2 MINUTE READ
Plus 3 MTB Coaching has a unique perspective on MTB coaching and if you want the short version, have I got the bullet points for you!
Here’s an idea of how we work, hopefully it gives you an insight into what we’re about and why I decided to bring our perspective to the wonderful world of MTB.
If you want some more detail then scroll down and I’ll get a bit deeper!
– Plus 3 MTB Coaching is here to give you confidence in your bike and from that foundation, build your skills
– We’re the result of experiencing all the questions to do with setup that you’re having or have had in the past
– I’ve spent years riding different bikes then consecutive months testing the right parts for my perfect bike
– After months of ideas and planning meeting with Alan and Will knitted together our combined experience and led to the creation of Plus 3
– We work with riders like you to make your bike fit and perform for you, and only you
– Suspension setup, ride position and every detail of your bike is worked on throughout the day. It’s where we start in the morning and we make lots of small changes, resulting in a balanced setup that you can be confident in.
– From this solid foundation we work on your skills, the focus of the afternoon. This might be something specific you need to work on or getting to grips with something like jumping, flat corners, rocks and roots or all of the above!
– With a bike set for you and skills developed within your comfort zone we’re confident you will leave a Plus 3 MTB coaching day ready to rip on any trails. Add speed as you’re comfortable and come back when you’re ready to move to the next level.
– Our mantra is Ride | Tweak | Repeat and this counts for everything from setting your suspension and tweaking a dial to riding the same corner a dozen times and tweaking your body position. Small changes, in a logical order make for leaps forward in confidence.
MORE DETAIL ON PLUS 3
Hello and welcome, to a bit more detail. This is the first of a few pieces covering all things MTB coaching. It’s somewhere to catch a few ideas and some things to work on in your riding but also for me (Dave) to share the things I think you fine folk would like to read.
It seems logical to start at the beginning so here we go!
Why Are We Here?
Plus 3 MTB Coaching is here to help you be more confident on your bike, it sounds simple but there’s a lot of little things we do to make it happen. It could be for a host of different reasons that you want to get some coaching but underpinning it all is confidence.
Building that confidence in your bike and your ability mean you can progress in this fantastic sport. We work from a perspective that’s unique in MTB coaching, we start with your bike. We setup your suspension, tyre pressures, handlebar and brake lever and shifter position, Plus 3 is in the details.
From that solid foundation we build your skills on trails and features that you’re comfortable with. Starting on some basic corners we link them together with other features slowly adding technical sections as you progress. We can include jumps, drops, bermed or flat corners, what ever you need.
You might want to beat your mates on the local loop, build your confidence after a bad crash or refine your setup and speed ahead of racing. Whatever level you are at we can take you forward and make sure you’re riding with Plus 3 confidence.
Where did we come from?
The idea for our unique approach to MTB coaching came from a place of conflicting advice, confusing instructions and years of seeing bikes that weren’t really performing for their owners.
Bikes are complicated, there’s standard of this that and the other, sizes of tyres, front centres, geometry the list goes on and on. Then, there’s suspension, a bafflingly large number of options that throw up questions like…
‘Do I need tokens in my forks?’
I was in this scenario having got myself a frame, and nothing else. I was primed, ready for action with a few quid from selling some old bikes, the time to embark on my dream bike was here…ish.
I’ve spent the last 15 years in the bike industry, bouncing down trails on some amazing machines and enjoying writing about, taking photos of and generally enthusing about bikes of all shapes and sizes, that last bit is key.
Shapes and sizes, we are all different shapes and sizes. We all arrived on our current steed from different routes. Some have just bought their first MTB online, some off their mate having ridden for a few years and some, like me, haven’t been off a bike since they could walk but still don’t really understand exactly what works for them.
I wanted to make this new bike my very own, perfect for me. I had been involved with the Antidote brand for a few years and this frame was (in 2015) the cutting edge of bike tech. I knew a lot of things roughly but none spot on. The answer?
‘I decided to learn what made the bike fit me and perform for how I ride.’
I experimented with everything, basing my choices on previous experience racing 4X, XC, Downhill and even in the velodrome. All this plus geeking out on component spec sheets fed into what would be best for me. I won’t go into every single detail but I tried out a lot of tyres. Different casing types, compounds and widths. I then tried different pressures, in different conditions and it took ages! As in it took months of backwards and forwards, it became a little obsessive if I’m honest but the result was a bike that I was totally comfortable on, an extension of me that I felt I could push my riding on.
‘the result was a bike that I was totally comfortable on’
The most complicated thing by far was suspension, I perhaps over complicated things by aiming for a setup that worked pretty much anywhere but soon realised that this was the goal that I needed, and maybe others did too. Add handlebar height, saddle position, brake lever angle etc etc to the mix and the months of testing suddenly start to make sense. Here’s a simple illustration of how complex a suspension fork is.
Each of several possible ways in which a set or number of things can be ordered or arranged.
“his thoughts raced ahead to eighty two thousand nine hundred and forty four different permutations for how to adjust his forks”
With the sheer number of options available, a rider could spend their weekends twiddling dials, riding a trail repeatedly to try and work out the ‘right’ settings with no easy way of being consistent I figured there must be a better way.
It turned out that having someone watch me ride, point out what was happening in certain situations then adjust my fork and/or shock to match was the answer. That person was Will and his knowledge of suspension coupled with his coaching, racing and bike development background meant we could watch riders and quickly gauge what needed to be adjusted.
FLICKING MY SWITCH
The lightbulb switched on when I chatted to some friends who had bought new bikes and I asked how they set them up. Over a few post ride beers, the recurring reply was, ‘I get my sag right then just stick things in the middle and ride’, what about handlebar position? ‘Well, so long as they’re square and tight that’s about it!’
Then we went riding and it was clear that somethings weren’t right, so I shared some experience and got their bikes dialled for their needs and riding style.
These guys were riding faster, more confidently and enjoying their bikes more. After chatting about skills and developing their ability it seemed like a logical progression to add that to the mix.
After pumping this collection of experiences round the old grey matter for a few months developing skills on a bike that’s dialled to you, the rider, seemed like exactly what riders needed.
LITTLE BLACK BOOK & GLOUCESTER SERVICES
Rumination complete it was time to share my ideas and that’s when I spoke to Alan Milway. He thought the idea was great, so I figured if someone with Alan’s experience and knowledge thought I was onto something I probably was!
Alan suggested speaking to Will Soffe, I knew Will from bashing elbows with him racing 4X so he was easy to get hold of.
So over some tea and cake at Gloucester Services in April 2017 we hatched a plan to run an event that is basically what +3 is today. Developing rider ability from a base of balanced suspension setup and body position so we can then work on skills.
So far we’ve had dozens of groups attend our events and leave with a new found focus on their riding, development of their confidence and ultimately their enjoyment of riding. Job done!
If you want to book yourself a place then click the link below and you can check out what dates are coming up.
That’s all for now,