- So how does one get properly good at dirt-jumping then?
Longish post but in short how do you learn to dirt-jump properly?
I saw Brendan Semenuk’s clip in From the Inside Out last night at Union Chapel and am inspired to spend this summer learning to dirt jump properly. It’s always eluded me.
Does anyone have any tips on how to take this to the next level? I’m competent (one might even say good, occasionally) at general flowy mountain biking jumps, even big ones 30 feet long. But what I can’t do are large, quasi-BMX style doubles with a vertical lip – the really big stuff like what you see in the footage above. I can whip the bike out nicely and hip jump the bike 90 degrees in each direction, but I can’t tabletop and want to do so.
Partly I can’t do proper doubles because I’ve always been using a full suspension bike with a long wheelbase, which isn’t the right tool for the job – so I want to procure an appropriate hardtail, preferably steel, and wonder if anyone has any recommendations (I’m currently using an On One Inbred but expect that’s got the wrong geometry).
But enough about the bike, what’s the technique/best way to learn? I expect there’s no risk-free way and lots of big crashes will come my way. At the moment I’m just launching off everything in sight on my commute, with pedals in flat mode (SPDs obviously out of the question for this kind of thing).
People I ride with have said that my jumping is dependent on SPDs – that I pull too much with my feet instead of pushing the bike away with my arms. I notice that when I ride with flats, I tend to “dead sailor” a lot, and have difficulty moving the bike around fluidly beneath me when I’m in the air. My knees aren’t bent enough – I think that’s why I can’t tabletop, mentioned above.
One thing I’ve found is that since I began climbing and my upper body has got stronger, my jumping has improved too (but not enough).
Also are there any publicly known spots near London? Teddington, Wisley and Banstead had great doubles BITD but I don’t know if they’re still there or if there’s anything a little more central. Not Council-approved moderate BMX tracks, I mean proper hardcore illicit deathtrap places where there’s a penalty for failure!
CheersPosted 6 years agoleggyblondeMember
A voyage company, no? My sister went there last week and said the small and medium lines have been made bigger but still progress nicely.
The ones on northern monkey aren’t really what the OP is looking for. They are wonky, not very steep and have a flat landing off the 3rd! Fine for FS, crap for a DJPosted 6 years agochamleyMember
I think if one was to pedal like **** towards a big dirt jump, then one would fly through the air. Just hold on!
haha! we used to have some dirt jumps in Leeds and a lad on a cross country bike turned up and said something along those lines, “surely all there is to it is getting the speed right?” he couldnt be convinced otherwise and then completely nailed himself. Couldn’t knock his confidence though…
I found when I was struggling with dead sailors, concentrating on staying loose, light grip on the bars and making sure you do something in the air, a little whip, anything really, was a good way of preventing the dead sailors. Extending your arms and legs on the takeoff, also helps, at least some preload on the take off. Just going straight with no input was guaranteed dead sailor time for me.Posted 6 years agoTrimixMember
Ive started to do jumps, doubles, tabletops etc, very basic stuff at the moment. But I was interested to read in your post that you say you can do whips/hip jumps etc but not table tops.
For me table tops are easy and by doing them doubles are the same, they are just table tops with no middle. Once you get the speed right and take off right then I dont find any difference between them.
Im using a heavyish FS bike with SPD’s. I could not do it on flats as if my feet left the bike I would have no control. But Im not using the SPD’s to lift the bike, my speed up the face and my unweight of the bars lifts the bike. No pulling or foot work is used.
Perhaps this is your issue, you mention others have commented on your pulling up technique. If you look at say a double, the bike will roll up the lip, arc through the air and then land on the downslope – it will do this if your weight is in the middle of the bike and you have not upset this balance by pulling, lifting etc. I found once the speed was correct all I did was unweight the front and that was it. Sure, my head position and body position was correct, but not much more was involved. I rotated the bike a bit to land on the downslope.
If your happy doing whips etc then your fine moving your body around, but for doubles and table tops you dont need that skill, Ive not got it and I can now do table tops and doubles.
Start at the beginning again for a small table top, concentrate on all the elements and build up one by one till your happy with it all. Then go up a notch, say do a bigger one or do a double instead of a table. Do it clipped in so your feet dont leave the bike.Posted 6 years agochamleyMember
I think he means tables the tricks not tables the obstacle, i.e. laying the bike over in the air.
I find tables easier on hip jumps instead of straight jumps, but i can understand your frustration, they’re hard to learn! I initiate it mostly with the handlebars and bring the legs up once it’s moving. I push down with the lower end of the handlebar, pull across my body with the upper side of the handlebar and pivot my hips up as the bike lays over. i’m finding this is really hard to describe in words…
heres a photo.. that might explain it betterPosted 6 years ago
All class, thanks people
Agree that there’s a world of difference between vertical lip stuff, and hucking/drops – you can blag the latter but not the former
That’s a sick photo btw! I just get nervous at the thought of committing to something that high, where either you throw yourself up into the treetops or you die…where the only way out is through. Time to man up.
Weirdly I can’t imagine NOT tabletopping the bike slightly on a jump of that height, to keep it stable. What I mean is, if you just flew up and down with no twist, would there be greater risk of nosediving or getting out of balance, whereas leaned over in a slight tabletop you’re inherently more stable. Dunno.
SPDs have never really been my style, I made my peace with them for freeride/DH but they are coming off for this!Posted 6 years ago
Ive never been an amazing trails rider but I can jump ok. What’ll make it alot easier is having an appropriate bike i.e. a proper dirt jump bike or a bmx.
An on one isnt ideal, the wheelbase is too long. You want something small, and if you’re going to use suspension forks, make sure they dont have much travel and they’re set up stiff.
I find with table tops its best if you tuck your knee right across the top tube. They look much tidier.
Posted 6 years ago
Make sure you spend 100’s of hours getting your tables “dialled” aswell. Thats what I spent my time doing. Semenuk does some of the best tables for a mtber, but theres so many pro riders who still do table tops with their kness sticking out all over the place. They should have put the hours in and made something of themselvesPosted 6 years ago_tom_Member
Get a Trailstar, jumps so nicely and you can use it for other riding as well 🙂 If you’re ever up Leicester way take a trip to Western Park. They’re all tabletops I think (haven’t been for a couple of years), but great place to learn riding steeper lipped jumps.
Short travel hardtail does make it easier.Posted 6 years agoEuroMember
If your gonna buy something less focused than a dedicated jump bike, then you may as well stick with the Inbred. I’ve one of those child’s reptoids as a jump bike now, but made do with a Marin xc bike for a few years prior. It was alright (despite being the wrong type of bike) but I was more concerned about breaking it rather than long chainstays, poor geo etc.
As Mr taylforth says, pop along to that spot in the pic and help out – you can make them as big or as wee as you desire if you build them yourself.Posted 6 years agokudos100Member
I’m no expert jumper, but can ride small dirt jumps and hit reasonable size tables and doubles.
First of all if you have been learning with spd’s the chances are you are probably pretty poor at jumping. Ditch them and start again with flats.
A few things that helped me to become a better jumper are: Learning decent bunnyhops, learning to pump really well and learning a bit of style in the air.
Once you can bunnyhop well (on flats) and pump fluidly you can take this to jumps.
learn to pump trannies (not men dressed as women) and stay loose and you’ll become a much better jumper.Posted 6 years ago
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