New to Trials?
Are you brand new to Trials riding? Feeling like a newb and not sure of what to do, where to go or even what you need to ride? We will try to offer a few suggestions and help to guide you along a path in a balanced way.
If you’ve been investigating Trials for any length of time, you likely have come across many videos of the pros dressed in Spandex, funny looking helmets, gloves, boots, and no goggles.
Well there is a reason for most of that. Cooling and ventilation is the major one. On a trials bike you are not traveling long distances, or at any speed, so you have no cooling effect of the wind on your body, so wearing something a little lighter and more breathable is recommended, but you also want to be protected from the elements of the sun, and brush as well as potential accidents. If you wear your normal Enduro clothes you will in short time find out how hot and exhausted, you are getting. That brings us to the helmet, wearing an open face helmet will help with keeping you cool as well as the open face will have a much larger field of vision so you can see where you are going. Boots for trials riding need to be flexible enough to allow movement on your pegs and encourage feeling of the controls.
Setup of Bike
If you are coming from a world of Enduro or MX bikes and just starting to ride trials, things will seem a little strange. Proper bar positioning, Lever position, Pedal position, all are different then what you have been told, read or shown to use on your bike. Your riding style and foot position on the pegs will be different. Almost everything you have worked so hard to train your brain to do, you need to stop doing and forget it all.
Bar Position is rolled more forward and up rather then back and down, levers should be directly over the forks and parallel with the ground, foot pedals are raised above the pegs, you ride with your "knees in the breeze" or in other words, spread apart, don't hug the bike anymore. Try to keep your feet as wide on the pegs as you possibly, and safely can keep them.
Fork protection, Frame protection, Swing arm Protection, and case covers are all economical ways for you to keep that beauty looking as good as the day you bought it. Let's face it, we all want to challenge ourselves from time to time, see if we can get over that larger log, or make that impossible looking rock face. Occasionally, sometimes more often then not, that challenge is still a bit out of reach for our skill level at that time, and the bike comes crashing to the ground. When it does, things can happen, parts break, get scratched, or dented. These protection parts help to prevent that and add some security that you might not have to replace those expensive OEM replacement parts.
Flexible levers, again same story, big log, tall rock cliff, bike falling only this time the lever breaks and with a broken lever that can ruin the rest of the ride and force you back to the truck early while your buddies all go off and get to play in the really cool stuff. With flexible levers you stand a better chance of pickling up the bike, brushing the pride off, taking a few jabs from your pals and riding on to the next challenge or obstacle.
Bar ends, now these can be both for a cosmetic sense and a safety factor, some might try to call these "SAFETY BLING". If you fall under the right conditions you could possibly have the throttle tube get jammed into the end of your bar and send the bike revving to the moon which can be detrimental to either the safety of the rider and any participating spectators, or the safety of your new toy spinning in circles on the ground until it blows. This brings us to one other VERY important SAFETY item for trials bikes, a Tether Switch. WE strongly encourage the use of a tether and stock quality magnetic ones that are quick and easy to use.
How to get started
Local groups vary depending on where you are located, but in Ontario we have a couple local groups to attend events and learn the people and the places in your area. Amateur Trials Association ATA, or Southwestern Ontario Classic Trials