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Skidding, tricks and balance

NachimirNachimir Posts: 126
edited December 2010 in MTB beginners
I've never had any tuition on bikes, and could do with some pointers on balance when skidding and doing tricks. I'm generally good at balancing and precise handling at very low speeds, and I'm also not scared of going fast.

I've always struggled with three things though: wheelies, endos and letting the back end out during skids and jumps. I seem to be either way inside the limits, or going right over them then coming off. I never feel like I'm managing to do any of these things with any consistency. Any tips on how to expand my comfort zone without just stacking it all the time? Are there any exercises that help with these kind of things, or is it all just down to drilling them over and over?


  • Find somewhere you can practice without hurting yourself and do so over and over again.

    It's pretty much the only way to do it.
  • ValyValy Posts: 1,321
    Don't do things for the sake of doing them - like you knowing well beforehand that trying to do "this" or "that" will end in a crash.

    The key is to do things at your pace and hasing fun. :D
  • I disagree with that, the way to be able to do these things well without braking flow is to have them so down-pat that you're not thinking about it when doing them on trails.

    Constant practice when mucking about will make you better still once you've got an idea of how they work.
  • JediJedi Posts: 827
    jumping is simples.
    wheelies? what for? and skidding?
  • Stuy-bStuy-b Posts: 248
    go out NOW and practice in the snow at night. its grate fun and if you fall its a fluffy soft landing. win win
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    I am a designated adult (haha) with my son's school MTB club, and regularly censored out kids for racing up to the group and skidding to a halt. Might be fun, but a locked wheel is inefficient and out of control. And my rear mech is worth more than their lives.
    And endos? - can't see the need on a trail. Unless you want a new face.
    But then I am a grumpy BOF.
    I don't do smileys.

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  • JediJedi Posts: 827
    endo is handy round alipine tight switchbacks
  • cooldadcooldad Posts: 32,601
    Jedi wrote:
    endo is handy round alipine tight switchbacks

    I'll try a couple round some SH switchbacks
    I don't do smileys.

    There is no secret ingredient - Kung Fu Panda

    London Calling on Facebook

  • NachimirNachimir Posts: 126
    edited December 2010
    Thank you Stuy-B, ride_whenever and Valy.

    Obviously, not planning to skid on anything that will damage my tyres, because I learned not ot do that when I was about 8. Also not expecting to do trials bike moves on a MTB. Or 8 foot drops on a hardtail. What I want is to be able to control it, well outside the parameters of normal XC riding. As to why: Why not?
  • x-islex-isle Posts: 794
    As already mentioned, get out and try it them.

    I would recommend getting as loose as possible on the bike first and learn to move your weight around the bike. Practicing trackstands can help get you in tune with balancing your weight around.

    As for skids, I agree with Jedi. Even watching some of the Pros Freeriding I hate seeing skids.......

    However, saying that..........learning to skid can help your reactions and what to do in the event that you do skid to correct it. Becomming loose on the bike and being able to move it around underneath you (or you around on top of the bike) is the key to getting the other skills nailed.
    Craig Rogers
  • NachimirNachimir Posts: 126
    edited December 2010
    Cheers Craig :)
    learning to skid can help your reactions and what to do in the event that you do skid to correct it

    *Very* much this. Want to be able to get the bike back under control when it's doing something abnormal. I've had a couple of accidents this year that involved unintenional skids; not from locking brakes, but from having less traction than I expected while cornering. If I had more practice, I might have been able to correct them instead of dinging my shoulder and face up.

    I want to push my limits, and accept that as a result I'll probably crash sometimes. First measure was getting a full face helmet, but the second is learning to scale things up slowly rather than pushing too hard and mangling myself really badly.
  • JediJedi Posts: 827
    you mean drifting and controling it when the tyres let go.
  • skidding is a pretty important part of learning to drift well. If you can't control a skid then you can't control a drift...
  • Wheelies are easy:

    Choose the right gear to pop your front wheel up whilst seated.
    Move your weight forward to begin with & then throw your bodyweight back over your rear wheel as you begin to pedal. Then it's about balancing your bodyweight over your back wheel. Use your back brake if you think your your about to fall backwards.


    Get on old tyre on the back, or wait til your current tyre is almost dead.

    If you were a kid (most of us still are! :roll: ), you'd just skid all the time to practice.
    So find a flat bit of tarmac/dry grass, ride in a straight line to gain as much speed as your comfortable with & then skid & control it

    Then repeat but as you skid turn a little to the left/right & control the skid.

    Keep trying this building up speed until you feel comfortable enough that you could control an unexpected slide at speed.

    Endos, are just slamming your front brake on and counterbalancing the bike moving forward with your bodyweight.

    Balance in general is about keeping your feet heavy (driving your weight into your pedals) and then keeping your hands light and just counterbalancing your bodyweight so that your belly button is above your bottom bracket & chin above your stem.

    Hope that helped even if it's a bit wordy!
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  • NorthwindNorthwind Posts: 15,475
    Don't come skidding on my trails though, every minute spent fixing a torn up trail is a minute not spent making a cool new one.
    Uncompromising extremist
  • tips for skidding from me include finding a car park with plenty of ice nicely settled on top, speed up to about 15-20 mph, then lean over to one particular side, then haul up on your backie. i slid for about 20-25 metres before i had to release the brake. that was only because i nearly hit a wall.
    Am i strange in that i actually ENJOY going up hills? Yes, yes i am.

    PS: Full - Sussers are for SOFTIES AND BIG GIRLS
  • RevellRiderRevellRider Posts: 1,794
    Northwind wrote:
    Don't come skidding on my trails though, every minute spent fixing a torn up trail is a minute not spent making a cool new one.

    + A whole bag of spuds

    There is a reason they say 'Skids are for kids'
  • NachimirNachimir Posts: 126
    Well that's me told.

    I think I made it clear enough already that I want to learn things about the limits of my bike and handling ability. Not that I'm thinking "Skids are cool!".

    Thanks for the advice, everyone.
  • PAD20959PAD20959 Posts: 109
    Do one of X-isle's course at Cannock Chase, cannot rate it enough!
    Orange Five 2010
    Specialized Carve Pro 2013
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  • wordnumbwordnumb Posts: 847
    Jedi wrote:
    jumping is simples.

    Indeed, it's landing that's the problem.

  • JediJedi Posts: 827
    no. its the one thing in life that's a certainty other than death :)
  • NachimirNachimir Posts: 126
    I used to have a problem with landings when I was 14. Got through quite a few rims that year.

    I was trying for a fast time on the commute home down the river tonight, and there was a hairy moment on a boardwalk under a bridge: cornering, wet leaves, back end slipped, water a foot to the left. Practicing drifts in the snow really paid off!
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