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  1. #1
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    Jumping on rigid bikes

    I am working on progressing my jump skills through progression jumps and flow trails here in WA and while I am getting better at being able to clear jumps I am still suffering from the occasional dead sailor or just not catching the lip.

    Without and suspension to preload sometimes I get the jump correct and sometimes i just can't get it right. Without anyone else riding a rigid to follow in to jumps i am just making it up as I go along and trying things out. I changed my tire pressure yesterday and my jumping was completely off with just a few psi in the front and rears over what I had been riding. I assume I must have been using that pressure to pop the jumps and once it was gone I wasn't doing it right.

    Any advice specifically for rigid riding?

    TIA
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  2. #2
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    somehow BMX riders do it with zero suspension. this might be relevant: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/bike-c...ag-stylus.html

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    somehow BMX riders do it with zero suspension. this might be relevant: https://www.pinkbike.com/news/bike-c...ag-stylus.html
    I read that article, being a Taj acolyte from back in the day. I think I am just missing something with jumping. I am worried it is just arm strength with the lack of spring from the fork I am having to resist the force of ramping with my arms only and maybe I am just not strong enough, being a noodle armed older dude.
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  4. #4
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    Assuming the geo isn't terrible, rigid is the easiest to jump. It's the most consistent and you don't have to factor in the suspension frequency. It sounds like you're trying to do too much honestly. You don't need a lot of strength or the fork to spring you up.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    Assuming the geo isn't terrible, rigid is the easiest to jump. It's the most consistent and you don't have to factor in the suspension frequency. It sounds like you're trying to do too much honestly. You don't need a lot of strength or the fork to spring you up.
    Hmm elaborate if you could? The info I have found of course is in regards to suspension and you should preload as you approach the face of the jump. I obviously can't preload but I assume that I would do similar with my arms and legs as I approach, bending into the face and then straightening as I reach the lip. Is is this incorrect? Should I just keep the stable as I approach?

    I ride a jones rigid, so it is fairly good AM style geometry and is very rigid.
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  6. #6
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    You're right that you push into the face of the jump. However, it doesn't need to be with a lot of force. There's a good chance it's a timing issue. You should smoothly push through the length of the jump rather than try and pop at the end. It should be a fluid movement with no pops, pauses, yanking, squatting at any point at takeoff. Your basic jumping form should actually look like you're doing very little. When I work with riders struggling to jump they often remark how easy I make it look... because they're trying so hard to lift the bike up with lots of yanking and thrusting. It should be smooth light pump. Let the jump do the work, you're just there to ride the wave.


    Once you get the fundamental technique down smoothly then you can move on to boosting and scrubbing the jumps.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    You're right that you push into the face of the jump. However, it doesn't need to be with a lot of force. There's a good chance it's a timing issue. You should smoothly push through the length of the jump rather than try and pop at the end. It should be a fluid movement with no pops, pauses, yanking, squatting at any point at takeoff. Your basic jumping form should actually look like you're doing very little. When I work with riders struggling to jump they often remark how easy I make it look... because they're trying so hard to lift the bike up with lots of yanking and thrusting. It should be smooth light pump. Let the jump do the work, you're just there to ride the wave.


    Once you get the fundamental technique down smoothly then you can move on to boosting and scrubbing the jumps.
    Ok that is good to hear. I am trying to be smooth and not pull on takeoff or even at the lip and just let the bike carry me. However just yesterday, and I am attributing it to the tire pressure change, I was dead sailoring all over the place. Last weekend with the lower pressures I was clearing the tabletops and landing on the backsides. It was disconcerting, like I totally forgot how to do this but I am really just into jumping this years after decades of mountain biking. The bummer is my kids have gotten fast enough that I need more pressure to hang with them in the corners now so I was folding in the corners. I added pressure then my jumping suffered.

    I guess i just need more practice. I will practice just trying to be more gradual in compression and release and just letting the bike ride the jump.
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  8. #8
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    I learned to jump on a bmx bike and always ran 65-90 psi in the tires. It may be that the pressure change threw your timing off just enough to get in your head. I bet with a bit of practice you'll get it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    I am working on progressing my jump skills through progression jumps and flow trails here in WA and while I am getting better at being able to clear jumps I am still suffering from the occasional dead sailor or just not catching the lip.

