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Old 08-30-06, 08:04 PM   #1
bobbotron
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On jumping off things on a hardtail

So I went to a section near the river today that's really good for practicing hoping off small ledges. There are shelves of rocks that vary in height from a half a foot to a few feat to far more feat than I would like to do on a bike (probably a good 8, 10', and 5' followed by 4'.)

I found I could at best do the 1' drops, more than that, I was really worried I was going to throw myself over the front of the bike.

I'm pretty new to mountain biking. It's my first season. I'm starting to feel good on single track, and maunvering around some technical stuff, but I haven't gotten any instincts down for jumping off things yet. I hear you want to get the front of the bike to go up so your rear wheel hits around the same time as the back hits. I have no idea how to go about that though... Saddly my first 1.5' huck ended in me rolling it and endoing as I wasn't far enough back. But I'm determined to get better!

I'm riding a XC entry level KHS. The front shock is nothing special, but I imagine I can take two or three feat with it with practice.

Anyway, I was just wondering what words of wisdom you guys had for an aspiring jumper.

Thanks!
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Old 08-30-06, 08:15 PM   #2
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If you are hoping to drop and jump, the XC frame might not be the way to go. But on most drops, my advice would be get enough speed pull up really hard, and hope for the best.
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Old 08-30-06, 08:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaGetGood
If you are hoping to drop and jump, the XC frame might not be the way to go. But on most drops, my advice would be get enough speed pull up really hard, and hope for the best.
Well, I'm not looking to go crazy and do big drops or anything. It would just be nice to know how to drop off 2 or 3 foot ledges with some confidence that I wont be heading for crashsville.
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Old 08-30-06, 08:17 PM   #4
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The next step is to get a more appropriate rig. But for now use what you have, just don't go big on it. Don't rush your progression, progression takes practice and practice takes time.
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Old 08-30-06, 08:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bobbotron
Well, I'm not looking to go crazy and do big drops or anything. It would just be nice to know how to drop off 2 or 3 foot ledges with some confidence that I wont be heading for crashsville.
Ok then. Just remember to pull up, or when you are ready for it, learn how to bunny/J hop off of stuff. Once you can do that stuff your good.
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Old 08-30-06, 08:22 PM   #6
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Ok then. Just remember to pull up, or when you are ready for it, learn how to bunny/J hop off of stuff. Once you can do that stuff your good.
Cool thanks! So you just pull up on the front of the bike, and keep your weight back? A friend of mine was saying you could also push down on your pedals to bring the front up. Pulling up sounds a lot easier to pull off.
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Old 08-30-06, 08:24 PM   #7
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I wouldn't push down on your pedals. Just ganna make it harder, and also try leaning back while pulling up, then while in the air stand back up, brace your legs, and land using your legs as coshion. Your legs will always be the most amount of travel you ever have.
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Old 08-30-06, 08:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbotron
Well, I'm not looking to go crazy and do big drops or anything. It would just be nice to know how to drop off 2 or 3 foot ledges with some confidence that I wont be heading for crashsville.
I know what ya mean. A couple years ago, a friend and I were dicking around outside a liquor where they had ledge (the side of a planter box thing) where you had to put you bike up on the ledge, you had about 6 ft before the drop (about 3 ft) and the ledge was about 10" wide. I end up worrying too much about staying on the ledge and not enough about speed and pulling up. I end up completely face planting it into the concrete. Scratched up my face realy bad, and my helmet took a nice beating...

