- Long-travel hardtails – technique?
Hi all, just wondering, has anyone got advice on what sort of technique to use when riding a long travel HT? I’m interested because even on 100mm travel if I ride a moderate sized hit, e.g straight into a kerb at a reasonable speed, my fork swallows the bump but my rear wheel thuds and slows me down. If I was using a 140mm fork I would be able to ride bigger obstacles, but surely the rear wheel issue would get even worse?!?
On a related note, I hear people talk about ‘working the fork’ when talking about hardtails in particular. Does this mean shifting your weight forward so that the fork takes the brunt of the hits and the rear ‘skips’ more? If so I can imagine this works OK on smaller hits, but on anything where you are reaching the limits of your forks travel surely you have increased risk of launching yourself over the bars…?
Sorry for the long post, any advice very welcome!Posted 9 years agoStonerSubscriber
IMO their are two main ways of riding a big fork HT:
1) arse over the back wheel, providing suspension with your leg joints, let the bike batter it’s way down/through/over everything and you and the rear wheel just follow on behind. Difficult to "choose" a line with your front wheel so more of a straight fall down the hill.
2) over the front wheel working the fork on cambers and trail shape picking the line, turning in and giving the front tyre loads of grip with your weight. Requires much more skill and concentration, looks much more "pro". Biiger mess when you get it wrong though.
That’s all IMO and Im sure there’s hundreds of differing opinions on technique as well as interpretaion.Posted 9 years agoxc-steveMember
TBH riding into a hard edge thing like a kerb is the worst example, as it will indeed slow you up, if you see a trail obstacle similar to a Kerb you either attempt to hop it or like you said let the rear go light. To ride big rocky sections at the same speed as a full-sus requires a lot more energy as your constantly moving about on the bike making sure you get over/around obstacles… but that’s the reason why you ride Hardtail because its more efford and more satisfying when you clear a section as fast/faster than your fellow Full sus riders. If you just want to plough into objects get a full-sus a long travel hard tail wont allow you to plough.Posted 9 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
i don’t "work the fork" as much as i probably should, but then again i run my fork with lots of sag (33%, easily) and very (2-3clicks from open rathert han the usual 2-3 from closed) quick damping. I do however run a 90mm stem where most people use a 70mm one so my weights already foreward.
Learn to bunnyhop on flat pedals, then practice that technique over obstacles, even if its just to unweight the bike rather than take off over bumps. Once you have that mastered you’ll fly down trails (sometimes litteraly). Also try riding with the lockout on on some smooth trails (dont hit any big obtacles as it can blow the damper appart). That way you learn not to rely on the suspension at all.
As for weight distribution your hips should be verticaly over your BB, once there keep your weight low by leaning forewards to "work the fork". With practice you can ride steep rocky chutes that require you weight right back, at speed, on a hardtail, but it takes practice and confidence your not going to scrape your arse on the rear wheel!Posted 9 years ago
xc-steve has a good point…
> if I ride a moderate sized hit, e.g straight into a kerb at a reasonable speed, my fork swallows the bump but my
> rear wheel thuds and slows me down.
I haven’t "ridden into a kerb" since testing forks BITD.. What the process should be is to approach, unweight front, get the front wheel on it, then unweight rear to lift the back. All in one single smooth highspeed closely controlled zen like movement.
Which is probably why often I’ll feel like I’m slamming into things too.
Riding a rigid 29er around Calderdale for 2 years helped massively with my technique when I got my long travel 26in bike (along with Maxxis tyres, Revelations, and watching Ed-O from behind – as it were).Posted 9 years agopoppaMember
Ok, the riding into a kerb thing was only an example, when out riding for real I do not make a point of slamming into things on purpose! That said, it is good to know where the limits of your bike are. Also, if you are forced to ride over very rough terrain, with repeated large obstacles, there is every likelihood that you will not be able to bunny hop over every single one. Apart from that, thanks very much for the advice guys, will have a play on the local trails tomorrow…Posted 9 years agothisisnotaspoonMember
low and centered,
i.e. not stood bolt upright, with your weight right over the front/back.
keep your hips verticaly over the pedals and your arms bent to lower your CoG. Not slaming into things isnt hard, as has beeen said either bunnyhop (my prefered technique) if theres only one obstacle, or just let the bike do its thing, keep the lightest of touch ont he controlls and allow your legs to smooth out the chatter from the rear wheel.Posted 9 years agosonikMember
horra>>>>Thats probably why I had a comedy slow over-the-bars down a rocky banking in Hebden the other week then
that bloody happened to me in hebden too!!!Posted 9 years ago
was a couple of months ago flying down the cobbled drops at a lock on the canal towpath. god knows what happened, but nearly ended up having a dipp. 😳
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