Front wheel wash outs – easy solution

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  • Front wheel wash outs – easy solution
  • Rorschach

    Stop hanging off the back all the time.You have become nervous about the the front wheel washing out so you naturally hang back expecting the inevitable.No weight on the tyre=No grip=Goodnight sweetheart.Find a big open sloping grassy field (preferably wet) and do ever faster/tighter S turns until you regularly loose the BACK end.

    Yes, that makes sense, I think I do have a habit of being too far back. I will try that drill. Perhaps its an overreaction to fearing losing the back wheel. But I have been trying to “lose’ the back end a bit more into turns but with varying degrees of success/failure!!!


    too much internet arguing causes this.

    I cut back and can rail corners like they’re on rails now.

    Premier Icon fadda

    Are you landing your jumps on the back wheel? This usually causes the front to bang down, with a consequent dramatic shift in weight, and then you’re in trouble…

    You’re better off slightly front first, or both wheels together landing.

    Try shifting your hips forward and standing up a bit in the jump…

    Is there an obvious reason for losing the front wheel?

    I have had one really bad wipe out (off the bike for almost 4 weeks), a few moderate crashes and a lot of close shaves recently – the common factor was losing the front wheel, mini jacknife and me over the bars. It tends to happen after small jumps of when trying to corner more aggressively and trying to drive into the corners. Its becoming a bit scary. Skills course in a few weeks, but anyone have suggestions if it is a common/easy-to-solve problem in the meantime.

    (Tires are starting to look a little worn, but I think its a technique/weight/body position thing)


    You’re not going fast enough if front and rear wheels aren’t sliding, alternately is ok but both at the same time for the win. 😀

    fadda, not sure about the big crash, its was all too fast! Like the video, very Francais but interesting!! I like the exaggerated body position and the high elbow.

    Thanks for the tips!


    the back follows the front


    Rebound may be too fast

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    @teamh – I’m happy to pass on what I know when we get out riding, there’s good advice above – the flat corner / grassy slope “skiddies” drill works on getting more weight = traction on front wheel. Washouts on jump landing probably due to forcing weight back to avoid otb fears. You won’t be surprised to hear Jedi works on this, in fact basic handling was what I asked him to focus ion, leaping over stuff is all well and good but going round corners is more useful in normal riding ! There are a few places not far from me we can practice this.


    What tyre you running on the front?

    Some tyres work best as Fabien flawlessly demonstrates when over on it’s cornering edge especially on flatter corners. I find a super tacky Maxxis Minion front is a great all rounder for most of the year and I don’t personally notice much drag with that front. Sort the front tyre, sort your suspension setup and then follow Fabien’s instructions. You will be suprised how hard you can corner without washing out and even if it does wash out, the right tyre will dig in again and save you……….and don’t brake.


    simply remove the whole front wheel/rear wheel conflict..


    Check tyre pressures – 40psi in dry weather gives you a good medium between grip and speed.

    Another suggestion is to as upright as possible but lean the bike and twist into the corner with your body and direction you want to go.

    At the same time try to plant your weight central over the patch of ground your TYRES have contact with.

    Oh yeah and fit a Maxxis Minion.

    Good luck 🙂


    your centre of gravity is too far to the right and this is unbalancing you, I have suspected this for some time. 😉

    Premier Icon njee20

    Check tyre pressures – 40psi in dry weather gives you a good medium between grip and speed.

    I very rarely run above 30, and was more like 25 today!

    JY – 😉

    Rob Hilton

    May/may not have any relevance:

    I’ve been riding a BFe for a while with forks at 130mm; any time I’ve tried having them at 160mm it handles like a bag of spanners unless I really lean towards the front – which I find a little unnerving for corners 🙂

    Having them at 130mm means I can stay centered on the bike and it’s nice and stable.

    Premier Icon Scapegoat

    Check your set-up. Too much height on the bars or stem/steerer and a nervy shift of weight backwards will leave your front end vague. Wide and low and bend forward over the cockpit to carve the front end. Decent tyres help. Do your wash-outs happen on any particular type of surface?

    Woody trails and softish surfaces, usual pine forest sort of stuff (big crash was on smallish jump on T trails on pitch hill). Last night there were lots of cones but they shouldn’t have much difference, came round flat corner quite fast, round a tree and then the front wheel just kind of folded/mini jackknifed before I rescued it. But very close to otb!

    I think it all technique rather than bike but my tires say 40-65 so I tend to have them 45-50. Even then the back always looks quite low.

    Far to much tyre pressure. It depends on the width of your tyres but I at 90kg I can run 28psi front and 35 rear tubed. 24 / 28 tubeless.
    Try lowering your stem / bars and moving your saddle forwards to force you over the front of the bike.


    40psi works for me

    Premier Icon althepal

    The tyres can make a difference but think front wheel washouts are more down to technique probs.
    Elbows up and out, weight more over the front end and body position on the bike as you move in the corner..

    Premier Icon Scapegoat

    Your setup may be the answer. Oversteer is more likely on a short stem/narrow bar, esp if you have a steep head angle.

    Premier Icon cookeaa

    Halve your tire pressure, and consider your tire selection, what are you currently using?

    Also what is the bikes suspension setup like?


    if you are jack knifing on landing you are pulling up to jump

    Thanks Jedi (and all) for tips and ideas. Please could you elaborate on the pulling up idea?