Then a couple of weeks ago, on a new trail, we came upon about a 4' drop of a rock ledge in along the trail. From where you land you have about 5 ft to turn or you go into a nice dead bush. I end up going off in and completely face planting it into the bush. I get up and I was physced! I went back and hit it a few more times! It was quite awesome...
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Old 08-30-06, 08:40 PM   #9
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I dont use clipless, so... anyways... the easiest way is to gather some speed and pull the front up as you're like 3inches or so from the edge, so that way you will have speed to land on both wheels instead of the front first or something. The way I pull the front up is level my pedals and get a firm grip, then pull the handle bar upward while shifting my body behind the seat.
Also I would suggest you lower your seat down from your usually riding position because you will have time to bail if you feel weird.

p.s. i jump with my xc too =P
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Old 08-30-06, 09:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by WannaGetGood
and hope for the best.
Not sure if you were joking or not, but in my experience when I'm learning to do something I try to learn how to do it such that I don't have to hope for the best anymore.
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Old 08-30-06, 09:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by babetski
Not sure if you were joking or not, but in my experience when I'm learning to do something I try to learn how to do it such that I don't have to hope for the best anymore.
True. But as far as falling striaght down, there isn't much you can do besides tricks and correcting youself. But on a 2FT drop, you don't have anytime to correct. So when you are in the, you might aswell hope for extra support.lol.
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Old 08-30-06, 09:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by KonaRider24
The next step is to get a more appropriate rig. But for now use what you have, just don't go big on it. Don't rush your progression, progression takes practice and practice takes time.
I don't think there's any rush to jump up to a beefier rig. I put quite a few small-to-medium jumps on my hardtail before upgrading.

bobbotron, simple as it sounds, I got a lot of practice in just hopping curbs that I came upon wherever I might happen to ride (since my hardtail doubles for getting around locally). Focus on form, trying different techniques, and figuring out what gives you the smoothest landing. For jumping to flat, usually the best tactic is to keep the front up and your weight back so the rear tire contacts just before the front, at which point you gradually shift some of your weight onto the front. For smaller drops, I've also found just bunny-hopping as I approach works fine.

Start small, work your way up as your skill and confidence builds. Nobody got it perfect overnight.
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Old 08-30-06, 09:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by iamlucky13
I don't think there's any rush to jump up to a beefier rig. I put quite a few small-to-medium jumps on my hardtail before upgrading.

bobbotron, simple as it sounds, I got a lot of practice in just hopping curbs that I came upon wherever I might happen to ride (since my hardtail doubles for getting around locally). Focus on form, trying different techniques, and figuring out what gives you the smoothest landing. For jumping to flat, usually the best tactic is to keep the front up and your weight back so the rear tire contacts just before the front, at which point you gradually shift some of your weight onto the front. For smaller drops, I've also found just bunny-hopping as I approach works fine.

Start small, work your way up as your skill and confidence builds. Nobody got it perfect overnight.
For sure. My goal really is just to keep doing the XC riding, I have absolutely no intentions of moving on to larger jumps, samll drops is just a XC skill I'd like to improve (er, gain some base compentancy in.) I agree, it's something I can keep working on!

Now bunny hops and going up curbs are another thing I'm currently working on. Fun!
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Old 08-30-06, 10:00 PM   #14
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1. drop your seat. at least until you get more comfortable with it higher for things like that.

2. weight back. no, more. bars up.

3. don't be stiff. arms and legs are good suspension here.

4. stick with the small stuff until you feel you've got the motion dialed.

5. flat landings? land rear wheel first transition? ideal to land with wheels matching the slope.

6. work on slow speed wheelie drops before working on high speed stuff. get comfortable pulling that wheel up and landing slowly on the back wheel.

doing drops on a hardtail is completely doable, just get it dialed. you have less bike to suck things up if you land badly. technique for a 1' is the same as for a 4', your just falling more. fatter tires can help quite a bit, as well.

my opinion only; this is what works for me. i've got no problems doing most stuff in the 3-5' range on my hardtail, provided the landing zone is good. i don't really care to do higher on that bike; sure, it can take it, but it's much harder on the body. the main thing is to start small and work up. i've seen some riders do much bigger drops on hardtails than i'll even do on my squishy.
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Old 08-30-06, 11:04 PM   #15
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This is the fun beginning of biking. I don't fully agree with a lot of what is said here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scrublover
ideal to land with wheels matching the slope.
Yeah, not true at all. Smoothest landing is done trials style, but that'll take some time to learn.

