Bike off road – top tips for mastering drop offs

Bike off road – top tips for mastering drop offs  – words Alan Traynor

When summer hits and there isn’t a cloud in the sky, is there really any better time to hit the mountain bike sales and take to those the trails to soak up the sun and bike off road? This might seem a good a time as any to learn yourself new trick to impress your mates at the track with, so why not consider how to master the perfect drop off?

Whether you’re left behind in a group of mates who all know how to perform the trick, or you just want to be ahead of the curve, with a little bit of know-how and a lot of practice you too can master this relatively simple technique as you speed down the hills. Here’s a quick how to guide when it comes to perfecting those drop offs.

Bike off road

Survey Your Location

When you’re rolling down a hill at speed you’ll view any kind of drop with an intense fear if you haven’t attempted this already, but it’s probably not nearly as bad as you assume it to be. Don’t run into these drops blind, apply the brakes and get off your bike to have a quick look at the drop you’re dealing with, this way you will know exactly how to position yourself in case the landing is steep. That old adage of ‘look before you leap’ has never been truer here.

Hit The Right Speed

While it’s good sense to be careful when attempting your first jump, what you do NOT want to be doing is attempting the jump at a snail’s pace. If you don’t have enough speed when you attempt a jump then it’s highly likely your front wheel will drop before your back wheel reaches the end of the cliff and therefore you will flip over your handle bars and could stand to do yourself some serious damage. Going too fast can also cause you to fly over your desired landing spot and could cause you to crash into something.

Be sure to study exactly how other riders attempt these jumps and at what speed they approach them at. Start with smaller jumps and slowly work your way up the bigger jumps when you feel you’ve mastered it.

Bike off road

Don’t Lean Back Until Necessary

You might be tempted to panic when you see a large drop coming your way and lean back immediately to ‘protect yourself’ – but if you do this the exact opposite is true. Instead keep yourself leaning forwards to give yourself momentum, until you leave the lip of the cliff, then you can lean back all you want – making sure you keep your hands on the breaks so you’re fully prepared for the landing.

Spread Your Weight

As outlined in the previous point, it is important to take your weight off the front wheel after you leave the lip – this is to prevent the chance of toppling over when you land. The aim here to is make sure that the bike lands equally on the tyres so you the weight is spread nicely between them both. Make sure that you don’t jerk the bike when you make the jump as this can throw you off massively, all movement should be smooth and precise.

Take It In For Landing

After you’ve left the cliff all that’s left to do is land the thing! Be sure to take all the advice given to you in the previous points and to let your arms and legs absorb the most of the impact you’ll feel when you land – your best mountain bike with a good set of shock absorbers certainly wouldn’t hurt either!

Bike off road – top tips for mastering drop offs  – words Alan Traynor

mountain biking

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