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Old 01-05-2019, 12:33 PM   #12951
richde
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Originally Posted by psg View Post
So if you guys are descending on say...slippery fire road, are you guys riding in the saddle with the dropper post at full height, or have the dropper post at partial height to keep the weight lower? Because I have no idea what I'm doing with the dropper post and I never think to touch it until it's too late. MTB disc brakes are really grabby too--different feel for me than road discs and road rim.
When it's loose and the bike is moving around, get off the saddle, slightly back is usually a safe move as well. You have to be a lot more dynamic on the bike than on the road, since the conditions are far more dynamic.

Are you using one finger on the brakes, or two? You only need one, and you can leave your index finger on the lever all the time, which eliminates a potential moment of panic when you decide you need to slow down but not touching the brake lever (if you don't do that). Depending on your typical hand position your road bike (on the hoods?), MTB brakes can give a lot more leverage...which is just something to get used to (experience and confidence, easy to build).

edit: Apparently ALL Shimano brake components are interchangeable, even road. Some guy on weightweenies is using Zee calipers on his road bike. You may get slightly more power due to rotor size, but they're all pretty much the same until you get up into Saint/Zee/4-piston XT with the bigger brake pads. So they're the same, don't worry about grabbing the brakes, just work on how you grab the brakes.

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Originally Posted by psg;45892899I
bought some POC kneepads last night.
Can't have scabby knees when summer dress season rolls around.
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Last edited by richde; 01-05-2019 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 01-05-2019, 12:35 PM   #12952
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On loose gravel is where I really focus on proper body position and technique - on corners really lean the bike over to engage the side knobs.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:31 PM   #12953
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I get off the saddle barely, and use my core a lot, not a lot of weight on the bars, and a rather loose grip. If it's downhill I drop the seat a little. On corners, I point the inside knee out (in?) and drop it.
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Old 01-07-2019, 12:55 PM   #12954
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nah man, most of my crashes still to this day come from one problem: second guessing myself, hesitating, then oopsies. i personally am done with trying to ride as "fast" as i can. i just try to ride as FUN as i can.

a dropper post helps you get behind the saddle for technical descents. i rarely to never slam mine, just drop it an inch or three, depending on what i am riding. you should still be able to get your ass behind the saddle without a dropper though.

if i am doing a long descent with large wheel sized and bigger drops, i'll lower the saddle 3 or so inches. if i am on a flat tech section, i might just drop it an inch for the compromise of some saddle clearance and still decent leg extension for pedaling.

i'm actually on the verge of ditching mine. they are convenient, but i cannot stand the shuttling they are all prone to do, thus are not worth the "convenience" to me.

a quick release seat clamp accomplishes the same thing. just without the on-the-fly adjustment.

are you running a hardtail or full suspension?
Full suspension trail bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by richde View Post
When it's loose and the bike is moving around, get off the saddle, slightly back is usually a safe move as well. You have to be a lot more dynamic on the bike than on the road, since the conditions are far more dynamic.

Are you using one finger on the brakes, or two? You only need one, and you can leave your index finger on the lever all the time, which eliminates a potential moment of panic when you decide you need to slow down but not touching the brake lever (if you don't do that). Depending on your typical hand position your road bike (on the hoods?), MTB brakes can give a lot more leverage...which is just something to get used to (experience and confidence, easy to build).

edit: Apparently ALL Shimano brake components are interchangeable, even road. Some guy on weightweenies is using Zee calipers on his road bike. You may get slightly more power due to rotor size, but they're all pretty much the same until you get up into Saint/Zee/4-piston XT with the bigger brake pads. So they're the same, don't worry about grabbing the brakes, just work on how you grab the brakes.



Can't have scabby knees when summer dress season rolls around.
Left hand is index finger on the brake, thumb on either dropper post lever or bell (since it's a 1x, I need something to do with my left hand). Right hand is index finger on brake, thumb on shifter. I commute on hybrid so I'm used to the hand position, but I understand that MTB is a completely different animal.

