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  1. #1
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    Trials Techniques on trail

    What trials techniques do you use on trail? And what techniques you found most useful?

    Inspired by some of the youtube videos, I've been learning to do the "static hop" (I hope that' the correct terminology), where you lock up the brakes and hop around, hoping one day I'll be able to get up some of the technical features that you can't just pedal up. It's one thing to hop around on flat ground, it's entirely different thing to do it on uneven terrains and the move is so energy intensive and being old (and light weight) doesn't help either. It might never happen but I'm going to give it 6 months to see if I can even make any good progress.

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    What I find most useful is a controlled front wheel lift, once in place you can shift your weight onto the wheel, followed by a hopping of the rear onto/over an object.

    It seems like all that hopping wastes a lot of energy I probably don't have on that type of move so I've never really tried to incorporate it.

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    Right. But that only works if there is enough room for you bike to get on. If there is a step right front of the front wheel as you put it down then it seems a hopping can't be avoided.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaXCarp View Post
    What I find most useful is a controlled front wheel lift, once in place you can shift your weight onto the wheel, followed by a hopping of the rear onto/over an object.

    It seems like all that hopping wastes a lot of energy I probably don't have on that type of move so I've never really tried to incorporate it.

  4. #4
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    If you are hopping around, maybe one of the most useful hops is to hop forward so that your rear tire lands exactly where your front tire was. I don't know that that's necessarily a "trials" move, but it is really useful in certain situations.

    Other than that, I don't really have a "trials" move per se.

    I'm sorta working on a low-speed drop, or drop from 0 mph, but failure will be painful. I've done it successfully, esp. when the terrain forces it (I can do a lot of good moves out of sheer survival), but it's still not comfortable.

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  5. #5
    Nat
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    I used to compete in trials wayyy back and got pretty good at the static hopping but I have to say that I donít use that skill much during a trail ride. It burns a lot of energy.

    I think a useful skill is to ride like your skeleton is made of rubber. Watch the body language of really good riders and youíll see what I mean. Watch motorcycle trials riders too for the same concept. Itís very feline.

    Another useful skill that I employ all the time is to wheelie up onto a tall object and pop the rear end up to follow. Itís the same thing LaXcarp was talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby_rider View Post
    Right. But that only works if there is enough room for you bike to get on. If there is a step right front of the front wheel as you put it down then it seems a hopping can't be avoided.
    Yes I agree, I was providing input as a trials move I incorporate into my riding, not necessarily a rebuttal to a better method of accomplishing a move through hopping.

  7. #7
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    Track stands and fakies for me. I'm still working on gaining more height on my bunny hops so I can jump on to logs and whatever else.
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    How do you use fakies on trails?

    Quote Originally Posted by Battery View Post
    Track stands and fakies for me. I'm still working on gaining more height on my bunny hops so I can jump on to logs and whatever else.

  9. #9
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    I just posted this in another thread, could be where you got the thread title idea from OP?



    Definitely trying to incorporate some of these moves into my riding.
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  10. #10
    Nat
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    If I could emulate anyone's riding style it would be that of Jeff Kendall-Weed. That dude is smooooth.

  11. #11
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    The only people I've seen that utilized "trials moves" on the trail typically just made everyone behind them wait for 10 seconds for them to stop bouncing around like an idiot and put their foot down like a normal person.

    They also look stupid when you practice in the parking lot. I've seen 2 people taco their wheels BEFORE the ride even started.

    Concentrate on riding forward.

    This is just my opinion.
    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

  12. #12
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock View Post
    The only people I've seen that utilized "trials moves" on the trail typically just made everyone behind them wait for 10 seconds for them to stop bouncing around like an idiot and put their foot down like a normal person.
    Haha, that sounds accurate. Really good trials riders will flow forward smoothly.

    I recall doing a trials competition back in the late 1980's where most of us were hopping around like weird bunny rabbits. Some new guy who had never done a bike trials competition before but was experienced doing moto trials showed up and flowed quickly like water right across each section. It blew the rest of us all away. We were sitting there going, "What just happened???"

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    I find myself pivoting on the front wheel multiple times per ride. It can make some corners much easier, and can help you get setup for other moves. My local trails have a good number of steep 180 switchbacks and it helps there a lot, both up and down. That and track stands are the trials moves I use the most.

