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How To Ride Off Camber MTB Trails | Essential Mountain Bike Skills

How To Ride Off Camber MTB Trails | Essential Mountain Bike Skills

– Off-camber trails like
this can be really tricky. – But you’re going to find
them absolutely everywhere, no matter what kind of
trails you’re riding. – So these are our tips to master in the off-camber sections. (mellow music) – So what is off-camber? Basically, it’s where
the hill is falling away, and you’re trying to ride across it. Almost the opposite to
a berm, where you’ve got a banked corner to give you more grip, here you’re going to find less grip, because you’re much
more likely to fall off down the hill. There’s a few really
important things to master in these off-cambers, and
the first one is line choice. – Line choice is absolutely
key when you’re riding these off-cambers sections. You can see, just after a couple of runs, this little rut has started to form. And by turning into it, and
actually getting the turning done early, and looking straight ahead, that is where I want to be going. The bike is going to follow that path, and it’s the smoothest. If we take those two examples
that you can actually see on the screen now, you can
see that in the first one, I actually start to drop away. I didn’t hold my line, and the
bike was fighting the grip, almost being pushed down. So I didn’t carry that momentum, and it forced me to drop off the trail. In the second attempt, I
really pushed into the rut at the top, followed the straight line, looked straight ahead, and
I was looking for points where I could grip, where
the tyres were going to dig in, that is going to
allow me to keep my momentum, move forward with speed,
and in complete control of the bike. – Okay, so here we’ve
got an off-camber turn. So, not only is our off-camber
going to make you slide, you’re now trying to turn across it. There’s two lines here, the
main line is down at the bottom, where you’ve got a rut, it’s
almost acting like a berm. So there’s loads of support
there, where you go up and on this off-camber line. And that’s good because it
cuts off that big corner. The trail goes like this, and then left. So if you take the main easy line, it’s going to be grippy, but it’s going to be a lot slower. Cut up on this inside off-camber line, and you’ll be really fast out of it. – And the key to this is
really setting up early. You need to turn harder here to get on that off-camber line if you want to do it. There’s no point in rolling down here and then deciding, oh I fancy
going on the off-camber, because you’ll never find the grip there. Also, it’s worth bearing in mind that in different conditions,
say if this was wet, this might not even be possible
to stay on the inside line. – You may have noticed in that last video that in this part of the off-camber, I actually seemed to push
really hard into the ground. So I did that because it’s
a bit of a compression here, and if I try to make myself really heavy, it’s going to force my
tyres into the ground, and give them more grip. So while I was pushing down and in, I’m turning as well, trying to pop myself off the bank a little bit. And then I’m going light on this section, because it’s really
off-camber, it’s loose, and I don’t think I’m
going to grip on that. So I’m almost actually
bunny-hopping this section, to take it out of the equation. – This off-camber section
right here is a bit more of an extreme example, and
you’re really fighting for grip. But to find that grip,
we’re going to talk about a technique called
unweighting and weighting. When you’re weighting the bike, it’s when you know that you have grip. You can push the bike in, almost pretty low to dig those tyres in, and then over an obstacle like this, a slight rise or a root, for example, you’re gonna unweight the bike. You’re gonna go lighter on it, so it just kind of lifts up, and then back again when
you know you’ve got grip, you put your weight
into it, dig those tyres into the ground so the bike accelerates, keep this momentum, and then coming into the next section right
here, I don’t have grip. So that is when I unweight,
lift my weight up, rise over the bike, and then dig in again, hoping to keep as much
momentum flowing through this section so I get through
it as clean as possible, and into the next part. – So, body position for off-cambers, it’s really important to try and get your centre of gravity as low as possible. So drop your outside foot, just
as you would with a corner, and try to get your weight down to that. So actually crouch on the
bike quite a lot as well. Front to back, you want
to be fairly equal, but actually, I will drop a
bit more weight onto the bars, keep that front wheel gripping, because you can allow the
back wheel to step out a little bit, but if that
front wheel slides out, then you’re crashing. I’m also playing around with the angle of the bike underneath
me, dipping the bike over, trying to keep my weight to the outside, depending on how much grip
I’ve got on the floor. – One point that is often
overlooked when you’re riding off-camber is your braking. And what I mean by this, is
normally when you’re braking, what you use to slow down
is these centre knobs. They really dig into the
ground and slow you down. But in this off-camber section,
they’re not really working in the same sense. It’s the edge knobs that
are digging into the ground, giving that grip to try to
make you keep moving forward. If you actually brake, then
what’s going to happen, because the ground is
moving away from you, when you brake harshly,
especially in the rear, the back tyre could step out, making you lose that grip. You won’t have the traction. And you could actually find
that that’s what is going to run you off down the hill, and not keep in a straight line. If you do want to do braking
while you’re in an off-camber, you feel that you’re going too fast, then make sure you modulate on the brake. And what I really mean by that is that you feather the brake. You don’t have to do a harsh pull of it, pulling it right in towards the bars, because that is when you’re going to skid the back tyre out. By locking that rear end up,
you’re gonna lose the grip, and you’re not gonna be
able to keep moving forward. Looking ahead is going
to make it a lot easier for you to identify those points where you can unweight the bike,
where the grip is gonna be, and where you need to do your braking. Speed also has a big effect on this, if you’re going faster,
you want to be looking further ahead. If you’re going a little bit slower, then you want to be looking closer. But you do not want to be
looking at that front tyre. If you’re looking at your front tyre, you can’t identify those
key features ahead of you. And the chances are you’re
going to lose traction, lose grip, and you’re not
gonna get through the section. – So that is off-cambers. They’re pretty tricky. Don’t forget, you can always
take your inside foot off the dab if you feel like you need to. – And don’t forget to click
right here to subscribe, because you’ll never miss
a video from GMBN again. – Click over here for a
comprehensive guide to cornering. – And click right here to find
out more about braking zones. – Give us a thumbs up if you like off-camber straights and corners.

