Mountain Biking

Soldato
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18 Oct 2002
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Somewhere in the middle.
Soldato
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15 Jan 2005
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UK
Apologies in advance I know nothing about mountain biking. I went up to Scotland with an electric Carrera mountain bike, which I only had to cover greater distances than walking. Went to Ben Nevis range and as it was quiet went down the blue trails there without knowing what I was doing and found it fun. More recently I've gone to Cannock Chase and had a blast trying to be faster on the new blue route there, but I look at the red routes and they're littered with rocky staircases which I have no idea how to get up while staying on the bike. So how do I get good? I guess the scary rocks are there to filter noobs.
 
Soldato
Joined
27 Apr 2012
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3,997
Welcome Phil! I haven't been doing it long myself, but the progression is fast if you're already pretty comfortable on a bike.

Blue routes -> Smooth, fast, some rocks but generally anyone should be able to ride these trails. No real features, maybe a jump, but everything will be rollable.

Red Routes -> Can be fast and smooth, or technical rocky, or both! just depends on the trail. There may be jumps and some features, but should generally have two paths to take - the chicken way, or hit the feature.

Black routes -> Usually start with a qualifying feature, a big drop of some sort. If you can do this, you can do the trail. Unavoidable features, very techy in places, tight turns, steep etc.

Just build up. One thing that I learned quick is, how much grip your tires actually have, and that rocks aren't scary. don't be scared to chuck the bike around either, get it real sideways in the berms, those tyre side knobbles will keep you on the ground / centrifugal force. Also speed. Don't over do it, build up, but that rock garden you went slow over will be bumpy and a pain to get past slow. But when you go fast, before you've even thought about the fact there's a bunch of rocks there, you're over it and it was a lot easier than going slow. :D
 
Caporegime
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20 Oct 2004
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....
Apologies in advance I know nothing about mountain biking. I went up to Scotland with an electric Carrera mountain bike, which I only had to cover greater distances than walking. Went to Ben Nevis range and as it was quiet went down the blue trails there without knowing what I was doing and found it fun. More recently I've gone to Cannock Chase and had a blast trying to be faster on the new blue route there, but I look at the red routes and they're littered with rocky staircases which I have no idea how to get up while staying on the bike. So how do I get good? I guess the scary rocks are there to filter noobs.

The biggest advice I could give is to get coaching, I only done it recently and I hugely regret not doing it sooner. It is expensive, but it's so worth it.

Also follow people like Ben Cathros guides ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGsNvd9EhvQ&t=51s). But realisticly there is no replacement for time on the bike, repetition, repetition, repetition. You need to push yourself, and challenge those fears to get good at the bigger stuff. But with checking out the above videos/some coaching it'll give you the confidence that your body position, feet position, braking, pumping are correct. Body position is so important, and something that can be practiced even on the street/local woods.

The rocks at cannock is ultimately; correct body position, off the brakes - go.
 

mrk

mrk

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I have provisionally booked out the 15th to go to Rogate bike park pending confirmation with a mate too and another. Should be fun!

In the meantime, I installed the Nukeproof pads and Magura SL2 rotors today. I know I was going to let teh stock pads wear down a bit but tbh I realised that the Nukeproof is just better having had the same compound previously, and that the stock MT5 pads are one-piece so you have to take the caliper off to get them out whereas the 4x single piece pads can be lifted out through the top without messing with caliper alignment.

Aligning the caliper was a bit tricky but managed it in the end and there is no rubbing on the front with just a hair on the back. After the 30 full stops bedding in process is done this weekend I'm hoping that will sort that out. Gap tolerance is so small it's unreal lol. MOdulation on Magura brakes is also something else. So much fine adjustment with more lever application then the last 10% of so is where the full stopping power comes in. Rather different to Tektro/Shimano brakes I've used before which are more on/off.

Also in the meantime I've been practising manuals, wheelies and bunny hops more having now watched a bunch of really useful tips from Pinkbike & Drew Blankenbecler and a couple others that showed pointers that I'd not seen anywhere else. Ultimately I want to be able to master jumping onto ledges/raised surfaces with ease and that kind of control will no doubt help when riding at more complex stuff like bike parks :D
 
Associate
Joined
1 Jun 2014
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1,502
Yeah bought the Prime road saddle which I thought would be comfortable given it's a road saddle but ended up being too harsh for me.

This is shorter but wider and of course much softer :D

Earlier in the year I was weighing up the Nukeproof Enduro vs Ergon Enduro saddles - went with the latter due to stock availability and seems nicer than my any of my previous flat top options (WTB, Fabric, Charge etc.)

Yeah my preferred saddle is an Ergon SM, really comfy. I've had a Fabric Scoop, Charge Spoon and SDG before but the Ergon is better, I like that they do different sizes as well depending on your sitbones.

