Having a problem staying on the bike....

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Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby D.J._ » Sun Dec 02, 2012 5:24 pm

Hello- Iv been riding since the last week of August and have rode just about every weekend so far. I must say i love the sport so far. Its a great workout for me, and it gets me off the pc. I'm 32 years old and weigh 215 and 6'1". I say this because i'm wondering that me riding xc single track and fatiguing after a 2 hour 5-10 mile ride is my #1 reason i keep getting bucked off my bike at least once a ride so far. Always it feels more toward the end of my rides or thus after so it makes it. I ride a 2011 Trek Marlin 29er. It was a 2nd hand buy and all stock but the handle bars have been shorted i would say a 1\2 inch on each side or more compared to my friends. Mechanical brakes have been looked at twice by a shop and a experienced rider. Each making adjustments. My question i should sum is any advice why i would be getting bucked off so often? Braking maybe it skids a lot and locks up. Or me not knowing my stopping point to clumsiness? I would like to hear any advice please.
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby maddslacker » Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:28 pm

What size is the bike?

Is the stem too short?

Are you grabbing a fistful of rear brake when instead you should be modulating the front?

It's hard to know without some more details...
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby D.J._ » Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:47 pm

The size is a 19"
The stem reads 105mm 15 degree
And me and braking is a on going learning process for sure. They have been set loose so that i can feel the full pull to stop. Because i told him they lock up quick and easily. The braking advice to me thus far is that "the front wheel does two thing turn and brake and not both at the same time". Yes again i have definitely threshold braked a couple of these dumps.
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby lovemountainbiking12 » Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:48 pm

also check the pre load on your front shock if its really bouncy over rocks and obstacles it can throw you off...you want it to absorb the rough stuff...i had to adjust mine a little and i also found i was grabbing the front brake going down large rocks and bucked me over the front...so now i know not too use the front brake in some cases. i'm 6'2'' 240 pounds and just started riding in march
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby blundar » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:01 pm

I had been road biking for a long time. When I started dirt riding, I quickly found out that it was a whole different animal. The biggest difference is that you are riding on dirt. Regardless of how awesomely grippy your knobby tires are, you still are on dirt. Braking on dirt is all about finess and smooth control. That is why now-a-days most of the mountain bikes are becoming hydraulic disk brakes. This is mainly in an effort to better control how smooth and precicely you can slow down.

Try adjusting your brake lever position so that you grab the outer tip of the lever with your index and middle finger. The rest of your fingers should not be grabbing the brake lever. This gives you a mechanical advantage on the lever so that you can more pecisely modulate and control your braking with less effort.

Just remember that stabbing your brakes and constantly locking your brakes on dirt is a big no no. It is all about smooth precise control.
Last edited by blundar on Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:32 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby blundar » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:54 pm

I also noticed that you mentioned that you have a 105mm stem on your bike. That is a long stem setup that is more specific for XC. Good for speed because it hunkers you down more like a road bike and positions more of your weight on the front tire.

Putting on a shorter stem of around 80mm to 50mm, puts you in a more upright position and more of your weight on the back tire. Shifting your weight back lets you handle the technical and down hill stuff better (with less of a chance of flying end-over your handlebars). It also helps you with poping your front wheel up to get over obstacles.
Last edited by blundar on Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby dgaddis » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:36 pm

blundar wrote:...You can also move the seat back some on the rails to help with this. Shifting your weight back lets you handle the technical and down hill stuff better (with less of a chance of flying end-over your handlebars). It also helps you with poping your front wheel up to get over obstacles.


The saddle should be set to put your butt where it needs to be relative to the pedals, NOT to adjust reach. Get it out of whack and you'll lose power output, tire faster, and possibly hurt your knees.

Sounds to me like you just need to practice your technique buddy. Ride with some more experienced riders, get them to give you pointers, watch how they handle things, ask questions, etc.

What do you mean exactly by 'bucked off the bike'? Are you getting thrown forward over the handlebars?
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby blundar » Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:12 pm

dgaddis wrote:
blundar wrote:...You can also move the seat back some on the rails to help with this. Shifting your weight back lets you handle the technical and down hill stuff better (with less of a chance of flying end-over your handlebars). It also helps you with poping your front wheel up to get over obstacles.


The saddle should be set to put your butt where it needs to be relative to the pedals, NOT to adjust reach. Get it out of whack and you'll lose power output, tire faster, and possibly hurt your knees.


My bad with the "move the seat back" statement *Strike that from the post*. The shorter stem part is still good...
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby John Fisch » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:24 pm

Are you trying to stay seated through the techy stuff? That would certainly contribute to getting bucked off the bike. Getting off the saddle will allow you use your body as an active part of the ride rather than as a victim of the terrain. The single biggest key is trying to keep your weight centered over your bottom bracket at all times. That means forward uphill and back downhill, the steeper the trail, the greater the fore/aft shift required. same goes for side to side when turning.

