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  1. #1
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    Correcting bad technique

    Hi there. Long time listener, first time caller.

    My problem is that I'm a stupid idiot, and when I jump I tend to pull up on the pedals sometimes. This often results in me slipping the right pedal (and only the right one for some reason), and bashing the living sh!t out of my shin upon landing.

    I'm hoping there's someone on here who has had similar bad habits, and could maybe share some effective ways to break them, before they break my shins.

  2. #2
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    Flats or clipless?

    If clipless, could you tighten them up a little?

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    Last edited by Finch Platte; 10-07-2018 at 04:23 AM. Reason: Coont speel wirth aye danm
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  3. #3
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    Flats, which result in many scars. Not really interested in switching to clipless, as that seems like a solution to the symptom rather than the cause.

  4. #4
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    Shin guards would help until learn to avoid the bear claws. Even when you get better it'll probably still happen sometimes.
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  5. #5
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    What pedals?
    What shoes?

    First suggestion would be fresh pins and 5.10 shoes.

    Next would be to work on scoop technique with feet when jumping. You should be able to lift the back.

    Finally: get shin guards.

  6. #6
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    Shoes and pedals can help a ton but probably won't fix your particular problem. Picking your feet up like that sounds like you aren't getting a proper hop. You're just lobbing yourself off of something.

    I'd say start from the ground up. A lot of the time bad form stems from not having the basics down to near perfection. Start with practicing manuals. Don't need to find the balance point, just getting the front tire in the air. Then practice bunny hops which start with the motion for a manual. After you are very comfortable with a solid bunny hop then apply it on jumps and drops. The bike will come up with you rather than just falling out from under you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinjured View Post
    Flats, which result in many scars. Not really interested in switching to clipless, as that seems like a solution to the symptom rather than the cause.
    If you really think about it, its a solution to that entire problem, including the cause.

    Everyone, including pro level racers at the top of their game, will occasionally slip and hit a shin if they use flats. Flats are the cause, letting your technique slip when you're tired or for any reason is a given.

    Heels down, keep practicing, it happens. Clipless solves it for good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Shoes and pedals can help a ton but probably won't fix your particular problem. Picking your feet up like that sounds like you aren't getting a proper hop. You're just lobbing yourself off of something.

    I'd say start from the ground up. A lot of the time bad form stems from not having the basics down to near perfection. Start with practicing manuals. Don't need to find the balance point, just getting the front tire in the air. Then practice bunny hops which start with the motion for a manual. After you are very comfortable with a solid bunny hop then apply it on jumps and drops. The bike will come up with you rather than just falling out from under you.
    Yes, start with basics and fundamentals. Don't start with manuals and bunny hops; start with front and rear wheel lifts. Then level lifts. Then manuals and then bunny hops.

    Once you learn the "scoop" or "claw" to get that back tire up and stay connected, you'll be much more comfortable "pulling up on the pedals".

  9. #9
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    Having ridden clipless for nearly 20 years and switching to flats a couple of years ago, I find flats require much more skill than clipless. It took a lot of time and shin bashing to learn how to keep my feet on the pedals after 20 years of not having to. You can watch dirt jumpers, free riders, and even some EWS and DH pros and see it's certainly possible. I also rode motos years ago and of course you can see motos do all sorts of jumps and tricks without being clipped in.
    Do the math.

  10. #10
    WillWorkForTrail
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    The best way to correct bad technique is to focus on it, practice doing it the right way, and be deliberate about it. If you do it right often enough, it will become habit, automatic, muscle memory, what ever you want to call it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
    Shoes and pedals can help a ton but probably won't fix your particular problem. Picking your feet up like that sounds like you aren't getting a proper hop. You're just lobbing yourself off of something.

    This. You don't need fivetens or even pins in your pedals. If you know what you're doing you could hop and jump with plastic walmart pedals. You don't even need your feet on the pedals. For a 'no-footer' your feet leave the pedals before the apex and you can still get you feet back on and match the wheels to the angle of the landing. You don't need to 'lift' with your feet. Get the pump/row down and your feet will take care of themselves.

