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Horgh

How to ride down a rock step-down?

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Hey guys,

I feel silly asking this, but I'd rather do it before I break a collar bone. So, I have a significant fear of heights, so any rock step-down kinda makes me nervous. Part of it is just the drop, part of it is the thought of going over the bars.

Let's assume a rock edge where the flat ground is 2 feet down. So far I've tried two things... first, just rolling off the rock at slow speed and hoping I don't case the bike. This, as expected, throws me forward when the front tire hits the ground below the rock (with the rear tire still up on the rock) and does feel like I may go over the bars. Second, I tried to lean back (butt over back of the seat, legs and arms extended) and throttle off the rock, so that my front tire is still in the air when the rear tire goes off the ledge, ideally landing "flat". This works pretty well in open spaces, but often there are trees, switchbacks or turns right after the step down, so I can't always do that.

I know the trials guys essentially do the second method with very minimal speed. They crawl up to the edge, throttle off to land flat, and stop dead at the bottom. It's impressive. Is that what I should be aiming for and practicing? Or is rolling off a rock like in the first method still an option I should consider?

Thanks!

Edited by Horgh

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Posted (edited)

Just BOMB IT man, let the bike do the work( under you) and keep your head looking ahead.   🙂

My friends that have recently taken up dirt biking have the same kinda questions, except the ones that MTB.   IDK what bike you’re on but chances are it’s pretty good at doing its part and 2ft is nothing to that bike. 

Good Riding to Ya!

 

You might also benefit from a vid on how to manual a bike.  It’s about the legs/not the arms. 

Edited by kxlubber

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7 minutes ago, kxlubber said:

Just BOMB IT man, let the bike do the work( under you) and keep your head looking ahead.   🙂

My friends that have recently taken up dirt biking have the same kinda questions, except the ones that MTB.   IDK what bike you’re on but chances are it’s pretty good at doing its part and 2ft is nothing to that bike. 

Good Riding to Ya!

 

You might also benefit from a vid on how to manual a bike.  It’s about the legs/not the arms. 

Since you brought up MTB, yes, method two that I described is basically a manual. I do a little bit of MTB too, but I'm not very good 😉  When you say bomb it, do you mean do a manual off of the ledge? Again, my concern is when there is very little room to land and an obstacle or turn right after.

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Not really specific to what you are asking (at all) but there’s a lot of  group Enduro rides in the Southeast & Midwest.   USDualSports is the sanctioning body.    They do 80-100mi per day and have a lunch.   Some of the rides are actual Dual Sports and require plates and the Enduros are just kinda plates recommended. 

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Posted (edited)

 First off relax, unless you case the bike on the drop off it's highly unlikely you will endo off of a 2' drop. On a taller drop you need to carry your front wheel out away from the drop as necessary. A very smooth landing can be achieved in tight quarters by picking a spot for your front wheel to land that is just far enough out to allow your rear wheel to basically roll down or drop straight down off the ledge, then you can land with very little forward momentum so you can turn or do whatever you need to do next.

 Use your knees more than the throttle to unweight the front wheel, like on the MTB.

Edited by motovita
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If trying to carry keep the front up and dropping off instead of shooting off, I like to load the suspension and use the rebound to help get the front up with less throttle input. That will prevent you from shooting too far off the ledge. If you time it right and land with the brakes on you can damn near stop right where you land. Be prepared to catch balance as you might bounce a little.

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Posted (edited)

I’m a broken record, but here goes. 
 

Ride with loose arms and a loose grip. Weight on your pegs, neither pulling or pushing the bars.  When rolling off slowly, start with your upper body far forward over the bars.  This allows you to naturally rotate your body back as the front drops off while you allow the bars to drop away. If all your weight is on the pegs, it’s very difficult to endo, since you’re balanced over the pegs and your body weight can instantly create great downward force on them. Stand up quickly from a crouch on your bathroom scale to see the effect of adding force to your pegs. As the front drops away, allow your knees to bend as your body moves back on the bike, but don’t make contact with the seat. It’s as if your body remains fixed in space over the lip while the bike drops away. Don’t use your front brake until you’ve made the transition if it’s needed. Keep your weight OFF the bars, and don’t do this while sitting. Add tips others have provided about using throttle and/or deweighting to control front wheel placement. Start with small drops (curbs?) and wear protective gear!

 

Edited. 

Edited by motrock93b
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All good advice, fellas. I've found some related videos on the Crosstraining Enduro channel. I guess I'll just keep practicing. Thanks!

Edited by Horgh

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Roll up to the edge nice and slow.  Then bounce and throttle off the edge, like trying to do a small practical wheelie at slow speed.  Might take a bit of practice but its not overly difficult skill.  

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The key point with this technique is to make sure that you have drive off the step, in order to keep the front up, but there is a risk that the rear wheel spins and you go head first.  So it's important to push down on the rear at the same time as applying a small amount of throttle, which makes the rear tyre grip.  This is used all the time by the trials boys and should also be used for slippery climbs, rock step-ups and logs.  It takes a little practice to get the timing right but don't think of it as a bounce, you're trying to push the back wheel into the ground so it won't spin.  Once the suspension starts to come back up, you've lost it, so timing is key.

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