I was quite young when I first took up downhill cycling. With a lot of trepidation, I completed this cycling process with the help of my father. But later when I grew up, I realized that it was a very fun experience. Then one day suddenly plans with friends that we will complete downhill cycling through trail bikes. And we had completed that outstanding biking. After completing the cycling, I & my friends realized that the trail bike gave a much better output in terms of downhill cycling.
But to complete all these things properly, one should know some more special things, such as- details of downhill & uphill cycling, their differences, trail bike’s definition, the difference between trail bike & MTB, some special tips for downhill riding, choosing the perfect bike for downhill cycling and so on.
So, go through the complete article to get all the detailed solutions for this topic. Because if you understand these things properly, then your trail cycling journey will become more interesting.
What Is Downhill Cycling Exactly?
Downhill cycling is a special style of biking that is usually practiced on steep and various rough terrains. In this type of cycling, most of the time there are different types of obstacles like rock gardens, jumps, drops, etc. It is considered a type of riding system as well as an elite racing like the ‘Tour De France’ discipline.
In downhill cycling, riders’ jumps are up to about 12 meters or 39 feet. With that, the drops are more than about 3 meters or 10 feet. This biking is often done with mountain bikes, which are considered to be another of the most attractive parts.
Moreover, you’ll notice that the lift-served bike park has the highest professional standards, starting from off-track access from shuttle roads and ending on various local trails in downhill cycling.
There are special types of bikes for downhill riding. Those bikes are generally designed for steeper, different types of dirt terrain, higher speeds, larger dropping systems, and better jump completions.
- In a word, when you hear the name Downhill Cycling, you can understand that it is a type of cycling process that is mostly done in downhill areas.
- In addition, it is a type of riding that is completely internalized with racing through a special kind of discipline. Images of crazy rock gardens, huge jumps, long-sleeved special clothing, full-face helmets, etc. constantly attract many riders to downhill cycling.
Differences Between Uphills Cycling And Downhill Cycling
Uphill Cycling is when you ride your bike from the down to the up of a hilly area. On the other hand, it is the opposite, when you cycle from up to down in a hilly area, it is called a Downhill Cycle.
- In uphill cycling, since you have to ride the bike against gravity, the speed will be relatively low.
- On the other hand, when going downhill cycling you can move forward much faster.
- Uphill cycling involves working against gravity. Thus cyclists have to constantly try to move the bike forward by keeping it in low gear to move forward properly.
- But in cycling downhill, gravity will force your bike forward at a faster speed. This can cause you a lot of difficulties while stopping the bike. Therefore, slowly push your bike to slow down.
- For Uphill Cycling:
Low Gear > Easy > Perfect for Climbing
- For Downhill Cycling:
High Gear > Hard > Perfect for Descending
What Is A Trail Bike?
A trail bike is a bike that is very light in weight where many are manufactured or equipped with rugged tires and high suspension. These types of bikes are mainly specially designed for riding in different types of off-road areas. And, you’ll find more wheel sizes in trail bikes, including 27.5″ and 29″ for top-speed riding. Such bikes are considered all-rounders in the singletrack.
- Trail bikes can help you to make your extractions more efficient.
- Capable of providing a great deal of confidence and control over a variety of rough and technical descents.
- You will also find dual suspension on most ‘trail’ bike models but they are not seen to be used much in different types of races.
- Trail bikes are more commonly used for group cycling on local trails with friends.
Differences Between Trail And Mountain Bike
- The front suspension has to do a lot of heavy-duty handling during jumps and riding on various rough terrains.
- The travel of this suspension is likely to be around 10 inches.
- Generally speaking, this front suspension is considered an air spring of a bicycle.
- The suspension on the front forks of trail bikes can sometimes need to be somewhat limited in travel. And that’s why a special type of lockout is likely to be included.
- For light trail riding, there is usually a moderate suspension of about 4 inches.
- Generally, its main aim is to organize the mountain bike as a lightweight bike. So that it is a lightweight bike that can move forward very quickly.
- This can lead to a stiffer ride with shorter travel and more power to the ground.
❖ Key Difference In Front Suspension
The main difference in terms of suspension between these two bikes is that you will get less suspension on MTB.
Trail bikes, on the other hand, tend to have much more suspension travel than MTBs. This makes it possible to handle big jumps and drops with the trail bike.
- Looking at the rear suspension, you’ll see up to 10 inches of travel.
- The rear suspension is locked out if the suspension needs to be limited for partial riding or full travel. The limited amount of travel allows the trail bike to act like a special type of hardtail with no rear suspension.
- A trail bike with full suspension can handle rough technical terrain. However, if you find that the bike is hard tailing, it is important to choose the route you ride through the terrain with extra care.
Most mountain bikes can have moderate suspension with around 4 inches of travel. Or sometimes there is no rear suspension at all.
- Looking at trail bikes, it can be seen that their frames are much more durable. Due to this it is much more preferred by the riders and also its cost is much less.
