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.
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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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    Bunnyhopping tips? Bike setup, positioning, etc...

    Hey all, Sorry this is a bit long, I tend to get wordy .

    I just got my new bike last week (04' SJ FSR Expert, got a great deal!) and I love it. I have been messing around in town until the weather and my schedule allow me to get out on the trails for real (hopefully tomorrow). It's been probably 7 years since I've been on a bike and all my riding then was basically back country non-bike trail riding around my parents house, it was kind of flat lots of loose materials/ruts and some big but relatively smooth hills. So, recently I got the bug to ride again and here I am.

    One thing that's been worrying me a bit is trail obstacles, I could never really bunnyhop and having never ridden a trail in this area (SE PA), I don't know how difficult it's going to be. I've read some techniques and watched the Flowmaster video about it (which was great) and went out today to give it a shot. I'm happy to say that I could bunnyhop better than ever before, probably due to clipless pedals. I'd say I could probably clear maybe 5-7" maybe a bit more.. I didn't actually measure any curbs/speedbumps.

    Other than practice, which I plan to do as much as time allows, is there anything I could do to improve my jump height? The bike feels pretty heavy when I pull up and I was thinking it might have something to do with the 100mm stem. I am fairly short, 5' 8", so I was thinking maybe getting a shorter stem would help? Also, if I lower my seat, will that help significantly in letting me "wind up" more? I'd have to cut it again to shorten it more and I'm not sure how this will effect other areas of the ride, like climbing.

    I like the setup on my bike but I'd be willing to try some changes if it'll make things easier. I'd love to hear some opinions on setup, practice techniques, or if if I just need to get out and grind 'em out.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Shorter stem would make it easier to pull the front up. Lower seat does help you get more power out of your crouch.

    But if you're just looking to get over obstacles on the trail start with learning to just pull the front up and ride up/over stuff. As you get better and better at that and can hit obstacles at higher speeds you'll naturally progress into hopping over obstacles.

  3. #3
    Flying Goat
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    can a hardtail bunny hop???

  4. #4
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    Does a bear sh*t in the woods?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scarpa
    Shorter stem would make it easier to pull the front up. Lower seat does help you get more power out of your crouch.

    But if you're just looking to get over obstacles on the trail start with learning to just pull the front up and ride up/over stuff. As you get better and better at that and can hit obstacles at higher speeds you'll naturally progress into hopping over obstacles.

    Alright, I'll keep that in mind. I've been finding it easier to bunnyhop curbs and stuff in the street than to just ride onto/over them.. I tend to get loose on the rear wheel at low speeds/relatively high objects but I think I know what I'm doing wrong here now that I think about it.

    For now trail obstacles are what I'm thinking about but I'd definitely like to get competent with jumping/dropping in the future. I just want to get back to comfortable on a bike again.

  6. #6
    Hoopy Frood
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    Riding

    I see from you profile you're in West Chester. I live there as well.

    If you want to ride sometime, drop me a pm. We can hit some local trails which are good for learning to navigate obstacles.

    I'm no expert but I'll be glad to show you around and answer any questions. There's a lot of local groups which ride in the area as well if you're looking for riding opportunities. There are at least 3-5 organized rides each week.

    You also might want to consider coming out for some trail maintenance. It's a great way to meet the locals, earn good karma, and find out about the area. Some schedules are posted at: http://www.patrailhands.org/
    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it. - Thomas Jefferson

  7. #7
    Old Fart
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpercussive
    can a hardtail bunny hop???
    Well, not when I'm on one they can't.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by khill
    I see from you profile you're in West Chester. I live there as well.

    If you want to ride sometime, drop me a pm. We can hit some local trails which are good for learning to navigate obstacles.

    I'm no expert but I'll be glad to show you around and answer any questions. There's a lot of local groups which ride in the area as well if you're looking for riding opportunities. There are at least 3-5 organized rides each week.

    You also might want to consider coming out for some trail maintenance. It's a great way to meet the locals, earn good karma, and find out about the area. Some schedules are posted at: http://www.patrailhands.org/
    Sent you a PM. I'll keep an eye on that site, sounds like it could be fun. I'm insanely busy for the next month or so but after that I should be free and clear to dedicate alot more time to riding.

  9. #9
    Flying Goat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matilda the Hun
    Q: Can you bunnyhop with a hardtail?



    A: No Silly - Bunnies have COTTON tails!


    (Happy Easter!)
    hahahahaha

    btw, i just cant think of how to get the rear lifting up when theres no suspension at the rear unless the pedals are clipless pedals or with clips... Dont think normal pedals and shoes would do...

  10. #10
    EDR
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    Just read this....

    This thread covers the bunnyhop with some excellent video illustrations.

    Bunnyhop tutorial VIDEO

  11. #11
    Flying Goat
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    thanx... should be still the same for a hardtail with normal shoes and pedals, right?

  12. #12
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    well, you got to point your toes at a slight downward angle, and push your feet into the pedals in a backwards motion while lifting up, to get the rear up on a hardtail

  13. #13
    EDR
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpercussive
    thanx... should be still the same for a hardtail with normal shoes and pedals, right?
    Let me preface this with saying I couldn't bunnyhop over 2 nickles stacked on top of each other.....
    But, yes. The technique SHOULD be learned on a hardtail so you know how to do it. Preloading the rear shock and just lifting it up off the ground (especially if using clipless) is not even bunnyhopping, really. Once you know what it feels like to do it right, without clipless pedals and without the assistance of a preloaded shock, then you can perform it on a fs bike correctly.

    But then again since I can't do it maybe you should disregard all my advice.

  14. #14
    Flying Goat
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    thanx... now i know it's possible on hardtails with cheapo pedals... will try when i've got the time...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrpercussive
    hahahahaha

    btw, i just cant think of how to get the rear lifting up when theres no suspension at the rear unless the pedals are clipless pedals or with clips... Dont think normal pedals and shoes would do...
    If you're using clipless to pull the rear up you're not really doing a proper bunnyhop. The "correct" way to do it is to pull the front, then the rear in rapid succession. Pulling straight up with both the handlebars and clips will limit you to just a few inches of height.

    Check out this article that does a great job of describing the motions involved. Yes, it's a BMX article, they invented it after all.. but the mechanics are exactly the same on a mt. bike, it's just harder.

    http://www.bmxbasics.org/new/bmx0703.html

  16. #16
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    I am wondering how fast the average rider progesses with bunnyhopping. Before watching the video I coud barely get off the ground with my rockhopper although with my 20" bmx bike I could get almost a foot off the ground. After maybe 15 minutes of practice (we had family over so I couldn't do much more than that) I can consistantly clear a 2x4 (4 inches off the ground) and sometimes I can feel that I get a bit higher. Is that about right?

    How are you progressing leop?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshuam
    How are you progressing leop?
    My progress was similar. In about 20 minutes of riding around and trying to hop anything I thought I could, I went from not getting off the ground to maybe 5-7" (approximately). I haven't had the chance to go back out and just practice yet but I'm planning on it this week. I'll post back with some updates. I'm going to try and focus on practicing hopping instead of riding around so I can gauge my progress a little better.

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