    Sometimes a wheelswap or punch is useful in really tough terrain. Good to get up things you can't just pedal or coast up/over. Punches combined with momentum can get you through some hairy stuff smoother and faster than bashing through. Any time I have a ledge to deal with going up hill I try to punch it instead of roll it.

    I've never successfully used any rear wheel moves on the trail, except for showing off. It's fun to do but for me it isn't really useful on the trail.

  14. #14
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    No. I did not see that thread. I've been practicing for about a month now after watching Jeff Lenosky clearing some of those technical sections. There is no way in this life that I would ever be able to do what he does but I know of some lesser technical sections where the same techniques would work well, if I ever get good enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
    I just posted this in another thread, could be where you got the thread title idea from OP?



    Definitely trying to incorporate some of these moves into my riding.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by norton05 View Post
    I find myself pivoting on the front wheel multiple times per ride. It can make some corners much easier, and can help you get setup for other moves. My local trails have a good number of steep 180 switchbacks and it helps there a lot, both up and down. That and track stands are the trials moves I use the most.

    Sometimes a wheelswap or punch is useful in really tough terrain. Good to get up things you can't just pedal or coast up/over. Punches combined with momentum can get you through some hairy stuff smoother and faster than bashing through. Any time I have a ledge to deal with going up hill I try to punch it instead of roll it.

    I've never successfully used any rear wheel moves on the trail, except for showing off. It's fun to do but for me it isn't really useful on the trail.
    I find that I can do an okay nose-pivot in open space (a grassy field or dirt parking lot), but have never been able to use it effectively on the trail. I'm sure more of a mental block than anything else. I need to force myself to use it regularly, even on easier/flatter/more open switch backs.

  16. #16
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    I too find nose-pivot really scary when the terrain is steep and my definition of steep is definitely not that steep for you guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Duffman View Post
    I find that I can do an okay nose-pivot in open space (a grassy field or dirt parking lot), but have never been able to use it effectively on the trail. I'm sure more of a mental block than anything else. I need to force myself to use it regularly, even on easier/flatter/more open switch backs.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock View Post
    The only people I've seen that utilized "trials moves" on the trail typically just made everyone behind them wait for 10 seconds for them to stop bouncing around like an idiot and put their foot down like a normal person.

    They also look stupid when you practice in the parking lot. I've seen 2 people taco their wheels BEFORE the ride even started.

    Concentrate on riding forward.

    This is just my opinion.
    Youre sounding dangerously close to a roadie. Lighten up, your KOM can wait for another day. That said, i would hope guys sessioning a section would yield and let others ride through.
    Techincally all riding is trials riding. Wheelie drops i use often, front wheel pivots down switchbacks, and swivel wheelie going up. Climbing ledges. On occasion used a rear tire hop up to get over log, but with dual squish i cant really pull rear wheel moves anymore. Rolling side hop, static side hops i dont really use on trail. Actually dont use static moves too much on trail anymore as tye group(s) im riding with arent trialsing and sessionin sections. Fakie/rollback on rare times when need to back up to get some space to get through something. Actually a move i use often that i cultivated from when our trials group would break into an impromptu cycleball session is the front tire flick/kick. Doesnt get you over any obstacles, but I figure gain you some trail karma by flicking potential derailer snapping branches off the trail, or just something to do as youre cruisng a flat featureless section.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sid Duffman View Post
    I find that I can do an okay nose-pivot in open space (a grassy field or dirt parking lot), but have never been able to use it effectively on the trail. I'm sure more of a mental block than anything else. I need to force myself to use it regularly, even on easier/flatter/more open switch backs.
    Oh you're like 75% of the way there! Keep on it and you'll nail it for sure. A couple tips that helped me learn: first, only lift the rear as high as you need to, going too far up makes it more difficult to control. Second, start your lift and pivot as you apply front brake, not after you stop. The momentum makes it so much easier. Plus teaches brake modulation like a mofo. Adding a target when practicing, like a piece of 2x4, to land the rear on helps learning also. You can do it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby_rider View Post
    I too find nose-pivot really scary when the terrain is steep and my definition of steep is definitely not that steep for you guys.
    Steep downs make it a lot scarier! It's so easy to loop out forward on steep downhills. To make it easier try lifting the rear only a tiny bit, just enough to get the rear off the ground, and get your butt as far behind the saddle as you can. Not *quite* locking the front brake helps as well; i.e. lift rear as you roll the front. If you do go too far and start to endo, it's surprisingly easy to let go of the bars and jump ahead of the bike to safety. Real Bikerfox shit but it can save you from injury for sure. It's worth trying on flat ground to see how easy it is. Practice for a while and I know you'll have it lined!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    If I could emulate anyone's riding style it would be that of Jeff Kendall-Weed. That dude is smooooth.
    JKW is awesome. Another great "trials' style rider I really like is Chris Akrigg. He is similar in how smooth he is and how he uses trials technique to actually flow over really technical and natural terriain:

