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  1. #1
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    How to approach a jump

    Hey guys, I was wondering what is the best position to put my body in when approaching a steep jump. Whenever I hit a steep jump I don't feel loose and I do not get that much air. I have no probs on any other type of jump just the really steep ones get me. Any advice?
    Just take off the silver part you'll still have the pretty anodized partion, and you'll ride much faster. As fast as a 29er!

  2. #2
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    I'm no expert but ill give you my experiences on jumping.

    When I started mtb I used to just go over all jumps with no preparation. Basically I used to stiffen up nervously and hit the jump and basically pray I would somehow land ok. Obviously not good.

    After I learned to bunny hop i used to try do that on jumps. Pull up on the bars and then kind of lift the back a bit on the lip. This worked better than praying but still wasn't great. Sometimes the back would buck or I would lift the handlebars too hard. So in air balance really wasn't great and I had no idea which wheel was going to land first.


    Finally the best method I learned was to stay really loose, crouched, with chest forward. When you enter the ramp you then push the bike down and forward into the face of the ramp. This compresses the bike and when it gets to the lip it should want to pop now. At this point you can relax and straighten out a bit for a small lift or stand tall and really unload your weight from both the pedals and handlebars to really pop off the lip.

    Again I'm no expert but one thing that frustrated me about mtb was that no one could clearly explain anything to me. Lots of people would say I sucked at something but then be unable to explain what I can do better to fix it. Watch me would be the answer but watching someone else is not easy when they can't explain what they doing because they just do it subconsciously.

  3. #3
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    Yeah. Thanks man. Good tip. Ill remember that. I can hit the not so steep ones and get good air and preload good but the steeps get to me haha. But I think what you said will help alot
    Just take off the silver part you'll still have the pretty anodized partion, and you'll ride much faster. As fast as a 29er!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonjm View Post
    I'm no expert but ill give you my experiences on jumping.
    I think that it would be very difficult to top jasonjm's response. Confidence is obviously key but not enough can be said about staying loose. I do not consider myself an expert either and am more into the downhill and technical terrain than the FR but as with anything else it will take a lot of practice until you feel comfortable yourself.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakester29959 View Post
    Yeah. Thanks man. Good tip. Ill remember that. I can hit the not so steep ones and get good air and preload good but the steeps get to me haha. But I think what you said will help alot
    its hard because the jumps that are either have long ramps or are not steep you actually are in theory almost "riding off".
    the suspension gets time to fully decompress by itself or doesn't compress at all, so you can just relax and ride off like its part of the trail.

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    now compare this to a very short take off ramp, or a very steep lip, or even a not so steep ramp, but one that you hit coming in hot. When you hit these the bike suddenly has a huge change in direction. Full suspension bikes especially are going to fight you here, because they are DESIGNED to soak up the hit.

    so what happens if you do nothing?

    A) the fork compresses as you go up the short ramp, or the steep lip.
    B) this throws your weight off, most likely forward on the bike, at the very least bracing hard on the handlebars
    C) now the rear doesn't have a lot of weight on it, so the the shock doesnt compress nearly as much as the fork did, and the bike now tries to "buck" on the jump because the rear wheel has a much easier / less weighted time riding up the face of the ramp.

    so at this point you are either going over the bars, or you are going to be all screwed up in the air fighting a bike that has just randomly kicked you into the air depending on how fast you came in, how much rebound your shocks have and how steep the lip was.

    Again I am no expert but having watching tons of riders at 120fps to 240fps and doing a lot of these jumps in the last year, the only way to do these kinds of jumps is to take the control of the bike back from the jump and into your hands.

    and the only way to do this especially on a full suspension bike is to load the bike down and pretty much 45 degrees into the face of the ramp.

    its not a massive aggressive move though its subtle and well timed, and relaxed.

    when you do it right you can just feel that the bike and your body WANTS to leave the ramp, and that's when you can stand aggressively and just pop for air.

    if the bike doesnt feel like it wants to jump because your didnt load it, if you stand aggressively for big air you are just going to literally go flying off the bike (I did that plenty).

    A very good indication that you are not pre-loading well is when you jump often a foot comes off the pedal or you feel like your feet want to come off the pedals.

    Hope I am helping, again I am no expert, but I am a very good at observation (IMO).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonjm View Post
    its hard because the jumps that are either have long ramps or are not steep you actually are in theory almost "riding off".
    the suspension gets time to fully decompress by itself or doesn't compress at all, so you can just relax and ride off like its part of the trail.

