1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
mtn. biking 101
2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Advice needed on jumping

    I am after any advice I can get on taking jumps.

    I have been riding for a couple of years now and I have built up an excellent fitness base. I have competed in a few xc races and have done pretty well but I am now getting more interested in the all mountain riding and doing jumps.

    When taking jumps I find I have little control. When I where my Five10's I lose my footing and when I use clipless I still find I land crooked and fall off or I turn my bars too much.

    When it comes to table tops I find the takeoff too steep and don't land correctly.
    Can anyone offer any advice?

  2. #2
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    I can't recommend this book highly enough: Mastering Mountain Bike Skills - 2nd Edition: Brian Lopes, Lee McCormack: 9780736083713: Amazon.com: Books

    One of the chapter covered gives excellent step by step instructions with stop frame photos to show each sequence of the proper setup. They don't teach tricks like whips and stuff, but you'll learn how to catch air and land it.

    If you can't wait to get the book to start practicing, this is what I recall off the top of my head.

    I had been having some similar issues with landing with the front wheel crossed up. This comes from trying to "bunny hop" off the face of the jump...which makes you want to pull up on the handlebars. Pulling with your arms causes the problem.

    Instead what you need to focus on is compressing your legs and suspension just before you roll into the jump transition. Stay centered and as your front tire reaches the lip of the jump, "jump" with your legs. This unloading of stored energy combines with the geometry of the jump to launch you. The bike should rise up under you and you bend your arms and legs to accept the bike back into your body. Then look where you want to land...the exact spot, and point the tire at that spot. Your bike should follow your body english and land right where you point it.
    Shorter/smaller jumps require you to compress and release quickly. A taller/steeper jump will require a longer more sustained compression before popping off the lip.

    Obviously, start small and as your comfort level and confidence improve you'll be hitting things bigger and bigger. I had raced BMX back in the 80's; but had largely forgot how to jump smoothly over the years. After I read that chapter and practiced it, I was hitting 20' table top airs by the end of the fall this year...a good year of progression for me.

  3. #3
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    I need to work on this too. I'm used to a 230 pound motorcycle under me! These bikes feel so flimsy and twitchy that I just can't get comfy yet.
    No problems on 110' triple step ups in moto, but I don't like to get both wheels off the ground yet on the mountain bike!

    i am actually planning on building a small ramp for the back yard, so I can get a feel for these bikes in the air. Figuring only 18" off the ground, and then work up the speed, then build it up higher.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice I will get out there this weekend and give it a go. Thanks again!

  5. #5
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    It's a lot easier to learn to jump on a bike that's set up for it. You're typical XC-ish MTB is never going to feel all that great on 'real' jumps. It's just not what they're designed for.

    I've always been pretty air-challenged myself, as well as a whole lot more comfortable riding clipless instead of flats. I hit a (really low) plateau and stayed there for years and years as far as jumping went, until I bought a decent BMX bike to ride with my kid a few seasons back. Made more progress with on it in a few months than I had in ages on my MTBs, got a whole lot more comfortable leaving the ground, and I've been able to apply what I learned when riding my big wheeled bikes too. Great investment for anyone looking to up their bike handling skills IMO.
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  6. #6
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    I found this video, from one of the best around, pretty good.


  7. #7
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    go find a section of stairs in a city park and bunny hop up and down them sideways, cleanly.

    when you can climb 20 stairs no dab and both sides evenly, then you have the bike control kung-fu and torso fitness to start to jump. I mean...this will work. and is fun.

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