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Going faster on flat sections ?

seismic

Turbo Monkey
Dec 22, 2003
3,254
0
South East Asia
Ok...here is the deal....our local course is totally flat on the first section. I have 20 feet to a double built with no kick which I find kind of difficult to get over. Of course the obvious answer to my question will be "pedal !" but I have been thinking about if there are any ways I can get my bike to get faster on the flat sections! Smaller tires, harder compound, lighter tubes/rims....whatever other suggestions....

For the moment I ride:

Minions F - front and rear (60a)
DH tubes
Arrow rims
flats (pedals)

Any advice except to push the pedals and pull ??? I think I am having a hard time getting the bike up to the right speed.......

well....enough blabla.....any suggestions ?
 

Boxxer

Monkey
Jul 18, 2005
858
0
Dirty South
Id prolly x the DH tubes. Its rotational weight which will effect how well you pick up speed.

Other than that, you know the deal. Maybe pick up a shovel and give that first hit some love.
 

S.K.C.

Turbo Monkey
Feb 28, 2005
4,104
24
Pa. / North Jersey
...hehe - well the number 1 question you or anyone should be asking themselves on a course with a lot of flat open sections is: "What is my gearing???"

Are you trying to "Mongo" a 44t chainring up front going to a road cassette???

Arrow rims are SUPER heavy so that isn't really going to help you, but I would ALWAYS recommend running a soft compound tire up front. It may give you a bit of rolling resistance, but the performance you get out of it in the corners is invaluable.

If you want to get up to speed very quickly - this is your problem correct? - then gear down to maybe a 38T chainring up front with a mountain cassettte in the back.

Practice, and work on your shifting under full power. Learn how to fire off those gears as quickly AND smoothly as you can without forcing the chain from gear to gear with pedal strokes.

Also: if it's just a set of doubles - pump them 4X/BMX style to get through them as fast as possible.
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,158
1
SB
That lower bar will help too. I would also get rid of the DH tubes, they're super heavy.
 

Kntr

Turbo Monkey
Jan 25, 2003
7,536
20
Montana
Your tubes and rims are super heavy. I run thin tubes and lots of talc powder and never have a problem with flats. How is the rest of the course? Could you get away with 2.3s or single ply even?

What about clipless pedals? I think they really help for pedaling.
 

jake133

Monkey
Jan 21, 2005
373
0
SLC, Utah
do you have Arrow DHX's or FRX's ?
sometimes it is better to not pedal on cetain parts so you will have more enegry for other parts of the corse.
 

Zutroy

Turbo Monkey
Dec 9, 2004
2,445
0
Ventura,CA
Best way to get faster on the flat, train and get in great shape...then you can out pedal the other guys and still have the energy for the next section.
 

snowskilz

xblue attacked piggy won
May 15, 2004
615
0
rado
build a small double on the way to the bigger double. This will give you the ability to pump the landing and shoot out like a rocket
 

seismic

Turbo Monkey
Dec 22, 2003
3,254
0
South East Asia
Well, - I run the DHX rims and I know they are heavy. I think I will try to get some lighter tubes (any recommendations??) and maybe try a 2.3 in the rear. Would a 2.3 minion 60a front in the rear be a good choice ?? We are talking loose over hardpack...often very dry.

Is there a lot of weight saving going from dual ply to single ply ?

I am already running a 38T, but I am not smooth...so there is no doubt that apart from the gear...tranning is the way.

Thanks for all the good advice !
 

Kntr

Turbo Monkey
Jan 25, 2003
7,536
20
Montana
I have run specialized thin tubes for 5 years. I dont think there is a better thin tube for the price.

Check the maxxis site for weights of single ply vs dual ply. There is a huge differnce.

I run the Minion F in the F and R and love it.

The nevegal 2.3 single ply front and rear would be awesome in the conditions you discribed.
 

AlmostHeaven

Turbo Monkey
Jun 8, 2005
1,168
0
VIRGINIA
since everyone is saying the exact same thing, let's make one big list so we don't keep repeating ourselves. :thumb:

-clipless pedals
-lighter rims and thick XC tubes
-check out the Kenda FastTracker tire. it's semi-slick in the middle with 70d rubber. the cornering knobs are closer to 40d and corner AMAZINGLY, almost as well as your 60d Minion. the semi-slick will allow extremely fast rolling (moreso than you can get with ANY DH tire), and all the cornering that needs to be done can easily be taken care of with the side-knobs. you'll still want the tire in a 2-ply unless you're a very smooth rider since you're running the XC tubes.
-i'd reccomend going with a 40-42t ring and a 11-32 road cassette. that will probably allow for maxium pedal power (at least w/ flats).