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    now compare this to a very short take off ramp, or a very steep lip, or even a not so steep ramp, but one that you hit coming in hot. When you hit these the bike suddenly has a huge change in direction. Full suspension bikes especially are going to fight you here, because they are DESIGNED to soak up the hit.

    so what happens if you do nothing?

    A) the fork compresses as you go up the short ramp, or the steep lip.
    B) this throws your weight off, most likely forward on the bike, at the very least bracing hard on the handlebars
    C) now the rear doesn't have a lot of weight on it, so the the shock doesnt compress nearly as much as the fork did, and the bike now tries to "buck" on the jump because the rear wheel has a much easier / less weighted time riding up the face of the ramp.

    so at this point you are either going over the bars, or you are going to be all screwed up in the air fighting a bike that has just randomly kicked you into the air depending on how fast you came in, how much rebound your shocks have and how steep the lip was.

    Again I am no expert but having watching tons of riders at 120fps to 240fps and doing a lot of these jumps in the last year, the only way to do these kinds of jumps is to take the control of the bike back from the jump and into your hands.

    and the only way to do this especially on a full suspension bike is to load the bike down and pretty much 45 degrees into the face of the ramp.

    its not a massive aggressive move though its subtle and well timed, and relaxed.

    when you do it right you can just feel that the bike and your body WANTS to leave the ramp, and that's when you can stand aggressively and just pop for air.

    if the bike doesnt feel like it wants to jump because your didnt load it, if you stand aggressively for big air you are just going to literally go flying off the bike (I did that plenty).

    A very good indication that you are not pre-loading well is when you jump often a foot comes off the pedal or you feel like your feet want to come off the pedals.

    Hope I am helping, again I am no expert, but I am a very good at observation (IMO).
    OMG... you nailed my last dead-sailor experience to a T. Good explanation, Jason.

  7. #7
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    BTW, I haven't really done it yet but I watched a couple of other guys hit the same lip I dead-sailored on, and in their case, they had seem to be up on the bars during take off (which makes sense, since the center of the bike on a lippy take-off moves your body way forward). At the apex of the flight arc, they seem to push the bike down and point it towards the tranny.

    I haven't balled up to that jump since so I don't know if "pulling the bar" at take-off would work.

  8. #8
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    When you have a good lip, you press off of it just like a bunny hop. Front tire, then rear tire, you just have to do it off the face of the jump so it feels weird. You end up leaning back a bit to do it. You have to ride the ramp up then push off.

  9. #9
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    no it doesn't if you concentrate on pulling up on the bar you will screw up. Once you are balanced in the air pushing down on the bars to land is actually easy.

    you have to start by pushing down into the ramp

    that's what makes this whole thing so counter-intuitive - its like going left to go right.

    if you push down into the ramp, when you get to the lip the bike will be pushing up into you when you get to the lip. This is the point that you can start pulling up on the handlebars and pedals, because the bike is moving up into you. even then you don't really pull up, you more stand and extend

    if you just try pulling up you will get into trouble, trust me. I spent 100s of jumps just pulling up and couldn't understand what was randomly going wrong.

    take a look at this guy, he definitely knows what he is doing (no way to doubt he is an expert).

    go to 1 minute 18

    you can CLEARLY see him loading into the jump - which really is not a very big jump either.

    Mountain Bike - Jumping Downhill - YouTube

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ron m. View Post
    BTW, I haven't really done it yet but I watched a couple of other guys hit the same lip I dead-sailored on, and in their case, they had seem to be up on the bars during take off (which makes sense, since the center of the bike on a lippy take-off moves your body way forward). At the apex of the flight arc, they seem to push the bike down and point it towards the tranny.

    I haven't balled up to that jump since so I don't know if "pulling the bar" at take-off would work.
    "Bar humping" actually helps out to correct or level the flight path of your bike. It looks fugly but, it will help you loosen up or get you on the receiver in a jump you are not used to.

    Folangag

  11. #11
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    Great! Thanks for these tips, and advices. Now just need go practice over and over.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the help guys. Only problem is I have to wait for winter to be over before I can ride
    Just take off the silver part you'll still have the pretty anodized partion, and you'll ride much faster. As fast as a 29er!

  13. #13
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    The jumping tips are very descriptive... Thank you Jasonjm
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonjm View Post
    no it doesn't if you concentrate on pulling up on the bar you will screw up. Once you are balanced in the air pushing down on the bars to land is actually easy.

    you have to start by pushing down into the ramp

    that's what makes this whole thing so counter-intuitive - its like going left to go right.

    if you push down into the ramp, when you get to the lip the bike will be pushing up into you when you get to the lip. This is the point that you can start pulling up on the handlebars and pedals, because the bike is moving up into you. even then you don't really pull up, you more stand and extend

    if you just try pulling up you will get into trouble, trust me. I spent 100s of jumps just pulling up and couldn't understand what was randomly going wrong.

    take a look at this guy, he definitely knows what he is doing (no way to doubt he is an expert).

    go to 1 minute 18

    you can CLEARLY see him loading into the jump - which really is not a very big jump either.

