Author Topic: Help starting flatland please :)  (Read 694 times)

Offline deacon

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Help starting flatland please :)
« on: October 11, 2017, 11:23:53 PM »
Hi all, I just got my first flatland bmx today and looking for a fair bit of advice please. I've got loads of stuff to ask so I may as well make a list.
Please bare in mind that I'm a complete newb to this :)


1. I'm 37, am I past it or is there still a chance I can learn this stuff?
2. Could you recommend some tutorials starting with the basics, I just got my bike today and managed some bar spins standing on the back pegs, but I don't know where to go next, and I don't know the names of any tricks (I've heard of a hitchhiker but don't know what it is lol).
3. The bike I got today is a used flybikes micromachine. Any good?
4. My bike has a one piece crank, is it straightforward/beneficial the put 3 piece cranks on it?
5. All the videos online I've seen have people riding without brakes. Should I strip my brakes off and get used to not having any from scratch or should I start with them still fitted?
6. Is this the main forum for flatland or is there others? I couldn't find any others when I've had a google around.
7. I'm in the uk (Sheffield), does anyone know if there are any uk Facebook groups for flatland? The only one I could find was for buying and selling parts.


I'm sure I'll think of lots more questions. Sorry if I've posted in the wrong place but it didn't seem like the 'introduce yourself' section was the right place for all the questions.


Thanks a lot.
Deacon



Offline Timmer74

  • Forkglider
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2017, 06:50:12 AM »
hey there Deacon. Welcome to the amazing (and frustrating) world of flatland!

1) Is 37 too old? No way man! I just got back into it 3+ years ago at 40 (after 22+ years off). A lot of it will just come down to how much time you put into it. Flatland is extremely hard (for me at least :) ) but at the same time it's one of the best feelings in the world.  Fwiw, I try to ride every day for at least an hour. Though, it's getting to that time of year where the rain and crappy winter weather make riding a lot harder. If you have a covered flat space (parking garage, school playground, etc) then you should be golden! I've been fortunate enough to not get kicked out of where I ride when the weather turns.

2) The only tutorials that come to mind are the ones Matt Wilhelm did called "Ground Rules". He put out a DVD years ago that has some great stuff on it. If you can't find the DVD Ive seen some (all?) of the videos on youtube. As I recall he breaks it all down too into easy to hard (each trick has a rating of 1-5 I think where 1 is easy and 5 is hard). Also, you can click on "Tricks" at the top of Global-Flat and see links to tricks where people try to explain and show how to do them. A lot of it though is really just getting on your bike and trying to figure things out (only so much "words" can show you in this world).

3) flybikes micromachine... Honestly, I don't know. I wasn't riding during the time this bike came out (I went from old school to new school and never touched a mid school bike). But, it's a flatland bike :). annnnd trust me, once you start getting into flat you'll more than likely upgrade to a newer bike. But, for just starting out I'm sure what you have will work great.

4) Honestly, I wouldn't sink a lot of money into the micromachine. Some may say otherwise, but you'll probably pay a premium trying to find parts for it. The biggest thing you might want (and might be transferable to 'new school' frame) would be a freecoaster hub (if it doesnt have one already). That will depend on the dropouts on the micromachine. Modern frames are pretty much either 3/8" (10mm) or 14mm dropouts. I'm not sure what your frame is (hopefully somebody on here knows more about it than I do).

5) Brakes vs no brakes... I'm sure this question will start some longer discussion ;)... Most 'kids' ride no brakes. Most older riders (like me) ride both front and rear. I like to think that I'm fooling my old self and ride only front brakes though :). No brakes is definitely harder on a lot of tricks. I say leave em both on right now and if you find yourself not using them then take them off.

6) yeah, it's the only one that I've stumbled upon too. There seems to be people on youtube channels though that read comments and post replies as well.

7) I'm in the states so have no idea. Though, I believe that there's a lot of riders from the UK on here. However, it also seems like the forum has gotten slow lately. It's probably an ebb and flow effect that it seems most things go through. Especially when those things aren't super popular.

