Ask Pinkbike: Mounting a Guide, Enduro Bike Capabilities, Trail Etiquette

Oct 28, 2014
by Pinkbike Staff  
Ask Pinkbike Header

Here at Pinkbike we get inundated with all kinds of questions, ranging from the basic "Can I have stickers" to more in-depth, soul searching types of queries like if you should pop the question or what to name your first child. Ask Pinkbike is an occasional column where we'll be hand picking and answering questions that have been keeping readers up at night, although we'll likely steer clear of those last two and keep it more tech oriented.



Chain Guide Solutions

Question: Pinkbike user muddychaos asked this question in the Mechanics' Lounge forum: I have a 2011 Whyte 905 that I want to run a 1 x 10 drivetrain on, but my issue is that there are no ISCG tabs and the frame uses a Press-fit bottom bracket shell without any threads. Is it possible to run a bottom bracket mounted guide with a Press-fit shell? And if so, what kind of force does it take to remove and reinstall the bearings? Any advice would be great.

bigquotesYou have a few different options when it comes to running a chain guide your Whyte 905, and it just depends on how much protection and security you're looking for. The bike's Press-fit bottom bracket shell means that you can't 'officially' run a full sized chain guide, but you can hack your way around that by trying to fit an adapter from Pivot or Clutch that clamps around the bottom bracket shell - no need to remove the bearings. The Pivot adapter is only designed to work on their own bikes, and the Clutch adapter is made to fit Giants, but that doesn't mean that you can't get one of them to work on your Whyte. This would allow you to bolt up a chain guide with a lower roller and taco protection. The simpler solution would be to go with a seat tube mounted upper-only guide, which is a pretty straightforward way to go about it but won't offer the protection of a heavier duty setup. Now, after we've been through all that, I'd suggest going a different, albeit more expensive route: pair up a clutch-equipped derailleur with a narrow/wide chain ring and you won't have to fart around with guides at all. - Mike Levy

Pivot chain guide adapter

Pivot's chain guide adapter clamps around a Press-fit bottom bracket shell and allows you to mount a full sized guide.



How Capable are New Enduro Bikes?

Question: Curlyrocks says in the All-Mountain and Cross-Country Forum: So, I'm currently looking at a new bike and something has perplexed me. Are enduro bikes in the 140/160-millimeter-travel catagory really the do it all bikes? Would they be OK at coping with bike park/ freeride stuff, or are they best on rougher XC trails? After all, people have been seen to win DH races on them.

bigquotes Aaron Gwin won the opening round of the 2014 World Cup DH on a Specialized Enduro with a reduced-travel DH fork, and his teammate, Mitch Ropelato, raced some of the WC DH and National series events on the 29er version. More recently, Marco Osborne smashed the pro field at the USA National Series DH at Mammoth Mountain California on his relatively stock Cannondale Jekyll. The liberal use of carbon fiber, combined with slack frame geometry, lots of wheel travel and pedal-friendly suspension strategies have resulted in an emerging race of mountain bikes that seem like they have superpowers. So yes, under a skilled rider, the latest crop of enduro/all-mountain bikes are capable of doing anything from XC/trail riding to sessioning downhills that were once considered to be the solitary domain of big bikes. The keywords, though, are "skilled rider."

How, where and who you ride with may be important considerations for your new bike choice. If all of your friends ride park on big bikes, then buy a big bike, because the last thing they need is a trailbike rider in the middle of a train brake checking before every stunt or jump. If you live and ride where trails are steep and technical, and you already have the skillset to ride everything on a big bike, then downsizing to a lighter-weight, more trail-oriented machine with 150 or 160 millimeters of travel and a single-crown fork will push your skills a bit on familiar trails - and it will open up many more opportunities for riding. If your trails are mainly fast and smooth, riding a slack 160-millimeter all-mountain shred-monster will be boring as hell. I'd opt for a 120-millimeter 29er with modern trailbike geometry instead - it would be a heck of a lot more fun to ride - yet still capable enough to enjoy the occasional road trip to a burlier locale. That said, however, if you truly want one bike to everything from XC/trail to AM/DH, then choose one of today's better enduro racing models and you will not be disappointed. - RC


CHILE - 17 April 2014 - during the 2014 Santa Cruz Bicycles Nomad press launch. Photo by Santa Cruz Bicycles Gary Perkin

PB's Mike Kazimer descends aboard the 2014 Santa Cruz Nomad near Santiago, Chile. A bike as trustworthy on the downs that was truly lightweight and efficient enough to also be able to handle extended climbs was a dream for most riders only a few years earlier. - Gary Perkin photo





Trail Etiquette?

Question: PB user newtoDH asks the following in the All Mountain, Enduro, & Cross-Country forum: "“I have heard that this varies depending on location, but what is typical trail etiquette, to move out of the way for downhillers when climbing, or to move out of the way for climbers when descending? I was always told the former and it makes more sense to me, but I've heard other point of views as well.”

bigquotesThis is a common question, and the answer can really be distilled down into a two word answer: Be nice. When you encounter other trail users, whether they're on bike, foot, or taking a pack of llamas out for a walk, at the very least, slow down and say hello. The garb that we wear out on the trails, especially full face helmets, can make mountain bikers look menacing to other users, so that little bit of courtesy can go a long ways towards helping promote a positive image of mountain biking. That being said, the more you ride, the more likely it is that you'll have a few negative interactions with other trail users. Whether it's the startled runner who decides to curse you out because they didn't hear you over the Taylor Swift blaring from their headphones, or the STRAVA nut who blows past you in pursuit of electronic glory, not everyone you encounter is going to give you a friendly smile. Even when it's not your fault, taking the higher road and avoiding trailside shouting matches with a sincere apology or explanation is still the best tactic - getting angry out in the woods isn't going to solve anything.

For the official take on your query, according to IMBA, "Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic." This makes sense, although personally, if I'm climbing and I see another rider descending, I'll pull over to let them proceed. This gives me a chance to pause my uphill sufferfest, and gives them a relatively uninterrupted run, allowing them to enjoy what's likely the best part of their ride.
- Mike Kazimer

Trek Slash 9.8 Photo by Mike Kazimer

On multi-directional trails, uphill riders have the right of way, but it all comes down to being courteous.




Have some unresolved tech questions? Jump in the Pinkbike Forum and we'll look to answer it for next time.


166 Comments

  • 189 23
 When riding uphill, I pull over for downhill riders that are crushing it. If they are a gaper, I make them pull over for me. I wish the standard etiquette was for downhillers to have the right of way, because nothing is better than a full descent with no interruptions. To me, riding uphill is just a necessary evil.
  • 98 12
 Agreed. Plus, I'd think someone railing it downhill is going to have a much harder time stopping safely than someone making 5 km/h uphill, so the uphiller should be the one to pull aside. Personally, if someone's coming down the trail at mach schnell, I'm just getting the hell out of their way.
  • 34 11
 I think that "rule" has everything to do with how easy it is to get started again. There are some trails that will make you hike up or down a ways before you can get back on the bike and start climbing if you are forced to stop and break your momentum.
  • 11 4
 If i can hear them crushing it on the down and i'm on the up, i move. if i see them just rolling down, i assume they're in no rush and make my climb the priority.
  • 26 2
 I think "be nice" is absolutely spot on. I mostly ride up so I can ride down, so I totally value the flowy, uninterrupted descent. But it's also a major pain to lose your momentum going up, especially on technical trails where that means you'll miss an obstacle and have to either hike up a ways, or go back down to the last bit where it would be possible to remount and get going again.

