What is a trials bike?

Discussion in 'General Bike Discussion' started by cowboycharlie, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. cowboycharlie

    cowboycharlie New Member

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    Can someone explain trials to me. I saw a guy riding a bike and asked him what it was, ala no seat, he said it was a trial bike? I Googled it but still not sure. You just go downhill really fast on it and time it?
     
  2. IanHighfield

    IanHighfield New Member

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    If it was a skinny-tyre road bike it was a time trial bike. Riding with no seat is a not-so-common way to strengthen the legs. This technique (riding seatless) was used years ago but not much today.

    If it was a mountain bike I don't know what it's about. Unless they call downhill racing "trials", too, and he was out practicing without a seat or maybe it's done that way. I'm not a MTBer.

    "Trials" or time trialing is a race against the clock, not a pack race. Riders start 30-60 seconds apart and are timed separately. Often called "The Race Of Truth" it's the best test of a cyclist's true ability for there is no drafting or team tactics. Time trials are not very popular in the USA but dominate the British racing scene and are very popular elsewhere in Europe and Australia. Those who don't care for trialling often say it is boring. It is not boring, it's painful and devastating to the body when done correctly. Pack or road racing is much easier on the rider and is thus more easily approached psychologically.
     

  3. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    Ian is correct about time trials but in all likelihood the type of trials riding you are referring to is a form of mountain biking.

    It is a style of riding where you attempt to climb up and over objects without putting your feet down.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAjrqeGLgS0]YouTube - Street - Urban Bike Trial endofmonty[/ame]
     
  4. IanHighfield

    IanHighfield New Member

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    Ryan, never heard of this trial business until watching the video. Very wild. I like the hop up onto the park bench. Edgewise.
     
  5. CTD50

    CTD50 DX's Biggest Member

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    Ian, check out Danny MacAskill on youtube -- young man will blow your mind!
     
  6. HandsomeRyan

    HandsomeRyan ♥'s Bicycles

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    This-
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z19zFlPah-o]YouTube - Inspired Bicycles - Danny MacAskill April 2009[/ame]
     
  7. cwtrials

    cwtrials Biking With a Mission

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    Hey guys,

    I believe I'm one of the only actual trials riders on this forum.

    To understand more about why trials are so completely different than other bikes see my bike in the bike registry: http://www.twospoke.com/forum/f138/stock-trials-bicycle-5428/

    Trials can encompass a broad range of styles but the main goal is to overcome any obstacle, any way possible. Some riders have more of a street bmx influenced style, such as Danny Mackaskill. Other riders have what would be referred to as a "pure" or "competition" style.

    Trials competition in the US is rare. However, in europe it is more prevalent. In a competition courses are set up with various obstacles the rider needs to get over. Point are awarded for putting down a foot, hitting a portion of the bicycle other than the tires, etc. The goal of course is to complete with the least amount of points. Riders are NOT allowed to pre-ride the course.

    Many bicycle world records are held by trials bicyclists.
    For example this is the link to benito ros doing a 1.42 meter sidehop over a bar:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj4ucsxJjPQ]YouTube - Benito Ros - The Highest Bunny Hop - Guiness World Record[/ame]

    Trials skills can include jumping on the rear wheel from a stop up onto objects or across gaps. (world record gap between two stationary platforms of equal height with NO starting speed is over 13 feet!) Trials riders are now also bunnyhoping to the FRONT wheel first. World class riders can get onto ledges over 5 ft high with no jump to assists.

    I'll attach one of my videos here, made a couple years ago:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rHN-ZHGIVY]YouTube - cwtrials trials video[/ame]
     
  8. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    I've been wanting more and more to move into trial bikes.
     
  9. cwtrials

    cwtrials Biking With a Mission

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    It's a fun change. Even if you don't fully commit learning a little trials will help other aspects of riding. You can start learning trials on your XC bike before making the purchase.

    TrashZen.com has a good amount of information on getting started if you want to learn more.