    Here's a good demonstration of his technique:

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taroroot View Post
    ...Actually a move i use often that i cultivated from when our trials group would break into an impromptu cycleball session is the front tire flick/kick. Doesnt get you over any obstacles, but I figure gain you some trail karma by flicking potential derailer snapping branches off the trail, or just something to do as youre cruisng a flat featureless section.
    +1

    My buddy can flick a can like nobody's business.
    ...or an acorn, mushroom, bottle, rock,....

    -F
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  21. #21
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    Wheelie drop, nose wheelie, forward lunge, track stand, all good.

  22. #22
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    Nose wheelie for those switchbacks made for short wheelbase 26er. Manual for riding off of large rocks at low speed.

  23. #23
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    Like anything in life the only way to perfect such moves is practice. It also helps to be born with some natural ability skill. I rode with a guy who started riding mtb at the same time I did. Within 6 months of riding he was pulling off nose wheel stand 180į around switchbacks and stall bunny hop 180į turns as well. I watched and just shook my head in amazement. That was 19 years ago and to this day I have yet to perfect such moves.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    JKW is awesome. Another great "trials' style rider I really like is Chris Akrigg. He is similar in how smooth he is and how he uses trials technique to actually flow over really technical and natural terriain:

    Here's a good demonstration of his technique:
    Thanks for sharing that. Never heard of him but loved how he strung many "basic" tricks together for seamless transitions.
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    You should check out this other video as well. I specially like "a hill in Spain". It's a thing of beauty.

    Quote Originally Posted by upstateSC-rider View Post
    Thanks for sharing that. Never heard of him but loved how he strung many "basic" tricks together for seamless transitions.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock View Post
    The only people I've seen that utilized "trials moves" on the trail typically just made everyone behind them wait for 10 seconds for them to stop bouncing around like an idiot and put their foot down like a normal person.

    They also look stupid when you practice in the parking lot. I've seen 2 people taco their wheels BEFORE the ride even started.

    Concentrate on riding forward.

    This is just my opinion.
    dirt roadie alert!

    I don't have a whole lot of trials type skills in my bag-o-tricks, but I try. Currently working on manuals and bunny hops. I can use the punch with some success, but my overall goal by working on manuals and bunny hops is to increase the height of the logs and ledges I can get up/over, and do so more smoothly (when I'm near my current limit, there tends to be a bit of "smashing" through).

    Where I tend to ride, I haven't had much need to nose pivot around switchbacks, so the nose pivot simply isn't something I've worked to learn, even on flat ground.

    But static hopping is something I could use so I would benefit from working on that. Lots of occasions where I'm riding through a nasty maze of roots or rocks and my wheels get trapped. Would be nice to have enough static hop skills to make a move forward or sideways to get myself moving forward again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock View Post
    The only people I've seen that utilized "trials moves" on the trail typically just made everyone behind them wait for 10 seconds for them to stop bouncing around like an idiot and put their foot down like a normal person.

    They also look stupid when you practice in the parking lot. I've seen 2 people taco their wheels BEFORE the ride even started.

    Concentrate on riding forward.

    This is just my opinion.
    That sounds boring.

    Personally I find practicing skills every bit as rewarding as riding distances and just as fun. Plus it makes you a better rider which means you can do more challenging trails more safely.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    That sounds boring.

    Personally I find practicing skills every bit as rewarding as riding distances and just as fun. Plus it makes you a better rider which means you can do more challenging trails more safely.
    Do you practice on your own or while several people are behind you on the trail waiting?

    Boring?, maybe, but from what I've seen, unless you are Danny MacAskill, these "skills" are typically just someone trying to bounce around and not put their feet down with no clear direction and very little results.

    Moving forward on the trail is less boring to me.

    Perhaps this is a reason I usually ride solo.

    Like I said, just my opinion. Bounce around all you want. Impress your friends.
    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

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