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After having it for two weeks, this afternoon I finally got to take the MTB out for a spin in the dirt. It was only for an hour or so, but I had a great time. I stuck to the fire trails near home for my first ride, and I did multiple laps of a fairly easy course just to get the hang of the gears, brakes and basic handling etc, but that was enough for my first workout. It was good fun, but it was hard work and I reckon I'll have to be careful that I don't blow my knees apart by doing too much too soon.

I wouldn't imagine I'll ever be fast on a mountainbike, especially on the technical stuff, but I hope to get out for some social rides and maybe do a few races and off road tri's to help keep it interesting. Based on todays effort I'd imagine that gear selection and learning to judge the pace into corners would be good areas for improvement.

Anyways, I know nothing about MTB's so:

Is the seat height (knee bend) roughly the same set up as a Road Bike?

Is there any particular maintenance required on an MTB (as apposed to a Road Bike)?

Also, are there any particular classic MTB races or Off Road Tri's that I should be looking at doing?

Any help would be much appreciated.

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Having semi recently purchased a mountain bike I had similar question. As for seat height, my research online came up with having it the same.

 

Shock rebound is a whole science in itself. Getting them set just right is not quite as easy as I expected. Unfortunately it seems you have to have it set wrong a bunch of times before you find out what is right. Tyre pressure too. I'm down under 30 psi and I think I could go lower but have not done tubeless conversion yet.

 

Great fun sport.

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I run tubes still and use about 28-30 psi. All my mates are telling me to convert to tubeless which I just haven't got around to yet.

 

Shock rebound is important as you use it to get your front wheel up rocks, ledges etc. Push down and then lift up whilst the fork is rebounding to get the front wheel up.

 

Weight distribution whilst climbing is the first thing you need to get sorted. Not too far forward to prevent your back wheel spinning, but not too far back so you don't pop an unintentional wheelie and land on your arse like I've done a few times. Because of this, I have my seat farther forward than I do on my road bike.

 

Where are you located? This is a good site for XCM (croscountry marathon) races - http://www.marathonmtb.com/

 

I'm not an expert and have only been doing ti for the past 6 months. But it's brilliant fun.

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Love the mtb. I (not often enough) head to Daisy Hill with my oldest daughter and ride the fire trails and single track for a few hours.

 

I am absolutely hopeless, but have an absolute blast. When I am bombing down some single track (with appalling technique!), I get that same feeling I used to have as a young kid when I was riding my bike around in the park for the first time. Its simply awesome fun.

 

No idea how good it is in terms of training - but do it just because its fun... :-)

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I run tubes still and use about 28-30 psi. All my mates are telling me to convert to tubeless which I just haven't got around to yet.

 

Whoops, I think I might have a bit too much air in mine. And yes, I'm hearing that converting to Tubeless is the go.

 

Where are you located? This is a good site for XCM (croscountry marathon) races - http://www.marathonmtb.com/

 

Wagga Wagga. Thanks for the link to that site, it looks good.

 

No idea how good it is in terms of training - but do it just because its fun... :-)

 

Legs are shot today, so it's got to be doing me some good. But don't care if it's not because as you say it's just good fun anyway!

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Nothing like jumping in the deep end... I've got my first MTB event on in the morning and now it's after midnight, and I can't sleep. I'm just lying here worrying about how difficult the course is going to be :sleepy:.

 

I did speak to two other competitors earlier on this evening, and they both assured me that this course is not 'too' technical... but I then found out that they are the current Australian Male & Female Champions :sick:. Ooops!

 

.

Edit - It's now 2:30am and I'm still wide awake. There's not even any expectations on me and I think I'm more nervous about this event than any Ironman Triathlon I've ever done. The only pressure I've got is my wife saying 'just don't break anything!

 

Stress is a weird thing!

Edited by Go Easy
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Looking forward to the post event write up.

 

Not too much to say really...

 

Australian Cross Triathlon Championships - Bendigo

 

1500 Swim - Wetsuit Swim, two laps of the Reservoir. Nice swim, felt good.

 

30km MTB - Part Fire Trails, part Single Track, Some easy fast sections and some rocky climbs & descents. IP gave me a lesson in Mountain Biking. Only came off once, and didn't break anything. Had a blast, man this is a fun sport!

 

10km Run - Enjoyed first lap, wasn't super fast but felt good. The course was fairly flat but had a couple of token creek crossings to help keep it interesting. Cramped badly at the end of the first lap but recovered to still be able to run the second lap.

 

Overall - I loved my first go at this off-road stuff. Managed to get 2nd in my Age Group at the Aus Champs so you've got to be happy with that!

