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Coach's Column - Mastering Technical Descents with Lynda Wallenfels

Posted by: Shannon Boffeli |February 14, 2013 4:17 AM
Coach's Column with Lynda Wallenfels
Mastering Technical Descents

"While I tend to think I'm a decent technical rider, 'technical' can mean so many things.  For those racing over all different kinds of terrain, what should the focus be on when descending fast, open dirt roads that have a tendency to get loose in corners vs. rocky, rooty, technical downhills? How much is rider position and skill vs. equipment choice?"

Fundamental technical ride skills are the same in any type of technical terrain; balanced weight, eyes looking forward, chin up, chest down, relaxed confidence, weight in the pedals, elbows out. To improve riding in all conditions improve core skills with drills and practice.

Both skill and equipment play into the equation and racers should look to maximize everything to their advantage. The best equipment choice is rider, situation and race specific.  Riders with more skill can race with lighter weight equipment and lower rolling resistance tires on some courses.  Less skilled riders will be faster descending on equipment that inspires relaxed confidence and increased skill. This would be more suspension and tires with more tread.

Lynda Wallenfels is Cat 1 USA Cycling coach and owner of Visit her site for mountain bike training plans, coaching and consulting.


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