100 comments on “How To Ride Off Camber MTB Trails | Essential Mountain Bike Skills

  1. To break faster and easier you can also make your rear tire sliding a bit to face up the hill and then break hard both !

  2. #askgmbn can u come to Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช and ride bike park Ireland message me back if ya need somewhere to stay

  3. I've recently put maxxis shorty tires on my bike and i love them. One thing i struggle with though is knowing how much grip i have on off camber, i slow down loads and im not confidant to keep the speed and find the sweet spot where i would grip, ant tips?

  4. should i buy a used Rockshox pike rc with 160mm travel for 270e he says the stanchions dont have eny scratches and everything works fine what do you guys think?

  5. This is probably one of the best how to videos so far, since almost everyone can relate. I know I struggled with off camber for a long long time.

  6. #AskGMBN have you guys been to Aston hill bike park in the Uk, there is sort of an off camber but full of roots on the ricochet run, I always get thrown to the bottom every time, any tips?

  7. Excellent tips guys ๐Ÿ™‚ These skills are essential for ripping across open hilly terrain in Scotland with so many off camber sections. Making the most of proper knobbly tyres with aggressive side knobs is the only way to get grip on the stuff we ride without throwing it at the scenery ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. NOOO! it was all going so well until the end! I thought we were leaving the cab in 2016!? FIRST EVER DISLIKE! ๐Ÿ™

  9. Hey guys i want a new bike but don't have the money should I just buy a frame and put it together or save all my money and buy the bike I want #askgmbn

  10. Awesome ๐Ÿ˜€ Btw how cold is it where you are? Noticed you're wearing big bomber jackets which must be warm!

  11. #askgmbn #dirtsdedshow video idea. cheap bike vs expensive bike. base model Scott or canyon vs top of the line. what do you get for your money.

  12. Ive been riding around town a bit since its winter, and the snow on the side of the road can force me onto the side walk. This is fine until you get an angled driveway end that is covered in ice. I kinda ride these like wall rides or if there is space ill just jump on the more level portion of the driveway right above the end

  13. I used to hate off camber corners now I love them they are challenging but fun and If you have the skills you can ride them fast , there even more fun when they are dusty / loose !!

  14. Great video guys ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป
    #askgmbn how about a video on riding steep muddy twisty rutted runs like the black run in the wall or kinder on 3 masts.

  15. With the low pressure on a Plus sized tire, would the side wall of the tire collapse/squirm if you ride an off camber rooty section aggressively? #askgmbn #askneil

  16. Are we going to get a video from Neil for how to deal with a cold? Sounding like you could do with a honey and lemon tea.

  17. Scotty looked amazingly happy near the end! That's how happy I'll be on my first ride yet to come after several weeks off from an injury – Great vid guys keeps me improving even while I'm off the bike hurt!

  18. Need an Trail Mountain bike ? New DTSwiss Wheels , New Tyres and MORE ! COMES WITH LOADS OF SPARES

  19. Hey Neil I see you're rocking the Conti Trail Kings and i'm thinking of purchasing the 2.4 for my 26" hardtail. Can i get your honest opinion on them??

  20. Why is there always a handful of jackasses giving these helpful and informative videos the thumbs-down??? WTF?

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