Rode my first real woods race this weekend...

So, I'm sure this has been asked a number of times so forgive me for being lazy and not using the search tools. Just looking for some suggestions on getting my '14 to work better in the tight, sloppy stuff. 

 

I felt the bike worked awesome for the most part. Me on the other hand... My arms pumped up like crazy. Between the repeated clutch pulls and just riding super tight, not knowing what to expect, my arms were trashed pretty quick. My day finally ended about half way through the 3rd lap with a broke clutch lever. I had also lost my front brake at some point, still unsure why.

 

So, with that said, any tips on where to start getting this thing more woods ready? I still plan to ride more MX than trails, but I had a great time and will definitely be doing more of these. Just want to mitigate some of the disadvantages.

 

Thanks!

Probably The best thing you could do would be to just ride the heck out of it as much as possible on some tight trails.  Getting yourself inshape to ride that those types of trails is usually 70% of what makes you fast.  But as far as the bike goes, good hand guards, engine guards,  I Like to turn the rebound on the front forks down some if im riding super tight without alot of speed.. It lets me switch over alot fast instead of jarring me off the bike.  A few of the guys I ride with put the grip tape they use on sport bikes to put on the side of their seats so its easier to hold on.  

I got forearm pump just visualizing your race. Good job on staying out of the hospital, a 450 can quickly wad its rider up when things start going wrong.

Yeah, I was pumping up pretty bad. Honestly though, I remember remarking multiple times throughout the race at just how awesome the bike was at handling the terrain. I did nothing to set it up for the woods aside from throwing some hand guards on. It was a MX bike out there for sure, but It pulled like a tractor through the deep slop and navigated the roots, holes and bumps with relative ease. Ultimately it is me that needs the proper prep. That and maybe a Rekluse...

Start crushing forearm...tie a weight to the end of a dowell rod and roll it up and down with your arms out...

 

 

 

forearm-exercise-equipment-wrist-roller.

Start crushing forearm...tie a weight to the end of a dowell rod and roll it up and down with your arms out...

Becoming more fit doesn't really directly help arm pump. The key is to relax your forearms as much as possible as often as possible. Being stronger may help you with that by giving you more confidence in your ability to hold on, but it's mostly mental.

Arm pump is the result of the blood vessels in the forearm being compressed and thus restricted by the tense muscles surrounding them. Just making the muscles bigger and stronger isn't going to solve the problem, and can even make matters worse if all that happens is that you grip tighter.

Sure it does, do you think the pro's waste time in the gym? Supplemental training will always help muscle endurance. You don't have to bulk up to gain strength.

 

Of course technique plays a large part but it didn't seem like he was asking tips for that :thinking:

I'm not exactly new to dirtbikes and arm pump isn't specific the woods. I get arm pump on a MX track as well when I'm not comfortable in the conditions. For me, arm pump happens when I can't relax on the bike and I'm holding on too tight. Certain exercises would help to alleviate some of it I'm sure, but ultimately I need to get the bike set up a little better and need more seat time in these foreign conditions. Both of which will allow me to relax out there and have more fun.

 

So far on my short list of wants for the bike are Cycra powerbend hand guards and a Rekluse clutch. I think I could stand to back off the compression a couple clicks in the forks as well as the front end felt pretty harsh in spots. 

 

Any other guards I should be thinking about? I have the Works Connection rear mount radiator braces now. I laid the bike down quite a few times on that last lap and didn't have any issues. That's not to say I won't in the future though. 

I'm not exactly new to dirtbikes and arm pump isn't specific the woods. I get arm pump on a MX track as well when I'm not comfortable in the conditions. For me, arm pump happens when I can't relax on the bike and I'm holding on too tight.

 

And that's exactly what does it.  Your extremities were designed for things that you would naturally do.  If you think how running, climbing, lifting, etc. work, the muscles involved operate in cycles of flexing and relaxing alternately.  The relaxed phase gives the blood the opportunity to circulate properly to supply oxygen and remove the waste products of muscle activity.  Using your muscles in a manner that involves continuous tension for extended periods can collapse the arteries enough that circulation is significantly slowed, causing localized anoxia and a build up of lactic acid, leading directly to the familiar pain.  Some people are also just more prone to this that others because of their physiology.

