Downhill bike riding tips?

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  • Downhill bike riding tips?
  • Strap a set on!

    Oh, and why not give Jedi’s skills course* a go? They come very highly rated.

    *Other skills courses are available.

    I was hoping it would come with a pair, but unfortunately not. Only tip I’ve had so far was “don’t brake”, which is surprisingly effective. As for a skills course, I could do with a general one before a DH specific one I think. Jedi is a little far away though, already looked into it πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    2nd a skills course. Not trained with Jedi yet (it’s on the list!) but did have a 1/2 day with Steve Mayer when I was last in Whistler. Definitely worth it.

    Or if you are near Llandegla what about one of Neil Donohues (sp)?

    lucien
    Member

    Speed is your friend

    oliverd1981
    Member

    The “Fundamentals” DVD isn’t too bad, some or all of it may be available to watch online.

    slowrider
    Member

    Yep, lay off the brakes and don’t lean back as much as on a trail bike, to get a dh bike to steer quickly you need to keep your weight more central and be able to unweight the back bit in order to flick it through turns. Drops/ gaps always look bigger than they feel too!

    Ewan
    Member

    1. Don’t look at jumps/drops from below.
    2. If in doubt add more speed.
    3. Commitment is everything.

    I recently got my first DH bike, which is proving a joy. However, I read something somewhere recently (could have been here even) about how you need to learn a new riding style to get the most out of it. Any downhillers on here willing to give a few tips? Not expecting to become Steve Peat overnight but a few pointers as to the key differences would be great.

    Premier Icon Gravy
    Subscriber

    I strongly second Captain Flashheart’s comment about Tony Doyles “UK Bike skills course” even if it is quite far from you. I was there June 4th and I learnt heaps from the course, well worth the money and well worth the time getting there, you will improve 10 fold.

    bluebird
    Member

    3. Commitment is everything.

    What he said.

    weare138
    Member

    Like Lemmy said, Fast and Loose. Heels down.

    slowrider
    Member

    Lemmy said heels down?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    training! (professional)

    Where do you ride? Head up, hang out, watch, chat, ride, watch more – you’ll pick up tips and might get talking to some already decent riders who can help with lines. Watch lots of videos. Work on being smooth and flowing not jerky and stop start.

    Bike setup helps a load too – common problems I’ve seen are tyres too hard, brake levers too low, front end too high, rebound too fast.

    Dual ply tyres, any old XC tubes and 20-25psi.

    Make sure you can still reach your levers when the nose drops, raise them if you need to – this also helps you hang on with your whole hand and not just your thumbs and pump/push through with your palms.

    Drop spacers out from the stem to weight the front tyre in turns.

    Rebound – add a couple of clicks until you can feel it packing down, then back off one. You don’t want a fast rebound bucking you over the bars when you land a drop.

    After that, it’s about lines, commitment and practice!

    Most often Innerleithen, done a decent number of uplifts there and a few other places. Hence deciding to get the right kind of bike for them! Love it so far, can’t believe what you can belt through without touching the brakes πŸ™‚ Those tips all make sense though will be giving them a try. Looking forward to the practice, morzine in 2 weeks!

    oliverd1981
    Member

    For Morzine get working those forearms (I knead a foam ball) Don’t forget to try and get out into the wider Portes du Soliel. See also every other PDS / Morzine thread ever. Chatel 2 weeks on Sun πŸ™‚

    grantway
    Member

    Get in contact with Dirt School and get the best advice for Downhill
    Dirt School

    jwt
    Member

    Try to ride smooth, fast will come…………

    jimjam
    Member

    Riding a dh bike is the same as riding any other bike for the most part. The only advice that I can give specific to a dh bike is go as fast as you dare, then go much faster. A dh bike comes alive when you push past the point your comfortable at. There is point where it just clicks, and you realise what the bike is capable off.

    When you reach that point you will either sell the bike out of fear, or spend the next year or two crashing hard and trying to re-learn how to ride.

    geetee1972
    Member

    The layout and geometry of a DH bike are what make it a slightly different riding style when compared to anything else. The basic principles are the same, i.e. it’s about having the right weight distribution between front and rear wheels, but the geometry of a DH bike make that a slightly different experience to a trail bike.

    The difference with a DH bike is that they tend to be much longer and have much slacker head angles; this means that the further off the back of the bike you go, (a place where a lot of trail riders tend to spend quite a bit of time) the harder the DH bike will be to control.

    You need to get the right amount of weight on the front wheel; with a longer slacker bike, that means being more central on the bike more of the time and in some instances, such as on flat, off camber loose corners, it can mean getting right over the front to get it biting and gripping.

    The hard thing to get used to is trusting that the front wheel won’t tuck under, like it would on a steeper, shorter bike, if you’ve got your weight a little more forward than you’re used to. It takes time to learn to trust the front wheel and to find out where the balance point on a DH bike is if you’re not used to something that long and slack. Staying more central to begin with, with a front/rear balance of about 45/55, will feel safer and help you to get a feel for the bike.

    Premier Icon Ming the Merciless
    Subscriber

    Pedal like the devil is after you and stare 6 inches in front of your front wheel and deal with everything as it arrives! πŸ˜€

    This may not work for everyone.

    jedi
    Member

    gravy, glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Gravy
    Subscriber

    I’m coming back, soon 😯

    Premier Icon rugbydick
    Subscriber

    grantway – Member
    Get in contact with Dirt School

    +1

    If you’re local to Inners, you’d be daft not to give these guys a try.
    Β£85 on top of what you’ll already have paid for your bike is a sound investment.

    I’ll be at their course at the end of July.

    GW
    Member

    IMO the most important (and often overlooked) aspect of DH riding is planning your run. learning the track, how it all pieces together/flows and all the lines you should/could be hitting make more of a difference than what bike/tyres you are on. there is no one correct style of riding for DH, just look at the variation in riding style and bike set-up of the top 20 men at the WCs. Bike set-up is obviously massively personal (and should compliment your riding style/weight/proportions).. for instance, if I set-up my DH bike set-up as Gravity-Slave suggested I’d be in the wrong position (for me) lose control in turns and in steeper terrain, be getting pitched over the bars, lose some ability to pop off stuff, pick the bike-up to change line etc. and I’d fold/roll tyres off and pinch flat the rear every run. or if I rode in the style GeeTee describes on my bike set-up it just wouldn’t work.
    As for learning a new riding style, without knowing what your background is it’s hard to say but all my bikes are set-up with a 4X/DH bias (even my road bike) and have been for years.. so much so that I can’t even ride a bike with a long stretched out XC/road position.

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