From the take-off to the landing, there are several techniques that you need to learn for an MTB jump. Doing it right is crucial for your safety and comfort. One wrong move and you might find yourself crashing and injured.
Interested to learn how to jump a mountain bike? Whether you are a casual rider or an adrenaline-junkie, keep on reading and learn from the tips well be sharing. It can be daunting at first, but with practice and courage, it won’t take long before you can master the fundamentals.
What to Do Before You Jump
Preparation is key to a successful jump in a mountain bike. Do not attempt to learn the basics of jumping if you are not yet confident of your biking skills. The first thing that you have to do is an honest assessment of your skills. You must be biking for a couple of years before you pull off this trick. This isn’t recommended for those who just recently learned biking.
As you get ready for the jump, take the time to inspect your mountain bike and make sure that it is in good condition. An ordinary commuter bike or road bike is not up to the task. So, make sure that you have a mountain bike in excellent condition. Your bike should also have either full or front suspension, which will be effective in terms of impact absorption during the landing. You must do a safety check on the bike that you will be using.
It is not only your mountain bike that should be in good condition. You also need to check your physical fitness. You must be in good shape to succeed with the MTB jump.
Once everything is set, the next thing you need to do is to visualize the jump. As a rule of thumb, if you cannot visualize a safe jump, then you should not do it. You should also look for potential threats to your safety, such as rocks and other things that can increase the likelihood of an injury.
A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Jump a Mountain Bike
Now that you are ready for the jump, here are the specific steps that will let you complete the MTB jump like a pro. There are three main parts of the jump – take-off, air, and landing. Below, we’ll talk about the more detailed steps on how to jumpstart a mountain bike for beginners.
1. Press Your Body into the Bike
One of the most important parts of the jump is pumping, which requires pressing your body weight into the mountain bike using your feet. Pumping should be done before there is a change in slope, providing you with the opportunity to accelerate. This step will also be crucial in compressing your suspension.
2. Approach the Jump in a Standing Position
As you get closer to the ramp or the lip to the terrain where you intend to do the jump, spring up your mountain bike. This will bring you into a standing position. As you approach the jump, it is normal that you become scared. For bikers, they call this the fight or flight. Do not let this disorient you.
When you stand as you approach the jump, bend your knees slightly. Straighten and fully extend your legs as the back wheel reaches the lip of the jump.
During this step, one thing that you need to learn is exploding. This is a technical term to the act of standing straight after the compression. This will let you pull the bike safely with you, making sure that it is not left behind.
3. Use Your Legs to Jump
Now that you are done with the takeoff, the next part is learning what to do to get in the air and while in the air. When your bike reaches the top of the takeoff, use your legs to jump.
To do this, you need to learn a technique called a bunny hop. This is crucial as this is what will let you lift the MTB wheels from the ground. You can get over the obstacles without slowing down your speed. To do the bunny hop, keep your forearms low, dip your heels, and bend your knees. Crouch down and hop upward.
4. Look Ahead and Stay Calm
Now that you are up in the air, keep looking ahead in preparation for your landing. Breathe deeply and relax. This will not only help you to stay calm, but this is also crucial for keeping your balance while on the bike.
5. Identify a Landing Spot
While you are up in the air, find a landing spot before hitting the ground. Quickly scan the area and look for a place where you can land safely. When spotting the landing, keep in mind that the goal is to match the angle of your bike to the angle of the landing.
6. Point the Wheel Where You Will Go
As you approach the landing, point the front wheel exactly where you would like to land. Wherever you will be pointing the front wheel, the rest of the mountain bike will follow. If you point it in the wrong direction, you might end up in an accident.
7. Stretch Your Legs and Arm
Once you are about to land, extend your legs and arms. This is important preparation for landing. Regardless of the suspension that your mountain bike has, you will need to use your legs and arms, which will cushion your body as you land. This minimizes the impact that your body will feel, making it vital for your comfort.
8. Land on Both Wheels
It is now time to land on the spot you have earlier identified. As the mountain bike hits the ground, make sure that the two wheels will do so simultaneously. Your weight should also be balanced on both wheels. Otherwise, you can lose control or go over MTB handlebars.