    Thinking about it, I reckon problems started a couple of months ago. Normally happy on small drop offs but got two wrong on the same ride and at speed. Didn’t crash but gave myself a shock both times. Felt like I was going to nose dive on both occassions so perhaps I am over- reacting the other way? I do have a habit of hanging off the back a bit! Re set up, the big recent crash was testing a stumpy and also fell off testing a fuel ex on steep stuff. Both nice bikes but I couldn’t ride either. Felt like I was following the front wheel/wheelbarrow effect on both and hated riding steep stuff on them. Blitzed the same stuff on XC set ups especially 29ers (anthem, epic, camber demos) bizarrely! Current bike is an old trek 6500 ht with 100m suspension up front and the original tires (basic bontragers I guess). Taken it everywhere so can’t blame the tools. I think it is the workman on top (although lbs will try to convince me otherwise) 😉


    Weight balanced but roughly rearward of the normal seated position. Heavy feet, light hands.

    Entry: Eyes on apex, drop outside foot a little, drop outside heel, outside heel and knee into frame, open the hips, point dick/bellybutton at apex. TRUST YOUR TYRES.

    Exit; Eyes on trail ahead; point your dick/bellybutton at the exit/next apex, drive off inside foot for acceleration if you have space.

    Or just watch that video by Fab Barrel; he’d make a superb coach.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    30-40psi is good, 40 and beyond and it could get skittish

    Go too low and the tyre can roll under load and cause problems in corners

    I had a HT that did it, stem was a touch short (50mm max) but it was on the edge of superawesome handling so I lived with it.

    Recently had an off combo of HA slightly too slack for flat trail, lazy off the back of the bike tyres too hard so can be lots of things


    +1 for shifting weight forwards over the front wheel in corners to give traction. Single most important thing I did to improve my technique. It’s not intuitive, and in fact you tend to lean back if you’re nervous of a corner, but force yourself to do it. I also lowered bars a bit to help make me lean forwards.

    Jambalaya, thanks for the tips and looking forward to the practical next week! Just spent 20 mins doing lots of S-shaped turns on gentle grass slope. A lot like a ski drill. Tried the Barels position and ESP the very high outside elbow. Tried to keep upper body relaxed and quite upright. At first front wheel remained a little overactive but then body weight took over more and S’s became more relaxed and smooth. The “feeling” was like an off-piste ski guide telling me to relax, do less with the body and close the turns very softly. when things become more extreme The bike turns became more open as a feeling but still closed in terms of the tracks.

    A good first start! Thanks for all the tips.

    Tires look basic bontragers jones Rcx or acx? Didn’t adjust the pressure for this drill.


    Good to see so much advice, but check the tyre pressure gauge carefully.
    Most cheapo pumps are just giving a random value, and whilst it may be consistent, it needs calibrating against something accurate.
    Petrol stations have service contracts to keep their kit accurate, so use your car tyre to calibrate your pumps…if you have a few pumps I bet they are all over the place.



    minion DHF is the answer.

    let the tyre do its work at a proper pressure. i.e not half flat.

    if you need more grip get super tacky.

    Thanks all for the tips. Went for an early evening 1.5 hr spin in the woods to put these tips and the S drill into practice. Made quite a change putting la technique francaise into action. Much more control mainly by focusing on keeping upper body more upright, outside foot at 6 o’clock and most importantly the outside elbow high. The latter made a big difference and helped keep weight forward. Flew round the bend where I nearly crashed on Friday!

    Interesting that in the past I think that I have been cornering in ready position which outside foot with heels down but more at 3 or 4 o’clock instead of 6. Perhaps this pushed the weight back!

    So thanks for the tips everyone!


    5% will be down to tyres, pressure, surface… 95% will be rider, body position, weight distribution.

    Get some coaching, Bob Campbell Coaching is good. Well worth it.

    Minion DHF Supertacky help too lol

    Premier Icon jambalaya

    @teamhurtmore – can we have a picture sequence of your heels at the 3, 4 and 6 o’clock positions 🙂

    Ask Tony about the ready position …..


    Barel’s vid is good, and it could be argued that he is a slightly better rider than me, but watching him go around that switchback was pretty cringe-worthy. So You just go in wide and do a massive skid? He’d have rocks thrown at him if he rode like that around here!


    sorry to resurect this one, but rather than start a new thread..

    following on from the good advice above, I’ve got a similar issue in that whilst I’m technically ok going in a straight line, my cornering really lets me down. I do most of what Mr barel suggest in his video already, but I’m still shit, i reckon because my weight is to much either towards the middle or back of the bike.

    Should I be concentrating on the feeling of almost losing the rear wheel when I go round a corner…ie unweighting the back end. Currently when I lose grip its always the front tyre that goes first. I’ve tried getting y weight forward, but it feels a bit odd, like I’m hanging over the front wheel a bit to much.

    I had a holiday that included a bit of skills tuition.

    I think its been commented on briefly already, but what really made a difference for me was being taught to lean the bike right over into the corners, keep the body upright above the bike, and point your belly button (i.e torso) the way you want to go.

    It has the effect of using the side knobs of the tyre much better, and when you start to slide out, because you are above the bike rather that leaning to the inside, you slide with the bike rather than it slipping away from you and dumping you on the trail.

    I was taught this on one morning, a couple of days later I did my first (albeit minor) two wheel drift, it was unplanned, just a bit too much speed on a gently curving bit of track with gravel, but instead of the usual arse clenching moment followed by going wide and losing my line/going off the trail, the bike just walked sideways across the corner and I exited still on top of the bike 🙂

    Its made me faster and more confident.


    Slow in fast out

    How long is your stem ?


    Mine is 60mm…

    I’ve wondered about this as I use to run an 80mm and didn’t have as much of an issue. I’ve also recently knocked a degree off my head angle on the bike.

    So theres every chanced I’ve totally cocked up the handling of my bike…


    you do not need a supertacky minion dhf to go round corners on an xc ride.

    bit more weight on the front, bit more practice. try to relax too.


    So theres every chanced I’ve totally cocked up the handling of my bike…

    very en vogue right now though…

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