And best of all... I lived to tell the tale!

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Thanks guys, I had a fantastic weekend and met some really nice people. I think the MTB folks are a bit more relaxed than the usual Tri crowd. They are still bloody good competitors, and maybe even a little bit crazy, but they're just more relaxed.

Like I said before, I don't think I'll ever be real quick on a Mountain Bike... I treasure my body too much! I'm just lucky that Cross Triathlon still also involves a Swim and a Run!

Edited by Go Easy
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My late tips (yeah, I saw you got 2nd in the National Championships).....I'm adding my novice tips anyway,

 

I did my first race about 5 months ago. Traveled well, was leading my category, but snapped a chain about 2 km from the finish. My fault, late gear change and put on too much force trying to crest a sharp hill.

 

1. Select the gear and effect the gear change really early. You will miss several changes but try not to miss the one where you are approaching a hill. I recommend going straight to Granny gear and spin/cadence up, as you would on a road bike. But don't plan any sequential changes going up. There's a lot can go wrong.

 

2. Conversely, get back to the higher gears as soon as possible also.

 

3. Use your road bike skills. When spinning up a hill do not get out of the saddle. Sit and spin. Let the others try the advanced climbing, and as the tire, you pass them.

 

4. Sit back initially. Not like a road race, you don't have to be in the lead pack. More like a horse trying to win the Melbourne Cup. Sit midfield and start your move from half distance..eg over 40 km...start moving forward after 20 km.

 

5. Drink a good amount of water 5-10 mins before the race. You really don't have time to be swigging frequently. Again over 40 km, you won't need much, a few 100 mls. But have a second bottle, iced coke. Hit the coke also from the halfway point.

 

6. Don't overly sweat the kind of rig you are riding. As a novice you will probably be thinking of all kind of upgrades (looking at the bikes in the field). If you are fit, it will show. A new bike can come later.

 

7. Ride the course once prior to the race. OK, that's not possible. That's why I said drop back early and observe what others are doing.

Edited by kamalarrowsmith
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Having semi recently purchased a mountain bike I had similar question. As for seat height, my research online came up with having it the same.

 

Shock rebound is a whole science in itself. Getting them set just right is not quite as easy as I expected. Unfortunately it seems you have to have it set wrong a bunch of times before you find out what is right. Tyre pressure too. I'm down under 30 psi and I think I could go lower but have not done tubeless conversion yet.

 

Great fun sport.

Seat Height = Same. If riding techy stuff stuff consider getting a dropper. It's safer than a standard post so you can get behind the saddle to avoid going over the bars.

 

Before you play with rebound and compression set your static sag first then tyre pressure. A heavier guy like you probably won't go much below 28PSI. Most elite 70kg guys I know run anywhere from the extreme of 18 - a more usual 25PSI with most around 22.You can generally move your fork pressure alittle to adjust for some courses but most forks like static sag at 10-15%.

 

When setting compression you should use about 3/4 of the stroke most of the time and come very close to bottoming out once on the course to get full use out of it. If the course is rocky run less rebound so it doesn't push back at you but not so little it bogs down. With tyre pressure on rocky course run it as low as you can without dinging the rim.

 

Edit: Tyre pressure will change your suspension settings and vice versa. eg if I run my forks at a more compression dampening or less rebound dampening (ride a hardtail) I can't run the tyres as low because I tend to "work" the tyre alot more and run the risk of burping.

 

Learn corner speed (No, roadies can't corner for shit). You may beat triathletes but MTBers will roll away from you with corner speed despite being less fit. Brake as little as possible. Triathletes can do pretty well at marathons that have a lot of fire trail like Convict 100/Capital Punishment/Highland Fling (the most prestigous marathon in Oz). Don't do ones like the AMB100 or Kowalski Classic unless you want to get better at single track.

 

The most important thing is balance:

 

1. Always try to have your weight centered over the BB for even balance. This means on a steep descent you will be back behind the saddle but if you see a side on picture it actually settles your weight over the BB.

 

2. Try to think of having even weight on both tyres (hence the centered over the BB). If you have the front let go alittle and the back follow in a corner you have it perfect.

 

3. Brake as little as possible. Especially in a corner because it reduces grip. This will take awhile to figure out but is very rewarding when you get it right. A little two wheel drift is good.

 

4. Take the time to really get to know a course you are going to race. Don't just make it over an obstacle, make it over fast and with as little effort as possible. Practice it more than once. Walk it, watch what fast guys do.The fastest guys getting around practice the course because it saves a lot of time and energy in a race.

