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New to trials and new to forum! How old is too old?


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Hi guys, I just got myself a beautiful, like new 2020 Echo Czar Neuron 24".  It is my first trials bike (street) and my first time dipping my toe into this biking specialty.

I used to ride mountain bikes in the past and had always wanted to give trials a try.  I waited a little bit to get into this, I'm 60 years young, feel twenty and look, well, maybe too much info...Anyway, I am a truck driver in the States so I am constantly in industrial areas that tend to be a perfect environment for street trials.  I watched a bunch of Swoofty's videos and thought it would be an interesting thing to try.

I appreciate all the info that's been posted in TF and it seems to be an invaluable resource to gain some knowledge in this sport.  So thanks a million to all of you!!!

What would be some recommendations from you guys to remain as injury free as possible in my learning journey?

And if I may ask, who is the oldest person on this forum that currently rides bike trials? 🤔

Be well all and thanks for the forum!!!

 

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Hi and welcome,

 

I think there is less risk to be injured in trials than in many others sports. The reason is that you can control almost all parameters.

There is nobody that tries to catch the same ball and the weather conditions do not affect the sport in a unpredictable way.

There is less speed than other MTB disciplines and thus less energy.

Nevertheless, injuries related to the body (muscles, joints) are not uncommon due to the stress applied by the sport.

My recommendation is then to warm up the fill body first, then slowly start small and slow moves without intensity. 

After 15/20 minutes you can then do bigger moves and ride at your best level.

 

I will also recommend you to learn the basic tricks first and not to focus on a single one, but to train 10 different and complementary ones during the same session. 

For example, you can first try to learn the static balance on two wheels using the different techniques: using the pressure under your foot, by hopping both wheels simultaneously, by pivoting on the front wheel and the rear wheel. But during the same session, I encourage you to try to ride logs at slow speed to improve your balance, to try to ride within the smallest area possible, to learn to do some small stoppies, to pivot 90 degrees on the front, on the rear, to ride big steps down, to learn to hop with both wheels(no bunny hop, an American hop), to only raise the rear wheel while riding, and to learn the pedal kick on two wheels.

The cool thing in trials is that all the different techniques could be somehow combined.

So if you focus on a single one each time, it will be boring and you won't have the impression you get better as you could have.

Last recommendation: on each session, try to do three moves you never did before. I don't mean necessarily new tricks, but tricks you already did at another place or with a variation (e.g. less speed, other angle, with less hop, in combination with another trick, with the wrong foot forward, etc.)

Even if it sounds stupid, it will improve your skill set a lot (because it is not exactly the same move, it forces your body to assimilate the move deeper, so that you can execute it while focusing on something else).

 

By the way, there is a Japanese trial rider who is more than 60 and has a YouTube channel:

 

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Thanks for your response La Bourde, Merci Beaucoup!

I found your advice to be excellent and will implement it into my training routine.  I found the video of the Japanese gentleman very, very inspiring.  It is exactly the way I envision trials.  I love the compactness of the sport and the fact that besides your bike all you need is a very little area with a few obstacles to practice.  I remember as a child I made a trial section in the backyard, much to my mother's dismay, and I could spend hours doing it over and over.  

Hopefully, one day I will have the ability to post a video of myself.

Again, thank you so much for your advice.

Be well!

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I'm 11 years younger than you, I've been on the trials journey for over 5 years now, and it just really doesn't come easy at all for me. Other rides seem to pick up stuff far far quicker. I think in part it's my mentality I'm quite risk averse, and find it difficult to strongly want to do things enough to get over the difficulty hurdle that and give up too easily.  Perhaps also I'm just not that physically coordinated enough, or my proprioception not developed enough.  A long term niggling shoulder injury which I'm slowly learning to deal with definitely hasn't helped either.

I still haven't given up yet though, despite deciding a few years ago, that if I hadn't got much better after 5 years (I have got better, but not much better) I'd call it a day and stop. Still going, might be some glimmers of determination!

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Thanks Marg26. Never give up. As long as you can pedal and stay upright it’s fun. I think it’s about the feeling of rolling, not the tricks. 
 

