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
    shocks, pegs... lucky!
    Reputation: loungesuitlarry's Avatar
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    Going over the handle bars

    now this has happenned to me about four times, the last being by far the worst and I've actually injured myself enough that I wont be riding for the next few weeks.

    now i'm trying to figure out what i'm doing wrong.. its usually the same scenerios....
    1 being... larry is going down a decline get to the bottom (usually a dip at the bottom of the decline), front tire hits it, front shocks compress. then my tail pops up in the air and larry goes flying.....


    second scenario: larrys riding hard hits a dip/hole, tail pops up in the air.... larry goes flying...

    my set up is an FS... and i havn't preloaded the front or rear shocks... could this have any part in whats happening?

    or is it my stance..... and what should i do to correct this because while we would all like to fly like superman.... the face first dirt sandwiches hardly make it worth it.
    The kids love spinning their wheels... it's the best ;-)

  2. #2
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    Are you keeping your weight on the back of the bike, or is it all on the handle bars? If your weight is forward in those situations it turns your front wheel into a fulcrum and hence you will go over the handle bars.

  3. #3
    b2m
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    It sounds like you may be leaning to far foward when this happens. Try putting more weight towards the rear of the bike. Also try slowing down when hitting these dips, then once you start to get comfortable with the dips, go a little faster each time. I've gone over the bars many times, mostly from being out of control or leaning too far forward.

  4. #4
    shocks, pegs... lucky!
    Reputation: loungesuitlarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b2m
    It sounds like you may be leaning to far foward when this happens. Try putting more weight towards the rear of the bike. Also try slowing down when hitting these dips, then once you start to get comfortable with the dips, go a little faster each time. I've gone over the bars many times, mostly from being out of control or leaning too far forward.
    I know in at least two instances I was too far forward,
    this last time i dont think so.... my bike is very bounce this is why i also asked about preloading... because i have no idea what cause it the last (and worst) time
    The kids love spinning their wheels... it's the best ;-)

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    You need to distribute your weight more towards the back of the bike. Also, your unproperly set up front and rear suspension will have a lot to do with you going over your bars easily. If you dont know how to properly set up your suspension I'd take your bike to the LBS asap

  6. #6
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    or read the manuals that came with the suspension, or read around on here for suspension setup.

  7. #7
    neutiquam erro
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    Suspension tuning plays a role, but is relatively minor compared to proper body position.

    On downhills, you need to be out of the seat with your weight over the rear wheel - this means putting putting your gut on/behind the saddle itself. You seat height should allow you to get "behind" it, and then back up in it comfortably (still reach brakes). Loose clothing complicates this, so keep shirts and shorts tucked in and not crazy baggy.

    This position also lowers your overall center of gravity, which helps a lot with keeping you stable on downhills.

    Keep the speed up, allow the front end to take the hits as it was designed to do, and rock it!

    Cheers, Chris

  8. #8
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    Rear weight FTW!!

  9. #9
    shocks, pegs... lucky!
    Reputation: loungesuitlarry's Avatar
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    i'll try it when i'm healed up thanks
    The kids love spinning their wheels... it's the best ;-)

  10. #10
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    Get both front and rear suspension set up correct, check the sag 20% is normal, but sometimes you need less, if your heavier than the shock was designed for.

    Rear can rebound and put you otb, by kicking you butt up, increase rebound damping.

    Second momentum, is very important sometimes if you are a little faster, than the front wheel can go through an obstacle rather than hang up.

    Lastly it's more than weight back, you often need to loft the front wheel, then get back on the ground with adequate wieght for good control.

  11. #11
    Flying Goat
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    maybe you've got rebound set too fast... i follow dogonfr's refference in which when you push down the suspension it should come up with your hand and not forcefully push it up. Then adjust from there... The idea is to get the fastest rebound but not to the extent of it bucking you over... Also... get off the brakes... that could be another reason...

  12. #12
    Five is right out
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    How long is your stem? A short one should help you stay on the bike.

  13. #13
    Photog Cyclist.
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    You sound like you are riding with a really ridged body---you have to still use you body to absorb bumps. You weigh a hell of a lot more than your bike and you are going over the bars when the rear-end of the bike gets kicked up by a bump-you legs are to stiff and the force gets transfered to your body-gets it moving up and then you go over. I have seen a good friend who was new to MTB-in have the same problem--he road with his legs locked out. Spent a lot of time on is head!!!!!!

