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Mountain biking hurts(23 posts)

Mountain biking hurtsCHRoadie
Dec 1, 2003 8:44 AM
I've been a roadie for the past 3 years, but my girlfriend does both road & mountain biking. I figure it would be nice to be able to join her when she hits the trails. She's also very good, so when I asked her to take it easy on me on our first time out I meant it. Unfortunately, easy for her is still very difficlut for me. Going down a bit of single track I hit a big wheel grabbing hole that I didn't see until too late. Result: broken & dislocated thumb with possibly torn tendons, broken ring finger, various scrapes & bruises. I get to see the orthopedic surgeon in a couple of days.

But I'm crazy about her, and I'll be right back out there with her just as soon as I can grab the bars! :-)
re: Mountain biking hurtsSaddle_Sore
Dec 1, 2003 9:00 AM
I've made the occasional foray into the world of off-road riding, and every time I have fallen off and injured myself. I borrow my pal's spare bike (worth about £2,500 so I cannot blame the bike) and we only do about 15 miles.

However, the style of riding is totally different. You never stand up out of the saddle when going up hill, you never hunch forward into a more aerodynamic shape when going downhill, you ride at obstacles in order to bounce over them...

The mountain bike scene seems to require an inordinate amount of expenditure to get a full suspension bike (essential in my view) and then you need to risk injuring yourself in the middle of nowhere in order to get more proficient.

It's no wonder I enjoy it :-)
full suspension.. why?cyclopathic
Dec 1, 2003 9:31 AM
instead putting a couple grand in FS bike, spend $5.99 on Amazon and buy Ned Overend's "Montain Bike Like a Champion". Learn proper technics and you won't need any suspension.

A few tips: on downhills the trick is to get out of saddle and shift weight backward, pull on bars going over obsticles; keep arms legs bent and relax to absorb hits. Climbing out of saddle you need to keep you butt a few inches over saddle, similar to climbing on road bike in drops.
I used to think the same way... I've always been a confirmed hardtail only rider...Tig
Dec 1, 2003 11:58 AM
I never could justify the extra cost and weight of a full suspension cross country bike. Hardtails make you hone your riding skills to a higher level. I thought full suspension was fine for long descents but not much else. Heck we rode rigid forks for years before Rock Shox opened our eyes. For the most part (still true in many cases) full suspension bikes would bob too much.

Now, I've seen a different light. Thanks to SPV (stable platform valve) shocks and forks, full suspension cross country bikes are incredible to ride. Instead of bouncing the rear wheel over roots, forcing a pause in pedaling, I can blast straight through without having to slow down. I can ride new lines that were never possible before. A lap that left me spent before, now doesn't hurt hardly at all.

My hard tail weighs 4 pounds less than the full suspension (Giant NRS 1), yet I'm riding much faster and with less fatigue. I'm talking about a lap time dropping from 36 to 32 minutes! I can sprint and the suspension barely moves. The key is to set the fork and shock in to your weight, then tune it in further.

I still yearn for a few really nice hardtails out there, but with cutting edge bikes like the Intense Spyder, Trek's Fuel, or Giant's NRS, the choice is obvious.
I used to think the same way... no wait I still docyclopathic
Dec 1, 2003 1:34 PM
there's no doubt that good FS bike will let you go faster and will extend your horizon. It can descend faster, it can climb faster, and it grips better however it is no substitute for basic techniques.

There's a diff btw riding and racing, and going fast is not ness what riding is about. For many trails FS bike is overkill. Declaring that you have to have FS to start riding is totally wrong.

CP /how owns FS and hardtail, and rides HT most of the time even if it weights 5lbs more/
Dec 1, 2003 9:46 AM
"However, the style of riding is totally different. You never stand up out of the saddle when going up hill, you never hunch forward into a more aerodynamic shape when going downhill, you ride at obstacles in order to bounce over them..."

I would disagree with all those, and think these ideas, especially the last one, are why you think you need a FS.


However, you ARE right about risking injuring yourself in the middle of nowhere! C'est la vie.
'nother mtbr lurker, huh?scrublover
Dec 1, 2003 10:03 PM
i spend most of my time over there.....

heh. ride over the obtacles in order to bounce over them? sure, once you learn how to do it to get a little air off them.

he needs to practice picking lines, methinks.
Chicks dig scars!!!biknben
Dec 1, 2003 9:16 AM
MTB chicks are hard to find. You've got one that pushes
i your
limits? That is sweet!!!
MTB chicksdgangi
Dec 1, 2003 12:19 PM
No kidding. MTB chicks are *very* hard to find, especially those who like to ride hard. If you let her go, please give me her name and number. I'm sure my wife will understand :)

only if you're doing it right...mohair_chair
Dec 1, 2003 9:16 AM
Now this is a funny story. Usually it's some guy who drags his girl out onto a trail way above her abilities! Ha ha.

In mountain biking you are allowed to lift the front wheel over obstacles. Next time, instead of riding into a wheel grabbing hole, pull the wheel up. Even if you don't see the hole until the last second, that's plenty of time to pull up enough to avoid nastiness. You'll still hit the hole, but it won't grab your wheel and toss you.
only if you're doing it right...CHRoadie
Dec 1, 2003 9:18 AM
Steep learning curve, eh? :-) Next time I will do exactly that.
only if you're doing it right...MShaw
Dec 1, 2003 10:36 AM
If you can remember the off-road rule: as long as you can get your front wheel over an obstacle, you've got a 90% chance of getting the rear wheel over it too.

I actually started riding mtn bikes way back in the dark ages when there was no such thing as suspension. We didn't have too much problem getting out and getting muddy, descending nasty hills, etc. Its all technique!