- Frames are of many different types. The head angle of a trail bike is quite a bit looser, due to which the tires of this bike sit a little further than those of a mountain bike.
- Nowadays, mountain bike frames are made from a wide array of both metal and composite.
- The most common frame materials for mountain bikes are carbon fiber, steel, aluminum, and titanium.
- When it comes to cycling with a trail bike, riders can sit pretty straight. The reason for this is that the rider has to be very agile during this time.
- And besides that, they have to constantly shift their weight around to keep the bike balanced properly. The main reason for this is that trail bikes are mostly used to climb hilly areas.
Since mountain bikes are specially designed for cycling at high speeds, the aerodynamic factors of speed during riding force the rider to lean forward quite a bit.
Wheels & Tyre:
- Tyres measure 27.5 inches or 29 inches. Of these, 29-inch tires are the most common.
- Its tires come close to the rider by about 3 inches wide.
- For example, in this type of bicycle riding, these tires are more knobbly to help with a better grip on slippery rocks.
- You can find 29-inch wheels on most MTB models with tires much less than 2.2 inches wide.
- These types of bike tires are usually much skinnier than trail bike tires. As a result, the rolling resistance is greatly reduced. In this way, the bikes can constantly move forward at a faster speed.
So, Can You Use A Trail Bike For Downhill Cycling?
If you want to ride a variety of hilly trails that are gentler yet more technical, then a trail bike can be an ideal option for you. You can easily assume that a trail bike is fully capable of downhill cycling.
- With these types of bikes, the rider can easily manage cycling on various types of steep downhill terrains and also plays a special role in jumping.
But in this case, you need to take care of some things.
- When you complete cycling on various steep downhill roads with a trail bike, you must wear an additional cycling suit or special dress.
- Apart from that, you have to maintain complete safety while cycling.
I have already told you that downhill cycles are very much related to different types of competition so with proper practice you need to become a maximum mature cyclist. Yes, when you are cycling downhill with a trail bike, then you may run into several problems. But by following some special tips you can get rid of all those problems very easily.
4 Special Tips For Riding Downhill Cycling
- Ensure Safety: One of the most important things to do when you do downhill cycling is to take maximum safety while going downhill. If your speed is not correct while descending, your risk may increase.
Before you can complete downhill cycling, you must learn it and practice regularly so that you can go downhill fast. Also, by moving your bike forward at the right speed, you can slow down at the right time.
- Pedals And Aim Properly: Many riders cannot use the pedals properly while cycling in downhill areas. As a result, various types of accidents have to be faced.
Just because the bike is moving forward smoothly doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the pedals, you can certainly use them wherever you need to. Also, you should put some pressure through your foot on the pedal so that it doesn’t spin aimlessly and waste your energy.
- Concern About The Path: It is very important to look ahead properly- sketchy areas at times, some big landings, various turns.
If you don’t take proper care of these, you may face various problems. By keeping a proper eye on such areas, control your speed and move forward by focusing properly on where you want to go.
- Keep Proper Posture And Maintaining Balance: You will never be able to complete downhill cycling properly if you do not have proper body and foot positions.
During descent, the body must be kept low, thereby helping to significantly reduce frontal drag or wind resistance.
4.1: Slowly lower your body slightly, then continue to enter the drops and push the body slightly towards the back of the bicycle seat one by one.
4.2: Keep one of your outside feet down when cycling into a corner. If you put your inside foot down, you’ll lean too much to scrape the pedal while cornering, risking a crash.
MTB Or Trail Bike: Best One For Downhill Cycling
Downhill cycling is defined as the ‘Formula 1’ of mountain biking. So naturally, MTBs can provide much better output than trail bikes when it comes to downhill cycling.
- There are different types of cycling processes in mountain biking. And, the most spectacular and exciting of those disciplines is the process of downhill cycling. For this, you constantly need optimal technique, athletic strength, and knowledge of different types of machines.
- You can also do downhill cycling with a trail bike. However, mountain bikes can take you faster in this regard because these types of bikes are specially manufactured for cycling in downhill areas.
- If you look at mountain bike tyres, you will find that they are much thinner than trail bike tires, due to which the bike naturally weighs less. And for downhill cycling, you’ll want a bike that weighs less, as this will allow you to move forward faster and more smoothly.
Moreover, looking at the different structures of the mountain bike, it can be understood that it will be more perfect for downhill cycling than the trail bike.
Last Sentence Regarding Downhill Cycling With A Trail Bike
Hope you have learned a lot of important information from today’s article which will be very important in your future cycling life as it provides important information on downhill cycling. And, by focusing on this topic, a variety of other information has also emerged that is much more useful to you.
Therefore, you have learned more about uphill riding, mountain bikes, royal bikes, the different types and differences between them, their uses, and many more things. And I wish you can now set off on a downhill cycling trip with a trail bike today with modest confidence.