17-20 March Australian National Championships, Bright, VICTORIA
28-29 May UCI Trials World Cup, TBC – Krakow or Katowice, POLAND
9-10 July UCI Trials World Cup, Les Menuires, FRANCE
0-31 July UCI Trials World Cup, Vöcklabruck, AUSTRIA
6-7 August UCI Trials World Youth Games, Freiamt GERMANY
20-21 August UCI Trials World Cup, Albertville FRANCE
29 August-3 September UCI Trials World Championships, Vermiglio-Val di Sole, ITALY
4-25 September UCI Trials World Cup, Antwerp, BELGIUM
Mountain bike trials, also known as observed trials, is a discipline of mountain biking in which the rider attempts to pass through an obstacle course without setting foot to ground. Derived from motorcycle trials, it originated in Catalonia, Spain and is said to have been invented by the father of Ot Pi, a world champion motorcycle trials rider. Pi’s father had wanted his son to learn motorcycle trials by practicing on an ordinary bicycle.
Trials riding is an extreme test of bicycle handling skills, over all kinds of obstacles, both natural and man-made. It now has a strong – though small – following worldwide, though it is still primarily a European sport. Skills taken from trials riding can be used practically on any bicycle for balance, for example controlled braking and track standing, or balancing on the bike without putting a foot down. Competition trial bikes are characterised by powerful brakes, wide handlebars, lightweight parts, single-speed low gearing, low tire pressures with a thick rear tire, distinctive frame geometry, and usually no seat.
If this is your first experience you will want to start off in novice. These sections can be ridden on any standard mountain bike with limited changes.
All you should need to do is drop your saddle to get it out of the way. If you have some flat pedals lying around throwing them on too, this will allow you to get your foot down quickly if you need to without getting caught in the clips.
The sections themselves are designed to test your balance and bike handling. Don’t be intimidated by watching the top riders seemingly defy gravity, at it’s heart trials is simply a bike and rider trying to conquer the hardest terrain they can without putting a foot down and we have tests for riders of all levels.
So how is the comp going to run?
Before the start you will listen to the rider briefing, here you will get any notes the organisers have regarding sections or the comp, you will also be issued with a card to mark your score, keep this little guy safe!
This is also your chance to ask any questions you have.
This is a judgment free zone so don’t be shy if you have any nagging questions. Although the sections will be numbered feel free to complete them in any order.
You will have two and a half minutes to complete each section and you will do each of the five sections three times. Although the aim is to keep your feet on the pedals often you’re better off taking a “dab” than fighting your balance too much and ending up putting both feet down which will give you the maximum five points.
Your goal more than anything else is to get through the section whether that is on zero points or four.
If you are thinking about giving trials a go this year in Bright just do it!
All the riders from novice to elite are approachable and happy to answer questions, but above all you will have a great time and pick up skills that will help you on any bike.
Janine Junfgels has emerged victorious to be crowned Observed Trials World Champion at the MTB and Trials World Championships in Andorra.
In Observed Trials, riders cover six sections of a varied and interesting course featuring logs, rocks, rivers and machinery three times, try to accumulate as few points as possible. Points are given to competitors for putting feet on the ground, with five is the maximum number of points that can be lost on a particular section.
Jungfels , who qualified third for the final, produced a truly masterful performance to finish on just 22 points, defeating Slovakia’s Tatiana Janickova by an incredible 10 points, while Germany’s Nina Reichenbach was third.
The result is Australia’s first ever Observed Trials World Championship title, and just our second ever medal after Jungfels also finished third last year.