    Without any suspension to preload sometimes I get the jump correct and sometimes i just can't get it right. Without anyone else riding a rigid to follow in to jumps i am just making it up as I go along and trying things out. I changed my tire pressure yesterday and my jumping was completely off with just a few psi in the front and rears over what I had been riding. I assume I must have been using that pressure to pop the jumps and once it was gone I wasn't doing it right.

    Any advice specifically for rigid riding?

    TIA
    I ride rigid all the time. I'm a little shy on jumping, though (despite jumping everything as a kid). Since I installed a dropper I've increased my jumping comfort level, so that's my 1st recommendo.
    The only ramp jumps I do are at Ray's Indoor - the small ones. The good riders seem to be able to land just a bit nose heavy so that their rear tire lands where their front tire landed. I have never, ever been able to do that, so following/matching their speed hasn't worked for me. Maybe I run my bars too low.
    On trail features that are not "built" jumps, I am often willing to completely send it - to the point where I've utterly left the trail.
    (insert over-used jumping picture)
    Jumping on rigid bikes-fleajump1.jpg
    Stayed on trail!

    Sooooooo, doing nothing doesn't work. Doing too much can send you off. I think it comes down to timing, and being loose/relaxed. My buddy, who is a good jumper, says I look like a piece of wood on a bike when I jump (despite being decidedly fluid and loose everywhere else). I got a set of knee pads for Fathers' Day so I can go practice jumping myself. I think I am going to find out that going faster will help in that I won't feel like I have to stretch the jump out (with acrobatics and body English) to reach the landing point, AND if I am slightly over-shooting I can just lower the landing gear and get back on the ground.
    On rhythm jumps, I think I am just out of luck. I would have to go slower and figure out how to get that front wheel down earlier.


    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    I ride rigid all the time. I'm a little shy on jumping, though (despite jumping everything as a kid). Since I installed a dropper I've increased my jumping comfort level, so that's my 1st recommendo.
    The only ramp jumps I do are at Ray's Indoor - the small ones. The good riders seem to be able to land just a bit nose heavy so that their rear tire lands where their front tire landed. I have never, ever been able to do that, so following/matching their speed hasn't worked for me. Maybe I run my bars too low.
    On trail features that are not "built" jumps, I am often willing to completely send it - to the point where I've utterly left the trail.
    (insert over-used jumping picture)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FleaJump1.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	135.7 KB 
ID:	1344283
    Stayed on trail!

    Sooooooo, doing nothing doesn't work. Doing too much can send you off. I think it comes down to timing, and being loose/relaxed. My buddy, who is a good jumper, says I look like a piece of wood on a bike when I jump (despite being decidedly fluid and loose everywhere else). I got a set of knee pads for Fathers' Day so I can go practice jumping myself. I think I am going to find out that going faster will help in that I won't feel like I have to stretch the jump out (with acrobatics and body English) to reach the landing point, AND if I am slightly over-shooting I can just lower the landing gear and get back on the ground.
    On rhythm jumps, I think I am just out of luck. I would have to go slower and figure out how to get that front wheel down earlier.


    -F
    thanks! I added a dropper last year and was amazed at how it helped, it has what brought me to jumping, or at least working on my jumping skills.

    The relax thing maybe is an issue. Something to keep working. The good news is my wife and kids are also working on jumping so when we go to the trails we will work the jump lines a bunch and watch each others. Just need to work my skills. Would love to be able to just send it some day.
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  11. #11
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    I'll bet that it's just a timing issue. I'm not a particularly good jumper, but I do know that the mechanics for preloading a rigid bike are the same as you would use for a suspension bike. But of course, all you can preload on a rigid bike are the tires. Adjusting tire pressure will change how much you can preload them, and therefore your timing.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I'll bet that it's just a timing issue. I'm not a particularly good jumper, but I do know that the mechanics for preloading a rigid bike are the same as you would use for a suspension bike. But of course, all you can preload on a rigid bike are the tires. Adjusting tire pressure will change how much you can preload them, and therefore your timing.
    so I am still awesome just with bad timing currently? Sweet!

