Mountain biking is a type of cycling where cyclists cover all types of terrain. A popular subdivision of mountain biking called "dirt jump" involves riders performing various jumps and tricks, propelling their bikes off ramps made of compressed dirt. However, learning to jump properly can be useful for all categories of mountain biking. If you are interested in this sport, consider mastering the correct and safe way to jump.
Part 1 of 3: Get Ready
Step 1. Make sure your bike is in good condition
In general, this is an important part of mountain biking, but it is essential for you to jump safely. Your landing is going to exert much more force than usual on the bike. Also, failures become much more dangerous if they occur while you are in the air. Take a safety test before each ride.
If you're not sure your bike is in good condition, go to a bike shop to have it checked
Step 2. Prepare to jump
It is best to cycle for a while before trying to jump. If you are inexperienced, you are likely to fail the jump and injure yourself. A successful jump also requires a certain amount of general physical fitness. Keep your body in shape before jumping.
You can lower the seat below its normal height before doing jumps. Otherwise, you could hit your crotch on the seat during the jump, which can be very painful
Step 3. Visualize your jump
Before attempting any type of jump, look at the ramp. Plan your route to it and imagine landing on the other side. A general rule of thumb is that if you cannot see yourself landing safely, the jump should not be performed. If you see a lot of rocks and debris along the trail and on the other side, find a different place to jump.
- Practice jumping using an artificial ramp that is slightly sloping and lowers to the ground. This will allow you to perfect your jumps in a safe and simple environment.
- Once you've mastered the safer jumps, you may choose to use more challenging ramps. Popular ramps for mountain biking are man-made dirt climbs and natural outcrops.
Part 2 of 3: Get Started
Step 1. Pedal toward the ramp
Keep your bike at a moderate speed, staying slightly above the seat. You don't want to go too fast and make a mistake, especially when you're first learning. On the other hand, if you go too slow, you won't be able to make the jump.
Step 2. Compress the bike once the front wheel touches the edge of the ramp
Stop pedaling. Press the front suspension with your hands on the handlebars. Bend forward a bit. However, don't lean past the handlebars as it can cause the bike to lean forward. Don't return to your seat until after you've finished landing.
Step 3. Do a “manual” when the rear wheel touches the edge of the ramp
The "manual" is the term used by cyclists to describe when they stand up after compressing, lifting the front of the bike with their feet while jumping. You must shift the weight from your hands back to your feet and then onto the second wheel. Change your posture from bent to almost standing. Keep your hands on the handlebars and your feet on the pedals at all times.
By doing this, you will basically be jumping out of a hunched position and taking the bike with you
Step 4. Enjoy the flight
If you have compressed and done the "manual" correctly, you are probably in the air. Take a moment to experience one of the most entertaining parts of cycling. Keep your body relaxed and avoid stiffening. If your bike has not flown over the ground or if you have lost your balance and fell, review the steps and try again.
Part 3 of 3: Landing Safely
Step 1. Return to your attacking position (ready position)
The attack position is the default position you take while pedaling. Keep both elbows and knees bent and outward as you mount the seat. Take this action before landing.
Step 2. Land on both wheels simultaneously
Make sure your bike is lined up with the wheels parallel to the ground while still in the air. Shift your weight to level the bike. Landing on both wheels at the same time will help cushion the impact better and prevent you from slipping.
Step 3. Push the bike towards the ground
Pushing the bike on landing will create more traction, allowing the wheels to rebalance and grip the ground more easily. Use your arms and legs as the main suspension of the bike. Keep them relaxed and ready to take the hit.
Step 4. Roll after landing instead of braking
When jumping with the mountain bike, they will generate a lot of momentum, so it will be important that you do not brake right after landing. Otherwise, you could fly over the handlebars. To finish the jump safely, the bike will need to keep rolling to a slow stop.
After the jump, momentum can take you a long way
- It is best to learn how to bunny hop on your bike before attempting to jump.
- Always wear protective gear when mountain biking. At the very least, you should always wear a helmet; preferably one that fits properly and has a full face. Other good protective elements to use are: goggles, gloves, shin guards, knee pads, body protection and cycling lycra. This equipment is especially recommended when the person engages in high-risk activities such as jumping.