technical riding question

i totally stink at hard technical sections,i ride far and long on single track/cross country stuff and even some easy technical, but the hard tech sections im constantly falling,my question is,is it just that i need more time/practice.I ride a 26er with 150s,should i try a different size crank?any help would be great.


Also: try riding different terrain.

Try riding with different people.

You might even try different riding styles. Trials riding skills can help with technical muni, for example.

You might want to check your psi. Some people tend to run higher psi for mostly XC type riding, where most of the terrain is smooth and even. And the tire width and type is also crucial for more technical riding.

Typically, XC Muni tires are between 2.25-2.6, with less aggressive tread design than a full out MUni tire, which is usually the duro type 3.0 width. This size is optimum for absorbing and rolling over the most technical terrain and rock gardens.

The psi should be low enough to compress and absorb the impact of drops, but without bottoming out on the rim. Too much psi and you won’t be able to effectively roll the technical stuff without getting bucked off!

Hard terrain is hard, yeah, I know, duh!

But really, it is harder to ride hard terrain, so a couple things to consider:

Down is easier than up, so try tackling hard terrain in a direction that helps you to succeed.

Lower your seat and run lower tire pressure.

Practice doing repeats on tough terrain, think of it as a trials course.

Don’t incorporate a technical terrain into a long ride, instead do a technical specific ride that is shorter to avoid being too tired.

Practice in ideal conditions, not to hot or wet.

Try longer cranks to see if the extra leverage helps, 165’s should do it.

Don’t overclock your uni, in other words there is an ideal speed at which to ride a wheel size in different situations, faster may not be your freind, same goes for slower.

Work on slow riding, hopping and stalling, working out of the saddle.

Build up your quad muscles so you can ride out of the saddle for sustained periods of time.

Make it fun!

be NB!!!


cool, thanks people , lots of advise, i will try again this weekend, i love muni, i just want to get better

I’ll bite.
What’s “NB”?

Nurse Ben

You could also try riding with shorter cranks for a while. It will be harder at first, but when you go back to 150mm cranks your control will be quite superior.

It has been already said but it’s so important, improve your trials skills and maybe even try to learn some tricks like unispins. Learn how to hop with your weak foot back and how to do small rolling hops (1" high is enough, you just need to get used to lifting the weight off your uni) from every crank position.

And if you own a brake: Learn how to use it correctly. :wink:

But the most important thing is, warm up before hard sections and hang loose. If you clench you will fall.

I used to ride a trail that I thought was pretty technical and could never ride up. After practicing on a bunch of other trails I went back there and was really disappointed to find someone had graded it removing all the boulders I used to struggle to get up. After riding on for a bit I realised I was an idiot and no-one had done anything. The boulders just seemed like pebbles now because I had improved with practice…

I’m still in my infancy with technical trail work - well hopefully I haven’t peaked yet… anyway I’ll mention a few things that helped me, all of which have already been mentioned. Just adding my “second.”

I have a 26 nimbus muni with 150 cranks and rode a 29er with 125 cranks for a while. Whenever I went back to the 26 with 150s it felt very, very slow… but I also felt practically indestructible (I wasn’t). The feeling was there though. Riding a larger wheel with shorter cranks improved my riding and made me much more relaxed for the smaller wheel/longer cranks rides. I would later transition the 29er to 150 cranks and take that offroad, abandoning the dynamic, but I really need to get back into the shorter cranks practice.

I’ve lowered my seat a few times at others suggestion and I can’t stress enough how much that helped. I used to have to attempt rolling over downed trees a half dozen times or so before I’d roll over them once. Now with the seat significantly lowered I’m hitting those same trees first try. I know it’s not all due to me getting better because I’ve taken my other uni out that has the seat as high as my other used to be and I have the same problems as before. Still, I’ve got a ways to go. I’ve found that lowering the seat has had tradeoffs. Pros: I absorb the impact of much higher obstacles and drops are much easier. Cons: I find I’m out of the seat a bit more, it’s broken up my normal cadence - which I’ll need to relearn a bit, and the lower seat affects a different part of my knee - makes it hurt a bit.

Air pressure. Yeah another thing that helped me, I’m sure you’re already aware of this one though. In the beginning I think I was trying to ride with 30-35 psi. Little roots presented a problem with the tire that inflated. Again, at the suggestion of others I lowered it, and a second recommendation got me to lower it some more. After that I didn’t even feel the smaller roots. Again there was a tradeoff for me. Pros: Just about everything. Cons: Increased rolling resistance, which is something that can be overcome with conditioning.

Repeating sections. Probably should have put that first. If you skip hard sections after the first UPD it will take a very long time to get in enough practice to be able to ride the hard sections. It depends on what I want to get out of a ride, but some rides are just journeys to certain areas in the trail that I want to practice on. Sometimes I’ll even walk sections of a trail to save up enough energy to practice other sections I know I have trouble with.

On the flip side I find I don’t want to spend too much time at any one obstacle. I find I just get more and more tired with each subsequent attempt, making it harder and harder as I go along. Plus you don’t want to get discouraged or frustrated with yourself. Some things are best left for next time. Rome wasn’t unicycled in a day.

Riding with other people. I’d be less than half the (meager) unicyclist I am if I didn’t ride with others. Every outing I see other people do stuff I wouldn’t have thought possible - be it something technical or even feats of pure endurance, which often inspires me to try things I otherwise wouldn’t or push myself a bit harder than I would if alone, etc. Typical learning process for me:

Wow, look at that rooty hill! Not doable, gotta walk that.
Riding partner rolls it. :astonished:
Ok, I’ll try. Yup I made it about 3’ in, hit that first root and failed.
<4 months later>
That old “hill” gave me trouble? This hill is the killer…
Riding partner rolls it. :astonished:

Going with someone else makes all the difference. Thanks goes out to my regular riding partners for having patience and really helping me along.

Take all my advice with a grain of salt. I’m not a technical rider by any stretch of the imagination, these are just things that I’ve learned over the last several months that have really helped me.


ok im gonna try those tips,the place i ride alot is just so rocky and roots.thanks everyone for the help and suggestions.I guess its like this-
“it takes a bad musician to blame his instrument”