    Seriously though, I was hoping it was tire pressure messing me. When I check my pressures I was under 20lbs for both front and rear which is way low for me (29x2.4 maxxis aggressor, +200lbs rider not including gear.) I aired up to around 24lbs in both, and then hit the jumps.
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  13. #13
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    As far as technique, it's really always a timing or posture issue or some combination of both. New jumpers tend to think there's some small puzzle piece or 'tip' they're missing. There's no special trick to keep your feet on the pedals, to stop dead sailoring, to stop casing the landing, to keep the nose from diving, from landing off balance, etc... it's always because they don't have the basics down.

    There's a few good youtubers out there that have videos on jumping (Skills with Phil, Jeff Lenosky, Simon Lawton). Watch those then video yourself jumping and compare. You'll probably see what you're doing wrong.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    As far as technique, it's really always a timing or posture issue or some combination of both. New jumpers tend to think there's some small puzzle piece or 'tip' they're missing. There's no special trick to keep your feet on the pedals, to stop dead sailoring, to stop casing the landing, to keep the nose from diving, from landing off balance, etc... it's always because they don't have the basics down.

    There's a few good youtubers out there that have videos on jumping (Skills with Phil, Jeff Lenosky, Simon Lawton). Watch those then video yourself jumping and compare. You'll probably see what you're doing wrong.
    good call. I just assumed that all the mountain bike jump videos were more specific to full suspension or front suspension vs. rigid. I have watched a few of them but maybe with me current experience I can hone my position and approach and get a better feel on the bike.
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    I am going through this learning process myself. I used to try and use my arms to muscle off the lip and move the bike up and over. Many days of crappy jumps and sore arms let me know that was not going to do it.

    After watching a bunch of videos and practicing it became apparent that the arms are really just for part of the preload and then again to push the pike back out to level off and then dive back to the transition once in the air. They don't play any part really in the take off at all, at least not for the explosive jumping part.

    I am focused now on working on standing up off the lip and getting my weight back so I go out AND up, and just staying loose. 100% of my dead sailors are when I am not loose off the lip, even if timing is a bit off, and if I stay not loose there is a darn good chance any imperfection in the landing turns out real bad. Video helps

    Example of me doing it the wrong way at the end: https://youtu.be/djzlkkXoPKk

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    Quote Originally Posted by fly4130 View Post
    I am going through this learning process myself. I used to try and use my arms to muscle off the lip and move the bike up and over. Many days of crappy jumps and sore arms let me know that was not going to do it.

    After watching a bunch of videos and practicing it became apparent that the arms are really just for part of the preload and then again to push the pike back out to level off and then dive back to the transition once in the air. They don't play any part really in the take off at all, at least not for the explosive jumping part.

    I am focused now on working on standing up off the lip and getting my weight back so I go out AND up, and just staying loose. 100% of my dead sailors are when I am not loose off the lip, even if timing is a bit off, and if I stay not loose there is a darn good chance any imperfection in the landing turns out real bad. Video helps

    Example of me doing it the wrong way at the end: https://youtu.be/djzlkkXoPKk
    thanks! Watching that helps me, maybe not the last jump, but the previous ones really helped!
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  17. #17
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    maybe you just need more practice at simply relaxing. as a life long dirt jumper, i can definitely attest that it is ridiculously easier on a fully rigid setup in comparison to a suspended setup...

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    Glad to hear. I will never be the example of correct, but negative testing is still an important part of testing . The best example of bad form is the last jump in my first run. I am way over the bars and basically fighting myself to get in the air.

    As for the last jump, I know that helps too. We all cant wait for the Friday Fails to drop on Pinkbike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fly4130 View Post
    After watching a bunch of videos and practicing it became apparent that the arms are really just for part of the preload and then again to push the pike back out to level off and then dive back to the transition once in the air. They don't play any part really in the take off at all, at least not for the explosive jumping part.
    This is also the reason behind lifting your front wheel first to bunny hop. It's much more effective to jump with your legs than your arms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    maybe you just need more practice at simply relaxing. as a life long dirt jumper, i can definitely attest that it is ridiculously easier on a fully rigid setup in comparison to a suspended setup...
    I think that could be the case. Being older and jumping, it is never that easy to relax. I guess i just have to ride my bike more and jump more, what a bummer!

