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Is there a decent "All else fails position"?

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Is there a decent "All else fails position"?

Old 01-21-22, 12:59 PM
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Dr1v3n
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Is there a decent "All else fails position"?

I'm new to mtb but came from road/gravel biking. There's of course just the fact that I need to get more hours behind my new fs mtb, and I will naturally improve quite a bit. But there are also elements to mtb that I just never experienced on my road or gravel bikes, such as driving straight through a small or moderate gutter at speed, riding over medium-sized rocks, taking a jump, etc...

Basically, I am overwhelmed with the amount of different types of "features" and how to handle them all, and just watching hours and hours of YouTube videos on the subject only gets me so far, and often just makes me feel more overwhelmed (mostly with the weight distribution advice for various situations). This is probably a situation where I just need to get out there and gradually increase my skills, but even still, with mtb I've noticed that it's possible even on the "easier" stuff or even at slower speeds, to get into more sketchy situations even by accident than on flat surfaces.

That being said, are there any general tips you have when I'm going to ride over a feature that I frankly don't know "the proper way" to do so, that could help reduce my chances of losing control, flying off the bike, etc...? for example, I have no clue "the proper way" to ride over, say a rain gutter. It's not large enough of a feature for me to be shifting my weight way back, and then way forward, it will be ridden over and done with in a split second.. However, when I do hit them, sometimes it feels like I could have been in a better position; several times it's felt like I got thrown forwards which makes me wonder if trying to have weight towards the back was even a good idea. I think the issue is that on road, you dont typically have situations where there is a sharp slope down followed by a sharp slope back up 1-2 feet from one another, or a sharp dip down followed by another sharp dip up, etc... They don't typically build roads that way

A thought I had was lowering my dropper post and either bending my knees more (at higher speeds or larger features) or simply just sitting down lower to drop my center of gravity. Is this a solid strategy? Should I also be trying to hinge my upper body down lower similar to riding drops on a road bike?
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Old 01-21-22, 02:46 PM
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When in doubt pop the nose over itÖ if youíre good enough follow with the bunny hop
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Old 01-21-22, 06:29 PM
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Dr1v3n
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
When in doubt pop the nose over itÖ if youíre good enough follow with the bunny hop
so basically even just getting the front tire up over the obstacle helps maintain stability? Thatís good because Iíve been practicing learning to manual. I canít maintain it but I am able to at least pop the nose up. I just need to work on my timing so I donít pop up too early or late lol.
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Old 01-21-22, 06:39 PM
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The first thing to learn is picking a line and NOT staring down at your front tire or the trail directly in front of you. Learn all the tricks by practice and doing repeatedly until they become 2nd nature. Bunny hopping is only one of many. Just the fact that you realize mountain biking isn't the same as gravel or trail riding puts you lightyears ahead of most. Oh, and keep your toes up. It'll feel awkward at first but it will save you from flying off the bike and/or many sore ankles down the road (or mountain). Good luck.
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Old 01-21-22, 07:26 PM
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I won;t be giving any 'advice' on your important Q, because I certainly am not the one to really have that nailed.
but... I can point you to a video (and great video series) which addresses your Qs by a rider/instructor who is par-excellent in explaining (with good foundation) and showing to good mtb technique comes about, can be developed and ties it all together.
Check out the Pinkbike series done by Ben Cathro - awesome, excellent, understandable, connected.
there are 10 videos covering a large umbrella of things needed for good mtb riding.
here's a youtube link to the video (#3 in series) regarding 'Body position' :
It's clear there is no #1 position for everything, but the essentials for knowing what to do are applied in the spectrum of needed body responses.
I gotta say, this series has helped me immensely in getting back what little skills I had, and also correcting some very bad skills/habits.
Every ride I'm doing now brings some obvious improvements for me. I watch and rewatch these, cause its impossible to incorporate everything.
And some skills need to be honed before moving on to others. I also ride known sections often, it helps to really hone a skill when you can see the improvement, and gives you feedback to let you know when you're doing it well.
Ben is genius ! Riding mtb has become a real kick, and prolly accounts for 3/4 of my current on-bike time (which is quite some hours every week)!
I love learning 'new' (or just the best/proper way to do something).
Have Fun ! Ride a lot !
Yuri
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Old 01-21-22, 07:43 PM
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Take it slow, stay loose and look ahead.

Watch that Ben Cathro/Pink Bike series (linked above), its really good. At the end of the day, nothing beats getting out there. Build confidence, push yourself on your own terms and accept that spills will happen.
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Old 01-22-22, 10:09 AM
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Just get out and ride more.

It sounds like you are trying to go from zero to hero by intellectualizing everything and skipping the initiation phase. Similar to your "where should the eyes go" thread. Just ride slower at first and build experience and you will naturally adjust to most things. If you start off trying to bomb tracks like someone who has been doing it for years well... study up!

Go slow and don't over ride your capabilities. Take small obstacles and work through them. When you get hung up on something watch a specific video for that problem. Move on. Don't anticipate everything because you're trying to be somewhere you are not. People who do that tend to blaze like the sun, have a big crash, and then cash out because they got in over their heads too quickly.

IDK about you, but I can do a lot of things on a road bike. I can ride with no hands, retrieve and replace bottles from cages without looking, bunny hop curbs, do track stands etc... however that all took time in the saddle to become intuitive. I didn't binge watch 8mm films on a home projector as a short cut (it was a long time ago).
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Old 01-22-22, 10:43 AM
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Dr1v3n , are you actually sitting in the saddle when riding on the trails? To me at least, your description of riding over a "rain gutter" sounds like you were bucked when the rear wheel hit the end of the feature. An easy skill to practice is to lower the saddle a cm or so for moderate trails so you can keep your butt off the saddle while in an efficient pedaling position. Just hovering over the saddle allows the bike to move under you without throwing you off balance.
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Old 01-22-22, 11:02 AM
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But remember that momentum is your friend. You cannot ride thru and over obstacles without forward momentum. You just bounce off stuff and get stopped dead.
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Old 01-24-22, 10:34 PM
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Yeah I tend to forget some people didn't spend their whole childhood riding their BMX around the desert
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Old 01-25-22, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Yeah I tend to forget some people didn't spend their whole childhood riding their BMX around the desert
Or in the deep woods.
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