Author Topic: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt  (Read 391 times)


Svend

  • 4-6 Year Member
  • 1000 Posts
  • ****
  • Posts: 1107
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2011, 02:51:57 pm »
Nice one Josh.  Looks so much like the forests around our area.  Lots of fun trails around here.

This is one of them:  http://vimeo.com/14534371

The video was taken by a friend of my brother, whom he rides with.  We were all up there two weekends ago and did a couple of rides on those trails.  The girls loved it, and couldn't get enough of the great singletrack there.

Season isn't over here yet, I hope.  Lots of rain lately is making the trails pretty soggy, but we hope to get out a couple of more times before the snow flies....if this rain ever stops.....sigh....

Have fun!


bushwacka

  • Instructor
  • 400 Posts
  • **
  • Posts: 471
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2011, 08:40:54 am »
Nice trails, look alot more buff than what we have around here.

where are they?

also what helmet cam and editting software?

Svend

  • 4-6 Year Member
  • 1000 Posts
  • ****
  • Posts: 1107
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2011, 08:59:10 am »
Yeah, they are nice trails in that forest.  Not sure what you mean by "buff", but if that means tame, then yes, that particular trail is not too challenging.  There are others in that tract that are more difficult -- Widowmaker, for example  ;D

The trails are in forest called Brant Tract, which is about 2 hours NW of Toronto, near Lake Huron.  We live about 1-1/2 hours from there, but my brother is about 10 minutes away.  We were all up there two weekends ago -- wife, our two daughters, and myself -- and rode there twice, about 2 -3 hours each.  Lots of fun!

Not sure about the cam or software -- I didn't take the video.  It was a buddy of my brother, whom he rides with.  Quality is not that great, actually.

bushwacka

  • Instructor
  • 400 Posts
  • **
  • Posts: 471
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2011, 09:33:38 am »
buff means smooth which is not a bad thing....

I was asking about the cam/software so I could advise how make it better.


Svend

  • 4-6 Year Member
  • 1000 Posts
  • ****
  • Posts: 1107
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2011, 08:45:27 pm »
Not sure if this guy would take the advice, but what the heck? Shoot me some tips and I'll pass them on to him through my brother.  PM me if you want. 

Frankly, your vids are much better.  You can actually see definition and features on the ground in front of the bike.  Nicely done.  Makes me want to get a cam harness.

Buff -- gotcha.  Actually, you can't see them because video is so fuzzy, but the trails have lots of roots, which can get a bumpy in sections on our hardtails.  That is something I actually have to practice -- my Paragon being a 29er hardtail, I find it challenging to keep my butt off the seat and still keep pedaling over a really rough section of roots or rocks, esp. on a climb.  The bike just gets knocked around beneath me, making control tricky.  Staying seated is not an option.  My wife and youngest daughter have 26er hardtails, and it's even rougher for them with the smaller wheels.  Any tips?


bushwacka

  • Instructor
  • 400 Posts
  • **
  • Posts: 471
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2011, 06:49:05 am »
your on the right track you have to stand to effectively climb rough sections

learning how to pump terrain is a huge key for riding stuff like that being that when i restarted MTBing after a long hiatus it was on a full suspension that bike did the work for me. When I built my first SS hardtail I had to learn to be alot more active with my legs. Also I know I sound like broken record but wide grippy soft tubeless tire have no downside for riding stuff like that.

so for climbing rough terrain

1. stand up
2. learn to be active instead of just being reactive
3. get a Full suspension bike
4. get a full suspension bike
5. get the biggest tires you can run and run them tubeless
6. if you ignored getting a full suspension bike, next hardtail you get make sure its not Aluminum. steel, carbon, and Ti all grip the ground better and our more comfortable.

There is no doubt that my Anthem X29er is a better rough climber than my SS redline. I think that on most climbs FS bikes are actually faster uphill but feeler slower because of the magic carpet like ride. With that said i still have to get off the saddle and be active on really rough climbs but its usually for much shorter periods of time.