Designated climb and descent trails FTW!
  • 10 8
 I agree, if I'm halfway through a difficult climb and I have to stop, I'm walking the rest. If I'm in the middle of something technical on the way up I'd hope the downhill rider would stop so I don't have to try not to fall over while stopping a climb I know I won't be able to restart. If it's reasonable to pull over while climbing I will, but generally I'd agree with IMBA that he who is suffering most should have the right of way.
  • 17 91
flag whatyousaid (Oct 28, 2014 at 13:22) (Below Threshold)
 Downhill traffic is supposed to yield to uphill traffic. As a climber, If someone fails to yield its your duty to inform them of the proper trail etiquette. If you are climbing and yielding to downhill traffic then you are part of the problem and adding to the confusion.
  • 9 6
 I agree with most of the above comments that say the uphill rider should give way - more people live for the descents and everyone hates their flow being interrupted, so we reciprocate (WWJD > IMBA). I would also say that when gumby meets pinner, the gumbies seem to pull off the trail regardless. When two experienced riders meet, they both give just enough to let each other past and are then on their way - smooth.

I've never seen a sign saying who should yield to whom, but I've neither seen nor heard of a collision between two riders in twenty years and our trails are busy.
  • 42 1
 I yield to those coming downhill, its an excuse for a quick break without looking like a wuss Razz
  • 11 45
flag bikebudha1 (Oct 28, 2014 at 14:15) (Below Threshold)
 Teton, you are selfish and dangerous. No one wants their experience interrupted, up or down. But it's far easier for the person going downhill to get started again. It's far easier for the person going downhill to see the person coming up, easier for the descender to slow/stop than it is for the climber. And since bikes must yield to horses and hikers, it's just good habit for the descender to slow since for 2 out of 3 encounters, they are required to yield anyway.
  • 20 4
 @Bikebudha
Its easier for the descender to slow and stop? How so?
The descender has to pull on the anchors and lose a large amount of momentum, whilst gravity tries to force them to do otherwise. The ascender simply has to stop pedaling.

Perhaps I am biased, as primarily a downhill rider, but personally I think the etiquette should be entirely based on whoever finds it easier to come to a safe and prompt halt doing so. 99% of the time this will be the person on the way up. Yes it may be harder to get going again, but thats a small price compared to a head on collision at speed if the descender is unable to come to a halt. Yes you should always ride in a manner that means you can stop safely on a multi-use trail, but "should have" is no help when you are in hospital after the crash.

I think "be nice" is the overriding factor, but there are sections of trail I ride sometimes that no matter how slow I am going, stopping just isn't possible. I may be extremely impressed to see someone riding up the same section of trail towards me and fully want to stop. That doesn't mean I am going to be able to.
  • 8 0
 I can hear most riders comeing down the trail well before they see me as the only noise they will hear are my weasing lungs, Most of my trails are in the forest with blind corners and few straight sections so being seen in time to safely pull off can be hard. I always try and yield up or down but sometimes on my way down it can difficult slow down or stop.
  • 14 11
 If you are going so fast and out of control that you cannot stop in time to avoid a crash, what makes you think that the rider going up hill will have enough time to see you and to get out of your way? Bottom line is that you have to be riding in control on a multi-use/multi-directional trail and slow down and use caution in blinds areas and corners. And if you are on a section that is so technical or steep that you can't safely stop then there is unlikely to be someone pedaling up that section anyway.
  • 6 1
 How about just be prepared to stop. Recently I was slowing for a group of 3 riders heading up as I was jamming on the down. Lead climber slowed and waved me to continue on. The third climber apparently wasn't with them though, and insisted on the right to climb as I came by. I was shocked I got a gruff look after just being waved on. Just pay attention people and don't insist on your "right".
  • 9 3
 You'd be surprised what people can climb. And being unable to stop instantly doesn't always mean out of control. I'm just saying that generally someone on the way down may need 5 or 10 feet to safely come to a complete halt, whilst someone on the way up will generally be able to stop on a dime. Yes in a perfect world both parties would stop and make sure it was safe to proceed, but sometimes bad luck strikes, you spot someone and pull the anchors but at that moment your rear tyre is on a loose rock, and it takes you a few feet to slither to a halt. Having the rider on the way up standing resolutely in the middle of the trail purposely blocking you because the IMBA says they have right of way isn't going to help anyone.
  • 12 13
 "And being unable to stop instantly doesn't always mean out of control. I'm just saying that generally someone on the way down may need 5 or 10 feet to safely come to a complete halt

You should never put yourself in a position where you would ever have to stop instantly or within 5 or 10 feet for someone else on the trail. If you can't see more than 10 feet in front of you there is no way you should be pinned. Riding like that around blind areas on multi-directional trails is pretty much just irresponsible.

I have no problem with people thinking someone on the way down should have the right of way. I just have a problem with the argument that its because riders going downhill can't stop in time. To me if you can't stop on time you are not riding that type of trail responsibly.
  • 13 0
 Maybe the people that assume the climber will see or hear them have never done much climbing because there have certainly been times for me where I've been so deep in the pain cave that I wouldn't notice an elephant in front of me, much less another rider. I don't think I've ever felt that an uphill rider was wilfully getting in my way while I was descending, but I've certainly been run down by kids that think multiuse trails are for DH racing while I'm headed up.

I think don't act like a moron is a good rule. If you see someone railing at you while you're climbing it's probably wiser for you to step to the side. If you're descending and see someone climbing ahead, maybe they're working hard, might not see you, it looks like they're not going to move - why would you not just slow down and let them pass by? If it's blind and multiuse slow down a bit - there could be anything around that corner. I mean it's not rocket science is it?
  • 8 5
 i dont wish to cause offence, but I think riding "so deep in the pain cave that I wouldn't notice an elephant in front of me" is equally as irresponsible as pinning it round a blind corner down a multi use trail. I mean, what if there was an elephant in front of you? Razz

I am not suggesting that people should ride down in an uncontrolled fashion expecting other riders, walkers, horses and children to be ready to dive out of their way at a moments notice. I am just pointing out that the unexpected does happen, and sometimes it unexpectedly takes a few extra feet to stop when descending. I have made it very clear that this can happen even when riding at a snails pace if you are unlucky enough to get caught out by a loose rock or root at exactly the wrong moment. That is why i think that the argument that "it is harder for the climber to get started again" doesn't hold water. The descender having issues quickly coming to a full halt is only likely on steeper sections of trail, but you can't exactly have one ruling for steep trails, and one for shallower inclines.

Surely stopping in the first place is the most important action in the entire situation? Then, incident avoided, you both give a friendly "hello" and carry on as best you can.


It seems to me that the descender or ascender right of way debate should take heed of the maritime rule that the larger boat gets right of way. Its nothing to do with status, fuel efficiency or time saving, its simple safety first common sense. The one who can most safely give way, should do so regardless of whether this means they have a hard time getting going again or not.
  • 13 1
 This seems to be common sense but let's beat it to death anyways. Both parties should attempt to yield to each other. I don't care how hard it is to stop or how hard it is to get back going I just yield as a matter of politeness. It's not my trail so sharing seems to be the name of the game. If you're going so fast downhill that you can't make a line change or do your part in avoiding another rider then you are wrong, conversely if you are going uphill and hogging the entire trail not allowing for said line change by the descending rider then you are also wrong. Problem is people are greedy bastards, you can't convince some half retarded 16 year old that there might be other people on the trail he's using as his personal world cup DH run, and you certainly can't convince some entitled clown who thinks that riders climbing 'always' have the right of way. You figure this wouldn't even be an issue, unfortunately some people are assholes.
  • 18 4
 I think it is better that the climber stops because then they can yell "Sick lines dude!", "Yeeeww!" and encourage the descender to pin it or bin it.

Now if the descender was to stop, what the hell are they going to yell at the climber? "Nice cadence, man!" or perhaps "Engage those hamstrings!"

Now which of these two outcomes makes both parties feel better afterwards?
  • 11 8
 When I first heard there was supposed to be some universal rule that descenders yielded to climbers...I thought it had to be a joke.
  • 6 4
 Can I just make the point that if we all rode trails so we could stop instantly going downhill, we would have no tech steep trails, no progression, no fun, and the only skill everyone would have would be crawling down a hill as slow as possible.
  • 5 0
 @medievalbiking It would be like biking in the medieval times!
  • 2 1
 How virtuous Razz
  • 5 3
 Downhill riding is mostly controlled chaos. At high speed or on technical features you may be in control such that you don't crash, but you can’t necessarily stop straight away. This is fine for single direction trails, but in some cases can be dangerous on multi direction trails, and typically, multi direction trails are designed with a "safe" everyday use speed in mind. I say "safe" loosely because I'm referring to line of sight and stopping conditions. If you're pinning it, even if you stop in time and are friendly, your actions make the MTB community look bad purely because of "what if" - yes there are plenty of people out there who think that. I dread the day 2 riders in a head on collision need emergency services from an illegal trail, and it makes news of some sorts.