*-buy/ride a BMX bike! visit your local trails/jumps and pump around for the first few times. get a feel for pumping over any terrain. you don't know how much riding a BMX has helped me.

guess that about covers it, huh?
 

CBJ

Turbo Monkey
Mar 19, 2002
10,994
1,294
Copenhagen, Denmark
Or tubeless - I have had good results running Maxxis tubeless.

And and Orange is a great bike for riding in Denmark as the DH Cup has shown and that bike accelerates like nothing else I have ridden and its lights both the Patriot and the 22X. A 6" front and rear Patriot, tubless and you will sprint like a BMX.
 

skinny mike

Turbo Monkey
Jan 24, 2005
6,416
0
having clipless pedals will definately help you with sprints. that and training will improve your speed by a considerable amount.
 

Bicyclist

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2004
10,158
1
SB
I agree with the comment about riding BMX. I just built up a cheap (like $150) BMX bike and in a week of riding it I've improved so much it's insane. I hopped on my friends HT at the local drops and had more style than I ever had when I rode there every day on my BigHit.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,640
4
SF, CA
Best thing you can do is run higher air pressure, but you'll give up traction. If you switch to tubeless, you'll gain that traction back even at the higher pressure. Not to mention save weight. Win-win. And if you do it with rimstrips it's cheaper than new wheels or bars...
 

Eurotrash

Monkey
Mar 2, 2002
362
0
you should try a 38-40 chainring and a road cluster on the back, you will be able to accelerate more smoothly and faster.
you could also try the semi slick on the back if the course isn't too steep.
 

seismic

Turbo Monkey
Dec 22, 2003
3,254
0
South East Asia
I am thinkning about getting some Maxxis tires (maybe in 2.3 or single ply) since I can not get Kenda here where I live. I recommendations for the "fastest" combination of Maxxis tires which will still hold up ?

Odd Q, - I know ....but I want to try something to get the sled rolling !
 

Gary

"S" is for "neo-luddite"
Aug 27, 2002
2,767
766
UK
Can't believe everyone's telling you to buy this, fit that, change your settings etc.

Maybe you're just sh1t

;)
 

go-ride.com

Monkey
Oct 23, 2001
548
6
Salt Lake City, UT
seismic said:
I am thinkning about getting some Maxxis tires (maybe in 2.3 or single ply) since I can not get Kenda here where I live. I recommendations for the "fastest" combination of Maxxis tires which will still hold up ?

Odd Q, - I know ....but I want to try something to get the sled rolling !
I'm not so sure about a 2.3 on an Arrow DHX. That rim is really wide and has super stiff sidewalls. A smallish Maxxis 2.3 will have very vertical sidewalls on that wide rim, combined with the super stiff rim, and will pinchflat easy. A single ply will pinch even easier.

I do a lot of tire testing and practice a lot on 60s, but unless the course is really flat my race times are always faster on sticky tires. At minimum I would run a sticky on the front. Not that you asked about this.

My recommendation would be a lighter set of rims (Mavic 729 front, 721 rear), some mid weight tubes (IRC makes a light 2.5 rated tube), and 2.5 Minion Fs front and rear or a Highroller rear.

Higher tire pressure does roll faster to a point, but can also spin easily on starts, plus cause you to blow a lot of corners. Generally, I run the lowest pressure I can without hitting my rims, but 1 or 2 times on a race run. For me that's usually 22 psi front, 27 psi rear. With arrow rims you will have to run higher psi than that to prevent flats.

If you really want to go faster on a flat start clipless is the best way. Every spring I spend some time DHing on flat pedals (snow & mud) and it is a blast, but by the time I have to race I realize how poorly flat pedals accelerate a bike.

The other option is to stiffen up your suspension, which might not be so good for the other 98% of the race course.

My last piece of advise is not to worry about that one small section of race course. Way too often racers get caught up with trying to win a race on one small part of a course. Ride that section the best you can and work on going a bit faster on the rest of the course where your bike and skills work best.