As with any hobby, you could have been engrossed in the scene for years and still find terms that you don’t understand. Especially if these terms are niche and only apply to certain areas, bikes or experiences.
One term that often comes up in mountain biking circles is "g out". I’m going to explain why it’s significant, exactly what it means and any more relevant information.
What Does the Term G-Out Mean?
A g-out refers to a specific type of terrain feature or trail section where the rider experiences a sudden and deep compression or dip. This term is derived from the gravitational forces that act on the rider and the bike during this rapid compression. When a rider encounters a G-out, their momentum is momentarily slowed as they descend into the depression and then must regain speed as they ascend out of it.
The Physics Behind the G-Out
The term "g-out" is derived from the concept of gravitational force or "g-force." When a mountain biker rides into a deep compression at high speed, the combined effect of gravity and the rider's momentum exerts a strong downward force on the bike. This force is often many times greater than the standard gravitational pull we experience daily, leading to the term g out.
Experiencing the G-Out
G-outs can be challenging to navigate, especially at high speeds. The sensation is akin to being momentarily pressed down into the bike due to the force of gravity. Experienced riders might use G-outs as opportunities to pump their bikes, gaining extra speed or momentum. However, proper technique and body position are crucial when riding through G-outs to maintain control and prevent potential crashes.
For instance, when a rider comes flying down a hill and then encounters a section that levels out abruptly, they experience a G-out. The bike's suspension compresses or bottoms out, and the rider feels a thrust downward.
Why is a G-Out Significant?
- Suspension Setup: Understanding g-outs is crucial for setting up a bike's suspension correctly. A bike that frequently bottoms out during g-outs may need a stiffer suspension setup or increased air pressure in the shock.
- Rider Comfort: Experiencing a g-out can be jarring for the rider, especially if the bike's suspension isn't set up correctly. It can lead to discomfort or even potential injury if the rider isn't prepared.
- Bike Performance: A bike that handles g-outs well will maintain better traction and control, allowing the rider to navigate the trail more efficiently and safely.
What Other Types of G Out are There?
G-outs isn't restricted to one specific type of terrain feature. They can result from various transitions in the terrain when traveling at high speeds. Riders might experience a G-out in a berm, between jumps in a rhythm section, or at the bottom of a steep hill. It's not just about the physical dip in the terrain but also the gravitational forces acting on the rider.
Navigating the G-Out
When approaching a G-out, especially at faster exit speeds, riders will feel their bodies being pushed down into the trail. It's essential to compensate for this force evenly with both arms and legs without shifting body weight too far backward. Putting too much weight on the back can lead to potential accidents, like being thrown off the bike.
- Anticipate the Compression: If you see a deep dip or compression coming up on the trail, prepare yourself by shifting your weight backward and bending your knees and elbows.
- Stay Relaxed: Keep your body relaxed and allow the bike to move beneath you. This will help absorb some of the force and maintain control.
- Check Your Suspension: After riding a trail with several g-outs, inspect your bike's suspension. If you notice that it's bottoming out frequently, consider adjusting the suspension settings.
G-Outs Beyond Mountain Biking
While the term "G-out" is commonly associated with mountain biking, it's also used in other off-road racing scenarios. For instance, in off-road vehicle racing, a G-out might refer to a massive hole or ditch that the entire vehicle descends into, especially in fast sections. These can be particularly challenging for vehicles as they can cause the suspension to bottom out violently.
Understanding and mastering the G-out is crucial for mountain bikers aiming to tackle diverse terrains safely. It's not just about the thrill but also about ensuring that the rider remains in control, even when faced with the unexpected dips and compressions that nature throws their way. As with many aspects of mountain biking, experience, technique, and a bit of courage go a long way in navigating G-outs effectively.
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