It’s fine if you put yourself at risk, but it’s not fine to be an element out of another riders control - leave that to cars and roadies.
  • 4 2
 I always stop for guys shredding downhill. Nothing would make me feel worse than see a guy coming down being forced to send it off the mountain side to not hit me on the way up. Like others have said, be rational about who can really control their stopping safely. In my case, I will always stop first if I am on the climb. There is no pride in causing someone else to crash. Coot
  • 8 3
 There is nothing I love more than an uninterrupted descent. That being said, uphill has the right of way.

I like to yield to downhillers when I can, but, don't expect it. I'm siding with IMBA but I think the most important rule is "be nice".
  • 3 2
 It can go either way... I like to enjoy the DH's with little interruption, but the last thing I want to do while climbing a rock section is stop for some punk downhiller who thinks he owns the trails.
  • 1 1
 oh the irony...
  • 2 1
 Who actually "rides" all the way up the hill? Unless your a XC person. I just find the shortcuts, and hike-a-bike straight to the top.
  • 3 0
 It's just down to common sense; on a two way trail, those descending must be able to stop with their line of sight. If you can't, then you are putting others in danger which is not cool.
  • 2 1
 Here on the shore the unwriiten rule is riders coming downhill have right of way. Every trail requires huge climb so you earn your turn. ..That way everyone gets to rail it downhill.
Although last week a asian lady with her three kids on walmart bikes stopped allover biobsled on fromme completely ruined my "flow"Smile
  • 28 1
 Trail etiquette cracks me up. Just be nice. If everyone just tries to get along it's enjoyable for us all. When someone pulls over for you (uphill or down) just say THANKS! It's not hard.
  • 5 1
 Agreed. This should be priority number one. But thinking about this from a logical standpoint, stopping to let a guy climbing a steep trail "pass" you is just silly. It should be about minimizing your exposure to each other/need to share the singletrack and therefore the guy blasting down the trail should be allowed to pass. If i turn a corner on my decent and see a guy climbing, i am supposed to stop and wait until he makes it past me to keep riding? Cue jepardy theme music...
  • 4 1
 I'd have been a lot less pissed at the guy who I ended up tumbling off trail in order to give right of way(slightly blind corner, & I was hurrying to catch up with my group) if he'd at least turned his head & said hi to me as I was lying in the bushes next to trail.

well. at least slightly less pissed.
  • 13 0
 THANKS is great. THANK YOU can be problematic...

