Originally Posted by RxZ
So, I took about 5 minutes off my best time on the local 5 mile MTB trail last night. I wasn't trying to per se, I was trying my best to be smooth. (OK, my heart rate was about 10 bpm higher than normal, so maybe I was trying
) After 7 months of riding I am still not confident in my cornering ability; I know I slow too much for turns. I am getting better though, like I said, I am working on being smooth.
My bike has a 3x8 gear set. I try my best to keep the front on the middle sprocket. That seems to work best for me at the moment. There is one section of switchbacks on this trail that I have to drop down to about 2nd gear to get up... oh well, I get up it.
Some of it is tire pressure. Some of it is weight over the front end. Some of it is just trusting the bike.
Don't worry about what gear you're in. Spin smoothly, don't mash. When you know a climb's coming, shift down a ring and a few cogs harder to get the same relative gear ratio and get ready to start dumping cogs to maintain your spin as the trail goes up.
Ride more. It'll come