Arm pump and fork settings
Had a fun day at BPW yesterday, predominantly blasting the blues as I was with more nervous friends.
Haven’t been there for over a year but found I was getting pretty bad arm pump towards the end of the descents as the day wore on.
Obviously I wasn’t riding anything particularly rough but wondering if there an obvious mistake I’ve made with my fork settings that might have contributed?
Other possible factors I guess are just fatigue from not riding stuff that long normally and also I had elbow guards on under my jacket and the sleeves are pretty tight so I guess maybe some blood flow restriction there?
I’m not the best suspension fettler and I haven’t noticed the fork packing down or diving so any tips gratefully received. Fork is a rough cut sweep with just a couple of clicks of compression on (I think!)Posted 7 months ago
brake lever angle can have a fair impact on long descentsPosted 7 months ago
You can fiddle around with your bike, but the fact is that BPW blues are generally longer than a typical UK descent, which means they’re showing up your limitations rather than the bike’s.
The main thing you can do to counter this is specific exercises to improve your arm strength – pull ups are good.
JPPosted 7 months ago
As above, but when doing bikeparks, especially BPW i take all compression off the fork and slow down the rebound to make it better for small hit stuff.
But, as always, you just get fatigued, the blues at BPW are pretty much long and bumpy, especially if you hit the likes of sixtapod, willy waver, terry’s belly, etc. They’re fast riding and do kill the arms after a while. If you have arm tension then you will fatigue faster, it just takes a good bit of practice and riding to be able to loosen off the arms and let them soak up some of the shock, or not having the deathgrip on some descents, it’s what gets me at times, don’t even know i’m gripping so tight at times.Posted 7 months ago
Lifting weights is the solution here.Posted 7 months ago
I was pretty relaxed riding and was making an effort to avoid gripping too hard – there wasn’t anything that scared me enough to deathgrip but we were riding pretty hard I guess.
I’ll check my lever positions but I suspect it’s just weak arms! I used to climb a lot but haven’t for a few years and I don’t think any of my current activities build much grip strength. I didn’t remember getting so much arm pump when I went a couple of years ago but maybe we were riding faster yesterday. Sixtapod was definately less smoothed out than I remembered.
It’s definately made me want to go back soon though, such a fun day!Posted 7 months ago
Listen to Laura Robson Santa Cruz syndicate physio on downtime podcast, she talks about arm pump and some of the causes/remedies.
Arm pump isn’t simple or the same for everyone, so it probably isn’t a going to be solved by couple of clicks of damping. It can be anything; lack of core strength, holding on too tight, not breathing, poor bike set up, bad body position…Posted 7 months ago
Some amount of arm pump is normal. I used to be crippled with it sometimes.
For me switching to carbon bars and ditching the super thin lock-on grips took a lot of the sting out of rough trails. I went from Renthal Fatbars with Lizard Skin grips to Joystick carbon something with ODI Longnecks.
I swapped them between trips to BPW and that alone made the long, fast chundery bits more comfortable.Posted 7 months ago
Tight eblow guards do it to me, to the point that I just can’t wear them. Have a base layer type top with guards and back protector built in, it’s the onyl thing I can wear that doesn’t bother me.Posted 7 months ago
Terry’s Belly is an arm killer. Definitely check out your lever position, and another thing I’ve found can contribute to arm pump is running rebound too fast. If your fork’s not packing down that’s good, you might have a little headroom to try slowing it down a little.
Grip sizing has become important to me. Too small = arm pump. What I was taught by a grip company is that when you grip them firmly but not white-knuckled, your first two fingers should not quite, or only just, touch the pad where your thumb meets your palm. As a rule of thumb, that’s worked really well for me.Posted 7 months ago
Lunchtime, day six in Morzine last year, forearms hurting to the point that I was pretty much calling it a day. Took the elbow pads off for the green from avoriaz to supermorzine and was cured instantly. Rode the rest of the afternoon lapping the Zore lift and was fine.Posted 7 months ago
Lunchtime, day six in Morzine last year, forearms hurting to the point that I was pretty much calling it a day. Took the elbow pads off for the green from avoriaz to supermorzine and was cured instantly. Rode the rest of the afternoon lapping the Zore lift and was fine.
Yep, exactly thatPosted 7 months ago
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