Different sport, but ages ago, while racing windsurfers, I was going downwind way overpowered on race gear at a spot where there were a lot of recreational sailors crossing the course. It's a little bit like a gnarly descent on a bike - you have to flow and keep your focus, it can be a little scary, and you definitely have limited options in terms of what lines you take. So this recreational windsurfer, seeing me coming, was friendly and slowed down, waving me on. I was immensely grateful - I probably would have had a yard sale if he hadn't. So I yelled THANK YOU at him. His face went from friendly and smiling to seriously angry, and he flipped me off as I went by - to him, my level of intensity made THANK YOU sound like F&#( YOU. I felt like crap about the miscue and found him later on the beach, and a friendly conversation and some beers were had, but if I hadn't found him, it could have created serious ill will.
  • 4 0
 I had a XC rider going up one of my down hill,lines as I was descending , he spotted me at least 30m away , and rather than moving over he accelerated towards me in some fucked game of chicken , at the last moment he pulled over and fell in a ditch , i nearly crashed crying with laughter. In my view unless it's an uphill trail then the person going up should always give way to the descender , when I push up a track I will jump into stingers and brambles to get out of their way.
  • 24 1
 The down hill up hill thing always get confusing. In my experience it all dependents on the trail, generally I yield to downhill riders when climbing.
Reasons: at speed its harder to safely move out of the way when travailing down (dependent on trail).
uphill riders generally can hear downhill users first, if there is no sight lines.
I would not want to get creamed by a rider who could not move safely aside, or cause the rider to crash, if I was in the way.
  • 8 1
 Same with me. I'll always move out of the way for the downhillers as I would want the same when I point downwards. For climbers...well if do generally slow down and move over, particularly on sections where I know it is a bit of work to get moving again. Either way, depends on the situation. At the end of the day, we all just want a great ride so no use gettin worked up about trivial things.
  • 7 1
 I'll usually yield to the downhill rider as well, assuming doing that doesn't kill my ability to ride the rest of the section we are on. IMO, it's a dick move to make someone climbing up a steep pitch yield causing them to walk the rest of the pitch.
  • 6 0
 Where i live there are so many fire roads i just climb those. Your outta the way, you dont mess up any of the trail features and its easier than climbing the actual trail so i can maybe squeeze in another lap
  • 8 0
 I don't mind pulling over when descending because it gives me a chance to regroup, breathe a little, and heckle the s*** out of the suffering climbers.
  • 24 2
 Putting the onus on the downhill rider forces people to think ahead, look ahead, and be more careful. Only on a closed course or committed directional trail should a rider ever put the pedal all the way down. All other times, one should be ready for other users. There is a rationale that it is easier for a downhill rider to get going back down than for an uphill rider to get going back up. I think this has some, ahem, traction in good logic. However, I think the sheer safety aspect should prompt downhill riders to be ready to pull over whenever necessary, as well as the potential liability aspects. That being said, "be nice" is a winning attitude for everyone when it comes to sharing the trails.
  • 9 1
 This. For sure. I'm always a little surprised by people who treat a regular day on the trail like a race. Even if it's a dedicated downhill trail - it is very possible for someone to have wiped out and still be splayed all over the trail right around that blind corner. It is also very possible for someone to be hiking and not hearing you (even if it's a dedicated bike trail - people don't always see or heed signage).
  • 9 3
 "I'm always a little surprised by people who treat a regular day on the trail like a race." - It's the Strava*sholes
  • 25 2
 I live every week like Shark week and treat every descent like it's the Fort William World Cup. Nobody has died yet.
  • 3 0
 @NoahColorado, thanks for making me laugh so loud that my coworkers had to check in on me. Smile Bravo.
  • 8 1
 Honestly, I ride hard most of the time. I stop for almost everybody, however I'm riding pinned because it's the only thing that makes me even want to ride. Don't judge, I may be pinned all the time, but I will chuck myself off the trail instead of hit you. I'll be nice and apologize for causing someone to shit their spandex.
  • 5 1
 @ NoahColorado - the operative word is "yet".
  • 3 0
 @dualsuspensiondave - of course you're riding hard and pinning it. Good for you. No problem with that. The second part of your post demonstrates that you actively anticipate others (to the point of being willing to chuck yourself off the trail), and that's the crucial point here. My beef is with people who don't do that. Even on designated, fast downhill trails there needs to be a level of awareness around others - others who might (stupidly) be going up; others who might (ignorantly) be hiking on said trail; others who might (unfortunately) have crashed so hard they can't immediately clear the trail. You may take that for granted - but there are a lot of people with poor reasoning skills and lacking executive functioning out there, so sometimes it's necessary to go all Captain Obvious on that sort of thing...
  • 26 4
 It's way harder to resume a steep climb than to resume a steep decent. So I would have to agree with the IMBA rule. With that said, I typically yield to anybody headed my way - it's not common to run into another cyclist where I ride and when I do I stop and say hi because I usually know them haha. For hikers, I mostly stop and dismount. Unless there is adequate room but there often is not. If I'm full face I lift the lid so they can see my face... gotta keep the peace.
  • 4 6
 I disagree Darkstar. If it were a paved road, yes, or if it is not very steep (in which case it is very easy to get started going uphill from zero). But on a steep,where it will be difficult to get going uphill, it is downright treacherous to stop and start again from zero with rocks, roots, ruts etc. You need the speed and balance to get over them and you don't have it trying to begin with the bike pointing so far downhill. Pushing uphill poses no danger to the climber other than an inconvenience, but trying to stop and especially get started again while on a steep is far more dangerous and thus safety should be the presidng judge of who gets the right of way.
  • 4 5
 I agree Rubberelli. Just yesterday I was basically told to stop riding by two hikers. The trail is called rock garden for good reason, and I ended up stopping on the chunkiest part of the trail. Starting from zero was probably one of the scariest things I have ever done because I am used to hitting it at like 20 MPH, almost went over the bars a few times.
  • 2 0
 I can only agree with it being difficult/dangerous to stop downhill if you are on super steep stuff, like too steep to walk down, and too steep to be riding up. These types of trails are usually the kind you find only at a lift serviced park, so that's a bit of a different arena.
  • 1 0
 In Southwrn California we have only one lift accessed resort, yet most of the other top trails here are climable, yet steep enough with features, narrow tracks, and exposure that make it dangerous to stop going downhill. Once again, it is inconvenient for the climber to have to push to a point they can get going again, but it becomes treacherous for the descender to not only stop, but to get started again. I would argue that even a mild descent stop to a newbie adds vastly more danger to the equation than a climber stopping, who has little to no danger yielding the right-of-way. I think it is quite obvious that the safety and fun of a descent should take precendence over the inconvenience and hindered Strava time for the climber.
  • 1 0
 That's the problem, you are looking at things from your point of view while disregarding point of view of the climber, your last line says it all. The fact that you believe it's much easier to stop while climbing tells me you have little idea what you are talking about. Did you consider the fact that a climber's ability to see you coming is much less than your ability to see him. He's looking down and moving slow, you are looking down trail and speeding.....
  • 1 0
 Since the vast majority of my time mtbing is climbing, usually fairly steep stuff for fun descents, I do believe I know exactly what I am talking about. While I ackowledge the line of vision of the climber is much shorter, hearing is even more importent and easily the first sense anyone has of someone coming downhill ( why most hikers are already to the side of the trail by the time you see them). The descender's bike is making much more noise that they cannot possibly hear the small amount of noise coming from the climber's bike, while the climber can easily hear the descender long before they see them. Are you saying that it is just as dangerous for a climber to stop? If you are not arguing this point then we are not really disagreeing on anything except that you believe the climber's convenience and enjoyment of the climb takes precedence over the safety and enjoyment of the descender. I am merely saying that he or she who is safer stopping and starting should do so.
  • 1 0
 I agree with Darkstar here, people keep bringing up this hypothetical situation where the downhill rider is in some steep techy section where its dangerous to stop. But like was already pointed out, people aren't going to be climbing sections like that. I keep saying I have no problem if people think downhill should have the right of way and in most situations I will simply just give way to a downhill rider as a courtesy. I just have a problem with basing this opinion on it being a safety issue for a downhill rider to stop. To me the bottom line is that if you can't or don't have the ability to stop in time or maneuver around someone coming the other direction on the trail, then you aren't riding that trial safely, and you aren't even leaving that uphill climber any time to get out of your way anyway. Uphill riders aren't psychic, if you can't see them coming they can't see you either.
  • 1 1
 I don't know where you live, but in Southern California the steep technical singletrack is regularly climbed. If you are talking about double track or fire road, then both riders can safely pass each other to the sides of the trail and there is no issue. But If the singletrack trail is groomed and mellow then it is still safer for the climber to move to the side. They will certainly hear the descender before the descender sees them. Almost all bike crashes come from using the brakes, not from stopping your pedals. It is ridiculous to think everyone coming down the hill has to ride the brakes at 10mph in order to be able to stop in 5ft. If that were the case, there would be almost no mountain bikers, thus no mountain bikes and thus no bike trails.
  • 1 0
 This whole thing is dumb anyways because I was thinking about it and I honestly can't remember the last time I was climbing or descending and I happened to run across an oncoming rider where the trail happens to be too narrow for two to pass.... it relies on a very specific scenario. What to I take from this? Just be nice. That should be the only rule.
  • 17 0
 My mind went in a completely different direction when I read "mounting a guide."
  • 1 1
 Mine too. Started going through all of the implications in my head. Hahahahaha.
  • 6 0
 "You have a few different options when it comes. It just depends on how much protection and security you're looking for."
  • 2 0
 I thought it was for the female part of riders here on PB Big Grin
  • 6 0
 Impossible, there are no girls on the internet.
  • 11 0
 Speaking of trail etiquette, what are some opinions on how to ride with slower, less skilled riders? I try to ride with people of all skill levels, mostly cause I want other people to get as stoked as me on mountain biking and because I really appreciated riding with people who were better than me when I started out. In general, I try to stick with them on the uphill and let them do their own thing on the downhill, waiting when I feel like I haven't seen them for a while or when I see people on the trail. Your guys' thoughts?
  • 18 0
 Hang with them on the uphill, stop everywhere the downhill flattens out or forks.
  • 3 0
 I agree. But it depends on who your riding with. I took a roadie out for his first dirt ride. He was so sketchy that I felt like I had to wait for him, and be right with him, so that he didn't die. A ride that normally takes 45 mins took 2 hours. But if its someone what generally knows how to ride a bike, I only wait if there is a fork in the trail, or if he hasn't been seen in about 5-10 mins.
  • 4 0
 I just let them take their time. No use rushing the slower riders as it does not inspire confidence. I'll lead or I will let them lead. The most important thing is to just be supportive and patient. Just remember we have all been there at one point. My friends do ride quicker than I do. They do wait but I also do let them know that if they feel like going on, keep pinning it.
  • 3 0
 I fully support your generous use of shred time. I too try and take out folks who are new-(or newer than me) because I learned the same way -- getting my ass kicked by seasoned riders who also waited up when I was dry-heaving. I have found that where I ride and how close really depends on the confidence level of the newby.

Uphill, I tend to get impatient and ride a bit faster than my counterparts, so I take the lead. I wait up at crucial junctions, and when there is an obstacle that may take some coaching to get over.

Downhill, it depends on who i'm with. I like waiting at the top and letting the slower rider go first (giving them a 20 or 30 second buffer). That way their decent is uninterrupted if they want, and they can take a break when they need. And... I can be there to scrape them off the trail if they crash.

But, some folks really hate having me on their tail, so I use your method of going first and wait up for them on the flats.

I think the most important thing is to check in and assure that they are comfortable and stoked, (which it sounds like you are doing a great job of).
  • 4 0
 The ride in front or behind question is a good conversation to have. Riding in front of a new rider can model how to ride certain features but can also shorten their field of vision and increase anxiety and riding behind can leave them confused as to line options or skills through obsticles. A bit of both is likely helpful with some thought to the locations by allowing open leading in areas without as many technical features and active leading and modelling where there are features. Also, different riders will ahve different learnign styles with some wanting a guide and others just wanting company while they figure it out themselves. Just my thought. I was out with a newer rider the other week and after waiting with another friend at a switchback, hiked up to find them dangling from a tree, legs kicking below them, about three feet off a steep bench cut trail. Hilarious. Fishing the bike out below took a collaborative effort. He was a good sport and had some nice war wounds on his chest to wear with pride.
  • 6 0
 I had a riding buddy who was never confident when things got dicey. I would always tell him to hang back a bit and watch my lines but also don't freeze up at the top of a steep chute or rock garden. If I felt what we were riding was a little out of his comfort zone I would get off the bike and show him lines and talk about entry speed and body position. He was actually starting to improve until he sold his bike. Now I don't have a riding buddy Frown
  • 5 0
 I ride with the them were you can. The fire roads its always nice to ride next to some one. One single track in front. On downhills stop were its safe to wait for them.
Or if they are supper new and petrified ride just in front down hill at there pace ie with the break on.