    Mountain Bike - Jumping Downhill - YouTube
    hah!

    and if you go to 1 minute 38 you can clearly see someone do two sucky attempts, no loading whatsoever, almost over the bars on the bad landing into gap.

    gotta say, i have done a lot of sports, including some pretty difficult ones (like hangliding), and mountain biking has by far the least and the worst instruction out of any sport I have ever done, by a mile.

    probably one of the best videos on the internet, you can compare greg minaar doing it right to average joe screwing it up (and that was definitely me when I started jumping, I could have been the star of 1 minute 38).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonjm View Post
    no it doesn't if you concentrate on pulling up on the bar you will screw up. Once you are balanced in the air pushing down on the bars to land is actually easy.

    you have to start by pushing down into the ramp

    that's what makes this whole thing so counter-intuitive - its like going left to go right.

    if you push down into the ramp, when you get to the lip the bike will be pushing up into you when you get to the lip. This is the point that you can start pulling up on the handlebars and pedals, because the bike is moving up into you. even then you don't really pull up, you more stand and extend

    if you just try pulling up you will get into trouble, trust me. I spent 100s of jumps just pulling up and couldn't understand what was randomly going wrong.

    take a look at this guy, he definitely knows what he is doing (no way to doubt he is an expert).

    go to 1 minute 18

    you can CLEARLY see him loading into the jump - which really is not a very big jump either.

    Mountain Bike - Jumping Downhill - YouTube
    Whoa, Minnaar on a Honda...classic video!

  16. #16
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    to all who are still confused about what is going on in that video I posted, watch carefully at 1 minute 18

    its EXACTLY like I said

    look at his fork

    he compresses it almost fully before he is even starting up the ramp, its fully compressed the split second he is heading up the bottom of the ramp

    why does he do this?

    because now the only thing the bike can do is decompress, so instead of his fork and shock fighting him on the jump they are going to help him now, buy boosting him off the lip (in this case he also stands tall to get even more air).

    you can clearly see the first thing he does is get low and compress into the ramp

    he does NOT pull up on the bars first

    the steeper the ramp or lip, the more aggressively forward you need to be. Again its counter intuitive, you would think be back on a steep ramp? no, you gotta be more forward.

    In my mind when I hit the jump I think chin above stem. definitely in the air you should be thinking chin above the stem. in reality you are probably never really quite that far forward on the bike, but it helps thinking like that.

  17. #17
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    the only thing that matters is that you go full speed and close your eyes.

  18. #18
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    Watch Girl Flies Into Lake Off Bike Jump Video | Break.com

    here is full speed, not sure if her eyes were closed

    but she definitely gets style points

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonjm View Post
    Watch Girl Flies Into Lake Off Bike Jump Video | Break.com

    here is full speed, not sure if her eyes were closed

    but she definitely gets style points
    Like a boss!
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  20. #20
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    it's all about pumping the transition. the steeper the lip the harder you should be pumping. what clicked for me was being able to start generating speed on a pump track just from pumping. Jumping is the exact same feeling as pumping but with some hang time in the middle. the other thing that helped me was to stay loose, keep most of my body weight on the pedals, and pump aggressively, really push that bike down into the ground.

  21. #21
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    Lots of practice
    Last edited by aedubber; 01-12-2013 at 06:28 AM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by aedubber View Post
    Lots of practice

    Wurd. Muscle memory.
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    yeah of course a lot of practice

    but as in any sport, if you practice the wrong technique, all you are doing is reinforcing how to do it wrong

    then if you ever get to the point where you try learn the right way it may be extra difficult because now you have tons of experience doing it the wrong way.

    better to start practicing the right way from the start even if its harder initially.

  24. #24
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    Subscribed as im learning! One of my issues is landing as well! I tend to get all squirly! Probably stiffing up too much bracing for the landing!?

  25. #25
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    It would be great posting videos, makes it easier for us to debate on the issue at hand.
    Folangag

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    Def hittin the jump the right way is good to know

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    1. this video is not showing a steep jump at all

    2. on a steep jump you SHOULDN'T be aggressively on your front - this is the same on a bike, skateboard, whatever. You should be balanced on approach, and if you manage to stay loose the bike will kind of tell you where the body needs to be. Don't try to force this to get on the front. Yes, you need to pump / push off / stand up from the lip but don't go up the steep trying to be aggressively on the front. Don't lean back either, unless you are going for a backflip.

