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Updated: 43 min 37 sec ago

Newbie friendly MTB trail

23 May 2015 - 8:38pm
Hi
I'm trying to get into MTB. I have tried out the blue trail @ clayton ville MTB trails.

I have two questions

1) is my my bike suitable for whatever type of trail clayton is?

2) are there any novice trails you can recommend that commutable from Manchester

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

20 May 2015 - 12:41pm
al_yrpal wrote:samsbike wrote:al_yrpal wrote:Cheapo MTB forks bounce. With that Lefty I never have to lock it out, its beautifully damped and there is no bobbing uphill. You just float over 'stoppers'. So, it depends on your fork. Same goes for the rear, well adjusted that branch that would shoot from your rear tyre is just ridden over smoothly and you dont find you are suddenly stopped when it gets scudded away and you land with a bump after loosing traction. When I got the Cannondale it transformed my off road riding.

Al

Al you are the same height as me, or near enough, we really have to trade bikes sometime

No probs, after my arm heals up come down here and we'll hit the trail.
As Si says it depends on the terrain. Around here a lot is natural bridleways in forest, lots of deep mud churned up by hooves, covered in dried leaves, narrow slimy chalk tracks strewn with big flints, fallen branches, some of them very steep. You have to sit and lean far forward to stop the front wheel lifting. Some weave through trees with lots of technical obstacles, crazy roots and ditches. Quite challenging to stay on and just keep moving. We do have constructed MTB tracks and fire roads at Swinley Forest near here and Thames paths and canal paths but they are childs play in comparison. You would just keep stopping on a rigid bike or a cheapo hardtail MTB. Nothing like natural paths for a challenge. Its possible to ride 40 miles and see hardly another soul.

Al
Sounds exactly like my neck of the woods, literally

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

19 May 2015 - 9:07am
samsbike wrote:al_yrpal wrote:Cheapo MTB forks bounce. With that Lefty I never have to lock it out, its beautifully damped and there is no bobbing uphill. You just float over 'stoppers'. So, it depends on your fork. Same goes for the rear, well adjusted that branch that would shoot from your rear tyre is just ridden over smoothly and you dont find you are suddenly stopped when it gets scudded away and you land with a bump after loosing traction. When I got the Cannondale it transformed my off road riding.

Al

Al you are the same height as me, or near enough, we really have to trade bikes sometime

No probs, after my arm heals up come down here and we'll hit the trail.
As Si says it depends on the terrain. Around here a lot is natural bridleways in forest, lots of deep mud churned up by hooves, covered in dried leaves, narrow slimy chalk tracks strewn with big flints, fallen branches, some of them very steep. You have to sit and lean far forward to stop the front wheel lifting. Some weave through trees with lots of technical obstacles, crazy roots and ditches. Quite challenging to stay on and just keep moving. We do have constructed MTB tracks and fire roads at Swinley Forest near here and Thames paths and canal paths but they are childs play in comparison. You would just keep stopping on a rigid bike or a cheapo hardtail MTB. Nothing like natural paths for a challenge. Its possible to ride 40 miles and see hardly another soul.

Al

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

19 May 2015 - 8:46am
I think that it depends on how you ride. People who sit to climb and have a nice smooth pedalling action will find that a bike bobs minimally, whereas those who get out the saddle and give it some dog will find the fork bouncing all over the shop. Neither way is essentially right or wrong - it's just what suits you.

As for the value of suspension....I find that it's not so much whether I need it or not but how I want to ride on a particular day. For instance, if I'm being an off road tourist then I'm happy to bobble along on my touring bike, off road, at a conservative pace and get off and push if the trail gets really tough. If I'm out for some fun and thrash then the suspension means that I can go quicker and keep up with others better.

