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Drop off dilemma

Triban ManTriban Man Posts: 35
edited August 2013 in MTB beginners
There are a couple of big (ish) drop offs, one quickly after the othr, at my local mountain bike track which are causing me concern.

To date, I have successfully negotiated them by building up speed. However, my control is minimal. I know there is a far better way of doing them.

They are both on a fairly steep slope. Am keen to take them on correctly at a slower speed. Any advice?
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  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    pop the front wheel up, then drop.
    Practice the timing and technique on smaller things first, even a kerbstone will be fine. Then slowly build up to larger and larger drops.

    Speed isn't a bad thing, but it can sometimes mask poor technique.
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    I find the best way is to stay low and loose on the bike, then as I roll through the drop off push the bike away from me, which is in effect moving my weight back. The trick is to go 'out' from the drop off rather than thinking you need to go 'up' so you following the downward slope and land in a controlled way.

    If you are nervous you may well be quite upright, immobile and hanging on with a death grip! Try to stay off the brakes as people tend to grab a handful as they land, or even brake in mid air in anticipation.

    If you have two joined up it may be better to find somewhere else to practise first.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • pesky_jonespesky_jones Posts: 2,890
    pop the front wheel up, then drop.
    Practice the timing and technique on smaller things first, even a kerbstone will be fine. Then slowly build up to larger and larger drops.

    Speed isn't a bad thing, but it can sometimes mask poor technique.

    +1 keep it minimal, you don't want too much going through your head
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    edited August 2013
    Triban Man wrote:
    There are a couple of big (ish) drop offs, one quickly after the othr, at my local mountain bike track which are causing me concern.

    To date, I have successfully negotiated them by building up speed. However, my control is minimal. I know there is a far better way of doing them.

    They are both on a fairly steep slope. Am keen to take them on correctly at a slower speed. Any advice?

    Drop offs are a bugbear for me too. I'm happy to drop a couple of feet onto a flat landing, but when the landing's a steep downslope with loose surface and a corner at the bottom my head doesn't like it. This one at Gisburn (which is only a bike's length after a 90 degree left hander) gets me every time (I've attempted it twice, and not crashed either time, but made a real hash of it and nearly binned it):

    9027461254_94d74a1feb_b.jpg

    Gisburn%20Hope%20Drop%20Off.JPG

    I know the theory of how to do it, but putting it into practice is another matter.
  • i personally like building up speed. when i speed it up, the landing doesn't seem that hard to me, but really you shouldn't go all out on big drops, can turn out bad if you hit a rock or something laying on the ground.
  • Dave_P1Dave_P1 Posts: 565
    Practice on smaller drops and get your technique dialed in before moving onto stuff your not sure about.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    A bit of speed and pop the front wheel up. A down slope landing helps keep things smooth.
    Technique is the same whether you're riding off a kerb or hucking off a cliff.
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Just to be clear, popping the wheel up doesn't mean pulling up, you really don't want to be doing that.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Just to be clear, popping the wheel up doesn't mean pulling up, you really don't want to be doing that.
    can you word it better for him, then?
  • Triban Man wrote:
    There are a couple of big (ish) drop offs, one quickly after the othr, at my local mountain bike track which are causing me concern.

    To date, I have successfully negotiated them by building up speed. However, my control is minimal. I know there is a far better way of doing them.

    They are both on a fairly steep slope. Am keen to take them on correctly at a slower speed. Any advice?

    Drop offs are a bugbear for me too. I'm happy to drop a couple of feet onto a flat landing, but when the landing's a steep downslope with loose surface and a corner at the bottom my head doesn't like it. This one at Gisburn (which is only a bike's length after a 90 degree left hander) gets me every time (I've attempted it twice, and not crashed either time, but made a real hash of it and nearly binned it):

    9027461254_94d74a1feb_b.jpg

    Gisburn%20Hope%20Drop%20Off.JPG

    I know the theory of how to do it, but putting it into practice is another matter.

    Where is that at Gisburn? Cant say i remember it from the red route, so im asuming Hope Line?
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 14,770
    Just to be clear, popping the wheel up doesn't mean pulling up, you really don't want to be doing that.

    Ok. Pump the forks and move your weight back so that the rebound of the fork lifts the front wheel a little. Practice off a kerb, you are getting it right if both wheels land at the same time.
    If its a steep landing you can sometimes just ride off the lip and let the front drop but that comes with experience.
    Most important thing is weight back and low, arms and legs slightly bent. Keep relaxed and don't tense up.
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Just to be clear, popping the wheel up doesn't mean pulling up, you really don't want to be doing that.
    can you word it better for him, then?

    Already gave my opinion above, but as two people have suggested popping the wheel up without actually suggesting how, a little clarity was required.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Just to be clear, popping the wheel up doesn't mean pulling up, you really don't want to be doing that.
    can you word it better for him, then?