    I think I can relax but them get a little too relaxed and just let the bike come up into me instead of riding the bike off the lip. When I dead sailor that is usually what has happened to me I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by fly4130 View Post
    Glad to hear. I will never be the example of correct, but negative testing is still an important part of testing . The best example of bad form is the last jump in my first run. I am way over the bars and basically fighting myself to get in the air.

    As for the last jump, I know that helps too. We all cant wait for the Friday Fails to drop on Pinkbike.
    I had one of those yesterday but much more extreme when I rounded a corner hit the face of the jump and noticed a bunch of kids standing in the landing zone, I don't know what happened but definitely landed in a manual on the backside and rode it out but had a hard time recovering before the next set of jumps.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    maybe you just need more practice at simply relaxing. as a life long dirt jumper, i can definitely attest that it is ridiculously easier on a fully rigid setup in comparison to a suspended setup...
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy3220 View Post
    This is also the reason behind lifting your front wheel first to bunny hop. It's much more effective to jump with your legs than your arms.
    so the basic flats bunny hop is similar to how you jump, just without the bunny hop? I can bunny hop like a mad man, just didn't realize it was part of the jump.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    so the basic flats bunny hop is similar to how you jump, just without the bunny hop? I can bunny hop like a mad man, just didn't realize it was part of the jump.
    Yeah jumping uses mostly the same motion but the timing will vary based on the jump and speed. Your also letting the jump do most of the work.

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    so I watched a few videos, found a really good one from Jeff Lenosky, and tried a more relaxed take off on some trails this weekend and was able after a few runs to start landing on the back side. Unfortunately the day was really wet, the trails were really sloppy and we tried a new area to ride so I was unfamiliar with the jump line. However it felt righter. Definitely a a combination of bad timing, bad form, and fear. When I put the fear away, stand to the face of the jump, and just let the bike pop, I can get there. I need to work on building speed into the face of the ramp, and not absorbing the ramp but if it would ever stop raining on the weekend I will keep working on it.

    Thanks for all the advice.

    Here is the Lenosky video:

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  24. #24
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    Glad you figured you it's not the bike. It never was. If you can't get out then build a kicker ramp at home to practice. I found it to be a highly effective way to learn.

  25. #25
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    if you let a bike ghost ride with the proper speed, it would go off the lip, arc thru the air and nose down into the landing all on its own. being more relaxed keeps you from fighting the bike from wanting to just follow physics...


  26. #26
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    I did a few low (far, but not high) jumps this weekend at breakneck speed on my rigid bike.

    ...having NOTHING to do with my rigid bike...

    My biggest thing was that, at that speed I had to pick my line over the jump well in advance as they are not all dead straight. I am well out of practice at this. I found out that if I don't have it lined up before I get into the transition, it is beyond my skill to correct it on the way up. I will come off crooked or worse. I just have to play my cards at that point. There were multiple times that my landing was almost "out of bounds". I would have been better off looking at the landing, when I could, instead of looking so much at the takeoff - all of which are hammered perfectly smooth from hundreds of riders and require no thought. However, I was carrying speed and doing quite well at staying with the 2 guys in front, one having a fork, and one being FS. That trail is not very bumpy, though, so suspension is not a huge advantage.

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  27. #27
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    So i went to our local jump spot and sessioned the jumps there. I watched a few videos, realized the jumps there are fairly short and steep take offs so the reaction time is key. I ran through probably 10 runs on the jumps and by the time it started really raining I felt like I was making good progress. Able to scrub if I was going too fast or able to get some decent air and even managed to land the back side of one of the tables which felt nice.

    Full disclosure I also run a jones bar on a jones bike so it is a weird jumping feel vs. a flat bar. The bike jumps well, does most AM things well and I love the bar but it is narrow and with a 45 sweep it is different.
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