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How to conserve energy in snotty terrain


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I have a 4 hour enduro coming up and I am looking for tips to conserve energy. I have raced (a 3 hour) on a very similiar track, its in the same area just rearranged.

The track was quite wet and muddy, it will be rutted out, tight and technical with not that many fast sections apart from a loop of a motorcross track.

When I raced it last it was near impossible to do anything other then sit down in the technicial sections. Often paddling through the ruts.

I am looking for ways to conserve energy when riding this sort of terrain, I have posted in the health forum on what to eat etc, but I am looking from a riding technique perspective here.

Towards the end I was trying to keep two feet on the pegs through the ruts but it was causing me to make more mistakes when I should have just paddled through it.

Any tips would be much appreciated!

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ride smooth, but out of control if that makes any sence, all your control inputs should be smooth, no snapping the throttle, or grabing the brakes, smooth, but let the bike move where it wants to go, let it move around under you. best way to converse energy is to not get yourself into situations where you need agressive control inputs or body movments to get out of, and if you do get into a bit of a pickle, don't panic but let the bike do its thing.

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Ride smart, go fast but don't risk crashing. If you get stuck, don't panic and try to muscle your way out, take a breather and think about what's the easiest way out. Sometimes the easiest thing is to lift your bike out of the rut, just stay calm and do it in two smooth lifts. Sit where you can. Let the bumps in the trail make you stand up rather than doing it yourself. Pick good lines. Etc.

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I'd say calm if you get stuck also. When I get frustrated and try to muscle my bike out, I do waste much more of my energy trying to rush it (which then normally takes more attempts). I seem to waste a lot of energy going up hills in the standing position when I give too much throttle. I'm just trying to hold on instead of ride. I just want to get up that hill darn it. Anyway, I also tend to stand more than sit even in places I should be sitting. Do you do the same? That would help me a lot and may help you if you do.

Good luck on the race.

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Thanks heaps for the tips, very practical advice there!

Especially on the dont panic when you get stuck. Without thinking about it I burn up a lot of energy trying to man handle my bike out of a situation. Until I finally stop, look around, and realise I just have to get off my bike and move the bike 1 inch to the left or right or just lift it up over a root and its right to go.

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I'd say calm if you get stuck also. When I get frustrated and try to muscle my bike out, I do waste much more of my energy trying to rush it (which then normally takes more attempts). I seem to waste a lot of energy going up hills in the standing position when I give too much throttle. I'm just trying to hold on instead of ride. I just want to get up that hill darn it. Anyway, I also tend to stand more than sit even in places I should be sitting. Do you do the same? That would help me a lot and may help you if you do.

Good luck on the race.

Yes, people say stand as much as you can but I don't think that is the best advice. Yeah, I always end up standing when I probably shouldn't. I come form a downhill mountain biking background where you pretty much never sit down.

Also even though I know I should keep my eyes to open to new lines as the track gets rough I still get mentally lazy and just ride the ruts or wherever the bike goes, usually into the braking bumps and trail chatter. Sometimes riding the same lines exactly as I did in the first lap.

Towards the end of the last enduro I wisened up realised how many smooth lines were around and realised I should have changed lines 5 laps ago.

So even though I know what to do, when I'm on the bike witht the adrenaline flowing I just zone out to the whole trail.

Any tips on how stop doing this in a race? Maybe its just practice?

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Just look around at what others are doing. Spy on there lines. Look for new lines every lap and try new lines often. It's all about staying active as the track changes.

The best advice i can give to anybody doing long races is the race is long. Nothing has to happen right now. It's so easy to get caught on on passing a guy you can blow a lot of energy trying but not get it done because you are not trying in the right spots and not setting the slower rider up for the pass. Take your time and you will have more energy for the long haul.

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this may sound out of topic, but a friend recently switched to fastway bars. armpump completely eliminated and can ride for longer duration.

... assuming that armpump is tied to energy that you can preserve.

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I don't really get arm pump, just run out of whole body strength and energy. I rode some of the track on the weekend as I have been helping mark it out and set it up.

Once I slowed down a bit I found some good lines but will probably have to change them quite a bit as the track is gonna cut out heaps.

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Yeah i was just in a race that was like riding on ice most of the time and deep ruts like he is saying and honestly it is near impossible to stand cause the second i touched the gas my bike was sliding every which direction and i had to constantly keep one foot on the ground so i dident fall. These conditions were causing me to use all my upper body strength along with paddling though ruts.

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Yeah i was just in a race that was like riding on ice most of the time and deep ruts like he is saying and honestly it is near impossible to stand cause the second i touched the gas my bike was sliding every which direction and i had to constantly keep one foot on the ground so i dident fall. These conditions were causing me to use all my upper body strength along with paddling though ruts.