    Already gave my opinion above, but as two people have suggested popping the wheel up without actually suggesting how, a little clarity was required.
    :roll:
    Yeah, fine ok. But if you can explain it better go ahead, rather than just saying it should be done.
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Is being a bossy pain in the aris your official role here or just a voluntary thing?
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • Just YouTube "MTB drop off" or something similar. Plenty of good advice there about technique for this and other skills. Small drops first to develop skill and confidence though.
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Is being a bossy pain in the aris your official role here or just a voluntary thing?
    No, but this...
    Just to be clear, popping the wheel up doesn't mean pulling up, you really don't want to be doing that.
    Was useless.
    Make it clearer then. Explain it.
    Either that, or STFU.
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Telling someone not to pull up wasn't useless and I've already explained how I approach drop offs, so why don't you stop frothing at your p1$$ slit about everything for a change?
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Telling someone not to pull up wasn't useless and I've already explained how I approach drop offs, so why don't you stop frothing at your p1$$ slit about everything for a change?
    Why are you so touchy?
    Two of us tried to explain, you said not to do that, so I'm asking you to explain it better. What is your problem for chrissakes?
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    mrbiker473 wrote:
    Triban Man wrote:
    There are a couple of big (ish) drop offs, one quickly after the othr, at my local mountain bike track which are causing me concern.

    To date, I have successfully negotiated them by building up speed. However, my control is minimal. I know there is a far better way of doing them.

    They are both on a fairly steep slope. Am keen to take them on correctly at a slower speed. Any advice?

    Drop offs are a bugbear for me too. I'm happy to drop a couple of feet onto a flat landing, but when the landing's a steep downslope with loose surface and a corner at the bottom my head doesn't like it. This one at Gisburn (which is only a bike's length after a 90 degree left hander) gets me every time (I've attempted it twice, and not crashed either time, but made a real hash of it and nearly binned it):

    9027461254_94d74a1feb_b.jpg

    Gisburn%20Hope%20Drop%20Off.JPG

    I know the theory of how to do it, but putting it into practice is another matter.

    Where is that at Gisburn? Cant say i remember it from the red route, so im asuming Hope Line?

    Yeah, about half way down the Hope Line. The trail splits round the trees and you've got the choice of that drop (or the chicken run immediately tp its right, which just slopes down), or a double drop on the other side.

    This pic shows the landing slope better:

    9027464820_09f4428bbb_b.jpg

    It's not the drop that bothers me (in itself it's nothing), it's the steep, loosely surfaced landing that freaks me out. I approach it every time knowing the theory and intending to drop it, but at the last moment my head says "Abort! Abort!" and I slither to a stop or take the chicken run. This short vid shows it from the bottom, with the alternative double on the left:

    http://vimeo.com/64553607

    This one at Stainburn's similar (steep landing slope, loose over hardpack surface, right turn at the bottom. After half a dozen aborted approaches I finally took it, landed it fine and thought "well, that was nowt", but still baulk on the approach now, even having nailed it once:


    100620133212_zpsef665eb8.jpg
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    A bit of speed and pop the front wheel up. A down slope landing helps keep things smooth.
    Technique is the same whether you're riding off a kerb or hucking off a cliff.

    Aye, I understand the theory - weight rearwards, knees bent, keep low over the bike, arms bent so that the dropping front wheel doesn't pull me forward over the bars, lift the front a little, and the fact that the down slope should actually help a smooth landing, since it's effectively flat under the wheels (since the dropping front's below the higher rear), but when I approach and look over the edge I just get all :shock: in my head. I'm just rubbish, lol. :cry: When I was 13 I would've launched my BMX of it without a care in the world, lol...
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    After half a dozen aborted approaches I finally took it, landed it fine and thought "well, that was nowt", but still baulk on the approach now, even having nailed it once:
    Personally, I find it helps, once you've overcome a psychological barrier like that, to hit it several times whilst you're still there, it seems to reinforce in my mind that it wasn't a one-off.
    I had a similar moment doing the big drop in Glentress, in the freeride park, and whilst I look back at it now and wonder what the fuss was about, at the time, it took several aborted runs to hit it :lol:
  • Kowalski675Kowalski675 Posts: 4,412
    Yeah, even with my lack of any riding ability it's definitely more of a psychological hurdle than an actual riding one. After all, the two I'm struggling with aren't even big drops (I can drop bigger onto a flat landing no trouble)- it's just that steeply sloped and loose surfaced landing area (and view from the approach) that makes me bottle it. After nailing that one at Stainburn I literally thought "that was nothing, why was I worried about that", but approaching it still makes me baulk. The first time I plucked up the bottle to drop the gisburn one I did ok (it wasn't all that pretty, but it was reasonably under control), but the second time I made a hash of it - landed a bit nose first, slid a bit and nearly binned it into the trees on the left, but stayed upright (luckily I was alone, so nobody saw me look a censored , lol), so if anything I'm more wary of it now.