I have SRAM Guide brakes; a coworker told me that he doesn't like the feel of those compared to Shimano XTs, but I don't know any better nor do I have any choice.

To me, the SRAM mountain disc brakes feel like you get nothing or little stopping power for like half of the pull, then you get ALL of the braking at some arbitrary point. Totally different feel when I compare to my Shimano RS505 road disc setup (105 disc equivalent, with 160 & 140 mm rotors)--which feels a lot more linear and consistent, even in panic stops.

I think part of my problem is that I have way too much weight up high and on the front of the bike when on dirt. When I look back at the times I've gone down descending, I was off the saddle but dropper post at full extension and I was standing even higher than that. Weight was probably over the handlebars. I need more seat time.

I have scars on top of scars over both knees. Lots of skateboarding, inline, bike and snow spills over the years.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:06 PM   #12955
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This is a pretty interesting read of, what seems like, a pretty thorough test on MTB disc brakes mid 2018. They lab tested 19 different brakes and explained how the testing was done. What I found really interesting was the confirmation about how much better bigger rotors actually are regardless of the caliper brand. But as always, there is much more than just the size of your rotor. It's a pretty short read but good one with a good break-down on which brakes are best in which category.

https://enduro-mtb.com/en/best-mtb-disc-brake-can-buy/
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:26 PM   #12956
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I prefer Shimano as well, but went a while with SRAM on a new bike. Everyone seems to have their favorite, but they all work. All that matters is that you get accustomed to it and it becomes normal and doesn't distract you when you shouldn't be distracted.

Try to keep your heels low when you're off the saddle, either think of dropping your heels or simply relaxing your calves/ankles. It lowers your cg significantly and when something slows you and the bike, the forward inertia of your body is transferred more into the pedals/BB than into the bars.

When you have a few spare minutes, ride around a parking lot or something similar and work on your out of the saddle position. Stand on the pedals, knees slightly bent, ankles relaxed, butt slightly back, and you should be able to take your hands off the bar momentarily. That's your ready/attack position. How it looks will vary from person to person, because it can be hard to get a really deep bend at the waist, or hinge, what matters is where your weight is because that determines where your weight goes if something slows you down.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:27 PM   #12957
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfPine View Post
This is a pretty interesting read of, what seems like, a pretty thorough test on MTB disc brakes mid 2018. They lab tested 19 different brakes and explained how the testing was done. What I found really interesting was the confirmation about how much better bigger rotors actually are regardless of the caliper brand. But as always, there is much more than just the size of your rotor. It's a pretty short read but good one with a good break-down on which brakes are best in which category.

https://enduro-mtb.com/en/best-mtb-disc-brake-can-buy/
They didn't find out how much tq the test tires could transfer to the trail in ideal conditions? What's the point of high avg tq brakes if 70% of that tq is above the friction limit of the tire?

Besides initial bite and modulation I've never had disc brakes that were not strong enough to lock up the tire.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:32 PM   #12958
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Originally Posted by GrundleJuice View Post
They didn't find out how much tq the test tires could transfer to the trail in ideal conditions? What's the point of high avg tq brakes if 70% of that tq is above the friction limit of the tire?

Besides initial bite and modulation I've never had disc brakes that were not strong enough to lock up the tire.
We could lock up the tires with V-brakes.

The lever effect for max braking matters on extended descents, it matters a lot.

Quote:
Moving up from 180 mm to 200 mm rotor not only results in an average 18% decrease in deceleration times in our testing, but the brake also requires a lighter touch, minimising arm pump, fatigue and improving modulation

Last edited by richde; 01-07-2019 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:36 PM   #12959
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Originally Posted by richde View Post
We could lock up the tires with V-brakes.

The lever effect for max braking matters on extended descents, it matters a lot.
So force applied at lever compared to tq at rotor? Makes sense assuming the tq curve is linear (or close to).
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:43 PM   #12960
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psg View Post
Full suspension trail bike.



