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Photo: Jonas Kullman

DH Technique and Gear

If you don’t have the technique, you’ll only go so far. The basics are the same for all biking when it comes to jumping, cornering and positioning. Always start practicing the foundation on a flat surface. If you can’t take a curve on a gravel plane, you definitely won’t be able to do it in the park.

The best tip for getting started and improving your technique is to hire a guide and take a technique course. Downhill has a relatively fast development curve and a few hours with a guide will give you invaluable technique tips to take you further in biking.

During an intro course you’ll go through the basics on a flat surface and in a pump track, and then continue in the park with: position, how to move the bike, how to turn, having parallel feet and the correct braking technique. You’ll learn how to ride the lifts and which routes and paths are suitable. You can also book a technique course to get better at specific things such as jumping or curve techniques.

Generally a good tip is to slow down and think more about what you’re doing – practicing one thing at a time and to ride with those better than you that you get inspiration from. Exchange experiences and learn from each other!

Downhill biking for the first time

If you’ve never biked downhill before, you may consider:

# Dress in rugged clothes (you’ll get dirty). Not too tight.
# Preferably longer pants, preferably over the knees.
# If you don’t have cycling shoes, take a pair of flat soled sneakers.
# Children must be able to handle the handbrake and be at least 120 cm long.
# Protection is always included if you rent a bike (gloves, helmet, goggles, body protection)
# Hire a guide!

Here’s how to take a curve:

  • Slow down.
  • Look up, look through the curve and watch where you’re going.
  • Brake evenly through the curve. Don’t panic brake (then you’ve had too high speed into the curve). The goal is to slow down before a curve so you can just glide through.
  • Put the pressure on the outside of the bike through the curve. The bike should lean inward and your body positioning should be vertical. The tires get the best grip when lying vertically against the curve. Follow the angle of the curve with the bike.
  • Make the curve as large as possible in relation to your speed. Think big and soft at first till you learn how it should feel through the curve and take the fastest route.
  • When you’ve got it, then you can gradually increase the speed through the curve.
  • Practice, practice and practice one step at a time.

Jumping tips in five steps:

It’s easy to head out in a jump with full speed in the start and hope for the best. But, if you do it right from the start, you’ll learn faster and feel safer. Here are our top five tips to practice while out in the park:

  1. Always roll through the jump trail in a safe pace before testing the jumps. Regardless of your level of experience. Get to know how the trail is built, how long / short the jumps are, which direction the trail turns after the jump and if there’s a gap or drop.
  2. Ride through the same jump trail, this time with a little more speed. The goal is to be able to ride the jumps at the speed required to jump without the wheels leaving the ground over the jumps. If you succeed in this, you know that you have a good position on the bike and are ready to start jumping.
  3. Always dampen the jump at the beginning. By cushioning the kick rather than pushing away you reduce the risk of the bike kicking you in the butt or becoming imbalanced. Also, remember to never brake before the kick.
  4. Land with both wheels at the same time. The goal is for you to land with both wheels simultaneously and preferably flat up on the plateau at the beginning. The more you speed up, the longer you’ll jump.
  5. Never push away from the start in the jump, you do this when you want to jump high, not to get over the length of the jump.

And last, but not least, if the beginning of the jump trail feels too difficult, choose another trail. The start is a benchmark to show what it takes to ride this particular trail.

You should be well prepared and feel safe with the speed. Always start slowly and increase a little at a time when you feel you’re in control.

Here you can learn how to do a bunny hop!

Photo: Jonas Kullman

Photo: Emrik Jansson

Photo: Jonas Kullman

Extras and Accessories

Bike

Buy your bike where you ride the most, then you’ll always get help if something fails or breaks. It’s often a good price to buy rental bikes and there are usually spare parts at home. If you don’t ride often, it’s preferable to rent a bike.

Shoes

Invest in a pair of good bike shoes. There’s a big difference between hard and torsional biking shoes compared to, for example, gym shoes. You’ll want a good grip on the pedals and your feet not to get tired.

Helmet

Always buy a new helmet for safety.

Protection

Upper body protection, elbow protection and leg protection are recommended to reduce the risk of injuries. Invest in comfortable protection.

Gloves

Are good to relieve the pressure under your hands and to protect if you fail.

NOTE: When you rent a bike; helmet, goggles, protection and gloves are always included.

In your backpack for a DH day:

  • Energy is good to carry in your backpack or pocket. A bar, fruit or nuts.
  • Water, via fluid system in your backpack or bottle. You’ll get thirsty and hot!
  • Phone. Good to have in case of an accident or if you ride in the wrong direction.
  • Hose and pump. Learn how to change hose before heading out!

Ride with sense

Unwritten rules

Never pass anyone, keep a distance and wait for the right moment and don’t stress anyone. Don’t stop in the middle of a trail. Move to the side. Don’t ride into large jump trails such as Shimano unless you have the speed required.

Safety

If an accident occurs, the bike should be set upside down and be visible upwards. Call the Bike Park staff at +46 647 130 01 if anyone’s been injured. The Bike Park staff can also help guide you to the right / closest route if you’re lost or have a flat tire. Remember to take breaks during the day, it’s longer down the mountain than you think.

Read more about the rules and safety of the bike park.

Extras: Check out Åre Bike Festival on Facebook. Here are loads of pictures and films from the festivals over the years to be inspired by.

Find DH gear & guides here

Karolinervägen 81, 837 71 Duved

+46 (0)70-679 56 59

arebergscyklister.se

info@arebergscyklister.se

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Årevägen 138, Åre

+46 647-500 96

arebikes.se

info@arebikes.se

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Bike Republic, Årevägen, Åre

+46-647-25 000

bikerepublic.se

info@bikerepublic.se

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Årebjörnen Skidcenter AB, Fröåvägen 33, Åre

+46 647-134 70

www.skidcenter.se

info@skidcenter.se

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Årevägen 108H, 830 13 Åre

+46 647-508 88

www.aremtbcenter.se

info@aremtbcenter.se

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Åre Skidsport, Årevägen, Åre

+46 647-501 19

www.areskidsport.se

info@areskidsport.se

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Årevägen 78, 830 13 Åre

+46 647-130 00

www.skistar.com/sv/myskistar/destination/are/sommar/sommar-i-are/

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Puls Camp Åre Åre Strand 48 , 837 52 Åre

+46 647-525 25

www.campare.se

info@campare.se

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Vålådalen 247, 830 12 Vålådalen

+46 647-353 00

valadalen.se

info@valadalen.se

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Stationsvägen 14, 830 13 Åre

+46 647-507 00

www.areguiderna.se

info@areguiderna.se

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Åre Strand 48, 837 52 Åre

+46 (0)760 189 282

arefatbike.se

info@arefatbike.se

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Last updated 16 August 2022

Categories

Biking See & Do