DeersSlayer

Old new rider, limited winter space, practice what?

27 posts in this topic

I received my first trials bike (a new Inspired Flow Plus 24 with hydraulic disc brakes) a week ago. Couldn't find any used trials bikes locally, they're not popular here (Ottawa, Canada.) Not really sure yet what my goals are with the trials bike, just learn and have fun I suppose. So I have a new bike, but winter arrived early and strong here (98 cm snow so far, 43 cm snowpack currently.) I've managed to clear a 9 or 10' wide 15' long space in the heated (+ 3 C) garage, and I'm trying to learn small side hops and improve my trackstand skill in that small space. Not really enough space to consider going up on the back wheel. Anything else I could try until winter breaks? (another 3+ months!) I've read just about everything on trashzen, the theory there seems sound. ;-)

I started 2016 owning only 1 bicycle (older Norco hybrid), now I have 4! This year I rode 600 or 700 km on the hybrid, 2,800 km on a full suspension mountain bike, and only about 70 km so far on the winter fat tire bike (lots of soft crashing on snow!) I'm having a late-life bicycle crisis. :-) Prior to this year most of my 2-wheel riding has been on motorcycles (30 years worth.)

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Try doing front wheel hops if you can't go on the rear wheel. I suppose the reason why you can't do it is because the garage is too low.

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Fakie's, turning around on the spot, moving side to side with front and rear wheel pivots.  Its all good.

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Fakie's, turning around on the spot, moving side to side with front and rear wheel pivots.  Its all good.

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Yes, the garage is a little low as the door opener motor is right above the middle of the cleared space. Although I'm only 5' 7", that helps. Fakies, turning around on the spot, is a great idea. That alone will probably take me 3+ months to learn. ;-)

Tire pressure:  The Maxxis Holy Roller sidewalls say 35 - 65 lb, I'm using 35. As a trials newbie, should I use more? Less?

Here's the garage clearing, with lots of other stuff on the sides. The floor is asphalt, slightly sloping down to the door. (I hope it's OK to embed a pic here. I'm new to the forum, and the pics give a better idea of the limited floor space and height.)

garageClearing.jpggarageClearingLandscape.jpg

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Nice colour on the flow. Might be best to have the tyres pretty firm as that's how you need to run them on a street trials to stop pinch punctures so to my mind, practice with how you will use them. I run mine at 3 bar (whatever that is in psi) but think some guys run them with more.

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6 hours ago, Daviesdt said:

 ... I run mine at 3 bar (whatever that is in psi) but think some guys run them with more.

3 bar = 43.5 psi. I'll bump mine up to 44.

Out on the fat tire bike today I was running 9 psi and it was too much. I dropped it down to about 7 psi for better snow grip.

My forearms are getting a good workout as I'm new to both snow riding and trials, and my forearms were already quite strong. I'm likely over griping on both bikes.

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Fat bikes are made for low psi, used to run low psi on my motocross cross bike in the mud, get better grip. Street trials is quite high psi due to the need for low rolling resistance and sharp edges, if you ride rocks and stuff though natural trials, you may want to drop the pressure a bit so the tyre moulds to the surface a bit better, it's all personal pref really.

If your arms are getting pumped from gripping, either fat bike or trials, you are holding on way to hard, try and relax and loosen up slightly, will improve bike control.

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That's a lot of space to practice on. How high is the ceiling?

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The door opener motor has 7' clearance, the ceiling about 8.5'. I'm 5' 10" to top of helmet. Pedals in flat horizontal position are about 2' up from the floor when on the back wheel. So the minimum needed without any hop is almost 8'. I would want at least 9'.

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If I was you I would be out on skis/snowboard playing in the snow but maybe the novety has wore off for you by now!

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17 hours ago, Explosifpete said:

If I was you I would be out on skis/snowboard playing in the snow but maybe the novety has wore off for you by now!

I do get out and play on the snow too, I love being outdoors.

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I live in an old industrial city so there is lots of abandoned buildings/ empty wharehouses ......contact the owner more often than not they will let you use them

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Garage training update: After my first 5 weeks on a trials bike, garage bound, I'm still loving the trials 'riding!'

Bouncing on the rear with the front on the 18" high box today I managed about 15 hops in a row. Can move a little forwards or back and side to side. Still not a lot of control, I usually over or under compensate!

Two wheel side hops I can now get about 3 or 4 in a row going left, 6 or 7 going right. Rocking up on the front, then to back wheel is starting to feel more confident, I can get up to 4 or 5 in row. For now I prefer being on the front more than the back, so I need a lot more practice!

I still suck at track stands, rarely getting 10 seconds. It feels comfortable, I do the right movements and corrections, but it often ends with a big under or over compensation. Although I sometimes do a short track stand between 2 wheel side hops, so it is progressing.