I'm convinced that new mtn bike riders should still ride rigid as their first bike to teach them skills. FS bikes let you ride sloppy and get away with it. I'm being a Luddite in this one instance, so I'm not too insistent. As long as people learn to brake properly, I'll be happy!

One other thing that no one seems to have told our intrepid OP is to look where you want your front wheel to go, not at what you're trying to avoid. If you need to go 'round a rock, look around the rock and find the path you want to take. If you look at the rock, you'll hit it almost every time.

That should knock the crashing quotient down some. The rest is going out there and falling. Good thing it (normally) don't hurt too much!

only if you're doing it right...CHRoadie
Dec 1, 2003 11:40 AM
I actually bought a FS bike knowing full well that I'm a terrible mountain rider and I wanted all the help I could get. This was only my second mb ride ever.

I think I might just pick up the book someone mentioned in an earlier post. I have much to learn! And I've got a little time on my hands...
Only way to learn is the school of hard knocks...dgangi
Dec 1, 2003 12:28 PM
The only way to learn how to be a good mountain biker is to learn by doing it. There is much more inate skill to riding an MTB than a road bike. Being a "good" roadie is all about training and technique that can be easily "learned" from a book.

However, in addition to training and common sense, mountain biking is all about technique that you either have or you don't (i.e. balance, reflex, etc). Not everybody has the balance or reflexes to do well on a mountain bike. Only with time will you develop these skills if you don't have them. You can read a million pages about how to bunny-hop obstacles or carve a line through a rock garden, but until you get out there and fall on your face a dozen times doing it, you will never get the hang of it.

And don't worry -- since mountain biking involves some inate skills that just cannot be easily learned (like gymnastics), there is a logical limit to how well you can mountain bike without devoting your life to it. Find that fine line and get to as close to it as you can. That's when you will have the most fun on a mountain bike.


only if you're doing it right...boyd2
Dec 1, 2003 1:47 PM
I am with you Mike. I started MTB in the late 80's with rigid bikes and kept on them (rec and racing some) until I just couldn't resist font suspension anymore. Obviously there was a huge diference. The funny thing is I rode for 10 or more years on a rigid bike and I see a huge diference in the way I ride vrs the guys that have been on suspension all there lives. Everyone should learn on a rigid bike.

PS. I still have XT top mounts on my steel stumpjumper!
Back to basicswooglin
Dec 1, 2003 5:52 PM
"I still have XT top mounts on my steel stumpjumper"

Good singlespeed platform. Go ahead, live a little.....
Me too! Well, sorta...MShaw
Dec 1, 2003 11:39 PM
I built up an 853 Dean mtn bike out of parts in the garage, and parts found here and there. I'm actually running 6sp thumbies shifting my 9sp cassette. Not as good as indexing, but it gets me out and about...

I'm about to get some of them Paul's barcon mounts to bring my shifting back into the 90s. $50 is a little steep considering how often I ride the mtn bike...

I spoke with a guy at the SD velodrome swap meet. He told me the first thing he did when he got his first mtn bike was to switch out the thumbies for crapidfire. Ugh! Then again, he was riding some dual suspension thing or another too so his logic is suspect anyway.

Living in San Diego, I've been tempted to take the suspension fork off my last few mtn bikes. We really don't need too much suspsension around here... but try telling that to the guys riding dual suspension bikes! Come ride Gambril State Park in MD with me, THEN you'll see why you need suspension! In the boulder fields, momentum is your friend.

re: Mountain biking hurtsBikeViking
Dec 1, 2003 2:07 PM
Went out ot Freedom Park this weekend in Williamsburg...What a rush!! I had forgotten how much FUN MTBing is.

When I'd get to a higher portion of the hill(s), that COLD wind would whip through and it made me SO glad I wasn't on the road with my nose directly into that wind! :o)

Does she have a sister? (nm)Mariowannabe
Dec 1, 2003 2:10 PM
did she laugh at you? if not, she's a keeper nmDougSloan
Dec 1, 2003 2:14 PM
did she laugh at you? if not, she's a keeper nmCHRoadie
Dec 2, 2003 7:58 AM
She actually was well ahead of me and had stopped to watch how I did on that section. She rode back up to find me flat on my back trying to figure out what was hurt, helped me get my bike back to her place (my left hand was pretty much useless), then took me to the hospital. There was no laughing, and yes, I think I'll keep her! :-)
usually it's someone else getting hurtGeardaddy
Dec 1, 2003 3:09 PM
I've had mostly the opposite experience, i.e. someone I've ridden with gets hammered, like:

- Friend does endo after hitting a log; can't raise arm above shoulder a few hours later.
- Brother-in-law endo's going down steep hill and hits head; good thing I convinced him to wear a helmet.
- Decide to separate from other brother-in-law because he's tired/slow; bad idea - he got lost.
- Friend pukes after cranking up big hill; she's embarrased?!
- Stick "jumps" up and gets lodged in friend's rear wheel; causes spoke to rip right out of the rim of expensive wheel.

Unfortunately, the list goes on. Yes, mountain biking is like skiing/snowboarding to a degree. You need to ease into it a bit, and it pays to learn how to fall properly. But, in the end it can give you the benefits of "cat-like" quickness and the ability to anticipate bad situations. :)
Ride your road bike off roadpeter in NVA
Dec 1, 2003 4:28 PM
I do it all the time when trails are dry...things go by slowly but you learn about reading the terrain and balance. I don't think you learn much plowing into obstacles with a FS at speed-but it sure is fun.