    Because of a recent surge of interest in trials you can also find a lot of lightly used almost new trials bike online from people who gave up. Check out the for sale section of pinkbike.com Any new trials bike WILL feel completley awkward compared to anything else you've ever ridden. Similar to how uncomfortable driving a formula car might feel. It works amazing, but feels strange till you get used to it.
     
  10. funetical

    funetical Slowin it up.

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    I'll check it out, thanks for the links!
     
  11. BobH

    BobH New Member

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    Hi CW,

    I too am interested in trials. Back in the 1970's I did a bit of motorcycle trials riding and judging. A couple of years ago, I started watching watching Danny Mac and others on YouTube. I'm amazed at what you all are doing on pedal bikes.

    I'm 61 now and sniffing around for a bacis ride. My interest is near ground level basics, trying to get a lot of air would be hazardous to my health.
    I'm looking at jump bikes like the Scott Voltage YZ series, Specailize "P", and Haro Reserves. Am I on the right track? Single speeds and rigid forks appeal to me, I can add front brakes if needed and lower the final drive ratios.

    BobH.
     
  12. cwtrials

    cwtrials Biking With a Mission

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    It's exciting to hear your interest!!! Trials seems like a youth dominated sport but there are a fair number of riders over 50, many of whom come from a mototrials background. Trials is a lot fun! Enjoy it. Ride what you enjoy and just have the most fun you can imagine on a bike.

    First let me give you a little inspiration:

    Check out this youtube channel,
    www.youtube.com/user/surfcoast
    This guy started riding trials at age 50 (+/- a year) and has been creating little webisodes documenting his progress. They have become some of the most like videos in the online trials community. It's good to see.

    The bikes you listed have some pro's and con's when being used for trials.

    Pros:
    -You can get a strong bike for a little less cash
    -The low bb will make the bike feel very stable on two wheel moves
    -They will feel more comfortable to ride. Not only because they have a seat but trials specific bikes can feel extremely awkward/different compared to other bikes
    -They'll be easier to bunnyhop

    Cons:
    -Weight, they weigh more
    -The low bb will make an rear wheel trialsy moves very difficult. Most trials bikes have a bb rise to help with this.
    -As you advance in trials moves it may hold you back.

    All in all I think they would be decent for learning. Depending on your budget I would recommend one of the more street oriented trials bikes such as the Inspired Hex (26") or Fourplay (24"). They fall imbetween these dirt jumpers and competition trials frames and have the best of both worlds. They are excellent to learn on and capable of some "real" trials. Inspired is the same brand ridden by Danny Mac. Also, the street bikes have a seat which would probably be a plus for you.

    Check out: www.trialspads.com
    Trialspads is an online shop based out of New Hampshire and is the North American dealer of inspired. They've currently got a sale on the 2010 bikes. (Trialspads is also my sponsor! I got my first box of goodies from them yeserday!!) Customer service is real. Aki (the owner) will help you out.

    I rode a planet-x zebdi for years. (Actually the bike I'm riding in the video posted earlier in this thread) It has almost identical geometry to the inspired Hex. However it's no longer manufactured. I will never get rid of that frame, and hope to build it up again this year.

    Also I would recommend if nothing else starting a light stretching routine to help prevent injury.

    Craig
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
  13. BobH

    BobH New Member

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    Hi Craig,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I would like to keep my expenditure below $550 so I'm limited on what is available. I may not have the ability to to do this, but I'm intent on trying.

    I believe that the Haro Reserve has the BB mounted above the centerline of the wheels and has a steel frame. It is set up for a front disc but it is sold with out it. The Haro I can purchase thru my LBS.

    BobH

     
  14. cwtrials

    cwtrials Biking With a Mission

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    The reserves look like a good bike! When I worked at the bike shop we dealt with haro and they made good bikes with strong component selections. You'll have a lot of fun. Take is slow one day at a time and do what's fun for you.

    If you have more questions let me know and I'll direct you through the sea of resources on the web to those that are valuable.