Left hand is index finger on the brake, thumb on either dropper post lever or bell (since it's a 1x, I need something to do with my left hand). Right hand is index finger on brake, thumb on shifter. I commute on hybrid so I'm used to the hand position, but I understand that MTB is a completely different animal.

I have SRAM Guide brakes; a coworker told me that he doesn't like the feel of those compared to Shimano XTs, but I don't know any better nor do I have any choice.

To me, the SRAM mountain disc brakes feel like you get nothing or little stopping power for like half of the pull, then you get ALL of the braking at some arbitrary point. Totally different feel when I compare to my Shimano RS505 road disc setup (105 disc equivalent, with 160 & 140 mm rotors)--which feels a lot more linear and consistent, even in panic stops.

I think part of my problem is that I have way too much weight up high and on the front of the bike when on dirt. When I look back at the times I've gone down descending, I was off the saddle but dropper post at full extension and I was standing even higher than that. Weight was probably over the handlebars. I need more seat time.

I have scars on top of scars over both knees. Lots of skateboarding, inline, bike and snow spills over the years.
I'm the local curmudgeon. I'm still riding a 3x9 26er and the one time that I rode with a dropper post I gave up on messing with it after a few tries because it didn't allow me to do anything that I couldn't already do with a fixed post (even when I finally get a new bike I'll likely sell the dropper that it'll come with).

Once you get your form figured out you should be able to get your weight back when out of the saddle to prevent those endos. Even with a fixed post I can, if needed, get my ass hung so far back off the saddle that my belly touches the seat. Try richde's suggestions.
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Old 01-07-2019, 01:50 PM   #12961
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Originally Posted by GrundleJuice View Post
So force applied at lever compared to tq at rotor? Makes sense assuming the tq curve is linear (or close to).
Effort, not effect.

My hands used to get sore on long downhill sections with lots of braking...but that was with XTs and Guides. With Saints the lever effort is so low that I never have to squeeze hard, which also makes modulation a breeze.

Plus, I think there's a mental aspect at play too. When you you know your brakes are incredibly powerful and easy to use, you can confidently carry more speed. I WILL be able to brake at the limits of traction when I need to, no need to drag the brakes unnecessarily. No arm pump, no sore hands, just stopping.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:08 PM   #12962
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And PSG, if you do a skills clinic, make sure the person doing it has a gravity racing resume in addition to good reviews. To some degree, coaching can be more of a confidence builder than an actual skill builder. They write a check, mess around for a while in a safe environment, the coach says, "You're doing great," they feel better and go back to the way they were doing things before. That's a waste of time and money.

All it takes to get a training license is to be able to regurgitate the talking points and write a check to IMBA(or whoever). It's important to not only know the "what to do," which is very cosmetic, but the "why to do it." Actual (successful) experience at the limits is good indicator of true understanding.

Edit: Please, DO NOT automatically believe anything I say about riding technique, use any tip as a way to understand what you're doing/should be doing and how and why to do it.

Last edited by richde; 01-07-2019 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:09 PM   #12963
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Squeezed a ride in mid day yesterday in between the rain. Those SCIC'ers in here might recognize this trail (Fullerton Loop). I typically follow the wait 72hrs after a rain to ride the trails, however this one handles rain well and wasn't too bad at all. This isn't a "real trail" per say, but a network of dirt sections strewn throughout the city, its pretty cool when there isn't much else to ride due to rain.

First ride for me on these tires, Spesh 3.0 Purgatory up front and a Speech 3.0 Ground Control on the rear...set up tubeless. These actually measure 3.0", so they seemed extra beefy compared to my 2.8" WTB Rangers that actually measured 2.65".