Be well!!

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This is my first comment in this forum and I came here for my first question to be answer and I am glad I came across this question being answered. 
I had order a Jitsie Varial 24 Hybrid and it took me a long week to think of the pros and cons before I clicked onto the Order button. 

So while waiting for my new bike I am now exploring lots of YouTube and reviews and forum.

i used to own a pretty bashed up pre-owned multiple-owners 20 inch mod but didn't had much skills to learn on it. Then I sold it away after couple of months.
I am a MTB and I had recently slowed down my interest in MTB trails riding , decided to once again get myself motivated to learn trials.

Thank you everyone sharing this piece of ageing-article.. hahaha.. because I am turning into mid-50s and need some assurance.

I was also recently inspired by YouTube creator Cooks & Son, Super Rider , Ali Clarkson and the Japanese man. ( I probably watched all of their entire video in their channels LOL )

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Last time I rode trials was around 15-20 years ago, then I rode bmx for around 10 years then stopped about 8 years partly due to starting a family and partly due having an injured knee.

I had a real itch to ride again though so tried getting back into bmx twice mainly because that's what my friends rode but to try cut a long story short, I had too much fear. I've always still had that itch to get back into trials, especially after Danny's 2009 came out so got back into it last February and loving it. The great thing about trials is you can practice it anywhere.

I ride with a great bunch in Aberdeen, we are all fairly similar age, 40'ish, we all push each other but ride within our own limits.

That would be the best advice I could give, ride within your limit but push it when you can.

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Welcome to the sport, this forum is not as active anymore but is a great resource backwards.

Few pointers:

  • Stretching and flexibility work before each ride will be your friend
  • Work on the basics, as with any hobby - get good at those and you can start to elaborate and push other ways
  • Practice, Practice, Practice - in the garden, in the street, local shops - anywhere that suits
  • Group rides are awesome, find people who you can watch, or even offer advice as to body shape, set up adjustment etc.
  • Videos like Dirty Tricks and Cunning Stunts were the one of the best resources back in the day
  • Also, Trashzen site - https://trashzen.com/ where the late, great Julien Happich really broke down a lot of the physical mechanics

Most importantly, just have fun - the beauty of trials is you can ride it in most places and even some of the smaller moves (rear wheel hopping more than 10 times in a row) will blow the minds of most average human beings. I am 40ish, been on and off riding trials since 14 and could never see my life without owning some form of trials bike, even to just show up my kids!

Brett

Edited by Brettoll
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Great advice guys, thanks!!!  Already ordered the book and it’s on its way. I’ve also been watching a lot of Super Rider’s tutorials on YT.  Bike’s getting to me on Friday. Can’t wait to start putting in the hours of practice.

Again, thanks for the comments and advice!!!

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Hi there

This caught my eye as I'm also quite new to trials and very new to this forum!

I've raced MTB since I was 17 (43 this year) which occupied most of my free time and mental space. Only when I 'retired' from racing at a serious level I decided to focus on a new challenge  and something I wanted to try for a long time - trials!

I had a good base of MTB skills already, track stands, bunny hops, pivots etc. and fitness. Everything else has been a very steep but super fun learning curve. I only dabbed at it at first, practicing every few weeks but this year I've been practicing every day and that made a massive difference in progression. I'm still only scratching the surface but can back hop, kick, pedal up, bunny hop, small gaps etc. which I'm delighted with.

If I was to give someone stating late like myself those would be:

- be patient, progress will be slow but if you look back after a few months of consistent practice you will be amazed how much you've progressed

- resist the temptation to try advanced moves too soon, get the basics right and build on that

- practice lots in small amounts rather than infrequent long sessions, I found this key to prevent injury. I do 15-20min sessions daily after work

- alternate muscle groups (like in the gym), I do rear wheel practice every 2nd day and break it up with things like rolling endos, going backwards etc.

- get the right tool for the job (which you have already!), I started learning on a full suspension MTB and although doable it was too hard on the body and bike also was getting a hammering.

 

Good luck and have fun!

 

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