Will help to move your brakes in towards the stem a bit, so that your index finger is gripping the end of the levers.
Also, I find my hands get tired if my wrists are bent – try to angle your brakes so that your arms are straight in your normal riding position. (That said, there are those who disagree, and have levers angled almost straight down, see what suits you)Posted 5 years ago
Basically you need to just ‘rest’ your hands on the bars and not grip them, choice of grip does make a difference. I prefer soft ‘chunky’ Oury grips, but friends prefer slimmer Odi type – you need to experiment yourself.
It’s a natural reaction to tense up when your bike starts to ‘squirm’ and this is the worse thing you can do as you are fighting against the gyrascopic action of your front wheel. Relaxing is the best thing to do as the gyroscopic force of the front wheel will naturally want to straighten it.
I read a book by Keith Code years ago that describes the technique and have never had arm pump in my life since.Posted 5 years agopatriotproMember
One-finger braking definitely helps – yoi may need to move your levers away from the grips to accomodate this…
Aswell as that try either dabbing bits of speed off regularly or staying off them more and looking through the trail with your torso..Sounds daft but I started some time ago imagining my belly button as an eye and using it to look at the exit of every corner, landing etc. Basically twist your torso in to the corner as much as possible.
The technique has made me smoother, faster and meant i’ve had to use the brakes as much on the trails 🙂Posted 5 years agoglenpMember
If you try and relax your hands, you end up still focusing on your hands too much. A good thing that usually works is stop thinking about your hands completely (after you’ve paid attention to making your levers comfortable etc) and think exclusively about riding on your feet. Just let the bars shimmy about in loose hands.
Also agree with building up progressively and staying in a control frame of mind. Speed will come, don’t force it because even if you get fast by being frightened you tend not to learn in that frame of mind.
Also agree that belly button steering is a good thing – again, you’re pointing your whole self and the bike with you, rather than thinking about wrestling the steering.Posted 5 years agomolgripsSubscriber
As above – gripping the bars too tightly isn’t the problem, it’s a symptom of being too tense.
If you learn to relax you’ll get much better. The best way to relax is probably to get better and more confident, which means riding more 🙂
How old are you, and how long have you been MTBing?Posted 5 years agochiefgrooveguruMember
In short, buy and read Mastering Mountain Bike Skills!
Heavy feet, light hands, drop your heels and wrists, raise your brake levers and move them inboard so your index finger rests right on the end of the lever, and drop your body low, elbows up and out. Think forward and down and through the bike.Posted 5 years agoB.A.NanaMember
As chiefgroove says, you should be focusing on your bodyweight always being on the BB IMO, think in terms of at any point being able to let go of the bars if you wanted and you wouldn’t fall forwards or backwards, you should ride and think like this all the time. brake levers up and in (1 finger) as said above. 🙂Posted 5 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
Death grip isn’t grabbing the bars too hard, it’s holding the bars not the brakes which has to 2 effects, reduces arm pump as the muscles/tendons in your forearms aren’t stressed anymore. And makes you faster by reducing the tendancy to subconsciously tap the brakes every so often to give you the sense of control. Hence death grip = fast.
1 finger braking is good as it reduces arm pump, most people use their index finger, some use their middle finger. Some disagree with it entirely for some reason, but I can’t see any disadvantages to it with modern disk brakes being so powerful (even on well set up V’s or weak XC disks it’s more than enough).
Setting the bite point to as close to the bars as possible has the same effect on reducing the tension in your forearm muscles and reducing arm-pump. I run mine so in a car park test I’m convinced they’re not going to work and the levers reach the bars with little effort, but as soon as there’s loose surfaces thrown into the mix they lock up well before they hit the bars. Makes braking the same strain on your arms as just holding the grips.
Try it, you’ve nothing to lose:
*death grip (properly off the brakes, not grabbing the bars tightly)
*1 finger braking
*bite point right against the bar
That and there’s just general riding technique, I broke my arm before christmas, 3 months later my arm was too weak to even lift stuff (it still struggles to lift a bike over a stile and I can’t press-up properly) so I’ve re-learnt how to ride doing a lot more through my legs and gradually working my way back over the front of the bike as the strength comes back. So it is possible to ride quickly with different technique, just look at some world cup DH video’s there’s not one technique, they all do things differently (or copy their mentor cf. Brenden looks like Peaty, Brosnan looks like Hill, etc)Posted 5 years agoGWMember
just look at some world cup DH video’s there’s not one technique, they all do things differently (or copy their mentor cf. Brenden looks like Peaty, Brosnan looks like Hill, etc)
Peaty has shit style (as in steez) on a bike compared to brendan, he has tremendous flow/fitness/skill and gets the job done like no other when he puts it together but Brendan couldn’t make copying a 6’4″ clipped riders style work for him in a million years. also by your logic why doesn’t Brendan look like Minnaar or Hill?
Same with Brosnan and Hill, Brosnan’s a clipped in pedaller with new school style while Hill’s a non -pedalling sniper line wild man (or he was).
Ps. way to teach 100mph to suck eggs 😉Posted 5 years ago
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