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Old 01-07-2019, 02:45 PM   #12964
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Originally Posted by VpointVick View Post
I'm the local curmudgeon. I'm still riding a 3x9 26er and the one time that I rode with a dropper post I gave up on messing with it after a few tries because it didn't allow me to do anything that I couldn't already do with a fixed post (even when I finally get a new bike I'll likely sell the dropper that it'll come with).
I was a hold out on a dropper also until I took my trail bike to Angel Fire last summer. I bought a Transfer post and installed it before the trip.

I'm similar to the earlier mention of not dropping the post much descending. Sometimes, not at all but that is solely dependent on the length and steepness of the DH section here in CO, not at a bike park. Most of the trails I'm riding are x-country style singletrack as that is generally what is available to us here in the front range. At AF, I did drop it most of the time.

What I have learned to really like a lot about the dropper was dropping the saddle to an appropriate height when remounting the bike on ascents. It has become so useful, that I'm going to outfit my fat bike with a dropper soon as I find it even more useful when climbing snow covered singletrack while having to remount the bike. I just need to make sure the dropper I buy for the fatty can handle freezing temps well. Research immediately eliminates the Reverb dropper.


BTW, any of you in the local area ride Floyd Hill yet as it's now open? It's not too long, yet, but is very encouraging on how the trails have been built. Plans are to ultimately have a directional DH trail there.

EDIT: Transfer post, not Transition... had the bike company on my mind.

Last edited by SurfPine; 01-07-2019 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:50 PM   #12965
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My advice for descending is to get low. Lower your torso and your butt. Get those legs bent. Be prepared to let the bike drop away from you as well as come up towards you as you respond to the terrain. In off-road racing terms, make sure you have some droop travel available.

Also, pick the straighter line over things instead of weaving your way through. It's faster and will let you trust your suspension (and your abilities) more over time.
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Old 01-07-2019, 03:05 PM   #12966
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That's all good advice. I did the most descending I have done in a while this weekend.... it's not always possible but I love having someone to follow that's faster than me by a small margin so I can try to keep up and follow their lines.... forces me to charge over stuff I am capable of but my mental game shuts off more when I can just ride behind someone and I don't sissy out as much.
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Old 01-08-2019, 05:25 PM   #12967
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psg View Post
I have SRAM Guide brakes; a coworker told me that he doesn't like the feel of those compared to Shimano XTs, but I don't know any better nor do I have any choice.
I have Guide R brakes on my current bike, and go to play with XT's on the Pivot demo last fall. Both are perfectly capable of stopping the bike. XT's felt like an on/off switch to me. Very little travel before you get full power output. Guide R is almost the opposite. They got a lot better after a bleed, but there is still a good deal of travel before you get any feedback of engagement, and then you can pull pretty hard before you get a lockup. For more of a gravity trail I can see where people like XT's. When you decide to use the brakes you tend to want a lot of braking force very quickly. If you're using the brakes a lot the reduced travel is less finger fatigue. On an XC trail the short travel leads to a lack of modulation and I found myself over-braking quite often. The longer travel with the Guide brakes made it easier to find a mid-point in torque output to slow up just that little bit needed to improve confidence.
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Old 01-08-2019, 08:02 PM   #12968
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Saint brakes, 203mm front rotor, resin pads (more grabby), not on/off. It's all in how you squeeze the lever, and maybe a little to do with the reach adjustment.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:29 AM   #12969
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Speaking of XTís the 4-pot I put in the front end of my evil is great. Good enough that I may upgrade the rear to match.
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Old 01-12-2019, 07:45 AM   #12970
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Just brought myself a 2019 Giant Reign 2.

Haven't had a chance to use it yet.
Looking to get a season pass to the bike park later in the week.
Also picked up a new helmet, gloves and knee pads.

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Old 01-12-2019, 02:13 PM   #12971
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Originally Posted by SurfPine View Post

BTW, any of you in the local area ride Floyd Hill yet as it's now open? It's not too long, yet, but is very encouraging on how the trails have been built. Plans are to ultimately have a directional DH trail there.
It's typical COMBA- that is, awesome. See also, Box O' Rocks lower section, Little Scraggy.
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