Mountain Biking - I need to get some AIR.
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03-16-03, 12:46 PM
Guys i could really use your advice there. I am used to Xc/Singletrack and 40deg steep downhills plus some fireroad action (40mph). However i have never tackled drop offs. Maybe i am afraid of them being something new and unknown for me. I am 200lbs with a hard tail (hardcore 2003 rockhopper frame). Can you give me any advice on how to handle them? I am really afraid of how to lift the front end and land properly. It seems that during the entire cycling life of me i am not good at wheelies so i am really negative with the idea of properly lifting my front-end prior to the drop.
Help me DIVE bomb!
03-16-03, 01:06 PM
What you need to do is: START WITH SMALL DROPS (like 2 feet or less) and keep going bigger......you gotta learn some stuff on your own.
03-16-03, 01:11 PM
First off you don't have to lift high...wheelie drops are good but take time to get used to as you will wipe out. Go at it wih some speed and pull the front wheel up a small amount...keep your body over the centre and you should land find...if you are landing on a tranny lift your feet up and push your arms out and down...this should match the bike up to the tranny better. I agree with klein practice on different sized drops first and get used to the feeling of controlling the bike in the air...(even curbs will give you the basic idea)
If you have enough speed over a dropoff you dont really have to do much but hang on. Otherwise you have to do a wheelie-drop. Basically cranking hard while pulling up on the bars over the dropoff.
03-16-03, 01:28 PM
I have been snowboarding for seven years and for some reason Im very cautious, and rarely catch much air due to some hidden fear inside of me. On the other hand, I have been biking for less than a year, and just yesterday I pulled off almost a 5 foot wheelie drop with good form. I wanted to start getting into the freeride world so first I needed to know how to wheelie. I still cant wheelie for more than 5 seconds, but I can do it long enough, and straight enough to hit a drop in good form.
What you should do is learn to wheelie if you dont know how. Once you get comfortable with that go find some curbs. Approach slowly until your front wheel is at the edge of the curb, and then wheelie yourselff off on your back wheel to get the feel of dropping off. Once you've done that a few times, and you have the feel down, go to your local trail and find something a little bigger. Do the same thing as I described above, and do it many times until you feel comfortable. My first drop on the trail was about a 2 footer. The first time I attempted it, it didnt go too well simply because I was scared. But after a few more attempts I got the feeling down and now its no big deal at all.
The key to progressing is taking your fears and limits then breaking them. Once you beat an obstacle on the trail, you will feel like you can do something bigger.
On yesterdays ride I was down at the trail where I did my first drop and I was messing around on it for a while when two guys riding a bighit and bullit came by. I started talking with them and they asked me if I wanted to follow them to a park in Seattle where they were going to do some drop-offs. I took them up on their offer, and before I knew it I was doing a 3 footer, a 3.5 footer, and then a 4.5-5 footer. Yes its scary, but the only way to conquer your fear is to actually do it. Just work your way up, and with each drop you complete and master, you will have more confidence to pull off or attempt something even bigger.
As long as you can pull a short decent wheelie, you can start doing drop offs. Just remember to land rear wheel first when dropping to flat, and evenly when on a slope. How even depends on how big the slope. And to what degree you want to land on your rear wheel depends on how high, and your form.
Not too long ago I was in the same boat as you, and wasnt sure if I could do the drops. Now I feel like I can do a 6 footer, but Im afraid my enduro will break. BigHit here I come.
03-16-03, 03:28 PM
From my limited experience (I mainly ride and race XC), I can tell you that these two things are bad:
1. Landing front tire first.
2. Landing with the front brake locked, front tire first or not.
03-16-03, 03:55 PM
Thanks guys for the replies. Really thanks. I am wondering if my hard tail can handle 2ft drops. Will it fail eventually? i dont want a snapped frame after all . Also should i have the saddle lowered?
03-16-03, 04:01 PM
2 footer not a problem. It will fail someday (in the far future since 2ft is nothing) but it should be good for a long while.
Lower saddle help with control on drops and rough terrain. I raise my saddle in between trails for speed but drop it down for control and to protect my dangly bits :)
Bad, any frame that can't handle a 2 foot drop is a real junker. 2 feet is nothin!
03-16-03, 04:50 PM
one major thing i focus on when doing any technical drops is control of the rear wheel. it's very true, starting with smaller drops will help you become very comfortable with the bike. it soon comes very naturally to land big drops. as to weather your hardtail will handle it, 2 feet is fine. infact, for smaller height jumping like that, a hardtail is great. suspension is very nice, but with more moving parts and stress points, they have more problems to deal with.
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