Ridding alone as a first ride sux. Share there glory. Give complements.
"Dude you killed it ridding down the grassy slope, I think the front wheel got air. You looked sick".
  • 1 0
 Took my dad for a ride as he was getting into mountain biking. I rode just in front of him to push him on a bit but made sure not to get too far ahead. On the downhill I did my own thing for a bit and then waited up for him to catch up. Seemed to work well enough. Also giving them a few tips on what to expect from the trail being ridden and taking them on something there gonna be capable of doing should keep them coming out for more.
  • 2 0
 @T-Bot complements FTW! I have this conversation with my riding buddies a few rides ago. goes like this:

RB: you're fast!
me: no, you are fast!
RB: well, I was trying to show off!
me: well, I was trying to keep up!

ha!
  • 12 1
 But hell with what I said, you really did say it perfectly Mike.

"For the official take on your query, according to IMBA, "Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic." This makes sense, although personally, if I'm climbing and I see another rider descending, I'll pull over to let them proceed. This gives me a chance to pause my uphill sufferfest, and gives them a relatively uninterrupted run, allowing them to enjoy what's likely the best part of their ride."
  • 16 2
 Why does IMBA get to make MTB rules again?
  • 12 0
 Basically imba has a name and a following. It's true because so many believe it. The benefit of this is when imba goes to bat against local government to let riders on trails they can say bikers follow a set of rules for good etiquette.
  • 8 7
 Also keep in mind how old this IMBA "rule" is. Who was that pinned going downhill on a hardtail with a 72° head angle with 16" wide bars at the time? Exactly, about 5 worldwide. It's an old "rule" that needs to go.
  • 15 1
 The IMBA rule is based on maintaining POSITIVE relationships with the much more powerful hiking and equestrian groups, as well as with ALL MTBers, not just us pink bike DH junkies.
  • 2 1
 I hear this a lot - "We need to keep positive relations with other user groups." You know, I've heard that for years. What OTHER groups give a rip about what we think or spend any amount of effort
keeping good relationships with us? Especially when hikers rarely if ever lift a finger on a trail. We don't bring animals that crap all over the place. We just ride our bikes, clean up our own mess, for the most part police ourselves and do our own trail work. I think this mindset needs to change.
  • 2 0
 Its an issue that goes both ways and requires understanding and respect from all groups.
  • 1 0
 Locally a lot of the trails exist because someone with a horse needed to get somewhere a century ago. The horseback riders have been riding them since they were toddlers, and it is a part of their culture as much as biking is for any of us, but going back much further. To them we are a bunch of upstarts on their trails. What is worse, if we spook their horses they can get seriously hurt. Out position is far more tenuous than you might think with them. So much so, that the only reason biking can thrive in Utah is because the local government doesn't like to tell people they can't do things unless it has to do with marriage or drugs and alcohol.
  • 4 0
 Most hiking/equestrian groups don't give a damn about mountain bikers rights and would rather have our trail access cut off. They have strength in numbers and money, which gives them more political clout.

If you buzz some oblivious hiker and irritate them it can only hurt our cause. I always try to act as an ambassador of our sport. Most of the time hikers will yield the trail when they see me coming and I try to be polite and thank them. More often than not they are polite back, or at least indifferent. Maybe 10% act annoyed and 10% of those are openly hostile. The other day a guy, with a very arrogant tone said, "Going kind of fast, dontcha think?" I just smiled and told him to have a nice day. It must be hard to be grouchy all the time, poor guy.
  • 1 0
 Like your tone thrasher!
  • 1 0
 Do hikers have ambassadors? Do horse people have ambassadors? I just don't get why we have to somehow when the hearts of minds of everyone we run across using the trail. I understand it's different, but where I live we have single use trails - MTB only trails and these fools still try to hike and jog them. It doesn't really bother me, but why should I have to win your heart and mind if you are walking or jogging on a bike trail? I'm not saying I'm a jerk to anyone, just saying that no one wins my heart or mind!
  • 2 0
 My comments above are only related to multi-use trails, which is MOST of what we have around here. Many of these trails have been here since long before Gary Fisher, Keith Bontrager and all the other legends I'm forgetting started riding trails. Some even predate bikes altogether. Yeah, its utter garbage that MTBers are the only group that has our trail rights threatened by the opinions of the other groups. It's BS, but its an unfortunate truth, however it is slowly getting better! The people who dislike bikes on trails are relatively few, but have loud voices. Forest Park in Portland, Oregon is a perfect example. It is the biggest urban park in the US (or something like that) with beautiful trails and unbelievable potential for MTBing (lots of elevation change), but very vocal environmental and hiking groups have effectively lobbied to block ALL access to trails so MTBs are confined to the fireroads (yippee...) because they claim bikes will ruin the forest and the "nature experience". This is in a town that is militantly pro-biking, as long as its road bikes. For a while there was a hiker couple stalking around the Sandy Ridge trails, which technically are multi-use (no horses or motors) even though they were 100% built for bikes and funded 100% by bikers, with a Taser. They would threaten people with the Taser and just generally be jerks, especially to riders with dogs for some reason. If a MTBer did this it would be front page news on every hiking website and forum in the country.
  • 1 0
 We have something to gain and everything to lose and other groups don't seem to have that problem. I'm not saying I like it, in fact it sucks. However, if a hiker is coming up a downhill only trail that was built specifically for mountain biking by mountain bikers and financed by mountain bikers, I'm not too worried about hitting them. Just don't make it look like its on purpose. For example, don't manual up and plant your front tire in the middle of their chest or bunny hop whip them in the face with your back tire.
  • 1 0
 Focus on yourselves everyone, it doesn't matter what others are doing, its what your doing. And certainly don't hit them on purpose or by intent, just calmly inform them of their folly in choosing a mountain biking trail to walk on.
  • 11 0
 "the garb that we wear out on the trails, especially full face helmets, can make mountain bikers look menacing to other users"

So true. We don't realize how intimidating we can be to a family out for a hike. With more and more mtb trails getting shut down, we have to be as diplomatic as possible. We will never have the money or political clout to fight environmental nutbags or middle aged women horseback riders. We must be as accommodating as possible to reverse the trend of "no biking" signs.
  • 8 0
 Big bike vs Enduro Bike. I have both. I started with an enduro can do it all 9er. got happy when I read about Mitch Rope winning on 29inches... then I started riding park, and then i started having fun riding park (on my am 9er). One day at a local bike park i was able to flat both my tubless 9er tires at once, and woundnt you know it, the shop didnt have 9er tubes. I was lucky enough to finish off the day on some strangers Intense M9 I will always be gr8ful to that guy at Fernie who lent me his bike, changed my lyfe. Then i understood. An enduro bike can do just about anything, but not well. And when i think about it now, a 10 speed circa 1978 will make it through a day at the bike park, but how well? 1 year riding park on my enduro bike has led to lottsa repairs. After my big bike experience I imminently went out and got my hands on a 2008 santacruz vp free on the cheap. the thing is beat up, and heavy, but is night and day better for crushing it dh. I went out riding last weekend on my enduro bike, nice up and down ride, a location i have not been to since spring, and doing the dh was just no where near as much fun and a do it all bike. If yer gunna ride park, do it on a big bike. I wouldnt take a subaroo forester mudbogging. and I wouldnt ride my big bike xc. right tools for the job.
  • 5 0
 Your comment is spot on, there is big difference between a bike being capable of doing something, and a bike being the good at something. To me there just will never be a do it all bike that replaces all the other bikes. There will always be trade offs and a dedicated DH or XC bike will always handle those particular disciplines better than any all purpose mid travel bike. That's also not to say that there aren't some awesome bikes that can handle both pretty well but they will never be as good as the dedicated rigs.