Liam

  • Ski Shop/Ski Patrol
  • 200 Posts
  • **
  • Posts: 399
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2011, 01:52:38 pm »
Svend,

Big tires run tubeless with PSI under 30 is good advice (put them on a flow rim is even better!).

Full Suspension is nice but I gave it up completely a few years ago and haven't looked back.  But, I always tell folks to buy a Full Suspension bike.

Riding rough terrain:

1. In addition to what Bush said, practice balancing (keeping all your weight) on the balls of your feet and steer, move the bike from that point of contact (yes even when pedaling)..too often in rough sections we tend to put weight on our hands, or offset by tensing up out quads and hamstrings..but just like skiing, when you stand on the bike, stay centered and find that center WITH YOUR FEET.  The pedals aren't just for pedaling.

2. Remember, wheels work best when they are rolling (especially big wheels), and they roll best in a straight line.  When ascending, descending, or traversing the rougher terrain stay as straight as possible, even when confronted with jagged rocks, off-camber roots and square edge hits and grooves.  Just pedal to keep your momentum, find your balance over the balls of your feet, relax, allow your body to absorb and move along.  Any little giggling, or handlebar manipulation to scurry through toothy sections works against the design of your bike, get rid of those, find your center over your feet and keep moving in as straight (or if the trail is curved 'direct') a line as possible.

We have miles of hilly chunder around here.  I spent a long time getting these skills under my belt.

Liam

Svend

  • 4-6 Year Member
  • 1000 Posts
  • ****
  • Posts: 1107
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2011, 09:17:23 am »
Guys, thanks for the great feedback.  Some really good advice here, and lots to respond to.

Before I bought my Fischer Paragon, I seriously considered getting a FS 26er.  That was three years ago, when 29ers were just coming onto the market here in Toronto area.  They were few and far between - I think they were much more common in the US in 08.  So, shopping for a new bike to replace my 20 year-old steel rigid 26er, I first started test riding aluminum hardtails, and hated every one of them -- way too harsh riding.  And the FS 26ers that I was testing, or borrowed from friends for a couple of hours, were simply underwhelming in their performance -- so much energy lost from pedaling, poor acceleration, lazy handling... boring!  I was despondent.  The compromises on either side were too great for me to live with.  I thought I'd never find a suitable bike, until I test rode a couple of the few 29ers available here, and LOVED them!

So, I ended up with an aluminum hardtail 29er, which gave me exactly the kind of ride I was looking for (well, almost).  Ful-suss 29ers were just not available at the time -- I think Specialized made one, but I wasn't confident that the design was any good.  In the meantime, however, the design of rear suspension has really improved, to the point that I would actually consider buying one now.  My brother just bought a new DeVinci FS 26er, XC geometry, and I gotta say it impresses even my skeptical mind.  But for my height (6'2") the 29er size just "fits", and feels right.  But whether I would go FS in a 29er? Hmmm.....probably not.  For a couple of reasons.....I would rather learn to ride the rough stuff on a hard tail, and improve my skills, than give up the immediacy and connection to the ground that I love about a hard tail.  And, I kinda miss the feel of steel.  BW -- you're bang on, those frames have a way more compliant feel than aluminum.  They feel supple, but powerful.  Ask Gary here on the forum how he feels about his new light aluminum road bike vs. his old and heavier steel frame bike.....

Now that 29ers are everywhere here, there is a lot more choice available -- eg. just saw a sweet Reynolds frame single speed Marin in our little local shop...brilliant.  So, my next bike will most likely be another 29er hardtail, but either Reynolds or Ti frame.  In the meantime, I'm very happy with my Paragon.  It was close to the top of the Fischer XC line at the time, and has great geometry, decent frame quality, good components (SRAM X-9, Fox fork, etc.).....but, the aluminum frame could be more comfortable, and I find the rear triangle a bit too mushy when really cranking on the torque.