 

5. A lines should be, but are not always the fastest. Figure it out before the race and take the quickest one.

Edited by thekeeper
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Yeap did Sunday race at bendigo. Like you Go Easy first mountain bike tri( got mountain bike in July) .. Loved it.. Was stressed about falling off but made it and it was great fun..people there were great and very friendly..can't wait to do another:-)

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Thanks for the tips guys, I'm a complete numpty when it comes to mountain bikes so this is all great stuff. I was even on platform pedals (no toe clips or anything) at Bendigo so there's plenty of things that I can improve upon.

 

Good to see that you enjoyed it Ironmum. Yeah, I'm keen to do another. We might have to do the Tripple Tri in Canberra and challenge IP for his crown!

 

.

Edited by Go Easy
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Yeah, I don't think I'm any threat to his crown either... he really motors along on that fat bike thing of his :).

 

At this stage I reckon the Oceania Cross Triathlon Champs at Lake Crackenback on 28th Feb, or the Xterra Asia Pacific Champs at Callala Beach on 18th April could be my next venture.

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Racing this afternoon, 40k multilap.

 

Have not seen the course, there in Batac, original home of Ferdinand Marcos. We are going up a few hours early, so will have a brief look.

 

Had a good sleep, but up since 4 AM. Currently fitting new hubs, front and rear.

 

Will take my own advice and see what happens.

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=848851051831801&set=gm.853867827998409&type=1&theater

 

100 pesos= $2.50 so already ahead.

Edited by kamalarrowsmith
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Was talking to a lady at bendigo about Crackenback..her advice was to do more technical riding... Which I don't think I'm ready for anything alot more technical..

 

Yeah, there were several people at the presentation who asked me if I was going to Crakenback and they all said it was a lot 'smoother' and easier to ride than Bendigo. I wouldn't have a clue but these people seemed to know what they were talking about. I think I'm happy to give Crackenback a crack!

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How'd you go?

 

Thanks for asking. Bit of a fiasco all round really.

 

Slept ok but had to get out of the house by 6 AM for 2 PM start. Had an appointment with Ian our club chairman and bike shop owner to fit new hubs, took him 3 hours working with an assistant and taking work as it came into the shop. Got if free, should not complain.

 

By 10 AM he's not ready so at 10:20 I had to push off, and get our 4 bikes shipped up in his sidecar. Had to do it, because we might have missed the rego deadline.....5 of us riding, the other guy made his own arrangements. Got there in plenty of time and they all showed up 30 minutes later, still plenty of time and of course I'm the only foreigner and also the oldest competitor (there in Batac, ancenstral home of Marcos, way up Nth Luzon, about 500 km north of Manila). Nice area and the race as we are now told will be 25k consisting of a series of hills with some technical descents. A 2 km uphill finish, but the briefing was in the local dialect, Ilocano, so I missed that bit.

 

Tried out the bike and it seemed to be running a treat, they put in 30 psi, and I let some out. Hot weather though and the tires tended to expand of course, so I let even more air out.

 

I wont explain the categories. I was off in a staggered start, Executive Cat, over 40, but 5-6 guys in my age range, 3 looked competitive, 3 looked recreational. So we are taken on a tour of the city before we reach the start.

 

Off we go and before I even click in, I'm getting dropped. Broken tarmac, no clear line available, so off this group I see 3 riders off the back...all from my age group. so I settle down over about 2 km and started planning, As I know I'm at the back, but the Novice, BMX and Open categories will probably catch us, they started later.

 

So I'm thinking to pick off these 3 riders, so I go into the big chain ring and ride TT style and pick them off easily. Get straight onto the dirt now and first hill in view. A climb to the R but can't see the top, going well and thought "I'll just ride over it"...but no because I have a strategy, so I follow my own advice, drop right down and start spinning...immediately dropped the chain.

 

Con't a bit later, sorry...

 

Dropped the chain going up and got it jammed between the last cog and the frame. I lifted it, spun it back on, but now on the sharp hill, I run to run the bike a bit to get back on. Still on the small ring and the chain starts skipping. Now I know they were rushed and didn't check the timing, so I cant use the small chain ring, but the middle and the big ring seem to be ok, so maybe I can finish. After this 2-3 minute fool around time all my teammates from different categories pass me up.....they will read this so....

 

Arnel....looked quite strong but he's a big guy and was expanding a lot of energy.

 

Kaloy...smooth as silk, but not fast enough on the technical parts,

 

Ian..on the big wheeler, cadence was slow but he was mid field keeping pace.