Also, another consideration that people overlook is durability. DH bikes are made to take a beating. Longer travel enduro bike are rugged, but not made to the same standards as DH bikes and likely won't stand up to the beating or repeated use on DH and freeride trails. When Gwin or Ropeleto take out an enduro bike on a WC track, they aren't worried about long term durability. They don't care if they trash the bike where as someone who drops $6K of their own money certainly will.
  • 1 0
 I ride a 2013 trek slash 8 160mm everywhere. XC, enduro and ride it at keystone resort last year
  • 8 0
 what's the proper trail etiquette towards a runner with their earphones full blast who crosses tape and runs close by you unannounced while you're swinging a machete for trail work?
  • 17 1
 IMBA official response:

"Quickly sever the cables to the headphones and politely slap them with the flat part of the machete. Tell them that you're doing God's work and they will thank you."
  • 7 1
 plain and simple, Machete kills!!!


what was the outcome in you case?
  • 4 0
 too many close calls. i had one group complain at us when we were doing major permitted repair 3 mos ago that we were interrupting their unsanctioned/no permit race. we asked if they could please go around and they got "disturbed". i walked the trail section to follow them out and one of them tore all the tape down i put up to secure the section. nice. they think gnomes and fairies do all the work at night, i guess. riders are usually very mindful in our spot but runners...never. the joys of multi-use!
  • 10 0
 you will build the landing very quickly with a few bodies in it.
  • 4 0
 ^that would be fitting reincarnation. i like it.
  • 7 0
 Aw the blessed don't be a dick rule. Nice people don't need it and dicks don't follow it. I once went so slow uphill that I passed myself going down. I pulled over for downhill me cuz I looked like I was having more fun.
  • 6 1
 After reading the comments about the up/down trail etiquette, I see a prevalent theme suggesting that downhill riders should have the right of way because its difficult to stop/maneuver going downhill.

But if the downhill rider doesn't have enough time to stop or maneuver, then the uphill rider won't have enough time to get out of the anyway. If a downhill rider comes up that fast on someone going up, then no one will be able to avoid a crash. No one should hauling that fast and loose on a multi-directional trail that they wouldn't have the proper time to slow down should they come upon someone heading up the trail. And if the downhill rider is on something so technical that its difficult to stop on, then chances are than no one is going to be in the saddle climbing such a section anyway.

I get that it would be great to always have uninterrupted descents, but to be honest I get much more annoyed if I have to stop or get stuck and have to try to restart on a tough climb than I do if I get interrupted on a downhill.
  • 6 1
 PART 2
When we think about this, it certainly brings in to question of this rule that "climbers have right of way". Sure, its a pain in the ass to stop and start again on a climb, and on some technical steep climbs, it can be awkward to stop. But generally speaking, if my main concern as a rider is to provide SAFE trail etiquette to my fellow riders, then I am more than happy to listen out, and stop on a climb, to let a descending rider through (and I certainly appreciate it when this favour is returned, like many people do in Whistler and Australia!). Again, the focus here should be what's the safest solution to multiple trail users... not what's the most convenient, for people climbing...

However, this certainly does NOT give descending riders free reign to go balls out. Taking a leaf from the Alpine Responsibility Code, we recommend to instructors they offer a more inclusive trail rule to their clients:

People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to be able to stop and avoid any persons or objects ahead.

This reminds descending riders they have to be able to control their speed and avoid anything in front of them. If they can't see around the corner, then they should slow down in case something is after the corner, that they need to avoid.

It also encourages climbers to give way to descending riders, since it is typically easier and quicker for them to stop, than for the descending rider.

Everyone being NICE. And if everyone pulls over, then why not say hi, have a chat and make new friends!

Either way, this adjustment to the rule certainly seems to fits today's industry and all it's different styles of riding, a little more closely. My goal here is simply to raise a little more awareness to this issue, since so many people ask us about this topic... and after this conversation on our instructor courses, almost unanimously, everyone agrees that the "climber has right of way rule" no longer feels as appropriate for todays industry.
  • 2 0
 Well put. However Alpine Responsibility Code is like setting up brake calipers by pressing the lever and tightening bolts - a good start point but inorder for it to work well you need basic common sense to realize that there is some more work to do. I have been personally involved in a skiing crash with minor conussion and broken nose (me) where the gorl I crashed into mentuoned ARC instantly - what she hasn't realised was that she made a sudden turn on the bottom of an icy steep slope and crossed it without looking up. We were on opposite sides of 40-50m wide slope and I was riding faster. She went out of my field of view as I passed her, then she suddenly appeared just in front of me. I didn't even have time to blink. If she only took a quick look up before she crossed the entire slope we'd both be fine. I have always been doing that, whenever there is a place where trails join I keep my senses sharp and look up, when I drive a car and come upon even a slightly unclear situation at traffic lights, when I have green, I slow down or at least put my foot over the brake pedal. When I climb up I let people going down through but I expect them to acknowledge me, as lack of politness is often a sign of dangerous ruthlessness.

Rules and regulations are legally constituted hints how to avoid trouble - not laws of physics. Unfortunately many behave as if they were God given guidelines and God himself intervenes making sure so that they are followed.
  • 6 1
 There's an important distinction between etiquette and responsibility. Different riding areas seem to have different house rules for sharing trails. Most confrontations that I've witnessed seem to have more to do with people's personalities than whether they were riding up or downhill. Both parties have an obligation to abide by local etiquette. But at the end of the day it's the responsibility of the faster moving downhill rider to avoid accidents on a multi-directional or multi-use trail.
  • 1 0
 Very well said.
  • 10 1
 Whoever yells "STRAVA!" first, wins. Problem solved.
NEXT...!
  • 1 1
 Oops accidentally neg propped, but this may just be enduro comment of the day
  • 5 1
 Some people are missing the point with IMBA's trail rule... the key here with which rider has right of way is that its supposed to be a SAFETY rule... not a CONVENIENCE rule. The fact that one may find it easier to stop/start is not the point, and should have never been. The point of safety rules is to focus on solutions for reducing accidents first, above everything else. Convenience shouldn't really be a part of this decision process... at least not before any safety considerations.
  • 8 0
 ELECTRONIC GLORY.HA!
  • 1 0
 Giant Glory e.bike? Wink
  • 6 3
 i>PB's Mike Kazimer descends aboard the 2014 Santa Cruz Nomad near Santiago, Chile. A bike as trustworthy on the downs that was truly lightweight and efficient enough to also be able to handle extended climbs was a dream for most riders only a few years earlier./i> Gary Perkin photo
The only problem with that statement is that since 2006 we have had Nomad, 6.6 and Enduro SX Trail which were Gadaemm fast bikes ahead of their times and those exact same framesets equipped with some of the latest components like wide bars& rims, forks like 2010 36RC2, shocks like monarch plus, could still easily compete with the latest breed. Some companies though have been in slumber until just recently...
  • 5 2
 Only get a big bike if the terrain truly calls for a big bike. Getting too much bike will not only slow you when you want to go uphill, but it will slow you when you go downhill too. I have done lots of trails and parks and honestly, there really aren't many places that overwhelmed my 145mm bike. A 160mm would be good enough almost anywhere.
  • 3 1
 Especially in the last few years. the difference between a 160mm bike from 2010 & a 2015 is just crazy. the new bike is so much more capable. to the point you start wondering if you really even need the 160mm, if I'm any indication.
  • 3 0
 Its moar than the amount of travel. its Geo, its weight. and its overall burlyness. the geo on my two bikes is very simalar. My big bike has moar travel, but im not hucking big stuff. I am have not been overwhelmed by anything on my enduro bike, I have been way moar comfy with many things on my big bike tho. I actually miss being able to launch of small stuff on my enduro bike when i ride my big bike, becuase the weight difference is considerable.
  • 9 1
 Fix yer auto correct, man!!!
  • 5 9
flag Gasket-Jeff (Oct 28, 2014 at 13:51) (Below Threshold)
 Ever since I took linguistics in college and was made aware of how asinine the rules we adhere to when using the English language are, I have made it a point to get my point out how ever I feel; I think you were able to look at my text and understand exactly what I was meaning. More over if we switched over to the phonetic alphabet we would learn to read right and comprehend English and any other language in a much more expedient fashion. Further than that when some pompous ass like prince charles comes over to this side of the pond and says we do not speak proper English, I am made aware of how such rules are in place perhaps mostly to instill and control classism, a system I also wish not to propagate. If you have trouble comprehending my use of communication I would be very happy to assist in correcting your misunderstandings. ;-) not looking for a flame war wolf
  • 6 0
 Well damn, after that rant you could've at least used punctuation.
  • 7 0
 Jeez, I just thought the way you spelled "moar" was funny.... cut back on the espresso bro
  • 6 3
 Riders yield to the climber. Not who can stop easiest. If you are bombing a descent, something I love to do, and you cant stop for a climber, you either need to work on your braking skills, or you need to slow down if you can't see far enough ahead to perform a controlled stop. Look and see if the way is clear. If you can't, tuff crapp. Slow down so all can be safe and enjoy. If your too selfish to do this. Take your ride to a one way park or system.
  • 3 0
 I had this very up down thing on Sunday. I was climbing, another guy descending. I could hear him because he had a bell on (I thought at first timer was a dog coming).

