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  1. #1
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    DJ Question from a 7 year old

    I built a dirt jump (along with a bunch of rollers and a log ride) for my son last weekend and we both tried it out. He wants to know how to stop his bike pitching forward when he jumps so he lands on his front wheel. I tried to show him how to pull back on the bars when he jumps but actually I have the same problem he does. So what do I tell him?

  2. #2
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    Have your weight either centered over the bike, or a bit further back than that. Maybe your jumps are a little too short(like how long is the kicker? how long is the landing?) Very short jumps that rise very quickly tend to give you more air, but also tend to kick the back end up higher than the front. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    It also helps to pull with all the body, instead of just the arms.
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  4. #4
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    Yes, it's not pulling with the arms, it's preloading off as you would in a bunny hop, but keeping your weight centered. If you pulled evenly and have your weight centered, the bike should be nice and level in the air.

  5. #5
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    So you basically kind of do a little bunny hop off the lip to get both wheels airborne simultaneously?

    The problem is that by the time his back wheel is leaving the jump the front wheel has already dropped quite a lot and the bike is rotating forwards.

    The jump is very small and ramp-like, not much of a kicker at all. The landing is flat as it's not high.

    He likes to do exercises so maybe I should get him to practise bunnyhopping over little obstacles? That's how he figured out wheelies.

  6. #6
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    One way to get the feel of having the bike level in the air is to come off of curbs and land flat. It's a small (introduction) action of pulling up to get both wheels parallel.

    Having mastered the bunny-hop, (but losing all but the memory), I have not gotten much from things I've read on "How to bunny-hop". Even when I got it down pat and would go back and re-read it didn't make sense to me. It is very hard to translate what you read on a page into the action. Watching, practicing and just figuring it out was my only way.
    bikes are art you ride

  7. #7
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    hey, bikebreath -- is that my Flickr buddy?

  8. #8
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    well what you can do is sorta "dig in" off the kicker, so push your weight into the pedals as your going off the jump and yank up.. hopefully thats explained right, but thats bascially it. It simply just takes practice, a little guts to pull up at first.

  9. #9
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    Like someone else said - being centered on the bike is the most important thing. Make sure he's standing not on his seat, and that his pedals are level.

    Also, it will help if he's riding a light bike - my son is riding a RedLine PitBoss - I think it's 16 lbs. Remember they are so light at this age and the bike are so small that strength isn't an issue.

    Here's a pic of my 7 year old hitting a table top jump a few weeks ago. He wasn't clearing it but had some good body position.

    If you have the room I would make rollers so he can learn the pumping motion (which IMO is really important to learn as a foundation). Also build a tabletop jump. I'd say a couple feet tall and maybe 3 foot top. Mellow transitions. It will be good thing to learn on.

    http://www.defconfour.com/movies/sto..._tabletop2.jpg

  10. #10
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    Oh yes...

    Yes, Pinkheadedbug, it's your Flickr pal/mtbr pal, both. I first used the handle "Bikebreath" many years ago, ('89?) here on mtbr. I was a fanatical mountain biker. I defined myself as a mountain biker. I was more obsessed than just fanatical, really.

    I was on Passion daily, posting one thing or another. I think 16 years of beating the hell out of me and the trails just started to get old. I rode 3-4 days a week and spent enough money to buy another house. I'm 56, so it's not like I'm still a kid. I run now, 3 days a week and commute on the bike one day a week. Still love bikes, just not obsessed anymore.
    bikes are art you ride

  11. #11
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    thanks for all the responses. I already built some rollers and we started building a tabletop but I am going to make the transition less steep. The problem with the original jump is definitely that it was too abrupt, and again we'll rebuilt that and see how it goes.

  12. #12
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    Glad to see it helped

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