire bike, how ever good it is. Swinley as it is isn't that twisty turny at least compared to what it was, so i'd be surprised if a 29er would feel sluggish in any way. but people are different and all that.
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I bought a 29er since the posts last year and can hardly tell the difference. For me it's much faster overall on pretty much anything than my previous bikes, and fine for Swinley.

    But compared to most I'm pretty slow anyway, except for the uphill bits.
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

    Parktools
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