  12. #12
    the discerning hooligan
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    I'll echo the advice about wearing protection and proper grippy shoes. Fajita Dave is right about fundamentals to get the bike to pop. It sounds to me that OP is just a little late...can't get the energy from the ground after you've left the ground.

    I'll also add that the bike had a TON to do with it. If the bike is set up to crush rock gardens at speed on the trail rides it's also set up to come off the jumps dead. If the rebound is that slow, the bike just doesn't come back to you fast enough and you'll jump right off the pedals...it's more about speed than technique in that case.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    You don't need fivetens or even pins in your pedals.

    I agree, if anything practice with cheap pedals and slick bottomed shoes.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I agree, if anything practice with cheap pedals and slick bottomed shoes.
    With good technique, it wouldn't matter.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    I'll echo the advice about wearing protection and proper grippy shoes. Fajita Dave is right about fundamentals to get the bike to pop. It sounds to me that OP is just a little late...can't get the energy from the ground after you've left the ground.

    I'll also add that the bike had a TON to do with it. If the bike is set up to crush rock gardens at speed on the trail rides it's also set up to come off the jumps dead. If the rebound is that slow, the bike just doesn't come back to you fast enough and you'll jump right off the pedals...it's more about speed than technique in that case.
    Huh? I disagree, its still technique. There's plenty people who can jump 6+ inch DH bikes and stay on the pedals. You might have to adjust timing and technique, but you can stay on pedals fine.

    See if you can get someone to video you and watch it. Seeing yourself from third person perspective can be pretty revealing.

  16. #16
    the discerning hooligan
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    Quote Originally Posted by root View Post
    Huh? I disagree, its still technique. .

    Yes...technique...I think his timing is off. The videos from Fluidride are pretty good about breaking down how to jump the bike better. And yes, lots off people can stay on their big bike fine, but if you've tuned your suspension so it won't buck you off in the rocks, you've also tuned it to return less energy off the jumps. It might be helpful for a rider learning to jump better to understand that.
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  17. #17
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    Full suspension does throw some variables into the mix. Best to learn on a hardtail or BMX bike. With full suspension your timing needs to work with the suspension setup. Also if you pre-load the suspension before a hop different than the last one you'll get a slightly different result which isn't good for someone learning. Technique remains more or less the same either way.

  18. #18
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    Yep. Its all in the bunny hop technique to keep your feet locked on the pedals. Its hard to explain. Kinda push back on the pedal and push forward on the bar locks your feet in.

    Obviously have a good pedal/shoe combo.

    That said technique is everything. I have shitty ebay pedals and random skate shoes. Neither are awesome. But i haven's bashed my shins in years and i ride some heckteck shit.

  19. #19
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    I practiced bunnyhopping last night with clipless pedals and crocks. No cleats on the crocks.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinjured View Post
    Flats, which result in many scars. Not really interested in switching to clipless, as that seems like a solution to the symptom rather than the cause.
    Houston, I think we’ve solved the problem.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  21. #21
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    the thing that helped me learn to keep my feet on the pedals the most was getting just the rear tire off the ground...like the beginning of a nose manual in BMX...we used to do what were called (and still might be) "Curb endos", where you run up to a curb, and hit it, and then tip the back end up and try to balance just on the front tire. Currently, as I am trying to learn fakies on BMX, I do the same thing to start the backwards motion

    and I feel that learning on a BMX or rigid/hardtail is definitely a better idea. Learn the "theme"...and then full sus is a variation on the theme.

    Back in the day, when I weighed less, feared less, and jumped and hopped way higher, I only remember getting pedal strikes after a landing...like if I lost control due to bad surface on the landing, or used my brakes too quickly. it was never before or during a jump
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shinjured View Post
    and when I jump I tend to pull up on the pedals sometimes.
    Obviously you can't do anything to get more in the air after you have left the ground. The first points of technique happen when the wheels are on the ground.

    The wheels leaving the ground happens in sequence. Front wheel launches first. Rear wheel launches second. There are key bits of technique for what you do up to front wheel launching and what you do in between front wheel launching and rear wheel launching.

