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Downhill: A Brief History of Extreme Cycling

Downhill for fans of extreme sports, like manna from heaven. This type of cycling allows you to throw out adrenaline and get a lot of emotions, as well as test yourself and your nerves for strength. After all, to get down safe and sound from the mountainside at maximum speed and at the same time not only lose control of the iron horse can be a tough nut.

Downhill: what is it?
By “downhill” we mean cycling on hilly and mountainous slopes with temporary obstacles. However, only at first glance to go down the mountain is not a sick thing. In reality, downhill tracks abound with steep descents and turns, a large number of jumps, stones and snags.

Even experienced athletes can not pass such tests, let alone beginners. Bruises, abrasions, and even fractures are constant companions of those who have chosen downhill as their calling.

What should be the person who deals with downhill? First, physically strong. Indeed, during such an extreme “walk” on a bicycle, the body experiences enormous loads. Plus, the weight of the vehicle is not the smallest – 20 kg.
Secondly, the future downhill must be on the “you” with his bike. The daredevil is obliged to own the technique of driving two-wheeled vehicles at “5+”. For the descent speed is not for children – from 40 km / h, the maximum – 60 km / h. At the same time, the elevation differences on the highway vary and are on average about 80 m.

Downhill Bike – Athlete’s Friend and Brother

Downhill Bike is a familiar double-hinged mountain bike. Despite the outward resemblance of this bike to its freeride counterparts (due to the wide frame), the bike for downhill has a number of features:

Reinforced frame. It is strengthened in all important nodes, since the cyclist needs to jump a lot, to overcome difficult sections. The frame also has a certain geometric shape. The materials of which the frame is made are diverse: aluminum, stainless steel, titanium.
The front suspension range is large up to 200 mm. Thanks to this, blows during riding are mitigated. The plug can be either single-sided (up to 180 mm) or double-sided.
Rear suspension travel 180-250 mm. Such indicators help to dampen and soften blows, providing a comfortable ride.
Wide rims, which are also reinforced. Their diameter is 26 inches. They are strong and heavy, resistant to strong shocks. For greater safety, the rim is “stuffed” with a large number of spokes.

Some athletes in competitions take bikes with wheels of 29 inches – Niner.

Wide tires. The tread of such tires has an aggressive pattern. Wide tires are needed in order to achieve the greatest contact between the wheels and the ground.
A wide steering wheel allows you to better control the movement of the bike.
Hydraulic disc brakes. They provide effective braking. A rotor of 200-220 mm in size is used.
Basic Downhill Skills
The skill of cycling has been developed over the years. How to breathe, pedal and distribute your weight during check-in are skills that don’t come right away.

What technology secrets can professionals recommend to beginners?

Learn to move out quickly. The ability to ride and not engage the brakes every minute, without jerking and slowly sliding down – is what a downhiller should learn immediately. You should also monitor the relaxation of the shoulder girdle and arms in front of upcoming obstacles on the road. Daily training will teach you how to adjust speed, increase speed on bends and put your feet on the pedals correctly (the lowered leg is located on the outside of the turn).
Switching speeds to a lower speed should be slow. In this case, you can not stop, on the contrary, you need to continue to pedal. Switching to a large gear is necessary quickly. This will allow you to not pedal idle and not to slow down. The ability to switch speed modes is required to bring to automaticity.
Braking. Slight braking of the rear brake can increase speed when cornering. Always keep both fingers on the brakes – this will reduce the risk of losing control of the bike.
All these tips are tested in practice and only on it. Therefore, take a bike and ride, improving your skills.

Safety comes first!
Properly selected equipment can reduce the risk of serious injury:

Downhill helmet. Pay attention to the full face helmet. It protects the face, jaw and skull from injuries.
Glasses. They must be wide. Glasses protect the eyes from dust and dirt, insects.
Special gloves. They protect the hands from injuries, and also eliminate sweating of the skin of the hands.
Body suit with knee pads and elbow pieces. Protects the body of the athlete (chest, back) in the fall.
Shields for the lower extremities. They prevent small stones from getting into the cyclist’s clothes.
Special sneakers with hard soles.
Professional cycling shorts with diapers for a comfortable ride.
Downhill competition

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