I moved over because he was moving at a pretty good pace and when he saw me he apologized for not yielding. I said it was no problem. The common sense approach in my situation was for me to move over because no one wins in a collision regardless of who has right of way.

I've never had a problem on the trails because most people use common sense. Unfortunately, common sense isn't always that common.

Now dogs are another matter. They don't give a crap about trail etiquette. Same day I came head to head with a dog on a skinny bridge. Screw you dog. And i almost ran into a Wiemeraner following another biker. That guy didn't let me know his 60 lb dog was doing 100kph behind him 100m back on the trail. I find trail dogs are a challenge because unlike hiking dogs, they're usually moving fast and not near their rider. There oughta be a rule for riding with your dog. Keep your dog closer or let people know there's an unguided hairy missile ripping down the trail.
  • 7 4
 The downhill is the most fun and its what you earn by riding up the hill. Downhill should have right of way. Its much easier to move out of the way on the uphill than slow yourself going down, esp if its sketchy.
  • 3 1
 PART 1
The issue of "right of way" is an interesting one. I think, ultimately, Mike hits the nail on the head by simply encouraging everyone (regardless of who you are, what you're riding, what direction of travel you are going in) to Be Nice. If in doubt, give way to the other trail user. If it's easier for you to pull over, do so, regardless of the situation. Be prepared to give up a climb or descent, if it means providing a safer, more friendly environment for other trail users... and what goes around, comes around.

However, since Mike touched on this, it would be prudent to look at the "climbers have right of way rule" a little more, since we also come across this discussion on nearly every PMBI Instructor Course that we run all over North America, Australia, and other countries. "Rules" are essentially a product of the industry, at the time they are written. This "climber rule" was formed at a time when mountain biking was vastly different to what it is today. Back then, mountain biking was essentially an off-road version of road biking, with a huge bias to cross country rides, climbing and fitness. Consequently, having to stop while climbing, was very INCONVENIENT; hence this rule.

Today, we live in a very different world. The average speed of riders (all riders - regardless of what bike they are riding) going downhill is much faster. The bikes are way better and the focus of the sport is generally more on fun, skills and more and more so... the downhill part of a ride. When riding, teaching (and training instructors) our focus is to promote SAFETY for everyone. Therefore, does this "climbing" rule make sense, when it comes to safety?

Climbers can stop more quickly.
Climbers can pull to the side more easily.
They can more easily hear people coming.
  • 3 1
 PART 3
Just because it's been a rule since mountain biking began, does this necessarily mean it should stay this way? In the name of progression and safety, I would suggest that maybe it's time this particular rule was revisited, or at the very least, questioned.

The fact that more and more places seem to be promoting "descending riders have right of way, but pull over in either case, if you can", kind of tells us something.

Food for thought.
  • 4 0
 I don't care what trails I'm riding my "160-millimeter all-mountain shred-monster" on, I guarantee it will not be "boring as hell."
  • 2 0
 Well said on trail etiquette Mike. Your comments follow the 2 commandments - 1. Just be cool 2. Don't be an a*shole. I found myself violating the 2 commandments on 2 occasions and still regret it. I followed them, similar to you advice, hundreds of more times and made friends and/or felt happy about my ride. Thanks for you editorial!
  • 2 0
 Where I live you yell at people or at least give them the stink eye for descending on a climbing trail. Also if youre bombing a trail that people are climbing you should punch your self in the nutz to make sure theyre still there and go ride a better trail.
  • 3 1
 Regarding Trail Etiquette...
If there are any ship drivers out there who will understand the analogy-- the boat steaming down the river has the right of way... Less water over the rudder means it's harder to maneuver. So the boat (rider) heading upriver (up the trail) yields right of way to the less mobile platform. Done.
  • 3 0
 Regarding Chain Guide Solutions, a lower guide that is not attached to the BB is the c. guide:
c-guide.org
Some bike companies offer similar guides on their bikes and many people build home made ones.
  • 2 0
 This sounds like a xc rider Vs dh rider debate. We all know that the average xc rider is jealous of downhillers! lol Wink
Shred your big bike on the dedicated DH runs and shred your little bike everywhere else too! If you can't pin it then what's the point? Uphill suffering is a means to an end for 90% of MTBers and usually at the bottom of the list of reasons that they MTB. I don't know ANYONE that wouldn't move out the way of someone pinning it downhill.
Stupid rule made up by road cyclists methinks.
  • 1 0
 On my list, I replaced riding uphills, with hike-a-bike
  • 2 0
 Where I ride here in Colorado, the trails are very multiuse, even if they were built and maintained by mountain bikers. The rule has always been yield to those coming uphill. That's never changed. That said, we bikers love the downhill and flow and breaking those up to stop is hard on our fun quotient. But the trails are used by all and if we want to keep them open to biking, we need to show ALL users that we are responsible. Going so fast that you can't stop on a MULTIUSE/Direction trail is irresponsible anyway you look at it. Unless you know FOR CERTAIN nobody is coming up or around the bend, then fine, rail it. But that's rarely the case. Personally I like both the climbing and descending. If I'm in a rhythm riding up the trail and it'll be hard to start again after a stop I hope to keep moving. But if I'm on a section of trail I know is fun coming down and I can get going again uphill without much of a problem I'll get out of the way so I don't interupt that rider's flow. If you want to mainly ride DH, riding on MULTIUSE trails isn't much fun anyway as they aren't built for that. If you want to keep climbing, have at it, or get out of the way for those coming down if you want. Just comes down to don't be a dick.
  • 2 1
 Just wondering the logic behind the rider coming down the trail having move aside for the uphill???

Seems completely the opposite to me! Especially when the down rider is gonna have a Lot harder time to brake an manoeuvre
The up hill rider can just stop an step aside

Once had a head on with a rider on a narrow piece of single track when we both did the left left right right left left thing!
  • 2 1
 You're only looking at half of the situation. You're looking at it from the side of "which rider has it easier to stop and pull aside". Others are looking at it from the side of "which rider has it easier to get going again after stopping and pulling aside". Yes, it's easier for the climber to stop, but it's easier for the descender to re-start. I'd argue that the effort and difficulty required for the climber to get going again after a stop is much more than the effort and difficulty required for a descender to stop to let the climber pass.

