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Downhill technique

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So I was watching erzberg on YouTube and I noticed that all of the top guys lock up their back wheel when going down long steep hills. I always though this was bad technique because your brake isn't doing anything if it's locked up. Your just sliding at that point. I always try to avoid this because the bike seems like it's more in control with the back wheel still spinning. Is there anyone that can shed some light on why they do it that way?

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Better than me, the back brake on my bike doesn't work. I still try to use it and then at the end of the day when I want to do some sliding I remember it doesn't work at all.

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It's out of necessity, it's not bad if you don't have any other choice. That said, avoiding locking up is the way to go. Locking hinders your steering, you can work the bike a little bit, but for the most part your steering is &%$#@!ed. If you can maintain rolling you have so much more control.

Edited by Die_trying
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ERzberg? I 'd say it's more because it's a race and their coming over the hill fast, it's steep. loose, bikes are light, brakes are grabby, riders are in brake-accelerate race mode not good tecnique finesse mode. 

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It's out of necessity, it's not bad if you don't have any other choice. That said, avoiding locking up is the way to go. It hinders your steering, you can work the bike a little bit, but for the most part your steering is &%$#@!ed. If you can maintain rolling you have so much more control.

sorry i should have elaborated you lock your rear break shift your weight then release it enough to start the wheel rolling... now your going to do this in short bursts if you try have the rear locked up for long amounts of time 3sec + hard pack, the soft stuff you get more time the back wheel will slid sideways and you'll be lucky to low side. so my process (generally) roll the rear wheel till you need to turn then 2 sec locked rear break 1 to 4 rolling the rear depending on how tight the turn is but this is mostly for straight corrections. for this to work well you need to be going at a ballsy pace but not a retarded pace. and this is only for insane hills. and in Erzderg if you forget to use proper technique you will never make it to the finish 

 

 

edit: one very important thing you want to be in the mine set that you will pick up speed on the hill this may not happen but its a good thing to think about

Edited by BenIsRipin
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ERzberg? I 'd say it's more because it's a race and their coming over the hill fast, it's steep. loose, bikes are light, brakes are grabby, riders are in brake-accelerate race mode not good tecnique finesse mode. 

 

The one that was really noticeable was the hill going down to Carl's Diner.  They stopped at the top at the check, then had just a few feet to roll over the edge and most of them locked the rear wheel.  I think only the first few guys even rode down it, starting with 4th or 5th place, guys started bulldogging their bikes down that hill.

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The one that was really noticeable was the hill going down to Carl's Diner.  They stopped at the top at the check, then had just a few feet to roll over the edge and most of them locked the rear wheel.  I think only the first few guys even rode down it, starting with 4th or 5th place, guys started bulldogging their bikes down that hill.

bulldogging is that the technical term for getting of the bike and sliding down the hill. doing that scares the scares the shit out of me... id rather be on the bike

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bulldogging is that the technical term for getting of the bike and sliding down the hill. doing that scares the scares the shit out of me... id rather be on the bike

Guess you have not been where there is no choice but bulldogging the bike. If your in a spot where you can still ride it out and choose to get ofc and walk, sest time is needed. If you can sit on a bike and ride out of a hill everyone budogs then you should be at next yesrs Erzberg

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Guess you have not been where there is no choice but bulldogging the bike. If your in a spot where you can still ride it out and choose to get ofc and walk, sest time is needed. If you can sit on a bike and ride out of a hill everyone budogs then you should be at next yesrs Erzberg

hey... if your paying  :thumbsup:

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Rear steering, as others have said. On nasty downhills, you have to steer with the rear because the front won't steer you well, and you can lose control or your front tire will slip on roots or rocks if you turn it much. So locking up the back brakes is giving you the ability to steer again. Which you seriously need in our harescrambles if you're going to go fast. So I could only imagine erzberg!

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in addition to rear steering...

 

i find that in dirt that is not really hard packed, locking up the rear actually does often help slow you down via a plow effect. the locked up knobs act like a plow or anchor being dragged through the dirt. but, the front is where you get most of your braking on steep hills.

Edited by LittleRedToyota
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in addition to rear steering...

 

i find that in dirt that is not really hard packed, locking up the rear actually does often help slow you down via a plow effect. the locked up knobs act like a plow or anchor being dragged through the dirt. but, the front is where you get most of your braking on steep hills.

This. Some conditions give better braking with a locked rear wheel than others. The plow effect with rocks & gravel vs. the slime effect by crushing vegetation for example.

Basically, the OP is overthinking it. When he's on a steep enough hill he'll naturally choose the one that gives better braking, it's automatic.

 

I have bulldogged my bike once in ten years and I ride really steep stuff. When I see guys doing it I feel bad for them.

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Erzberg is loose. I couldn't find any pics of downhill riders but if you look, the loose stuff kind of builds up in front of the wheel as it digs in.

 

If it were hard pack downhill they would get more grip and control by not locking the rear.

 

The reason they stopped at the top of the hill to carls dinner in the 2014 race was a check point there.

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 i  lock the rear brake if the terrain is very soft and loose.. thats the way i can steer the rear end of the bike,  i allways try to be standing on the pegs with my body positioned to the back of the bike, little very little front brake and control with the rear brake, if the downhill is very very steep i try to Just "let it go", i mean dont over think and over control the situation, just playing with my body balance, grab the fuel tank with my knees, the elbows high... that works for me... if you just try to brake all the time and you are seated on the bike.. that's not good IMO...

have fun!!

Edited by MatimotoF1
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