It wasn't that slippery, but the ruts! And just the generally rough and tight track, is what wears me out the most. How did you go in the race?

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Yeah i was just in a race that was like riding on ice most of the time and deep ruts like he is saying and honestly it is near impossible to stand cause the second i touched the gas my bike was sliding every which direction and i had to constantly keep one foot on the ground so i dident fall. These conditions were causing me to use all my upper body strength along with paddling though ruts.

I've ridden in packed snow a few times and it felt like this, and the front wheel was all over the place too. I found if I sat it was worse because when I slid it would take my weight with the bike and I'd swap real bad. But if I stood I could let the bike move around and just keep it pointed straight.

It might be harder at first, especially in ruts, but if you can stand you can save a lot of energy in conditions like that. Although I know how hard it is to make yourself stand when you are already exhausted!

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it was a team race. we did decent, i screwed us over on the first lap i ran cause i got hung up on logs, then couldent get up a slick hill, then stuck in a rut lol. so it was all my fault, otherwise we would have done better, my partner was real good. I ran 3 laps only and put in one good one, my otther was not to bad but i only felt good on one lap. This race destryed my confidence level i can tell you that. It was my 3rd race and i just got my confidence buit up, and this one destroyed it along with ego lol

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Try to avoid the "paddling" situations. This costs a lot of energy as both upper and lower body is working, and your trunk is trying to support both as well as help balance the bike. This wears you out faster than anything. Squeeze the bike with your lower legs and maybe raise your butt off the seat just slightly to allow the bike to move under you. Anytime you're on the seat, the bike is moving you around and you're having to correct to keep balance. Let the bike move while you stay more stationary. Takes some practice, and your bike needs to be well set up, but it'll save you energy.

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Goo is def not for control freaks! Smooth throttle is uber important, and keeping the front light--so you can get driving traction from the back, and not get bogged/endoed on the sitnspin holes or hidden roots in the ruts.

I think someone else said this, but riding a gear up helps, I know on my bike 2nd is much wilder than 3rd with the extra sideways action. And get used to riding through stuff NOT straight--this spring on our track there was a slick snotty little uphill that I was going up diagonally. Of course bald tires may have had something to do with it...­čśĆ

New tires appropriate for soft terrain, and tire pressure make a huge difference and being able to laugh a lot:lol:

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In teems of the uphill I did not get enough momentum and it was to late cause I started clutching it and just spun my wheel. I stopped before the hill to pick a good line cause there was a tree root at the top sticking out and when I got going I could hardly get moving cause all the mud.

For me a gear up is second. Issues is I'm a 200 pd rider on a 144 so that doest not help. Also doesn't riding just with butt above seat wear your legs out? I think I need taller. Bars. I am only 5'8 but when I stand I feel like I am so high off the bike and my bars are cin a in natural spot or it feels weird.

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be flowing, find a riding style that fits that day, and dont go faster or slower than it. in the rough stuff you kn ow you can make just keep the throttle on and try to keep ahead of the bike. cant remember how many times this saved me from having to restart the bike and then restart my run. anticipate what the bike is going to hit, because it will inevitibly hit something rough, and you will find you just go right over it.

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Well it rained heavily leading up to and during the event. The track cut up like I thought it would.

Huge ruts, bike losing ruts, fork leg-swingarm-pipe dragging ruts. muddy sludge as well as rock hard clay which was slippery as. There was also tree roots everywhere and if you didn't have enough momentum to get over them you didn't have a chance on the slick tree roots.

I rode smart and never got stuck once, used very proactive lines to avoid trouble.

It got to about the hour mark and the dual riders were exhausted and often stuck on the hills, going too hard and getting into trouble or sitting at the bottom of hills too tired to even attempt it!

I still hadn't tired at all.

Things I learnt, take it easy when you can, be agressive when you have to.

When your hitting a tough hill, use momentum for as far as you can, find the nearest rut and get aggressive. Paddle like mad, hold on with your arms and your body core to keep yourself in a position where you are getting enough traction but also in a position when you won't flip when you find a bit of traction. I figured you are better off using up alot of energy getting up something the first time than being conservative, not making it up then using 5 times as much energy trying to get unstuck then turning your bike around and then having to have another go at the hill.

There were times when you had to go out into the bush to get around riders or you were just better off to get off and help a rider out so you could get past.

After 1 and a half hours the race was ended, too many complaints about how hard it was. I presonally love that sort of riding and was really enjoying it, and as I said hadn't got stuck once and still had plenty of energy.

Thanks for all your tips!

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