Your long stem is great for climbing but makes it tough to get your weight back on the downhill. While I like a long cockpit, I found shortening my stem made a world of difference in being able to control my bike on techy downs. If getting your center of mass back far enough means completely straightening your arms, you're gonna' have a tough time controlling the bike.

Mountain biking is a very dynamic activity and, on anything other than totally buff, you're body must remain flexible and in constant motion to sustain momentum. As first, you may think all that motion is a needless use of energy but, trust me, it uses less energy than late reaction, overcorrection, and getting bucked off the bike. With miles, you'll realize also that the motions can be subtle as well and, therefore, use even less energy.
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby brianW » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:51 pm

If you get a chance follow an experienced rider and watch how he/she rides the trail. Also when you say bucked off the bike, are your feet coming off the pedal? If so you may want clips so they don't fall off which in return will make you more in control.
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby D.J._ » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:06 am

Thanks for all the info. The term i used bucked off, im more meaning having to ditch my bike for whatever reason threw me off balance and or skidding out on a turn and picking myself up off the ground. Just tried generalizing it. After reading some of these replies it got me looking into fitting my bike for me. Iv not really done this yet and found a few checklist ill try to go through this weekend. My hands become sore quick so i read i must be hold my weight forward to much. The stem my be my first upgrade. @ brain w. i have been reading all the benefits of clips but feel a bit under skill yet?? I just read the (101 READ THE PATH AHEAD) article and found it describes my ridding style thus far. As to being- Short-sighted view, looking at the next obstacle and reacting quickly all ride just could be fatiguing me quickly. I do ride with a group of new riders and there are a couple of experienced riders that have introduced us to new trails. Ill have to focus on some question to ask them when i get to see them next.
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby combo » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:33 pm

i ride both montain and road. don't have clip for my road bike yet but want them. never thought i want them on my mountain bike but i did get clip on it. it makes a big difference. not only does it keep you on the peddles through the rough stuff, it also helps you climb as both legs work. they call them clipless and the ones to go with are the ones that say spd those are ajustable. that is what i have and can unclip very easy. if you can remember push down with front foot lift up with back foot each time and still keep up with everything else it is worth a try whenever. i say whenever cause if you get use to platforms it can be more challenging to change. but i have had no problems and am glad i got them as i feel more exercized and less wore out and more in control. i got mine from pricepoint.com and they have shoe and peddle combos that are cheaper than just getting shoes from bike store. just something to think about and maybe try. i'm glad i did.
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby JSatch » Thu Dec 06, 2012 2:54 pm

D.J._ wrote:Thanks for all the info. The term i used bucked off, im more meaning having to ditch my bike for whatever reason threw me off balance and or skidding out on a turn and picking myself up off the ground. Just tried generalizing it. After reading some of these replies it got me looking into fitting my bike for me. Iv not really done this yet and found a few checklist ill try to go through this weekend. My hands become sore quick so i read i must be hold my weight forward to much. The stem my be my first upgrade. @ brain w. i have been reading all the benefits of clips but feel a bit under skill yet?? I just read the (101 READ THE PATH AHEAD) article and found it describes my ridding style thus far. As to being- Short-sighted view, looking at the next obstacle and reacting quickly all ride just could be fatiguing me quickly. I do ride with a group of new riders and there are a couple of experienced riders that have introduced us to new trails. Ill have to focus on some question to ask them when i get to see them next.


if your hands are fatigued that is a good signal you may be leaning too far forward. your weight should be over the cranks using your legs like pistons as you would in skiing. if you're grabbing the bars too hard, or are too pitched forward, you'll lose the natural 'pivot' of keeping the weight over the cranks, and thus the balance on the bike. for example, as the trail gets steep, let the bike fall out from under you by keeping your arms loose (not your grip on the bars or a baby head could send you) but standing up on the cranks. watch pro dh riders. their bikes shake rattle and roll all over the place but their helmets stay in a smooth straight line.

another thing along this line, don't keep your seat high. for climbs, okay, but as you go down you won't be using it as much and really not needed for efficient pedal stroke. so lower it a couple of extra inches and cruise.

and oh yeah, a 29er???
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby brianW » Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:42 am

If your hands get sore, you may be holding your grips to hard. Also the pedals, clippless are small and you need to clip-im with cleats. In the past many rode with "toe-clips" or clips which had you place your toe into a basket and then straps to tighten. These were harder to get your feet out quickly.

As a side note, I have been riding since '92 and still pick up things watching, following and riding with other riders.
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Re: Having a problem staying on the bike....

Postby Bubblehead10MM » Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:27 pm

I'd also recommend picking up http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywor ... 6v3e384p_b For a much more thorough break down of Technic. Central to MTB is "attack position" weight balanced over bottom bracket, elbows flexed and out, knees flexed, head up, hands neutral(loose on bars). In breaking your effective CG shifts forward so to be "over" it you must move your weight back smoothly as you apply breaks, and forward as you release.
I'm still new at this to. I'm still amazed what rock gardens I can get through with just that position, and riding it out when I might want to bail. :D
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