help with switchbacks!!


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    • #74201

      So I hit a couple trails this past weekend and it was the first time I’ve really experienced sharper switchbacks. Needless to say I was not very good at navigating them. I did alright going up but going down I ended up having to unclip to get around them. Any tips/suggestions for both ascent and decent would be helpful! Thanks!!

    • #74202

      My advice would be to stay low on the bike, start on the outside of the turn, go across the apex of the turn, and come out of the turn on the outside. The idea is to keep your center of gravity low, and straighten out the switchback as much as possible. If it is really steep, hang your butt behind the saddle for a super low center of gravity. 😉

    • #74203

      flamdrag is right,and I think you did the right thing and unclipped and lived to to battle another day.crawl before you walk,walk before you run.And whith switch back’s,you just need to work them into your riding program and take them at your own pace.You already had the brain’s to take it easy your first time,keep up the common sense.Switch back’s kinda follow the rule of keep your friend’s close and your enimies closer,they can really fool you into thinking you got er handled and the next thing you know,your going heals over head and down the side of the mountain.

    • #74204

      Thanks for the advice guys!

      Yeah I do need to get onto some trails that have some switchbacks and get that into my routine.

      Time to check out the trails section. 😀

    • #74205

      Switchbacks are definitely the most challenging part of MTBing for me. Thought I was getting pretty good at it, then last spring I did faceplants on 2 pretty easy switchbacks. Lost my nerve and it took me 6 months to start riding them again.

      A lot of the old CCC era trails on the National Forest in my area have some really insane switchbacks. Most I walk. Here are a couple of pics of switchbacks on Grouse trail off of Dragons Back near Roanoke.



    • #74206

      Feltbee, sorry I digressed from your question on my last post. I did a google search with “mountain bikeâ€

    • #74207

      You might try shifting your weight to the back wheel when going around a downhill switchback. Essentially, you are pivoting on that back wheel while the front wheel goes around the turn, so you wrestle with less inertia by putting your center of gravity closer to the pivot point. Having good, smooth operating brakes is essential, too. You have to learn make very subtle changes in the braking to keep your balance while going around the turn.

      Uphill is just a balancing game. You have to use your pedal power to keep the bike balanced, which takes a smooth, even cadence. I suggest using a smaller rear cog for less RPM and less torque, which reduces the chances that you will spin out and gives you some room to speed up if you need to. Plan on going as wide as possible since there is often loose dirt/gravel on the inside of the corner which can instantly bring you to a stop when your back wheel hits it. Then it is just a matter of practicing till you learn how to balance the bike around a sharp, low-speed turn.

      At least that is how I look at it…

    • #74208

      Everyone has given some great tips that I’ll have to try next time I’m back out. I had my first couple of endo’s this weekend and severely sprained my wrist and have a stupid splint on and have to see an orthopedist.

      Craig – the videos were good to see. I think it will also help when I get out riding with some guys and try and follow their lines and have that first hand experience.

      Thanks again everyone!

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