    Timing is key.

    If you get timing wrong a number of things can happen; the most scary for me is a dead sailor with the front wheel dropping and the rear wheel getting kicked over the top ejecting you out of the front door. Deeply unpleasant and you can see it weekly in "fails" videos. This happens because the front wheel leaves the ground first but the rear wheel is still in contact with the ground. If you haven't done something dynamic to keep the bike's attitude stable, this dead sailor experience will be coming to get you.

    To get in the air you are pushing the ground away from you. First you push through both wheels; then Option A (pop) you push just through the rear wheel after the front has launched. Option B is to suck up the kick of the jump as the rear wheel is riding up the lip. Most people's safety valve is a subconscious desire to not crash. Whether we think we're doing it or not, we tend to suck up the lip of a jump as our rear wheel is still in contact with the ground. This becomes more difficult to achieve as jump face become more energetic (have more compression).

    Thus Option A is the key piece to actually getting in the air on your own terms. The build up of force of a sack of potatoes through the pedals is in front of the rear wheel so it will cause the front end nosedive, rear end rotation. Properly executing option A means something akin to a dynamic move very much like a manual. This is where your legs push through underneath and there will be pull on the bars that you resist with your weight and positioning rather than with the muscles of your arms. With this approach you're not really launching the bike level - you're launching it upwards. The bike comes up underneath you and you nose into the landing.

    All tricky stuff.

    Most people never get there so don't feel bad. So where most intermediate jumpers plateau is in a place where you get safety by a bit of Option B and some variations.

    With full suspension, you can pre-compress both ends of the bike and then rely on the suspension launching the rear of the bike as the front wheel leaves the ramp - a lot of plateaued intermediates do this. In slow mo, you will see the rear lifting off the ground early, nowhere near the lip of the jump. This always robs you of airtime, pop and distance but will be safe until you significantly case the landing on something with consequences.

    Hardtails are less forgiving - there is nothing that is going to push that rear wheel into the air apart from technique.

    Option C is to restrict yourself to safe jumps. These are jumps which don't have much compression into the lip and where you can add speed to mask other problems. Big. Smooth. Ramps.

    So all jumps are different. Starting from the beginning you need to find safe ways to get yourself feeling your way into the air, as described above - there will be plenty going on with your landings, visualisation and confidence for this to keep you busy for a good while. You need to build your skills on multiple jump shapes to get an idea for how to cope with anything you might face. Practice is your friend.

    To break through from plateaued intermediate technique you need to work on Option A skills. Hardtail jumping will give you fewer places to hide. Full suspension will make the timing different but the objective of Option A is the same.

    Hope this helps.

    The point regarding your feet and pedals is that when the bike and you launch "as one", the pedals will magically remain under your feet. As you push through and nose the bike down to its landing, this also tends to keep feet and pedals in contact. As others have said, there is interaction between what you're doing with the bars and what you're feeling under your feet. Again, building up safely and practicing will help you develop this feel.

  23. #23
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    while all of this post is great points to take in, I really love the idea of "pushing the ground away from you"....gonna try that mentality next time I am at the skatepark with my BMX....and on the trails too, but around here, we don't have as many options for that on the trails

    Quote Originally Posted by petercarm View Post
    Obviously you can't do anything to get more in the air after you have left the ground. The first points of technique happen when the wheels are on the ground.

    The wheels leaving the ground happens in sequence. Front wheel launches first. Rear wheel launches second. There are key bits of technique for what you do up to front wheel launching and what you do in between front wheel launching and rear wheel launching.

    Timing is key.

    If you get timing wrong a number of things can happen; the most scary for me is a dead sailor with the front wheel dropping and the rear wheel getting kicked over the top ejecting you out of the front door. Deeply unpleasant and you can see it weekly in "fails" videos. This happens because the front wheel leaves the ground first but the rear wheel is still in contact with the ground. If you haven't done something dynamic to keep the bike's attitude stable, this dead sailor experience will be coming to get you.