 

Improving fitness helps this only by increasing your confidence that you can relax without losing control of things, but that's exactly what's needed.

I'm not exactly new to dirtbikes and arm pump isn't specific the woods. I get arm pump on a MX track as well when I'm not comfortable in the conditions. For me, arm pump happens when I can't relax on the bike and I'm holding on too tight. Certain exercises would help to alleviate some of it I'm sure, but ultimately I need to get the bike set up a little better and need more seat time in these foreign conditions. Both of which will allow me to relax out there and have more fun.

 

So far on my short list of wants for the bike are Cycra powerbend hand guards and a Rekluse clutch. I think I could stand to back off the compression a couple clicks in the forks as well as the front end felt pretty harsh in spots. 

 

Any other guards I should be thinking about? I have the Works Connection rear mount radiator braces now. I laid the bike down quite a few times on that last lap and didn't have any issues. That's not to say I won't in the future though. 

 

The Cycra pro bend with the handlebar u clamp works for me. I haven't bent or broken a lever since.

I'm not exactly new to dirtbikes and arm pump isn't specific the woods. I get arm pump on a MX track as well when I'm not comfortable in the conditions. For me, arm pump happens when I can't relax on the bike and I'm holding on too tight. Certain exercises would help to alleviate some of it I'm sure, but ultimately I need to get the bike set up a little better and need more seat time in these foreign conditions. Both of which will allow me to relax out there and have more fun.

 

So far on my short list of wants for the bike are Cycra powerbend hand guards and a Rekluse clutch. I think I could stand to back off the compression a couple clicks in the forks as well as the front end felt pretty harsh in spots. 

 

Any other guards I should be thinking about? I have the Works Connection rear mount radiator braces now. I laid the bike down quite a few times on that last lap and didn't have any issues. That's not to say I won't in the future though. 

 

Skid plate is always at the top of my list. I put an accerbis front rotor guard on all my bikes and a rear shark fin but they aren't completely necessary if your not riding in a lot of bigger rocks.

Any suggestions for a skid plate? I'm in Florida so I don't really anticipate a lot of rocks. I don't know a whole lot about the terrain just yet but I'm sure some protection under there would be good.

you can't really know if you have compression syndrome (arm pump) or just cramps, muscle fatigue or pinched nerves. if you think you are getting arm pump, there is a test the Dr. can do where they insert a needle and mesasure the internal pressure of your arm to see if it's excessive. if you really have arm pump, the condition can be dangerous, in that when you stop doing whatever it caused, the internal swelling can continue on it's own. most likely you are having muscle fatigue, because you are not used to this type of racing and grabbing he grips too strongly (deat grip) or you are hanging on to the bars too much, instead of naturally balancng you weight on the bike for accelleration and braking. try to relax and let the bike do all the work for you.

Arm pump is not really related to arm strength (or lack of). As mentioned earlier it happens when the muscles are being constantly flexed and constricts the blood flow. Forcing yourself to breathe and relax is the best way to get rid of it.  Write it on a piece of duct tape and put it on your bar pad.

Let's just forget I mentioned arm pump... :)

 

Arms got tired due to unfamiliar terrain on a bike set up for the track. There is no debate there. Just had some questions about how to better set the bike up to handle said terrain. I have no doubt that with a bit better set up as well as some seat time, my 'arm pump' issues will all but go away.

riding position that helps me is as follows. standing for most of it, straight legs, except when absorbing shocks. learn to compensate by leaning into the accel/deccel. i.e. lean forward when gassing it and going up hills, and lean back when braking or going downhills. this will take the strain off your arms trying to hold onto the bars. two or one finger on clutch and front brake at all times, keeping the rest of the hand wrapped around throttle/grip. this you might have to build up some strength in your fingers to operate clutch/brake and adjust clutch/brake. imagine that the bike does all the work and you are the center of rotation/gravity as your bike works. cross country/enduro suspension is usually setup to be softer than track, to keep wheels on ground and have the suspension absorb energy, thus preserving your energy.

Handlebars that are positioned far enough forward to allow you to stand upright without being in your lap are important to the ability to do what's mentioned above. 

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