9. Push the Bike into the Ground
As your mountain bike hits the ground, push it with your body, which will increase traction. In turn, this will improve the balance of the wheel. Your arms, legs, back, and hips, among others, should be pushing your body downward. This will also prevent washing out and the possibility of being injured.
10. Roll Out
To complete the MTB jump, roll out of the landing as smoothly as possible. Do not hit the brakes. Sudden braking can cause the bike to lose balance and can make you flip over the handlebars. Keep the momentum and roll out until you can slowly put the mountain bike into a complete stop.
MTB Jump Tips and Tricks
Now that we have talked about the specific steps on jumping a mountain bike, below are some of the most important tips that you need to know.
Wear the Right Safety Gear
Before you even ride the mountain bike, make sure that you are equipped with the right safety gear. Even the pros are not spared from accidents. The worst that can happen is to have the wrong landing and suffer from an injury.
At the most basic, you should be wearing a mountain bike helmet, which will protect your head from a collision. Using knee and elbow pads will also help to provide you with peace of mind.
Use Platform Pedals
The pedals will have a huge impact on the success of your mountain bike jump. If you are starting to learn the fundamentals, use a platform, or flat mountain bike pedals. They have a wider surface and more stable, making them user-friendly. This also makes it easier to get off the bike when you lose control during the jump.
Lower the Saddle
Dropping the mountain bike saddle is a good thing since it will provide you with greater freedom of movement. This will also improve the ability of the body to absorb impact during the landing. It will be good to have a dropper seat post in your mountain bike, which will let you conveniently adjust the height of the saddle depending on what you are most comfortable with.
Add Pressure to Your Tires
Your mountain bike tires will also be instrumental in the outcome of the jump, especially the landing. It is recommended that you add pressure to the tires. This will also help to make the bike faster during the approach to the take-off. It allows the bike to roll smoothly. More importantly, it will add cushioning to improve shock absorption as you land after the jump.
Move Your Handlebars in the Air
One common mistake that most people commit is to stay steady when they are in the air. Rather than doing this, it will be better if you can turn your handlebar slightly to one side before finally having it straightened depending on the angle or direction where you will be landing. This does not only make you look cooler, but this will also provide better control.
Measure Your Jump
This is one of the best secrets to a successful mountain bike jump. Whether it is a log, gap, or rock, among others, you need to measure the jump. This way, you can calculate the effort that you will exert to lift the bike off the ground and land accordingly. You can pace your jump better if you know the distance that you will need to cover.
Do Not Pull Up
Most people might think that pulling up while in the air is a good practice, assuming that it will give you more time. What it does, however, is the opposite. Instead of pulling up, you need to work on your compression before the jump. You should make your legs firmer, and this will provide the momentum that you will need.
Practice Makes Perfect
This is the most important when working on your MTB jump. To achieve consistency, you need to keep on practicing. Through regular practice, you will know your mistakes and correct them accordingly. When you practice, do it with someone who is already adept at jumping, making it easier to identify the improvements that you should be working on. As you get better, try more complicated jumps and techniques.
Before we end this guide on how to jump a mountain bike, allow us to answer a few questions.
Q: How do you jump a gap on a mountain bike?
To jump a gap on a mountain bike, start by sizing up the gap. Next, launch the jump. Carry with enough speed to propel the movement of the bike while keeping your arms and legs relaxed. Once you are up in the air, use your hips to control your movement. Look ahead and land. Use your quads, triceps, glutes, and pecs as the suspension.
Q: Can you jump a hardtail mountain bike?
Yes, you can jump a hardtail mountain bike. Hardtails do a better job of jumping. The technique is also the same, but the main difference is that you do not need to force or push it as much compared to what you need to do in a full-suspension mountain bike.
Q: How do I keep my feet on pedals when jumping?
To keep your feet on pedals when jumping, make sure that you are wearing the right shoes. Proper foot placement is also a must. The ball of your foot should be sitting behind the axle of the mountain bike pedals. You should also create tension between the pedals and the handlebars.
Globo Surf Overview
Learning how to jump a mountain bike can be intimidating. To make things easier, take note of the steps mentioned above. The MTB jump is divided into three main steps – the take-off, air, and landing. Before you jump, visualize, inspect the bike, and equip yourself with the right gear. During the jump, stay calm and look ahead. When you land, do it on both wheels and roll out smoothly until you fully engage the brakes and put the bike into a stop.