So the Ergon is a pretty comfortable saddle then? I was advised to give the cycling a rest for a few weeks by the doc as it was causing issues with muh gooseberries but not sure if it was the saddle (nukeproof std one that came with bike) or the fact that i was wearing underwear with padded shorts which i didn't realise was a no no, but maybe it was both. Going to try with no underwear first but may end up buying a better seat anyway!
 
Soldato
Joined
29 Jul 2013
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8,409
So the Ergon is a pretty comfortable saddle then? I was advised to give the cycling a rest for a few weeks by the doc as it was causing issues with muh gooseberries but not sure if it was the saddle (nukeproof std one that came with bike) or the fact that I was wearing underwear with padded shorts which i didn't realise was a no no, but maybe it was both. Going to try with no underwear first but may end up buying a better seat anyway!
Not wearing underwear will definitely help! It'll be a revelation when you trey it :D
 
Soldato
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6 Jan 2012
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A pic of my pride and joy, Cannondale M500, bought in 1995 :)
NIszOok.jpg
 
Caporegime
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....
So the Ergon is a pretty comfortable saddle then? I was advised to give the cycling a rest for a few weeks by the doc as it was causing issues with muh gooseberries but not sure if it was the saddle (nukeproof std one that came with bike) or the fact that i was wearing underwear with padded shorts which i didn't realise was a no no, but maybe it was both. Going to try with no underwear first but may end up buying a better seat anyway!

Numbness? Possibly saddle/handlebar position?

I get this now and then, espically on big climbs where I'm sat down for ages.
 
Associate
Joined
28 Jan 2006
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188
not so sure on some of the colours for me but nice bike with some decent kit on it.
my mate was given one at the start of last year by a LBS to race on(and use for our normal ride outs) and really likes it. was hoping to get the dreadnought for this year but the shop hasn't been able to get enough to give him one, he just feels the druid lacks a little travel for some of the enduros we do, having said that he still gets bloody good results on it. says the rear suspension works really well and its only occasionally it feels like more travel would be better.
keep an eye on the idler, it can get through the bearing quite quickly.
 
Associate
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23 Oct 2013
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1,189
So the Ergon is a pretty comfortable saddle then? I was advised to give the cycling a rest for a few weeks by the doc as it was causing issues with muh gooseberries but not sure if it was the saddle (nukeproof std one that came with bike) or the fact that i was wearing underwear with padded shorts which i didn't realise was a no no, but maybe it was both. Going to try with no underwear first but may end up buying a better seat anyway!
alongside the previous comments:
1) check the seat's angle. I find I get some localized pressure when the seat is pointed up a little, so try tilting the nose of the seat down a little? Everyone's shaped a little differently, so the saddle position/angle for 1 person will likely need tweaking for someone else.
2) are you simply sat down too much? If you're new to the sport, a lot of newbies try to remain seated WAY too much. If you're on the seat while the bike is bouncing off lumps and bumps then it's obviously going to impact into your bits each time. You only really want to be seated when you're peddling, as soon as the bike's freewheeling (and certainly when it's going downhill off tarmac) you want to be stood on the peddles and off the saddle. (sorry if this is obvious) Tbh, due to this, I find some supportive trunks under my padded shorts not a problem, but as soon as I'm on a road bike and sat on the saddle for 95+% of the ride then it's just padded shorts and possibly some chamois cream for monster rides.
3) build up your "bum's resilience" over time. 1st time on a bike in a while then your bits are more tender, this improves with more cycling as everything gets more used to sitting on a saddle. But, build this up over time - a couple 30-45mins ride through the week will help compared with a single 3-4hr "hammering" once a month.

Hope it all helps.
 
Associate
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1 Jun 2014
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1,502
Hope it all helps.

Ta for all that! Seat angle already down, not really doing trails at the moment as I'm building fitness so just pootling around on the road mostly with the odd bit off road. Do spend a lot of time on the saddle tho, I think realistically I need a better one! Will try the more shorter rides than less long ones too!
 
Soldato
Joined
18 Oct 2002
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15,506
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North Wales
Decided to pull out my bike from storage today as I haven’t looked at it since we moved 4 years ago (in fact I haven’t ridden it for more like 6/7 for a variety of reasons). It seems a few things have moved on since I last looked at bikes, although aside from the older frame and 26” wheels - it seems like it’s still serviceable to hit a few trails.

Needs a ruddy good clean, new chain and some new rubber - but can’t wait to get back out on it.
 

mrk

mrk

Man of Honour
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91,608
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South Coast
I rebled both brakes today as the front brake had a bit more lever travel than the back and I was certain there was some air in both. I binned the Magura Pro bleed kit as tbh it felt cheap and didn't inspire confidence and last minute ordered an EZ kit off Amazon that arrived this eve. The kit has everything for every brake brand and 2 syringes too. All adapters have a gasket and the Shimano style reservoir for the master is much better than the hanging bottle with hose that Magura thinks is "Pro" lol.

Managed to get quite a bit of air bubbling up top and used the method shown by Park Tool in their MT5 bleeding video. Bite is now around at 50% travel rather than the 75% before.
 
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