 

Rolando...how will I comment he won his division.

 

What's his name (Rico?) got 2nd but I didn't see him.

 

Francis...6th in the Open, I didn't see him.

 

So now Im behind, but I'm in with the BMX guys, so someone to follow. But the kids can't climb those big hills and were stopping suddenly. Caught me off balance and I had a minor fall going up. Kid asked me if I'm ok, nice, but I got straight back on.

 

From here it gets confusing. We crossed the halfway point and got a wrist band, now somehow I got away from the BMX kids, but now I'm isolated. Then suddenly I see 4 riders coming back on me in the opposite direction, then turning sharply uphill. What's that, some kind of switchback? No idea, so I kept riding straight until the road divided. There's supposed to be arrows, but they are high up in the tree, and since I missed that part of the briefing I was counting on following other riders.

 

Went out on the road and saw a guy walking...wrong way he told me. So I went back and now Im sure to be last and all I can do is aim to complete the course. I rode hard as i could and suddenly got up on the BMX guys again. And they have a race marshall escorting them, so that's got to be good.

 

So cutting it short now. they already missed the road going up to the finish and the marshall advised them to ride back to the tart point. End of my race, but I rode nearly 40 km doing a 25 km race.

 

Summary.

 

1. As The Keeper noted above (all his tips were good), corner speed combined with balance, A few of those R hand corners came off descents. I really don't have the skills, but it is important.

 

2. Tire pressure. This race was 90% off road, I should have lowered them much more...24-26, maybe even lower.

 

3. Sand on the descents. Out of my league, I would stop pedalling and countersteer, but I really have no idea.

 

4. Know the course. Also try to asses your competition, as I did,it will give you some idea of how you are going.

 

5. Remind Ian to set the timing...Lol...

 

I would like to say I had a blast, but tough day out really. More training, theres a few more races coming up

Edited by kamalarrowsmith
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Crackenback has a trail along the river if used will likely have you walking in spots due to some fun little rock gardens, but generally thought of as a beginners track.

 

Not sure about the course yet, but I'm keen to give it a go anyways. How bad can it be... :shy:.

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Not sure about the course yet, but I'm keen to give it a go anyways. How bad can it be... :shy:.

Its not bad. There is pretty much only one track with a few diverts. From what you have said I don't think you will ride the little rock gardens, but that won't be the end of the world. If you are making the trip all the way up there go ride Tryolean village and Bungarra. Some of the best tracks in Australia.

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Giving MTB a bit of a go, even had a couple of rides where I didn't fall off :) First ride at Mt Annan and the rest at Wylde so only done technical single trails so far. Also entered Xterra so that will be interesting.

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Its not bad. There is pretty much only one track with a few diverts. From what you have said I don't think you will ride the little rock gardens, but that won't be the end of the world. If you are making the trip all the way up there go ride Tryolean village and Bungarra. Some of the best tracks in Australia.

 

Sounds good. I think the event (the swim etc) is at Crackenback Resort, but given the cost of accommodation at the resort itself would it be smart to stay in either Jindabyne or Thredbo instead? I'd rather put the dollars into spending another night or two and looking around while I'm up there?

 

 

Good luck with it Stem, hopefully I'm see you at Callala.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Question for anyone running 1x10 have you gone 40 or 42 with Wolf Tooth or OneUp and any thoughts?

 

I have a RaceFace narrow wide front on the way but can already do the local loop in the big chainring so wondering whether to bother.

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"The Cannondale Was a Wreck, but I was Allright"

 

Nothing in it really. I was out on a 70 km ride. Per agreement with wife, I would stop to pay our electric bill on the way home. I parked the bike, probably right in the drivers blind spot. And he ran over the back wheel, completely buckled of course, but only that.

 

I got about $70 compensation plus transportation money to get home (a decent amount of money here in Phils)

 

Got back to my mate's shop, although he wasn't there. He did tell me he can straighten the wheel, but will need a set of spokes. Probably Chinese made, So I look to be ok.

Edited by kamalarrowsmith
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Ouch!

 

100/- pesos for one spoke, free labour, plus the round out=$5.

 

Shop owner, club chairman, gives labour free. We buy a lot of stuff down there and can order parts more or less wholesale. We do have lunches out on the road eg... thick noodle soup for 10...75 cents each, usually 2 litres of coke on the table, extra soup like refills free.....$10 all up for 8-10 riders so it evens out.

 

Tomorrow AM heading out....80 km all on road.

 

Oh yeah, rim is cracked but not through and through, tomorrow will be a trial.