    No matter how much suspension you have you still have to use a crap load of body english in the steep n ruff stuff.

    Get a hold of a few videos like Roam and The Collective and watch those guys. You will notice that there body almost looks like it is riding on one plane and the bike is moving up n down-they get more travel out of their legs than the bikes suspension.

    But also work on your bike set up-get the pre-load dialed in for your weight and work on the rebound dampening. I set my rebound by riding seated over small to medium bumps of flat ground while seated-after I hit a bump if I feel the rearend trying to kick me over I turn up the dampening until it will absorb and return without the kick---BUT you need your preload right before doing this. Your bike/fork should have a recommended sag and this is a great starting point.

    Hope this helps--if you have any more question let me know-if you think I am not full of BS
    [SIZE="4"]We ride and never worry about the fall
    I guess that's just the cowboy in us all
    [/SIZE][SIZE="2"](Tim Mcgraw)[/SIZE]

  14. #14
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    A tip: when your front wheel is going to hit an obstacle, you should hold the bars tight, with your arms straight and locked. Don't try to absorb the shock with your arms.Rather push the bike over the obstacle. Needless to say, you have to move your gravity center back in advance.
    If the drop is really steep, you may move your...well, lower back... behind the saddle, touching the back of the seat with your stomach and almost sitting on the rear wheel.

  15. #15
    local trails rider
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    Lowering your seat a couple of finger widths would make it easier to move behind the seat. That is not good for great pedaling but might help you learn how to move your weight.

    I think that keeping your weight not only back but also low in the descents is good for stability.

    If you see an obstacle coming, you could also lift the front over it or at least "pull" enough to let the wheel roll over it easier.

  16. #16
    shocks, pegs... lucky!
    Reputation: loungesuitlarry's Avatar
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    that seems to be the consensus... thanks 4 the advice so far... definately adjustring the shocks when i get home
    The kids love spinning their wheels... it's the best ;-)

  17. #17
    Five is right out
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenon
    A tip: when your front wheel is going to hit an obstacle, you should hold the bars tight, with your arms straight and locked. Don't try to absorb the shock with your arms.Rather push the bike over the obstacle. Needless to say, you have to move your gravity center back in advance.
    If the drop is really steep, you may move your...well, lower back... behind the saddle, touching the back of the seat with your stomach and almost sitting on the rear wheel.
    Never ride a mountain bike with your arms locked. The one exception to this is when you are cruising on the road.

    Locked arms mean that you can't absorb bumps with your arms and will lead to a loss of control and eventual injury.

    Before hitting an obstacle, elbows should be *almost* straight and your forearms and triceps tensed to resist the blow.
    Last edited by womble; 05-07-2007 at 08:00 PM.

  18. #18
    I just let one RIP
    Reputation: Jwiffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by womble
    Never ride a mountain bike with your arms locked. The one exception to this is when you are cruising on the road.

    Locked arms mean that you can't absorb bumps with your arms and will lead to a loss of control and eventual injury.

    Before hitting an obstacle, elbows should be *almost* straight and your forearms and triceps tensed to resist the blow.
    I'm hoping xenon was kidding! If not, he needs to pick up a copy of William Nealy's book Mountain Bike!

    Locking any part of the body is a recipe for disaster. You want to ride in a semi-flexed state, legs and arms extended (but not locked), ready to absorb impacts. I wouldn't ride with locked arms even on the road.

    Also, raise the front when going through dips or over obstacles--pedal kick to raise it up, and keep the weight back. that will help make sure the front end doesn't come to a sudden stop. Sometimes a little pre-emptory bunny hop helps, too.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jwiffle
    I'm hoping xenon was kidding! If not, he needs to pick up a copy of William Nealy's book Mountain Bike!

    Locking any part of the body is a recipe for disaster. You want to ride in a semi-flexed state, legs and arms extended (but not locked), ready to absorb impacts. I wouldn't ride with locked arms even on the road.