Begin by learning how to bunnyhop.

Then, learn how to lift the front wheel by pushing forward with your legs. It's far easier to get the front wheel up, and you'll be able to get it much higher.

Start dropping curbs. Try some new things. Try dropping off a curb, and locking the rear brake as soon as you land. Then try wheelying off it, and grab the rear brake as soon as you land. It'll give you better rear wheel and overall balance.

Now try doing larger drops. Remember to keep your weight above or behind the rear wheel when about to drop off something. Once both wheels are off, move yourself forward a bit, and have your legs bent to act as suspension. Try landing both to flat and to the rear.

Before going off a drop, check if there's anything at the ledge of it. The worst thing can be going off a drop, and having the rear wheel hit something as it goes off. Instant nose dive.

Have fun!
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Old 08-31-06, 01:23 AM   #16
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This is the fun beginning of biking. I don't fully agree with a lot of what is said here.


Yeah, not true at all. Smoothest landing is done trials style, but that'll take some time to learn.

Begin by learning how to bunnyhop.

Then, learn how to lift the front wheel by pushing forward with your legs. It's far easier to get the front wheel up, and you'll be able to get it much higher.

Start dropping curbs. Try some new things. Try dropping off a curb, and locking the rear brake as soon as you land. Then try wheelying off it, and grab the rear brake as soon as you land. It'll give you better rear wheel and overall balance.

Now try doing larger drops. Remember to keep your weight above or behind the rear wheel when about to drop off something. Once both wheels are off, move yourself forward a bit, and have your legs bent to act as suspension. Try landing both to flat and to the rear.

Before going off a drop, check if there's anything at the ledge of it. The worst thing can be going off a drop, and having the rear wheel hit something as it goes off. Instant nose dive.

Have fun!
Reread what I wrote. I mentioned learning to do them slowly, wheelie drop style first. And the above quote is for landing to tranny, not to flat. Yep, rear first is smoother. Which is why I suggested working on those before working on larger drops.......

I also said it was what worked for me. That doesn't mean it works for everyone.

Sheesh, everyone's a critic.
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Old 08-31-06, 01:23 AM   #17
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I second the curb notion. If you want to learn how to land a drop, ride off a curb and land both wheels at the same (this applies to small drops only) time. If you want to take Jasons advice and mix it up a little, go ahead. It will probobly help more then harm. If you can do that, then do the same thing on progressively taller drops.

I remember I was going off of a 2 foot drop or so, and after I pulled the front tire up I accidently hit the rear brake so my front wheel went down hard. My rear wheel was off by the time it hit, but it was not comfortable or safe at all. My point is, an accident on a small drop isn't going to be catastrophic. If you're in that situation, try as hard as you can to keep your balance back putting your butt over the rear wheel if you have to. Control can get you out of most crashes-to-be.
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Old 08-31-06, 07:45 AM   #18
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Start finding drops with transitions on them and your bike will hold up better. If you want to keep your XC bike at least lower your seat down and get a shorter stem. That will REALLY help you from going over the bars as you bike surely puts you too far forward on your bike to really be doing anything but trail riding. Oh and learn how to land smoothly, absorbing most of the impact with your legs or your bike will break soon.


Sweet.
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Old 08-31-06, 02:25 PM   #19
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If you got the nice front shocks you can get some pre-load by pushing down on the handle bars and then pulling up hard and this will get your front end further up in the air. You can practice on just level wheelies or bunnyhops. Its how I got my feel for the jumping game. Once I was getting off the ground I just gave the bike a little tuge forward and that helps you clear the ledge and on small jumps it keeps your front end from diving straight down.....!!!!!
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Old 08-31-06, 02:29 PM   #20
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if you're going fast enough just pull up on the frontend once your front tire goes off the edge, otherwise if you're riding at a reasonably slow speed, get in agood gear and pedal hard and pull up to pull the front end up and continue so your back wheel continues to go forward trying to stay parallel, andthen add a little hop just before the back tire goes off, so you can clear the ledge completely
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