So the logic is based on the amount of difficulty and effort required to stop and go. Many, including IMBA, feel that it's tougher, overall, for the climber than the descender.
  • 6 1
 I'm looking at it from the who's gonna get hurt less point of view.......
  • 1 0
 Are you looking at it from who will cause the least injury or simply who will get hurt the least? Because arguably downhill may get hurt more, but how much of that is from their own speed?
  • 1 0
 Speaking from my own experience On an FR bike, full sprint an full face goin down Vs XC rider coming the wrong way up an official route. Now I'm not gonna be a dick an say he shouldn't be riding a loop backwards as it's a free country but, It was a lot easier for him to move aside while I was skidding towards him.his friend behind him had moved aside..... He got dazed, a slashed side wall an a long walk back to the car. I got a cut finger
  • 2 0
 Going uphill look out. gotta dog with you, keep it the eff away from me, and clean up its isht. Have fun. Crossing paths tell the first person how many ppl are in yer party behind you.
  • 1 0
 The way I always imagine right of way between climb/descend is that it was about the amount of injury you would cause to another individual if you collided with them. Hence an uphiller would generally cause less injury to a down hiller. Up hill gets right of way. Remember this would be concerning your own momentum because that's what you can control. In a collision a downhiller might suffer greater injury, but that would because of the downhiller's own speed, regardless of the uphillers speed.
  • 1 0
 When riding uphill always keep on the right, so if a DHer want to force the way, you can still hit his front brake...

No kidding, DHer should ALWAYS stop/slow when crossing someone (even if the other stop), as it's not nice to be hit by a flying rock of give a bar kick at over 10mph.
  • 1 0
 I think the whole point of the DH rider not having the right of way is that if it's a two way trail the DH rider should be controlling themselves enough to not crash into someone coming up the other way around a blind corner etc. Basically you shouldn't out ride the trail if it's a two way... go as fast as you want if you have clear visibility... but if you haul ass around a blind corner and smash into someone climbing uphill then it's totally your bad. That being said when I'm climbing I almost always yield to the DH rider... I always appreciate it when others do the same for me.
  • 3 0
 Gotta say, I'll defer to people climbing versus DH'ing. Hard to start going again uphill.
  • 1 0
 for the chain guide, i'd go for the superstar seatpost chain guide, had one for 6 months and not issues at all with it, and you can buy 5 of them for the price of a MRP guide.
  • 3 3
 IT REALLY IS THE SILLY CLUCKERS WITH HEADPHONES IN , AND THOSE STARING AT THE FRONT WHEEL WHEN CLIMBING THAT SCARE ME. SIMPLY BEING AWARE WOULD SOLVE LOTS OF ISSUES IN MY LOCAL SO CAL SPOT. DOWN ALWAYS HAS PRIORITY IN MY BOOK, UNLESS ITS HORSES OR HIKERS.
  • 1 0
 Does anyone else have the problem of teenagers riding their shitty ass Wally World bikes, on the trail then stopping in the middle of the trail to smoke weed. Who has the right of way then?
  • 1 2
 I've got a 3 year old specialized enduro expert and I like to smash downhill's, I'm not to bothered about fast uphill's or xc, just wondering wether I should go for a 180 triple crown fork and create a park bike or leave as is and stick to AM. Any thoughts.
  • 1 0
 Not privy to the specifics of that year Enduro, but be careful of weird geometry changes when adding length to the front of any bike. It won't make it unrideable, but it may introduce some weird behavior you might not want. Quite a few of the Specializeds are offered in an "evo" configuration that is the same frame, with a different shock & longer fork, providing a longer travel bike. Check the enduro lineup for your year frame, see if there's an enduro evo, & compare the shock/fork dimensions to yours: It's possible you could go longer travel front & rear, while keeping the same geo. You might have to work to find a shock that will fit if you've got the wishbone on the back, however.
  • 2 0
 Rent a dh bike for the day
  • 4 0
 Hi groghunter, yeah mine is the 2012 evo, Its got the fox 170 van coil up front and the rc2 coil on the rear, I can convert to an rc4 for about £200, but I don't think a cane creek db fits the mounting. I'd prefer to keep the geo as is, anyway , the point is can I upgrade this to a park bike, keep the 2x10 and still shred the local trails.
ps I tend to get outta the way of the guys coming downhill, the laws of physics are with me on this.
  • 1 0
 I would at Whistler. I saw the write up on the banshee darkness, very similar layout to the enduro, the point is, is it worth the weight penalty for downhill performance against climbing, bearing in mind it's fairly limited in how you can ride uphill as there's no shock or fork lockout. Alternately, is it such a bad idea that I may as well get a dh bike, which I may have trouble getting past the missus.
  • 2 0
 If it's already an evo, you're pretty much going to have to accept some geometry changes if you lengthen the Axle to Crown distance. However, 170mm forks changes things a bit. acording to this: service.foxracingshox.com/consumers/Content/2013_CD_user_specs.htm Your fork should have a 555mm A2C measurement. That's about normal for a 170mm, but a 180mm is only 10 mm more.

Brass tacks: 10mm isn't a huge adjustment, & you may not notice it even if you do get a new fork. it's unlikely to change your geo in a way that makes anything too weird. your head angle & seat tube will go about a half degree more slack. & your BB will rise a little more than 6mm. That's static, unweighted bike though: just a little more, or less sag could have just as great an affect.

really, though, what you want is a park bike, & an enduro just isn't that bike. & 10mm of travel isn't going to make it into one. Either build a new bike, or rent when you go to the park.
  • 2 0
 I think you are right, I got some friends that recently rode a nukeproof mega and banshee darknes, these guys are brothers who ride regularly together and they say there's not much in it between the 2 bikes not sure on the specs for the n/p, I think the banshee is 180 front and rear, anyway, the problem I've got isn't just the lack of cider in the house but the six other bikes in the garage.upgrading what I've got makes sense if it works if it don't then a d/h bike is the way to go.

Thanks for taking the trouble to reply bro, I'll probably go and buy cider, try and convince my better half that a d/h bike is an absolute necessity and we'll see what the new year brings!.
  • 2 0
 I will say this in closing: if money is a concern, & this isn't going to be your go-to, primary bike anyway, buying new is your enemy, & the BuySell section is your friend. Easy to build up/buy up something simple, but a little older, for $1500 or less. (750GBP, unless I'm completely off on conversion.) The previous nukeproof DH bike comes to mind, as I imagine there's a fairly good supply of them in the used market over there. I'm considering a Scott Voltage for my next playbike, should be decent amount of those available used as well. There's always the Status as well, though probably a little harder to find used(though they have some pretty good deals on new ones, honestly.)
  • 2 0
 NEVER make the mistake of buying a lower end specialized stumpy FSR. NEVER!!
  • 1 0
 Do the folks in favor of uphill traffic yielding think a horse should get out of the way when it is going uphill and you are going down?
  • 3 0
 If I were you I'd steer clear of those crazy things regardless of the situation. I had an encounter 10 years ago where a horse went ape shit as we approached to pass really slowly. It kicked back then threw its rider off bucking down the trail. Ever since I've done everything I can to give them a nice bubble.
  • 2 0
 I get out the way every time for a horse. hope that rider person was OK.
  • 2 0
 I had an experience a few years ago whrn I came up two horseback riders heading the opposite direction on the trail from me. Trail was super narrow with little to no room to pass. I was only about 100 yards in from the trail head so I offered to just turn back and wait for them to clear the trail entirely but the woman was like no its fine if we see squeeze by just DONT MAKE ANY SUDDEN MOVES! Needless to say I squeezed myself and my bike into the brush on the side of the trail and basically shit myself as these houses went buy 3 inches from me.
  • 1 0
 There's no way I'm risking getting kicked in the back of the head by one of those things. All for yielding to horses.
  • 2 0
 Holy crap you have 2 way traffic on your trails??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • 1 1
 whats the trail etiquette for some douche poaching the bike park trails to train for his spartan race?
  • 1 0
 ..
  • 2 5
 Who on earth thinks it's easier to move over when descending opposed to ascending??

Rule makers of the imba are really off the bloody reservation hahahahaaaa
  • 6 0
 Where, in the article or in the comments, did anyone say it's easier to move over when descending?? The IMBA "rule" or etiquette pertaining to descenders yielding to climbers isn't even based on the ease of moving over. It's based firstly on safety of both riders, and secondly on the other half of the equation, effort/ease of re-starting AFTER moving over.
  • 2 5
 Incorrect. This "rule" has been around from times when 72° head angles and 16" wide bars were it. Almost all the riding was XC and not many in the world were pinning it on the downs. Really old "rule" by XC riders.
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