Anyway, I hope that helps. get out and ride!

cheers,
Tim



Offline deacon

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 07:24:58 AM »
Thanks for the reply Tim I appreciate it.
We have lots of undercover/multi story car parks in Sheffield so should have somewhere to ride all winter.
In fact going out this evening to try out a carpark after work and can't wait!

Offline deacon

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2017, 08:50:39 PM »
Been really, really enjoying flatland and still haven't hurt myself yet. Seriously makes YouTube vids of the really good guys more impressive.
I've only had 2 one hour sessions. Got the hang of barspins, and have started learn fork glides as they seem to be recommended as a beginners trick. I can twist into them but haven't managed to 'glide' or complete one.
Thought I'd find a carpark easily but tbh it's been tricky. Either busy, not floodlit very well or slopey, but I'll keep looking.


One thing I am starting to realise is that it's a pretty lonely hobby (for me) but it's very relaxing


Timmer: the bike does have freecoaster.

Offline Timmer74

  • Forkglider
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2017, 09:25:50 PM »
Awesome to hear man! It really is a fun thing to do. And yeah, finding a good spot is almost always a big challenge. I don't know how many times I've driven past a spot and got super excited only to find out that the surface sucks and/or is way too graded.

Great to hear about the progress too. Keep at it man! For me, I have days where I get so frustrated that i never want to ride again....but come back the next day to have a great session. I think my biggest problem is that I watch youtube too and see how easy some of these riders make things look and am comparing myself to them. But, I'm 43, have a FT job, married, 2 kids, only been back into it for 3+ years and "only" get to ride about an hour a day. People do stop and tell me that what I do is "amazing". However, youtube sure keeps my ego in check :).

Staying healthy is definitely something I struggle with. For me, it's ankle/achilles pain. I like to think that I'm in shape (gym 4 times/week and ride as many days as I can) but, at 43 the ol' body sure doesnt feel like it did when I rode when I was a teen! Make sure you stretch!

Also, believe it or not, I ride with a helmet (pretty light/flimsy one..but a helmet none the less). Yeah, I feel like an idiot wearing it for riding flat. But, I have had a few falls where I'm glad I had it on. I also wear shin guards (the shadow conspiracy ones. fit nicely under jeans) which has saved me way more than the helmet has!

For me, I prefer to ride solo. I'm fortunate in that I work from home and have my riding spot very near by. So, I ride at lunch when everybody is at work. However, I deal with a ton of people that are not riding and want to stop and talk "at" me while I want to be left alone. Riding let's me get away from my work/computer/bosses/life..... But, I do ride every now and then with some other local riders that live near me (there aren't too many but some). Riding with others can definitely help though on a inspirational level (for me at least). Hopefully, the "lonely" doesnt deter you from riding and/or you find some other local people to ride with...

Awesome about the freecoaster too!

cheers Deacon!

Offline letsgo

  • Backpacker
  • ******
  • Posts: 397
    • Ketch Bikes
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2017, 03:57:42 AM »
Check this: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJphx4jKh-mW_co0_rPCMxg

As for the bike, the Micro Machine will work.  Keep the brakes but you don't have to use them.  You will find the most modern tricks are brakeless.

Offline deacon

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2017, 11:06:22 AM »
Thanks letsgo, seen that series already and have been using them :)
Had another hour on the bike this morning and can now half hydrant into a fork glide and continue gliding (although I haven't 'finished' one yet. Finding it really difficult to get back to the back peg without the bike folding under me if that makes sense.
One thing I have learnt though is that the fork glide got a lot easier once I stopped messing with the brakes.

Offline DaddyCool

  • Cliffhanger
  • *******
  • Posts: 514
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2017, 11:39:04 AM »
Hey Timmer74, I really think one hour per day is very good with a job and family! I ride less and would like to find more time...
deacon, I think a Micromachine is fully ok to start. It was used by pro riders a few years ago and definitely has a modern geometry. I would say there is not need to change until you rode for like two years and develop specific ideas of what setup you prefer. Keep on riding!

