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To start?

Alright. So I've been biking since I could walk, and I'm really fast, but don't have the skills I need. I'm riding a hard tail right now, but I really want to start racing downhill. It's gonna be awhile before I can even afford a used downhill bike :(, so what can I do on my hard tail that can help improve my skills and such? I trail ride a lot, I'm good, but what can I do to get closer to riding true DH?
 

b.utters

Monkey
Mar 30, 2011
135
0
Ride DH on your hardtail. You will be a very smooth rider once you get on a proper DH bike which will help you a lot. Also ride pump track as much as you can.
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,694
401
Warsaw :/
Yup. Unless you have a super rocky trails around that are unridable on a hardtail try doing some dh runs on it. The brits have a hardtail race series or at least some events if I remember right. We have a hardtail group alongside the normal racers and the top hardtail guys on most tracks are not that far away from the top non pro guys.(we have 2 cats only if you dont count women, masters and juniors).

Doing some 4x, ds might also help, even dirtjumps as you will be familiar with going airborne.

I have just build a hardtail for myself to train 4x/ds/dj in the city when I cant go to the mountains myself.
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
6,177
1,834
Ottawa, Canada
Get Lee McCormacks book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, second edition there's tons of practical information on skills and drills...
 

norbar

Turbo Monkey
Jun 7, 2007
9,694
401
Warsaw :/
Get Lee McCormacks book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, second edition there's tons of practical information on skills and drills...
Mountain bike the manual from wave finder is also quite good. There are no photo sequences but the tips there are really good.
Dirt Fundamentals vid or that Sternberg vid are also usefull.
 

gemini2k

Turbo Monkey
Jul 31, 2005
3,526
115
San Francisco
Ride street and DJ's on the hardtail. It is surprisingly good practice/training for riding DH. Once you get used to bunny hopping your hardtail 2+ feet you'll be surprised how much more bike control you'll have over a big bike. Plus it will force you to ride aggressively and get into the proper mindset. Most DH trails you can usally poke down and ride really slowly/passively. On doubles and dirt jumps you can't though. You have to hit them fast and confidently.