Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Future of Super D?

I have been thinking about the progression of the racing discipline of Super D lately and how much momentum it has right now. Basically in the last few years it has come from just a few events in the Northwest to almost an unlimited amount of races in the NW. The courses are getting faster as the bikes are getting lighter and gaining travel. The course are also getting more technical and rival the tech sections of any downhill course, as I think they should. These races are basically like DH races, but with a little more pedaling thrown in to test fitness. The speeds are sometimes faster than downhill race speeds as the trails are usually a little less technical.

This leads me to the question. What do we want super D to look like in the future? Or think it should look like? Should it be a bunch of guys in skinsuits and aero dynamic helmets with bright colors, basically looking like they came straight from their last road race and just left the kit on? Or should it be a bunch of guys in loose fitting attire, not quite as burly as DH gear, but with enough protection to stay safe? Maybe full face helmets required for some courses? And excluding the safety factor, what style do we want this sport to have?

I think as Super D racers we should care about where this sport is going and the image we create for it. We should also focus on safety first and aero dynamics later. If you were on the outside looking in what would attract you to the sport? They recently banned skinsuits on the world cup downhill circuit, and I feel they should do the same in super d racing. And if they don't we should just not wear them out of pride. Let's stick with baggies!

Now, someone please make some knee pads that you can pedal in and a breathable full face helmet!


  1. Well it is Super D not Super XC - and last year's Oregon Super D Series courses I think drew the line in the sand. Even Oakridge which was a longer course and less technical had enough pucker factor high speed Downieville-ish sections to make me wish for a set of pads and a full face helmet.

    Super D is maturing rapidly and it's going to be an interesting year.

    Good post.

  2. I believe one should have a choice in clothing, but not a choice in safety gear. So, maybe some courses need to require knee pads, full face helmets, long finger gloves, or whatever.

    What if there were skin suits with built in body armor? And what is the difference between the look of regular cycling shorts and jersey vs. the look of a skin suit? So, do you require baggy shorts even if someone does not own a skinsuit? How about this; "To enter this Super D your clothing must be a loose enough fit to securely grasp both upper and lower garment by the hand without stretching the material."

    Anyway, banning certain types of clothing is just fashion stifling propaganda, especially in mountain biking where being fashionable is way more important than wearing functional (not fashionable) clothing.

    I think if someone wants to race in a space suit or a skin suit let them do what they want.

    Also, have you checked out G-Form protection? I think Luke has some of their stuff he is trying out. Here is their website: http://g-form.com/product/

    Allah peanut butter sandwiches!

  3. I hear what you're saying. I would just hate to see everyone wear a skin suit because everyone else is and that's the only way to "feel" or be competitive. I think it promotes a total geeky image for the sport and may turn off some people.

  4. Knickers and wool sweaters only!

    Baggy stuff is for snowboarders dude.

    I think wear whatever you want, let your freak flag fly.


  5. Tights are for ballerinas, figure skaters, and road racers dude!