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Frequency of Balance Practice

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How often do you guys go out in the garage and practice your balance, hopping etc? I bought my first trials bike in November. But, I still go out and practice balancing the bike and trying to hop with the motor off at least a few minutes in the garage almost daily. Is this a common obsession?

How long does it usually take to get the hopping down? It can be very frustrating because some days it seems like I'm making progress and 2 days later, it seems like I'm back to square one.

Besides basic balance and hopping the front, are there any other motor-off things to practice?

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I don't really practice balancing that much.... It's kind of like riding a bicycle I guess. Once you get it, it takes a long time to un-get it. Besides, There is a huge difference between balancing with no speed and balancing right after a big hit. The second one is where I really suck. It's not really that I'm out of control, as much as I just struggle to keep it straight and balanced. I heard someone say it a while ago, but like 9/10's of our dabs are from being unbalanced, usually right after an obstacle... I guess what I'm saying is that if you want to balance, and you are still learning to do it at a standstill, that's great, but if I had to chose one, I would chose being to be able to balance after a hit.

Hopping is really good to practice. Learn to do the backwheel at a standstill, as in just small, 3-12 inch "jerks" to nudge the back wheel across. Way more practical in a tricky section that big, swooping 90 degree ones... With the front wheel, make sure you've got both brakes on, and that you are using your knees in a a really rhythmic motion. When you get it right, it will feel like you wouldn't even need you hands to be there... Hopping the front wheel some of the time took me about a month. Getting it to where I'm consistent in both directions took about 6 or 7. Back wheel was a little less to the right, still can't get the feel of going to the left at more than 3 inches or so at a time.

With the balancing, also try it with your front wheel in a bunch of different ways... like full lock left and right, halfway to lock left and right, and then dead straight.

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Practice balancing any time you feel like it and in any way you want. You can also practice it while putting your pants on and then your shoes and socks.

When you are riding, try this: With open legs and the bike leaned into one leg in a full lock turn, see if you can come to a stop, balance and then continue WITHOUT changing the track of your circle and WITHOUT bringing the bike back up from the leaned over position.

If you can do this and keep the bike in the same track of a full-lock turn circle, then you are doing very well.

If you find that you have to bring the bike up from the leaned over position or that you dab or have to make an adjustment when you stop, then no matter how little, it shows that you were still using some amount of centrifugal force to hold your balance.

Keep in mind too, that left and right balance is just part of the picture. Forward and rearward against acceleration and braking are just as important. If you feel the handle bars pulling you upon acceleration or holding you back from a face plant upon braking, then you are not balanced. It's a 360 degree thing at all speeds and all changes in direction.

If the weather allows, riding the bike is the best way to practice balance. Just make frequent stops during your ride even if it's just to look something over before you enter or waiting for a friend to catch up.

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I have been trying to just cruise around the back yard. weaving through trees and running over weeds. Can't say I am any good. But I am at least out moving around a little. The bike sure does feel different when the engine is running vs. stalled. I can cruise fairly well with it running, but as soon as I stall it out (yes I do that more often then I should) it just wants to fall over. That gyroscope of a flywheel on the engine makes a huge difference.

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I'm with leanin. Balance a few minutes every day, practice hops with no motor. I also got hooked on trials bicycles and bought another one recently.

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Not to hijack the thread, but I got the META VTT, see metabike.com. They're made up in Toronto. Great frame build quality, the components are mid-grade. I'm no pro, but love it so far....

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Yeah, they look like nice bikes... I'm in about the same boat as you. No pro, but having lots of fun...

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I practice when I ride a few times a week.

A couple of things I find help me get balance are, keeping my feet and knees out wide. Stop slow and smooth, so as not to bounce around. Get it on a slight lean and turn the bars in the same direction. Get both brakes on and work the front slightly to get a good bite into the terrain, start off using objects to wedge into. This allows you to keep balance with your bar inputs rather than body movements.

Nice Bike DRZ. I'm just a hack on a pushy, but scored an old school Raceline Rhino (It had a seat, not that I can use it!), great fun and good practice. Saves some hrs on the Beta.

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