Having said that, when I moved to this location I had a full susser but soon changed to a rigid single speed as the full susser just made the doorstep trails too tame. Going further afield, the rigid SSer allows me to keep up with friends on things like Follow-The-Dog at Cannock...although it does average out the difference: they pass me on the more technical DHs and I pass them on the single track and climbs. On the other hand, if I'm off to the Berwyns, for example, I'll take gears and a suss fork as although technically the terrain isn't that much harder than Cannock (actually most of it is easier) the distance and amount of elevation gain/loss means that I can keep going in comfort a lot longer like that......typical ride of 25 miles taking six hours and getting up to 5 or 600m on exposed hills.

Horses for courses, swings and roundabouts, etc.

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

18 May 2015 - 8:15pm
al_yrpal wrote:Cheapo MTB forks bounce. With that Lefty I never have to lock it out, its beautifully damped and there is no bobbing uphill. You just float over 'stoppers'. So, it depends on your fork. Same goes for the rear, well adjusted that branch that would shoot from your rear tyre is just ridden over smoothly and you dont find you are suddenly stopped when it gets scudded away and you land with a bump after loosing traction. When I got the Cannondale it transformed my off road riding.

Al

Al you are the same height as me, or near enough, we really have to trade bikes sometime

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

18 May 2015 - 8:12pm
Cheapo MTB forks bounce. With that Lefty I never have to lock it out, its beautifully damped and there is no bobbing uphill. You just float over 'stoppers'. So, it depends on your fork. Same goes for the rear, well adjusted that branch that would shoot from your rear tyre is just ridden over smoothly and you dont find you are suddenly stopped when it gets scudded away and you land with a bump after loosing traction. When I got the Cannondale it transformed my off road riding.

Al

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

18 May 2015 - 8:03pm
I agree with Paul. I find that on uphills I lock out my fork as its too bouncy. However on downhills I like have the suspension as it does soak up a lot. To be honest if I was fitter and had better technique, it would not matter as my body would move in tune with the bike. But I get tired and just stand and do as much as I can and sometimes it isnt enough and the suspension helps

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

18 May 2015 - 6:47pm
I'm another one who has never felt the need to get suspension. Getting the VAT back after building my house there was a little bit left to give me a reward for three years of work. I bought an Orange P7. Suspension forks were just becoming available but I didn't see the point of paying more money to make a very light bike heavier.
I still ride the same bike mtb ing locals refer to me as Mr Rigid. My observations over the years are that those with suspension who have confidence can beat me down the hill. Going up the hill their bikes are heavier and, if they can't lock out, are bouncing up and down instead of going forward. On extremely rocky bits the suspenders can ride through without having to be too choosy about their line. Whereas if I pick the wrong line I'm stopped.
I said earlier "with confidence" as recently descending off the Long Mynd, after the air field, I passed three cyclists. When they caught me up at the gate they were all with suspension and at least twenty years younger than me. Made my day, and help offset the loss of two new tubes out of my back pocket bouncing down there [emoji3]

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

18 May 2015 - 2:22pm
I rode for years through all seasons including snow covered Penines on a fully rigid bike and Panaracer Smoke Lites which if memory serves, measured 1.9".
I was up and down rock strewn hills and through mud bogs just as easily and sometimes faster than the fully suspended boys.
If someone can't mountain bike without 4-5" of front and rear travel, 2.2" tyres and hydraulic disc brakes, they're doing it wrong.
I mountain bike on my tourer.

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 11:40pm
NATURAL ANKLING wrote:Hi,
Looks like a nice bike, I did most of my MTB'ing on a rigid bike and unless you are doing some stunts or downhill racing a rigid frame will suffice.
Secondly aggressive tyres are not needed either.



You need 'aggressive tyres' like Panaracer Trailrakers on my bike to ride through deep mud, otherwise the real wheel will spin and you will go nowhere.

Suspension, particularly rear suspension helps you get up steep hills covered by large loose stones or fallen branches. If you ride a hardtail bike you will just bounce, loose grip and stop.