Having said all that, thanks for the riding advice.  That is something I really have to practice -- to keep pedaling over rough terrain.  Not only climbs, but on flats as well.  There are trails here that have long flat sections that are riddled with roots large and small.  Keeping momentum up on that stuff without sitting down and giving my butt a thrashing hasn't been easy.  Will seriously look at wider tires to give me more cush.  The Bontragers on there now are 2.2 nominally, but actually measure only 2.1 or so.  Will look at some 2.3s for sure (see other thread).

So, I definitely have to work on balance with butt off the seat while pedaling rough sections.  Liam, your point about weight on the balls of the feet, finding balance, and relaxing more is good stuff.  I am constantly catching myself tensed and clenched, and have to mentally force myself to stay loose and relaxed.  When I do, it is all SO much easier, but it doesn't come instinctively yet. 

BW -- like you, my wife and I took a long hiatus from mtn. biking to raise our kids and run our business.  Now that we have more personal time (a little bit, anyway), we are really enjoying getting back into the sport, and are relearning so many of the techniques that we got so good at 16 years ago on our old heavy steel frame rigid bikes.  And now our daughters are riding with us, and loving it too.  We're teaching them, and they're teaching us too (indirectly, just by us watching what they do  8))......Fun!

« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 09:20:46 am by Svend »

bushwacka

  • Instructor
  • 400 Posts
  • **
  • Posts: 471
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2011, 10:23:47 am »
Learning to ride rough stuff on a hardtail doesnt really build skills for riding a FS. well it kinda of does but hear me out.

I spent the past 3 years riding nothing but SS hardtails till this summer. I also had a rigid 96er that saw some time as well all were steel. I did have DHish bike for a summer but it was only ridden when riding lifts. The fastest lines on my 29er FS are not what was the fastest lines on either of my Single Speed.

I also race, I do alot of 6 + hour race and 50 milers. If the terrain is mostly singletrack the FS bike is a huge advantage.

I think FS bikes are better in all around performance for anyone who can afford a nice one. FS 29ers are XC/trail destroyer that make everything seem slow. The thing is there are alot of crappy FS bikes out there.

With that said Single Speeds are stupid fun to ride and I will always own one. On smooth climbs with out much grade they are faster.

 

Svend

  • 4-6 Year Member
  • 1000 Posts
  • ****
  • Posts: 1107
Re: The Leaf Blower TR - Stowe, Vt
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2011, 02:39:05 pm »
Learning to ride rough stuff on a hardtail doesnt really build skills for riding a FS. well it kinda of does but hear me out.

I think FS bikes are better in all around performance for anyone who can afford a nice one. FS 29ers are XC/trail destroyer that make everything seem slow. The thing is there are alot of crappy FS bikes out there.


Hey Josh, that makes perfect sense, but at the moment I have no real desire to get a FS 29er, so aren't looking to build skills in preparation for a future FS bike.  The trails around here aren't THAT rough that I really need one.  The big wheels just flow so nicely, that all I need is a bit more practice to up my skill level, and I'll be flying.  FWIW, a lot of the high end bikes sold here are still hardtails - both 26 and 29 - if that says anything.  People are still buying them, and are savvy to the pros and cons of each.

That said, if one day I can afford a REALLY good FS 29er, then I would certainly entertain that idea.  Perhaps when the kids are finished college....   ::)  We were actually contemplating, well into the future, traveling with our bikes and doing mtn. bike trips to some "exotic" areas, like Arizona, Utah, British Columbia interior, Colorado, Costa Rica.  Kind of the summer equivalent of a ski trip -- pack the bikes in a hard case, check 'em in at the airport, and away we go.....  Dreams.....but hey, if we ever get to do that, a couple of full suspension bikes would be brilliant   8)

In the meantime, I am not impressed by what's on the market for FS 29ers.  $3000 seems to be the magic number, and I can't justify that, considering how "buff" the trails are here  ;D  and how little need there is for a bike like that.

But one of these days I will have to sneak a ride on a steel frame single speed.  I can imagine that it would be just a blast to ride some flowy fast singletrack on one of those.