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  1. #1
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    New question here. Hitting jumps, air control

    Howdy, I'm a noob. I guess I could have asked this in the beginners section, but I'd rather hear from people in my area.

    I got a bike from a friend. I hit Walker's Ranch for my first outing of any sort, and first time with clip-ins, and almost soiled myself a few times, but I learned a lot and came out just fine albeit a few bumps and bruises.

    I went to Valmont bike park yesterday after work. I live about half a mile from there. That place is so so sick! I had a great time, but I learned that I have no idea how to approach jumps. It all seems so simple, especially seeing others glide through the air with ease and total control... but it ain't

    I was just wondering if you all have any basic tips for approaching, riding off of, and landing jumps. Am I supposed to kind of spring off? Should I be concentrating on having enough speed that I can just ride off the lip without any jumping? I don't even know what questions to ask really... Does this just come down to practice and repetition? I always seem to be a little out of balance in mid air and coming down awkward.

  2. #2
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    I think the best way to learn how to jump is just baby steps. Pratice on something small and just work your way up. Pratice going off of curbs and such and find something alittle bigger and bigger and bigger etc. As you feel more confident you will be able to just look at a jump and know if you can make it or not and how fast you need to be going and such. But the only way to know that is to have done it a 100 times before. Atleast that is how I learned.

  3. #3
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    Tons of posts out there on this topic --- I'd recommend searching the DH/FR section. You may also consider this book: http://www.leelikesbikes.com/masteri...ls_2nd_edition very well written even for seasoned MTBers.

  4. #4
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    Don't put positive pressure on your handlebars for one.
    You need to learn body movement on your bike in a 3D environment. One of the best ways to do that is to hang out on a pump track or flow trail (Golden Bike Park, Valmont, etc). Go through it the first 50 times trying NOT to get air. See how fast you can go over 3D objects (tabletops, rollers) without getting air.... like AT ALL. Once you've mastered that, start pulling up.
    My best DJ lessons was not jumping, but learning how to move on the bike.
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  5. #5
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    The single biggest mistake most people make when they first start to jump is that they absorb most of the energy and there is little left for the jump. If you'll observe people who jump well, they take off on straight legs; the energy goes up with them. If you bend your legs and let them flex at the apex of the take off, it will rob you of majority of your flight.

    Pumping through the pump track will also help your muscles get in the rhythm of what needs to happen to jump well.

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  6. #6
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    Excellent tips brent and IE, thank you. I was working that pump track at Valmont yesterday, I'll try to concentrate on not getting air, I like that.

    edenger, I figured this is something that has been discussed in the past. I actually tried searching the forum before I posted but had difficulty getting what I was looking for. The keyword "jump" is kind of ambiguous and gets a lot of hits. I'd be very appreciative if you could link some of the posts you speak of.

  7. #7
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    oh, and please learn to jump without clipless pedals.
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  8. #8
    Oh, So Interesting!
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    Check out the Fluidride vid "Like a Pro", it's a good skills vid.

    But as brent said, it just takes a lot of practice...

  9. #9
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    learn how to pump on the pumptrack, jumping is all about pumping
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113 View Post
    Check out the Fluidride vid "Like a Pro", it's a good skills vid
    +1 Great video which helps to cover some of the basics on getting comfortable. I am no where near an expert but a few quick tips which helped me- of course seat low as possible. Elbows out and bent (I sometimes wave them up and down like chicken wings while I hold the bars making my approach just to remind my self to keep them loose). Shoulders relaxed and not tensed up. One of the best parts of the video is they talk about 4's. Its not all legs or all arms, but a balance of both.

    I also recommend learning to jump on platform pedals. This way you get a true feel for what the bike is doing bellow you. Hit the smallest jumps over and over until you feel you start getting some air control of the bike even for a brief second. Then move up. I have numerous scars from being eager on trying move up too quick

  11. #11
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    another huge tip is to incorporate some sort of "trick" into your jump, it sounds wierd, but do something: bar hump, bar turn, slamin salmon, slight table. If you dont do "something" then you tend to get into whats called a dead sailor which is a goofy body position where you are at the mercy of the bike and you WILL crash...not everytime...but it will and happen and it is unpleasant.

    that and take off the clips
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  12. #12
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    I totally agree with jurichar.

    A little tweak or whip in the air is great for control. I dont think I learned this until a year or two after getting into freeride but it especially helps once you start getting into big hits of 20+ feet.

    Basically, by tweaking your bike in the air you're making the bike move that way, instead of letting the bike (or you) move someway unexpectedly.

  13. #13
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    youtube has some good tutorials.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FJDan View Post
    I totally agree with jurichar.
    Yep, the Fluidride DVD talks about that a lot too. Here are some short clips by the Fluidride guys to give you a taste of what the DVD covers:
    http://declinemagazine.com/visuals/fluidride/archive/

  15. #15
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    All great stuff. That video looks really cool too.