    I probably need to find a similar drop in isolation to practice on, rather than these (the gisburn one's 40 miles away anyway, so a bit far just to nip up just for a practice, lol). Take away the loose surface and corner that needs negotiating just after the drop and there's less for the head to process and fret about. Get the basic technique nailed so you know you can do it, then transfer it to the trail.

    I must be getting old, when I was a kid I would've thrown myself off there on my BMX without even thinking about it. At one point we had a jump that was made of a stack of wooden pallets about six feet high, with a big sheet of wood for the takeoff ramp, then a gap of about ten feet before the similar landing ramp, and I'd happily launch off that all evening, but now I can't get my head round these little drops, lol. At least I know I'm a fanny though - it's amusing to see some of the riders at the top of the Hope Line sat on long travel AM bikes in full armour and full face lids, looking the real deal, but then going down there no faster and just as fanny-like as me, lol...
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Telling someone not to pull up wasn't useless and I've already explained how I approach drop offs, so why don't you stop frothing at your p1$$ slit about everything for a change?
    Why are you so touchy?
    Two of us tried to explain, you said not to do that, so I'm asking you to explain it better. What is your problem for chrissakes?

    I didn't say not to do it, I said not to pull up as both your instructions were vague - telling someone to pop the wheel up without actually explaining how that is done could lead them to think they need to pull up, which is bad.

    RM got that and clarified it, you can't actually do that without having a dig, maybe it's your ego needs massaging but you really need to learn that if you want a polite answer, ask a polite question.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    A bit of speed and pop the front wheel up. A down slope landing helps keep things smooth.
    Technique is the same whether you're riding off a kerb or hucking off a cliff.

    Aye, I understand the theory - weight rearwards, knees bent, keep low over the bike, arms bent so that the dropping front wheel doesn't pull me forward over the bars, lift the front a little, and the fact that the down slope should actually help a smooth landing, since it's effectively flat under the wheels (since the dropping front's below the higher rear), but when I approach and look over the edge I just get all :shock: in my head. I'm just rubbish, lol. :cry: When I was 13 I would've launched my BMX of it without a care in the world, lol...

    It's easier said than done but if I'm doing something I'm uncomfortable with then I focus on one thing, staying loose on the bike. It tends to help the other things happen on there own, but if you are tight and rigid you can't do anything (apart from grab the brakes at the wrong time) .
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Telling someone not to pull up wasn't useless and I've already explained how I approach drop offs, so why don't you stop frothing at your p1$$ slit about everything for a change?
    Why are you so touchy?
    Two of us tried to explain, you said not to do that, so I'm asking you to explain it better. What is your problem for chrissakes?

    I didn't say not to do it, I said not to pull up as both your instructions were vague.
    I KNOW that, which is why I asked you to word it better. I know how it's done, but it's very difficult to put into words.
    But your frustration at not actually being able to word it any better seems to have angered you somehow, and it seems like your fragile ego is the one that's needing some massaging.
    You took an invitation to clarify something, and turned it into a declaration of war.
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Take a breath, get over yourself and then try and understand why I would have wanted the OP to be clear that popping up doesn't involve pulling up. Hint: it wasn't designed to make you cry or have a wet your pants tantrum.

    I'd already commented that I push the bike away from myself as a technique, that has the benefit of also compressing the fork slightly to get you some rebound. You could tell the OP to push down, but as forks are quite good a damping rebound in that direction that doesn't really work.

    If you want to coherently criticise in that as advice I'm all ears.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Take a breath, get over yourself and then try and understand why I would have wanted the OP to be clear that popping up doesn't involve pulling up.
    I do understand WHY, but you haven't actually made any effort to explain it, still. You're too intent on turning it into an argument.

    Quite apart from that, I disagree with your advice about pushing the bike away from you, that's just going to end in tears, unless you mean extending your arms and legs to meet the landing.
  • 97th choice97th choice Posts: 2,222
    Your passive aggressive posturing gets tiresome, if someone calls you on it then that's tough, get over it.

    If the OP needs clarification on why pulling up is a bad idea then I'll happily provide it.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • YeehaaMcgeeYeehaaMcgee Posts: 5,740
    Dude, WTF? You're the one who (rightfully) pointed out it wasn't a clear explanation, all I did was ask if you could clarify it any better. There was nothing aggressive, or passive aggressive about it.
    You've got some serious issues, and I don't mean that as a silly remark, or an insult. It's rather worrying.

    So, for the last time, can you clear it up and provide a better explanation?
  • I just put my seat down and sit of the back of the bike and roll over it. If its to steep to roll over it still sit back but more speed. Thats how I deal with drops
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