- Drop Offs
As an old, old skool rider, I don't take to new tricks very easily and it takes ages to build up confidence, learn how to do new stuff. What makes things worse is I ride 99% of the time in Suffolk/Norfolk so some of the more normal trail features (drop offs etc) are absent in my day to day riding.
A recent trip to Dalby highlighted my complete lack of technique and cohones when it comes to drop offs. I watched riders flow over them as if they weren't there but could I do it? No… and I embarrassed myself every time by chickening out. I don't mean the little ones that you can get air off but the (what to me) were precipitous drops with uncertain landings such as those muddy ones on the red/black section just after the Pace play area.
How the hell do you do them and how can I practice something when there is nothing much to practice on? The only thing I have found is a concrete pad for storing sugar beet which starts at about 8 inches and goes up to 2 foot. Trouble is there is no run off so you'd have to launch and then get on the brakes within nano seconds.
Help!Posted 8 years agoddmonkeySubscriber
How high are we talking? The technique for drop offs doesn't change much with height, but getting the speed right or adjusting for higher or lower speed is key. If its biggish and you are carrying speed then it helps to get nice and low on the bike to absorb the lip and stay fairly neutral, you can then let the bike move away underneath you before asborbing the landing. For lower speed more front wheel loft and more upright and rearwards stance is needed. Best thing to do is find a small drop and practice different speeds before building up.Posted 8 years agosimon1975Subscriber
Skateboard parks usually have small drops you can play on – 18" or maybe a bit more. Or maybe I'm spoilt up in Notts where these are very common and all seem to have a similar design!
Like ddmonkey said, it's the same technique whatever the height – find a highish kerb and ride it until you can land both wheels at the same time.Posted 8 years agoddmonkeySubscriber
In that case slowjo you need to get confidence to go a bit faster, and you can only get that from finding some drops you can build up your confidence on. Try finding something that you can just roll, and then keep hitting it faster and faster until your are no longer rolling it but landing both wheels flat. Remember that speed, get it in your head by doing it over and over again, then when you approach a proper drop you know how fast to go to avoid the front wheel dropping. Its all about being able to judge the safe speed.Posted 8 years agoglenpMember
A drop which is flat take off to flat landing (ie a step, not matter what size) is very different to a drop with a vertical top part and a transition to land in (much more common). For the first one manualling off is the way to go, for the second you may well only need to keep a little speed and let the bike follow the gradient of the landing.Posted 8 years agocheshmattMember
+ 1 for seeing Jedi/skills course
Also the Fluid Ride Like a Pro DVD is pretty good at explaining drop and other techniques: http://www.rutlandcycling.com/17587/X-treme-Video-Fluid-Ride—Like-A-Pro.htmlPosted 8 years ago
if you manaul off a drop your are either going very very slow or are doing to much.
Note that I didn't actually suggest manualling off a drop off. But being able to do it slowly means you've got the technique nailed rather than just relying on going fast and not having to do anything.
You don't really manual you just move your weight back, push into the pedals and hold the front end up
Similar to what you do manualling then, but less exaggerated – like I said.
Go and tell Andy from Dirt School that he's got it all wrong if you don't believe me. 😛Posted 8 years agoNotterSubscriber
Best way I can describe the feel / motion of the frame by frame picture above is imagine you're pushing a shopping trolley away from you really hard (substitute the handlebars for the trolley handle!). Time the end of the "push" to coincide with when your front wheel gets to the lip of the drop. this will move your weight back, keeping the front wheel up until your rear wheel drops off the lip.
As above though, practice!Posted 8 years ago
I've heard all sorts of differing suggestions.
Just starting drop offs at the mo. I weight and unweight the bike as the front wheel gets to the lip. Am on flatties and don't really try to lift the forks?
Have a very neutral position and make sure I have some speed.
Suggestions on a postcard or stuck down envelope to…Posted 8 years ago
Thanks for the tip about foot placement. Could save my shins!
One thing I was told by a 50 y.o. german MTBer was 'stand on the pedals'. Seems to work for everything, uphill, downhill…Posted 8 years ago
…that is don't think about moving your weight about, just try to stand on the pedals and your weight will be in the right position…GiantJauntMember
I wouldn't take this as advise because I've not got it perfected myself yet either but…..It seems to be a bit easier if you're carrying some speed as there's less time for the front to drop. You need to keep your weight back though obviously. The slower you go the more you need to do with the front end so there's more margin for error. This is what I have found anyway. Actually I have found that speed is your friend in most trail riding. There's a lot to be said for committing to the challenges that lay ahead. Most of my crashes so far have thankfully (touch wood) been low speed ones when I've fannied about and failed to scan the way ahead.Posted 8 years agosweepyMember
alright i feel like a bit of a nob now- can i expect to be able to do drops like that on a p7 or have i got an excuse with not having full suss or an extreme bike. ive done the things on the orange at learnie but you land on a hill there and its only about a foot so a bit of momentum does it.Posted 8 years ago
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