    I went back to the park yesterday. I did what IE recommended and hit the pump track and other trails at high speeds trying NOT to get air. It was extremely helpful for getting the feel of how the bike loads under me without worrying about "launching" off, or how I would land. After getting real comfortable with that I noticed that I was able to get small amounts of air without changing much of what I was doing at all and just adding the slightest bounce at the right monent, but more imprortantly, I was in complete control in the air and on the landing without even thinking about it.

    I will be going back Friday after work and will employ some of these other tips. Thanks fellas.

    Oh, and yeah, I haven't been using the clipless pedals at the park

  16. #16
    killin clear creek
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    Interesting to hear other people say it's easier to stay "on" when doing a little poke, whip, or whatever, I thought it was just cause I have horrid balance!!! I found that a little poke of the rear tire or a whip makes a huge difference for me on the bigger hits where you've got time to fade from a good position... to where you don't want to be!

    It takes me a while each spring to realize I can't use my damn brakes to bring my front wheel down... kinda funny how stupid I feel each time I get back to jumping each year!!
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    How about we take the "let it burn approach" with the rotting cesspool of the Denver metro?

  17. #17
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    Oh, one last note, wear pads and a full face helmet. Its a lot easier to crash on those. I wear shin/knee and elbow pads. I look goofy, but so does my dirt jumping.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure View Post
    Oh, one last note, wear pads and a full face helmet. Its a lot easier to crash on those. I wear shin/knee and elbow pads. I look goofy, but so does my dirt jumping.
    I've seen your trials vids, you don't need armor.

  19. #19
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    I've been considering pulling out some of my moto gear for Valmont but I don't want to wear that helmet. Are the bike specific full face helmets lighter than the moto counterparts?

    I probably should wear the Leatt though and I think will before I tackle any of the XL lines at Valmont.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jurichar View Post
    another huge tip is to incorporate some sort of "trick" into your jump, it sounds wierd, but do something: bar hump, bar turn, slamin salmon, slight table.
    I must know what the last two are.

    I know about the dead sailor, or the gooner. Got that one in the bag.

    Good info. I can clear lots of stuff at winter park but for some reason cannot clean that step-up ramp on BeAllUCanBe. I dont feel like speed is my issue either. Any advice for that one?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvenFlow View Post
    I must know what the last two are.

    I know about the dead sailor, or the gooner. Got that one in the bag.

    Good info. I can clear lots of stuff at winter park but for some reason cannot clean that step-up ramp on BeAllUCanBe. I dont feel like speed is my issue either. Any advice for that one?
    48 seconds into this video the slamin salmon will be yours!

    and a "slight table" means just try to flatten your bike out a bit. Below is your goal:


    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_g0YuboCNUU...0/anthill0.jpg

    as far as the step up on be all you can b, i dont think its actually possible to land all the way down into that berm. landing on the flat deck is pretty much par for the course
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  22. #22
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    Yes you can buy a fullface moto like helmet that is lighter and geared toward biking. theclymb.com is having a legit sale on 661 helmets and pads right now. You have to sign up for it but the deals are crazy on 661 stuff right now, just ordered a new fullface and xc helmet.

    On jumping, all of the above is good advice. Most people do make the mistake of just hitting the jump and doing nothing, this will usually throw you and you will crash. The most important part of going off jumps is popping. This is hard to explain and it involves precise integration of several movements. A good way to learn is to watch, no kidding. Full or partial suspension bikes complicate things but you want to load your springs/legs and then extend near the very end of the jump.

  23. #23
    Fast, not that fast
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    Quote Originally Posted by jurichar View Post
    48 seconds into this video the slamin salmon will be yours!

    and a "slight table" means just try to flatten your bike out a bit. Below is your goal:


    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_g0YuboCNUU...0/anthill0.jpg

    as far as the step up on be all you can b, i dont think its actually possible to land all the way down into that berm. landing on the flat deck is pretty much par for the course
    Ha, I think I can actually learn that one.

    I'm not even talking about landing on the berm, I'm talking about just landing on the deck. I mean I can sorta land on it, I dont totally dork it, I can hit it, land it and ride away...but i'm still basically casing it all the time. I want to land cleanly on the deck.

  24. #24
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    go fast. I find it easier to clear, instead of pump that mini gap jump at the top of the run in like most people. Pedal hard out of the upper berm, then hammer the upper mini gap and land halfway down the tranny, 2 pedal strokes in a hard gear and hold on
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  25. #25
    Fast, not that fast
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    Word, I'll try hitting it faster. I always felt like my speed is there, I get the last two pedal strokes in just before the hang-on part but I'll try picking it up on the upper stuff. I do take that upper berm a little lazy and pump the double but I'll try for faster next time. Do people usually land flat on the drop air just before the last two pedal strokes into the ramp or do they pump it? I can hardly pump that cause I feel like I'm carrying so much speed. Sorry for any thread jacking just trying to figure that hit out. Trivial stuff but it's driving me crazy.

    I'm trying to whip better but can never manage more than the rear wheel stab thing or a handlebar pump..Also driving me crazy.

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