    To get in the air you are pushing the ground away from you. First you push through both wheels; then Option A (pop) you push just through the rear wheel after the front has launched. Option B is to suck up the kick of the jump as the rear wheel is riding up the lip. Most people's safety valve is a subconscious desire to not crash. Whether we think we're doing it or not, we tend to suck up the lip of a jump as our rear wheel is still in contact with the ground. This becomes more difficult to achieve as jump face become more energetic (have more compression).

    Thus Option A is the key piece to actually getting in the air on your own terms. The build up of force of a sack of potatoes through the pedals is in front of the rear wheel so it will cause the front end nosedive, rear end rotation. Properly executing option A means something akin to a dynamic move very much like a manual. This is where your legs push through underneath and there will be pull on the bars that you resist with your weight and positioning rather than with the muscles of your arms. With this approach you're not really launching the bike level - you're launching it upwards. The bike comes up underneath you and you nose into the landing.

    All tricky stuff.

    Most people never get there so don't feel bad. So where most intermediate jumpers plateau is in a place where you get safety by a bit of Option B and some variations.

    With full suspension, you can pre-compress both ends of the bike and then rely on the suspension launching the rear of the bike as the front wheel leaves the ramp - a lot of plateaued intermediates do this. In slow mo, you will see the rear lifting off the ground early, nowhere near the lip of the jump. This always robs you of airtime, pop and distance but will be safe until you significantly case the landing on something with consequences.

    Hardtails are less forgiving - there is nothing that is going to push that rear wheel into the air apart from technique.

    Option C is to restrict yourself to safe jumps. These are jumps which don't have much compression into the lip and where you can add speed to mask other problems. Big. Smooth. Ramps.

    So all jumps are different. Starting from the beginning you need to find safe ways to get yourself feeling your way into the air, as described above - there will be plenty going on with your landings, visualisation and confidence for this to keep you busy for a good while. You need to build your skills on multiple jump shapes to get an idea for how to cope with anything you might face. Practice is your friend.

    To break through from plateaued intermediate technique you need to work on Option A skills. Hardtail jumping will give you fewer places to hide. Full suspension will make the timing different but the objective of Option A is the same.

    Hope this helps.

    The point regarding your feet and pedals is that when the bike and you launch "as one", the pedals will magically remain under your feet. As you push through and nose the bike down to its landing, this also tends to keep feet and pedals in contact. As others have said, there is interaction between what you're doing with the bars and what you're feeling under your feet. Again, building up safely and practicing will help you develop this feel.
    " ...the moonlit swamp Krampus is a king among bikes." - geraldooka

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  24. #24
    I have Flat Pedal shame.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO K View Post
    The videos from Fluidride are pretty good about breaking down how to jump the bike better.
    I second Fluidride, Simon is the best. https://fluidride.com/jumping-videos/

    It's not a bunny hop motion, you don't pull up with your feet, you don't pull on your bars.... it's all about just pushing into the face of the jump. Make sure your rear tire leaves at the exact same spot as your front tire (not at the same time). Pumping terrain and learning to bump-jump will be your best trainers.

    Edit: sXeXBMXer goes into much more detail, still good info.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thustlewhumber View Post
    It's not a bunny hop motion
    It is a bunny hop motion (so is pumping terrain) but less aggressive. When I really need to boost a jump, I'm doing a full on bunny hop off the lip.

  26. #26
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    Yes. After 2 posts, I think we can all agree that the solution to your problem is to instantly use pro level skill sets!

    Look, get some shin guards.
    Lower your sights on what you should be capable of and work your way up to what you want to be capable of while practicing.
    Take a skills class, or peruse the usual YouTube technique videos and come up with solutions that work for you.

    Go out and ride.

  27. #27
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    Sounds like you would benefit from a riding coach (I know a few and would love to spend some time working with any of them, they really know their stuff) or even just working on some drills in your yard.

    Some skills you can just be conscious of and try to practice during regular rides, but some skills really require their own dedicated practice time... I think this is the latter - particularly since you're trying to overcome bad habits that will be your default in trail situations.

  28. #28
    the discerning hooligan
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    Okay...pretty sure we chased the OP away now. Seems like a nice guy. I'm going to miss him.
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