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RUTS - Help!

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I'm a very new rider, and I've taken to it pretty well except for one thing:

DOWNHILL RUTS! These things drive me crazy.

The uphill ones aren't so bad. I find my track lean forward and gas it.

Descent is something different. I invariably lose my nerve and end up hitting the brakes. I try to do it gently, but if I feel my tires lose grip I end up locking up out of pure reflex.

If i'm on top of a good track, say a mound between 2 ruts, I'm ok. If I feel like I might fall into one of the ruts, its all over.

Likewise, if I start out inside a wide rut and feel it bump me around a bit, it's all over again.

I feel like if I had enough speed and ignored the slipage, jarring, etc, the bike would self correct, and I'd be ok.

Feedback? What's the best approach to take when coming to a descent with serious ruts?

BTW, this is North Carolina where the dry clay forms HARD ruts.

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whenever i hit ruts i just try to avoid them if i can and i never use the front brake. but ruts really do suck. and i know exactly what your talking about. oh and i found personally a firm grip on the handle bars allways helps.

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Theres nothing wrong with hitting the brakes on a down hill. Go as fast as you feel comfortable. Down shifting should help you keep control

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most of the ruts i come across are mudy so my technique might be different. But just try to stay balanced the bike and lean back with your knees squeezed on the gas tank this may seem a little reversed but i like to get into the ruts then at the bottom hop out.

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Downhill ruts are easier because the bike will just fall into them. Just lean back and pick one. And always use the front brake it is almost all your stopping power. ZBeing scared of it will make you fall sooner or later. Going uphill is harder because ther is more force on the bike due to gravity and momentum so cross rutting is a bigger deal. Where as going downhill the bike may bounce in and out of a rut but it shouldnt effect you much because of your downward momentum and how little force is going to the ground. Just dont think about them as much as you are and let the bike go where the traction is. (usually in a rut) Braklng is usualt much improved while riding in downhill ruts.

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Ohh and dont use a firm grip either, its instant death. (just be relaxed not kung fu death grip) Let the bike go where it wants to go.

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The key to ruts is to look further ahead then you normally would espically in rutted corners where you should be looking at the exit of the rut. It doesnt sound like a big deal but it works.

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Yeah I hear that! We've got deep clay ruts here too...

I find it's easier tho take it easy on the brakes and "Ski" your way down by steering the bike with your knees squeezed onto the tank at times and letting the bike go where it wants to other times, but always with you in control with your knees.... think slalom skier!

Cheers

kiwijohn

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