America’s Best Racer, Aaron Gwynne, Reveals How He Rides So Fast
Aaron Gwynne knows how to ride a mountain bike incredibly fast. He won the national championship, two series of world championships and nine world championships.
Read Aaron’s tips and learn to ride like the best racer. You will find that many of his tips apply to both the trail and downhill.
“I did my first runs on the track rather slowly and carefully. I take time to stop and check out any tricky sections. I like to start forming a game plan as soon as I can for the subsequent runs. It’s good for me to memorise the main passages, get a feel for the track, and then start picking up speed. ”
TAKE THE COURSE
“The walking course is fundamental in big races. I’m not studying strings too hard, but just trying to figure out the general approach I’ll take for my first trial workout. I am trying to identify potential problematic parts of the track that I will need to stop and watch again in my first practice runs. ”
PRACTICE YOUR LINES
“I enjoy practising any problematic section of the course at least a few times. I will lift my bike back to do it several times in a row, back to back. I can find the correct one and thus type it faster. ”
LEARN TO RIDE IN THE FIELDS
“The stone sections are always different, but it’s essential that you already have a good line, so you know what to expect from it. Generally, I find it best to keep your weight as close to the centre as possible. I’m trying to find smoother areas in the rocks where I can squeeze my harness to tighten and lighten it on the bike through big bumps or sharp square edges. Being light on your bike will save you time and wheels in the rocks. ”
RIDE IN THE RAIN
“I’ve found that driving in the rain just takes time. You have to go out and just feel comfortable, and the best way to do this is by exercising.
“One of the main rules that you want to apply when riding on wet roads is to make sure you hit the roots or rocks as straight as possible. The more you can “level” an obstacle; the less likely your wheels will want to knock you out from under your feet when you hit it.
“It’s just as good as in stone sections to try to lose weight off the bike when hitting a side root or rock. The less force you hit the object, the less it will affect your pull. ”
DRIVE IN DRY & HARSH CONDITIONS
“When it’s dusty and tightly packed, the track tends to be more slippery, so patience in cornering is critical. You will not be able to rush the craving in a dry place, or you will simply lose it. ”
USE THE RIGHT TYRE PRESSURE
“My normal starting pressure in racing is 25 psi in the front and 27 in the back. We usually adjust accordingly after a few practices run, in psi or higher, depending on the conditions of the track. Everyone has their preferences, and each tyre brand may require a little more or less air from you to get the feel of what you want. Mix and see what works for you.
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RIDE MORE AGGRESSIVE IN SAND
“You can be a little more aggressive in the sand than in the hard pack because your tyres have a lot to dig into. It’s good to keep your weight a little further back in the sand to ensure your front end isn’t pivoting under you when cornering. However, if you go back too far, your front end will want to float on top and push through turns. Getting the weight in the right place is critical, and in practice, it takes time.