    Also, raise the front when going through dips or over obstacles--pedal kick to raise it up, and keep the weight back. that will help make sure the front end doesn't come to a sudden stop. Sometimes a little pre-emptory bunny hop helps, too.
    I have to admit, it is exactly what I do - and for me and others I know it works. Possibly, we speak, having different situations in mind. I am thinking of a steep descent, too long to jump, with bumps where it abruptly turns horizontal - very common type of trail in my area. At the end there is almost always need to stop or make sharp turn.
    Locking arms for a moment(no more than a moment, I stress! ) before the front wheel hits the obstacle helps to push the bike over the bump. In this position, the bars give needed support to the rider. Otherwise, the bike comes to stop and the rider proceeds forward head first - with some good time in the air. Goes without saying, raising the front wheel or small hop is better - when possible. On a descent long and steep enough with rocks below it is usually not. Moving the center of gravity behind the seat is not always an option as well, if you need making a sharp turn after the bump - and generally, in this position you have little ability to maneuver.

  20. #20
    Dirt Abuser
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    Like others said, get your weight to the back of the bike. You'll see picks of people with their butt over their rear tire when going down steeps... Also be light on the front brake... especially if you have hydro disks.

  21. #21
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    i have a similar scenario on video, it's about 10 seconds, but shows you what not to do. my problem was the seat height, and my front shock bottoms out if you watch it really closely. wish i could post a video.

  22. #22
    shocks, pegs... lucky!
    Reputation: loungesuitlarry's Avatar
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    happen to have a link?
    The kids love spinning their wheels... it's the best ;-)

  23. #23
    College Boy
    Reputation: Timeless's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenon
    I have to admit, it is exactly what I do - and for me and others I know it works. Possibly, we speak, having different situations in mind. I am thinking of a steep descent, too long to jump, with bumps where it abruptly turns horizontal - very common type of trail in my area. At the end there is almost always need to stop or make sharp turn.
    Locking arms for a moment(no more than a moment, I stress! ) before the front wheel hits the obstacle helps to push the bike over the bump. In this position, the bars give needed support to the rider. Otherwise, the bike comes to stop and the rider proceeds forward head first - with some good time in the air. Goes without saying, raising the front wheel or small hop is better - when possible. On a descent long and steep enough with rocks below it is usually not. Moving the center of gravity behind the seat is not always an option as well, if you need making a sharp turn after the bump - and generally, in this position you have little ability to maneuver.
    like others have said never lock your arms. It is bad for a long list of reasons. One is injuries can result. 2nd our skeleton was not designed to absorb impacts like that and our joints even less. hit something 2 hard and your elbow can bend in the wrong direction because something has to give.

    Now being to the point just short of locking is the best way to go. Use your mussels to take the impact and force you bike over the bump. That way it is your mussels taking the impact and not your joints and skeleton. Doing that method you body will thank you after a ride and it will take less out of you.

    Locking you arms cause damage ever time you take a hit and that damage builds adds up over time.

    Another one is control is if the hit hard enough you arm can take some of the shock out of it and keep you in control because with using the mussels to force you over it allows you body to make the minor adjustments to keep going straight compared to the lock one you have to make the adjustments after wards.

    Maybe lot of riders in your area do the lock on method and all of them are doing it wrong. The best riders in your area will never lock their arms. Locking your arms is very poor form.

  24. #24
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    another thing that hasn't really been mentioned is maybe your bike setup. When I changed bikes i noticed a big difference. On my old bike i would never go over the bars and couldn't figure out how everyone else did so often. I just thought i was that much better. Got a new bike and on the first ride went over the bars 3 times. I felt like a retard and my riding style didn't change. The bike geometry was all off for my body or riding style. I put a higher short stem on it and longer forks so when I sat on the bike all my weight wasn't over the front wheel (which it felt like the way i got the bike). So now i can go down the hills like i used to and I don't even get behind my seat. I had to make a little adjustment with my climbing style as the front end was alittle light but i got used to it.

    But also like everyone else said, keep your weight back and don't lock your arms. And ease off the front brake too. Break hard before the steep part and after and see if that helps. Also ease on the brakes instead of panic grabbing. You will feel your back wheel coming up and you can ease off to bring it down. When going down really steep technical slow speed stuff you can see my back wheel coming up and down when I ride.

    Most of this stuff just takes pratice, but look into your bike gemeotry and suspension, maybe ride a friends bike, you would be suprised how much different bikes are.

  25. #25
    shocks, pegs... lucky!
    Reputation: loungesuitlarry's Avatar
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    thanks
    The kids love spinning their wheels... it's the best ;-)

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