I like the challenge of riding on difficult surfaces which you find in wet winter conditions. Most MTBers disappear in the winter.

Dont know what sort of terrain you are riding on but a suspensionless bike with shallow pattern tyres wont go anywhere around here.

Al

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 10:30pm
Hi,
Looks like a nice bike, I did most of my MTB'ing on a rigid bike and unless you are doing some stunts or downhill racing a rigid frame will suffice.
Secondly aggressive tyres are not needed either.

Roadies will run a mile rather than mount one.

When I was young 16 say all I could think of was getting most speed which normally meant looking fast

But now it just about getting fitter, on and any way that achieves that.

You must get into the same stance as a road bike and not fall into the trap of a different fit.

With one position bars climbing will be very hard and don't forget the nobbly tyres Add the extra weight and sit up and beg and no wonder its hard work.

Quite common to see flagging souls with arms folded under the chest gasping for air as they are now confused what MTBing is all about, novelty wears off and plenty excuses not to ride again.................its a bit heavy and those tyres drag...............

Its definitely a different riding style, forget the speed before hills aiding the climb and sprinting is comicable, you'le even be passed by a tweed wearing gent on a three speed

Fit some bar ends and change the tyres (narrows not needed either) and soon you will not suffer the back ache and the nodding head leading to using it for the road too.

Good luck.

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 8:12pm
Al - cheers, its great looking and its orange!

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 8:09pm
Sam, I have a Cannondale Rush 2000 MTB. It has a lefty, wonderful fork. I got it for a bargain price because it was Cannondales UK demonstrator. Its a full susser so it goes up stony paths really well and its very comfy. Lots of deep woodland around here with plenty of bridleways so I am very lucky.

Rush by Al, on Flickr

Al

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 8:04pm
al_yrpal wrote:Love off road, a whole new world. I can ride 40 miles in a day here and not see another soul. My bad arm stopping me at the mo, but an op on tuesday should hopefully sort it.

Al

Al what do you ride off road.

I went out again and its just nice not having to deal with cars and other people

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 7:47pm
Love off road, a whole new world. I can ride 40 miles in a day here and not see another soul. My bad arm stopping me at the mo, but an op on tuesday should hopefully sort it.

Al

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 6:34pm
Nowt wrong with walking round the boggy bits. Indeed, it shows care for the trail as you will not be making it worse.
20 years ago we used to love to challenge ourselves riding through the boggiest bits and seeing who could get furthest. Those days are long gone for me now.

Also nowt wrong with mudguards on your MTB. Crud catchers front and rear make a big difference to how muddy you get. Leave the wet arses to the youths.

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 11:57am
Mine is 2010 board man, which is a lot more capable than I am.

Re: Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 11:54am
Another lover of MTB. Need to get myself another one in a smaller size. I like going up into the woods (which totally creeps me out) i think fear makes me ride faster . Hope to hit Cannock Chase when i get my new bike.

What MTB are you riding.....and if you have any pics (of the bike) i wont complain

Enjoying mtb'ing

17 May 2015 - 11:15am
I recently ventured out in the local woods on my mtb and had a good time. This after 3 years of having a mtb and not using it. It was helped by the fact that it has bee dry and I have not got very muddy. I think what I enjoy is being away from cars and that I don't mind going slow.

I am lucky that my road journey to the woods is only around 0.5miles and once I get deep into them I hardly see anyone. So finally I begin to see the whole point of it. Does feel slow though sometimes and it's a relief that the bike is so light as I have to lift it over some of the gates.

I must confess I do walk over some of the very boggy bits if I can't ride around them as I still hate getting muddy. Also the hearing works much better than I expected as I hated riding the mtb on the road as could never find a happy flow.

Re: How limiting is a rigid bike?

17 May 2015 - 11:09am
I have a suspension fork on the front and locked it out and forgot. I calmly then rode for a hour thinking suspension is great. However towards the end I did unlock it and it did feel easier.

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