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.
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
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    Newbie question about tackling obstacles..

    I'm curious how you determine which obstacles coming up in front of you (rocks, roots, log, etc.) that you can simply get light on your bike a bit and roll over and which you actually have to bunny hop it a bit. In other words, is there a certain height of an object (say, 2 ft.) in which you must bunny hop in order to avoid a front spillover? I know the answer is at least partially determined by what bike your riding, speed, etc., but I'm curious if there is a general rule of thumb when it comes to this. Or, when in any doubt do most of you bunny hop (front wheel or otherwise) the given object and take it from there? I ride a 29er and I'm certain I can simply roll over most objects in my way, but most often I bunny hop just to play it safe. I'm guessing this is pretty typical for newbie riders and after some experience I'll start to simply roll over things more and more.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Here's my two cents...
    I was actually going to post on this topic when I was riding the other day. Try keeping your head up while you ride. I'm not saying you don't but just keep it in mind.. You're going to go where your eyes are looking, generally, and after a bit of riding you'll come to find that obstacles which you may think will throw you around will certainly not do so. The ability to know which obstacles you need to hop and which obstacles you can roll becomes instinctual. Also, if you are on a downhill you may not be able to bunny hop, you may have to pick a different line or really absorb the impact. On uphills, you may have to steer around or pull the front tire over. On a rolling singletrack path, you may bunnyhop or choose to cross it at the lowest point.

    To answer your question, I wouldn't say there is a set height to determine how to cross a obstacle. It will depend on the PSI in your tires so you don't pinch flat and many other things. After a while you will just know how to handle them.

    Anyone else feel free to add or correct my statements, this is just what I've experienced.

    Ride hard
    "Sir, you're drunk!" "Yes, Madam, I am. But in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly."

  3. #3
    the truth
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    youll learn as u gain experence it will be second nature after a while

  4. #4
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    where I ride most of the stuff has a path around so I don't have to worry about the only two options of rolling over or hopping. I like what was said about looking where you go. If you look at the obstacle, your going to hit the obstacle. If you look to the opening around the obstacle you will go around it. If you look 2 inches in front of your front tire your are going to zigzag like crazy and hit lots of little or big obstacles. If you look a decent way in front of your front tire you will be amazed at how well you will avoid obstacles.

  5. #5
    local trails rider
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    Size is not everything.

    The shape of the obstacle is probably more important.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  6. #6
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    When I'm riding with really strong riders, I don't think I ever see a distinct bunny hop. Get light enough on the bike, and it will roll over anything on a natural-ish trail. Certainly you can't get light and expect to get onto a picnic table.

    I do think a bunny hop is a really useful skill. Getting light is sort of like turning down the volume on a bunny hop. When I roll my bike over something tricky, I feel very much like I'm doing a bunny hop, just very, very low.

    Pedal-ups and manuals are very useful skills too, and I think they're easier to learn than bunny hops and facilitate learning a bunny hop.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    When I'm riding with really strong riders, I don't think I ever see a distinct bunny hop. Get light enough on the bike, and it will roll over anything on a natural-ish trail. Certainly you can't get light and expect to get onto a picnic table.
    +1

    if you've got enough speed and you are relaxed- you can roll over pretty much anything you'll find on XC trails- anything 2 feet or over I'd try to ride around or pop my front over but in IMO that is more All Mountain trail riding.

    A real confidence booster is to go to an empty parking lot and just ride over the cement blocks without lifting your wheel up. Here's a pic of me riding over two of them. I don't do anything except for get my body low and relax my arms. The little girl in the pic behind me was also going over two.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Newbie question about tackling obstacles..-me-bike8.jpg  


  8. #8
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    Don't bunny hop over anything, you risk screwing up worse if you don't clear it. Unless I'm screwing around on an obstacle. I can't think of any time I've bunny hopped something at speed.

    You'll learn what you can and can't roll over and what you need to wheelie over.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Compressions, gutters, and little water courses can sometimes be cleared with the least fuss with a bunny hop.

    Just don't try to do them at speed until you can do them at less speed, or do them reliably on a trail without an obstacle that'll send you over the bars or pinchflat the rear tire.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roanoke4 View Post
    I'm curious how you determine which obstacles coming up in front of you (rocks, roots, log, etc.) that you can simply get light on your bike a bit and roll over and which you actually have to bunny hop it a bit. In other words, is there a certain height of an object (say, 2 ft.) in which you must bunny hop in order to avoid a front spillover? I know the answer is at least partially determined by what bike your riding, speed, etc., but I'm curious if there is a general rule of thumb when it comes to this. Or, when in any doubt do most of you bunny hop (front wheel or otherwise) the given object and take it from there? I ride a 29er and I'm certain I can simply roll over most objects in my way, but most often I bunny hop just to play it safe. I'm guessing this is pretty typical for newbie riders and after some experience I'll start to simply roll over things more and more.

    Thoughts?
    Basically unless I am very tried I will jump or bunny hop most everything....in an effort to ride as smoothly as possible...I learn faster this way.

    A Bunny hop may not appear to be a bunny hop just casue the wheels do not leave the terrain, but it most certainly is still a bunny hop....

    I am not talking about lifting the rear with cleats but a true bunny hop done with angular momentum.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Compressions, gutters, and little water courses can sometimes be cleared with the least fuss with a bunny hop.

    Just don't try to do them at speed until you can do them at less speed, or do them reliably on a trail without an obstacle that'll send you over the bars or pinchflat the rear tire.
    The way the cut water bars around here (generally about 1 to 2 feet deep and 4 feet wide)....you either jump them (spring off the first lip) (best if you want to go fastest).

    Or soak up the first lip then compress the front wheel into the gully, then jump off the last lip (better for medium speed).

    I wouldn't call either of those moves a bunny hop.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelscott View Post
    +1

    if you've got enough speed and you are relaxed- you can roll over pretty much anything you'll find on XC trails- anything 2 feet or over I'd try to ride around or pop my front over but in IMO that is more All Mountain trail riding.

    A real confidence booster is to go to an empty parking lot and just ride over the cement blocks without lifting your wheel up. Here's a pic of me riding over two of them. I don't do anything except for get my body low and relax my arms. The little girl in the pic behind me was also going over two.
    Look at your front tire it is almost fuly compressed...you are asking for a pinch flat....or alternatively with some smoother riding you could run much low pressure, without a pinch flat...and get more traction and a smoother faster more efficient ride.

  13. #13
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    faster you ride, the more you stay on top of the bumps... an ol motocross trick.

  14. #14
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    i ride at night alot
    the first time i was on this one trail and 2 seconds before i run over it i see a parking divider in the middle of the trail.
    very scary
    till i realized it was a 2 inch one for golf carts (i guess the trail bordered a golf course and we had ventured onto their trails)

    but all i was gonna say is that sometimes all u can do is hold on and hope for the best

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