I noticed today after an hour on the bike I'm more tired than I was 2 weeks ago, probably because I now spend a lot more of the hour actually riding. :-)

No buyer's regrets, except I wish I got into trials years ago. This old new trials rider is having fun! Maybe I should have bought a 24" Echo Trial MK5 instead of the Inspired 24 Flow Plus, but once I get riding outside the garage I might prefer the Flow decision. 

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I've got an echo 24 inch and an inspired element, I find I chop and change between the two depending on my mood, right now it's all about about the street trials. I've found the street trials converts more readily back to MTB than the echo as position for riding and the body movements are more similar. This is something that I definitely want out of trials is more ability and control on my stumpjumper on tech stuff and lines. That said, I have found learning some skills on the echo a little easier as it is just built for things like back wheel hops. All in all the street trials I think will get you further with generic riding skills whilst the echo will suit static stuff better. All personal choice really but don't think you have made a mistake with the flow, give it time. However, everyone has room for more bikes in their life surely...!?

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On January 31, 2017 at 10:42 PM, Daviesdt said:

... I have found learning some skills on the echo a little easier as it is just built for things like back wheel hops. All in all the street trials I think will get you further with generic riding skills whilst the echo will suit static stuff better. All personal choice really but don't think you have made a mistake with the flow, give it time. However, everyone has room for more bikes in their life surely...!?

I started 2016 owning only 1 bicycle, an old mediocre street hybrid. I ended the year with 4 bikes. Must ... resist ... buying ... another trials bike. ;-)

Although I am using the 3 new bikes much, MUCH more than the old hybrid!

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@DeersSlayer I have 4 bikes and eyeing up a fifth, it's driving the missus crazy. The ideal number of bikes is one more than you currently have but one less than that which results in divorce ;)

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I did pick up an Echo 24" Trial too. Cleaned up my back yard a little, and had a go on some pallets.

20170418_143750_3.thumb.jpg.a4b18857e83d5505c646f3c54ae00241.jpg20170418_143610_6.thumb.jpg.59f888768e9ec648d57929bd4fcff351.jpg

Yes, 2 of them are decked with cedar or pressure treated *leftover* wood. They're smooth, my yard isn't! What a difference compared to riding in my garage and parking lots. Lots more yard work to come. My neighbors will be happy to see the junkyard-jungle gone. Not sure if they'll enjoy the sound of the rear brake honking...

20170418_143832_1.thumb.jpg.dd12795aa45376157167c806a8bc9b7d.jpg

I need a LOT more practice before I go to 2 nearby parks that have a variety of big flat rocks on nice flat grass fields. The single track trails nearby give access to a few decent rocky areas too. By the time I'm ready to try that the trails should be a lot drier - currently lots of mud, new streams, big deep puddles... Almost fell over in one on the FatBike yesterday: water up to the top of my shoe and I spun the back tire. =8-0

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Posted (edited)

I had two pure trials 26'' last year and got an Inspired 24'' in September. I found that swapping back and forth between the bikes made me progress slower than staying on one bike for a while. I sold both 26'' and have never looked back. The progress on the Inspired is very good and I can pretty much do all the things I could do on my pure trials except for maybe sidehops which have become very hard to do on the tank.

Edited by niconj

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5 hours ago, niconj said:

I had two pure trials 26'' last year and got an Inspired 24'' in September. I found that swapping back and forth between the bikes made me progress slower than staying on one bike for a while. I sold both 26'' and have never looked back. The progress on the Inspired is very good and I can pretty much do all the things I could do on my pure trials except for maybe sidehops which have become very hard to do on the tank.

Interesting. I'm already progressing slowly, but I expected that because I'm old. I'm now mostly riding the pure trials 24" as it's a lot lighter. I'm still progressing slowly at trackstands too. But after practicing them mostly on the pure trials, they seem to be easier to do on the Inspired.

Swapping between the pure trials 24" and the FatBike is amusing. :-)

 

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You are progressing slowly because you haven't had the weather to ride outside yet. Once you start doing this you will notice that some techniques have similarities and when you practice one, you practice part of the other as well.

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On 20/04/2017 at 9:03 AM, niconj said:

I had two pure trials 26'' last year and got an Inspired 24'' in September. I found that swapping back and forth between the bikes made me progress slower than staying on one bike for a while. I sold both 26'' and have never looked back. The progress on the Inspired is very good and I can pretty much do all the things I could do on my pure trials except for maybe sidehops which have become very hard to do on the tank.

I like the tank remark about your four play, that's pretty much how i regard my element! Damn good bike though! Couldn't bend it if i tried!

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32 minutes ago, Daviesdt said:

I like the tank remark about your four play, that's pretty much how i regard my element! Damn good bike though! Couldn't bend it if i tried!

So true. It has a lot of scratches but no dents yet and I have abused it a lot. I don't know how much it weighs though. About 11kgs I recon.

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