Offline Stasis

  • Funky Chicken
  • ****
  • Posts: 55
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2017, 12:29:06 PM »
Hey bro I just replied to your pm.
I haven't touched a bmx in years  but here's a few things I'll say....
I started with a khe da funktion flatland bike and upgraded it loads and loads. I ended up spending almost a grand in the end.
However I kept upgrading the bike thinking it would make me better. (better bike eaSier tricks)
It wasn't really that way though. Sure a lighter bike or more flatland orientated parts help but at the end of the day id say it's 90% rider 10% bike setup.
Don't get strung up on spending on expensive parts just enjoy the hobby as much as you can  :)

Yeah it was lonely even ten years ago for me. I hear your pain.
Where in Sheffield are you from?
I used to own matts dvd it was pretty cool actually :)

Offline deacon

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2017, 01:05:46 PM »
Hey man thanks for the reply :)
I'm from down south but have been living up here for about five years for the rock climbing.
Yep, not really interested in throwing loads of money it (although I bet everyone says that) and I wouldn't know the difference between good parts and bad parts anyway.
Did you have a spot to ride where you tended to get left alone/flat/dry? I've ridden a couple of car parks but nothing perfect.

Been really enjoying the riding though. Getting out for about an hour a day, in fact heading out for an hour later as long as it doesn't rain.

Offline deacon

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2017, 07:39:31 PM »
Proper buzzing! Just been out for another ride and landed a load of Fork Glides. Even managed three in a row.
Such a good feeling when things go from impossible to possible.
Obviously I'm going to keep doing these until I've got them spot on but what would be a good next trick?

Offline MICHELE

  • Cliffhanger
  • *******
  • Posts: 609
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2017, 12:45:41 PM »
footjam tailwhip or hang5.
If I ever see a flat rider do a hop-to-wallride, my head would explode.

Offline eightyfivegt

  • Forkglider
  • ***
  • Posts: 33
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2017, 07:13:14 PM »
Don't get too hung up on age... it's more about your physical condition and mindset.  I'm 52 and sticking to simple tricks and just having fun.  The Ground Rules DVD is a great suggestion.  I watch that one often.  Sounds like you're already progressing nicely!  Stick with it and enjoy yourself!

Offline Timmer74

  • Forkglider
  • ***
  • Posts: 42
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2017, 07:38:03 PM »
@ Daddycool. Thanks man. I'm fortunate that I have a wife that understands what riding does for me mentally and physically :). That and a job where I almost make my own hours and work from home.

As far as the age thing too. It's funny seeing how people react to an "old" guy on a bmx bike. I have conversations ALL the time about why I ride a "kids" bike. I've even had people in their 70's+ argue with me about the size of my bike and that I'm too old/big for it. I usually just tell people I'm a 43 year old child and that usually shuts them up.  One older lady told me that she thought I was very graceful on my bike and that maybe now my Mom would buy me a bigger bike. Ha! Like eightfivegt said... don't get too hung up on age. Just take care of yourself and ride!

Possible next trick ideas:
1) firehydrant
2) peg wheelies
3) footjam tailwhip like Michele said
4) hang 5 too... fwiw this one took me forever to learn. hell, I still struggle with it! Some days it feels great where others I feel like I forgot everything.
5) cyclone

congrats on the progression too! Nothing better than that feeling of accomplishment. Just be prepared for the days where gravity wins.

Offline deacon

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 23
Re: Help starting flatland please :)
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2017, 09:13:29 PM »
Can't wait to try some Hang Fives (although they look really challenging). I've been watching some tutorials on them today but the uk is being hit by a hurricane at the minute so no riding for me.
Going to try some Fire Hydrants too, I almost landed a couple by accident when I've been learning Fork Glides.