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I just bought my first mountain bike, a 27.5" full suspension one. This after only been on an MTB twice before, once in the Canadian Rockies (they won, I ended up with my face smashed and knee busted) and once two weekends ago. So different than I could remember from Canada. I foolishly entered the Back2Back race weekend this coming weekend on the Sunshine Coast. I don't have trail running shoes (or budget to get them at the moment) so that will be interesting! Looking forward to it though. May post a report next week, if I survive.

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I just bought my first mountain bike, a 27.5" full suspension one. This after only been on an MTB twice before, once in the Canadian Rockies (they won, I ended up with my face smashed and knee busted) and once two weekends ago. So different than I could remember from Canada. I foolishly entered the Back2Back race weekend this coming weekend on the Sunshine Coast. I don't have trail running shoes (or budget to get them at the moment) so that will be interesting! Looking forward to it though. May post a report next week, if I survive.

Good luck!

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I just bought my first mountain bike, a 27.5" full suspension one. This after only been on an MTB twice before, once in the Canadian Rockies (they won, I ended up with my face smashed and knee busted) and once two weekends ago. So different than I could remember from Canada. I foolishly entered the Back2Back race weekend this coming weekend on the Sunshine Coast. I don't have trail running shoes (or budget to get them at the moment) so that will be interesting! Looking forward to it though. May post a report next week, if I survive.

 

Mate. I spent about a year riding around before I entered a race. I was still doing some triathlons, but racing for the first time blind is like getting called up from 3rd Grade, to the Test X1, and you would be facing Lillee and Thommo.

 

Yeah good luck.

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I live to tell the tale... Survived Saturday, stinking hot, but no issues apart from some cramping in my right calf at the start of the run (3.5km trail run). Took it relatively easy. Got overtaken by someone in my age group about 1km from the finish, but couldn't stay with him unfortunately. He ended up 2nd in my age group, I took 3rd (but didn't know it at that time). 1 to 3 only 1 minute apart.

 

Sunday morning we would be doing it all over again. Foolishly I asked whether I could change to the long course (500m swim, 14km MTB, 7km run). Foolish because it meant no podium even if I'd finish (you had to compete in the same event over both days to get an overall result). Stacked on the bike trying to get a gel in. Scraped my right arm, but still ok. The run went smoothly until 700m out of the finish, when I hit a tree with my knee. I managed to finish but had to get checked out by the ambo's since my knee was about twice its normal size. Iced it for about 20 minutes, which took some of it away. I was happy that my wife was there so she could drive back to Brisbane!

 

My 7yo daughter did 2 Dirt Kids events, 50m swim, 3km bike, 500m run, and loved it as well. Afraid I have to do some more of these offroad tri's now.

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I live to tell the tale... Survived Saturday, stinking hot, but no issues apart from some cramping in my right calf at the start of the run (3.5km trail run). Took it relatively easy. Got overtaken by someone in my age group about 1km from the finish, but couldn't stay with him unfortunately. He ended up 2nd in my age group, I took 3rd (but didn't know it at that time). 1 to 3 only 1 minute apart.

 

Sunday morning we would be doing it all over again. Foolishly I asked whether I could change to the long course (500m swim, 14km MTB, 7km run). Foolish because it meant no podium even if I'd finish (you had to compete in the same event over both days to get an overall result). Stacked on the bike trying to get a gel in. Scraped my right arm, but still ok. The run went smoothly until 700m out of the finish, when I hit a tree with my knee. I managed to finish but had to get checked out by the ambo's since my knee was about twice its normal size. Iced it for about 20 minutes, which took some of it away. I was happy that my wife was there so she could drive back to Brisbane!

 

My 7yo daughter did 2 Dirt Kids events, 50m swim, 3km bike, 500m run, and loved it as well. Afraid I have to do some more of these offroad tri's now.

 

Sounds like fun.

 

What's the incidence of people wearing gloves and elbow pads? I'm still wearing bike gloves or soft gloves, but have seen a fair few hard shell gloves, like motorcycle gloves. A few elbow pads, not so many also. Seen a few wearing one elbow pad on the predominant side, R side, I guess.

 

What I can say now after 2 races, 2 DNF, but learned a lot, is that the training is very enjoyable, group or solo. Always a new challenge and people regroup and stay together more.

 

We did almost 90 km last Sat, mostly on road with a stop for mid morning snack. Next week I hear we are going off road and on tarmac, if not similar distance, will probably be 4 hours in the saddle. Last week was close to 5 hrs all up.

Edited by kamalarrowsmith
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