  28. #28
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    an old picture, but stay loose (your limbs not your grip) on the bike and balanced and in control when you go off.


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    ^^^ Awesome!

    Yes, I am no expert myself but you seem to be and that picture illustrates perfectly what I was trying to convey:
    one needs to be balanced and listen to the bike for the steep portion, not try to get aggro on the front

  30. #30
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    Yeah, that Minaar video is more like an advanced technique. It's more of a "scrub", and a whip. I have the dvd, and it didn't work for me when I was still learning (and learning still). Try doing that when you are still learning, you'll probably end up on your back facing the sky.

    As Ustemuf said, just be loose.

    A little vid from my practice jump.

    Practice jump - YouTube
    Folangag

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    ^ man, hate to be a dick but here goes: I know you have a helmet - wear it

  32. #32
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    I would have, but my headphones won't fit.
    Folangag

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by lernr View Post
    ^ man, hate to be a dick but here goes: I know you have a helmet - wear it
    +1000

  34. #34
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    I got a question, most jumps are built cool.

    But once in a while I come across a jump (always a larger one, 15 foot + air time) where the takeoff and landing really don't match up - like a mellow take off ramp onto a steep as hell slope.

    So on those ones I come in rear wheel landing first which I hate (even pushing down on the handlebars and tucking my the rear under my butt doesn't make up for it).

    Whats the correct technique for this type of jump, being weighted forward on the bike on take off so your nose will drop more aggressively than normal? or tapping rear brake in mid flight to bring nose down?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbluecai View Post
    Wurd. Muscle memory.
    That's a good way of putting it!

    Muscle memory is actually the memories stored in the brain that are much like an accumulation of all the details of the muscle movements and thinking that is required when doing something like "jumping". It's a procedural memory that guides the rider to become very good at something through repetition, but in exactly the same way it can make the rider absolutely terrible at that same thing.

    So it makes sense to practice but to practice proper technique. (I'm still learning and I appreciate threads like this)
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  36. #36
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    Go to the pump track. Keep the bike from eating up the lip. Like other have said the vike want to soften the ramp. Preloading and letting the bike move into you untill the lip keeps you speed control.. eat your speed the pump track is very simaler. Dont let the suspeshion eat you speed and dont lwt you weight fight the ramp

  37. #37
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    Here's a little comparo from today. My buddy is having problems staying stiff in the air.



    May be subtle, but I'm a little lower on the bike. Let the bike come up to you, and push it down to the landing.


    This one shows it a little better.

  38. #38

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakester29959 View Post
    Thanks for the help guys. Only problem is I have to wait for winter to be over before I can ride
    Roadtrip to Cleveland & ride at Ray's MTB

    Jumps out the wazoo . . . No freezing involved.

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/oBm7_DplcWo?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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  40. #40
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    i wish i had the patience to type out a descriptive response. most of the ones already given here make me laugh...


  41. #41
    brake later, pedal sooner
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    if you're having problems, drink two beers then hit the jump.

  42. #42
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    Ustemuf I'm to young to drink haha
    Just take off the silver part you'll still have the pretty anodized partion, and you'll ride much faster. As fast as a 29er!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakester29959 View Post
    Ustemuf I'm to young to drink haha
    blasphemy...


  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ustemuf View Post
    if you're having problems, drink two beers then hit the jump.
    Guess now I know why I always find empties at the top of the freeride trails around here.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    subscribed.

    I picked up a DJ bike to work on my jumps, but it definitely doesn't translate how to jump something that's a longer travel full suspension (6" or 8"), but it helps get the basics of the jumping and bike handling.

    Much harder to jump a bike with suspension, so I'm curious about the differences. That, and the cool videos
    I bought a DJ to work on jumps as well, jumping might be harder on a FS but the landings sure are easier. Getting bucked off casing a landing on a DJ is super sketchy. Anyone else find FS jumping more confidence inspiring as well?

    Also ^^^^ on the Hastings jump up ther, that lip is even more vertical than the pic shows

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoban View Post
    Here's a little comparo from today. My buddy is having problems staying stiff in the air.



    May be subtle, but I'm a little lower on the bike. Let the bike come up to you, and push it down to the landing.


    This one shows it a little better.
    Blackrock Stimulator jump!

    I think I have hit that thing 40 times and I'm still sucking at it. But it's a really a great one to practice on.
    "Let the wheels spin."

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