There’s nothing more exhilarating than catching air on your mountain bike. Railing through a turn doesn’t feel so bad either.
But all the photo’s in the mag’s and on the dvd’s make it look so easy….
Let’s take a look at three jump techniques and how to corner like a pro.
Jump 1 – Flat to Flat
This is a basic jump from one flat surface to another. Pre-jump position is key as you want to be able to absorb the landing with both your arms and legs. The best position is crouched over your bike, pedals level and your butt off the saddle.
Make sure you don’t tip your front wheel forward, or you’ll end up on your back. Instead, carry enough speed into the takeoff so both wheels get air almost simultaneously. Some riders take off in a linear fashion, while others employ a slight bunny hop. Land both wheels at the same time or the rear wheel first.
Jump 2 – Landing Downhill
When landing on a descent you can grab lots of air as the downhill grade absorbs the impact. On these jumps, you might get away with planting your front tire slightly before the rear, but the best technique is both wheels landing at once. Keeping your bike parallel to the trial surface maximizes your chances of landing softly.
Jump 3 – BMX Style
When jumping ramp to ramp, you have to guide your bike along a natural arc in the air. First focus on your set up, that is, crouching and loading your arms and legs for takeoff. Next, explode off the lip, pull up on the handlebars and keep your bike level in the air. Landing requires absorbing the impact and rolling through.
These jumps take getting used to, so it’s best to start small and build up. The bike is guided primarily by the handle bars, but the entire bike/body unit works together to nail it smoothly.
When you come into a turn, you want to travel along an inside-outside-inside line. Start along the inner edge of the trail and guide the bike through the turn to the other inside line. Drop your outside pedal to shift weight for better traction. Also, keep your torso low to load more tire grip.
Some recommend pointing your inner knee towards the center of the turn, while others tuck the knee in to carve out the turn. Practice both techniques to see what’s more comfortable for you. Also, pedaling upon turn exit can improve speed and prevent skidding.
Remember, always look towards the turn exit. Your line of sight guides your bike through the turn.
So keep in touch and get out on the trails.
About The Author
Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.