Jumping Technique

After a long winter, the track finally opened up. They made quite a few adjustments, they added a few step ups and downs, as well as a gnarly rhythm section. The jumps I like are still there from last year.

But the issue this year so far Is when I go over a jump, I am gripping like all hell with my hands so I don't fall off the bike, and by the time I land, my arms are fully extended and holding on for dear life, and my ass is close to the rear of the seat by the time I land. I don't remember doing this last year, and I was able to ride a lot longer with no breaks.

I know experience is key, and gripping the bike is important as well. Is it possible that standing to straight up instead of lower on the bike would cause me to hold on for dear life? As well as my arms fully extended and my butt to the rear of the bike?

I hope this makes sense, if not I will clarify further to give a good image of what I'm doing.

Thanks in advance.

Sounds to me that if you're holding on so tight with your hands, you really should hold on and squeeze WAY more with your legs. You should be able to hardly close your hands over the bars and feel comfortable. Keep the outsides of your palms on the bars, almost rotate your wrists a little bit to point your hands inward. Just wrap your pinky and ring fingers around the bars and keep the others on the levers (or you could leave 1 on the levers). Then squeeze like all hell with your legs. Experience will come.

In my humble experience, having your butt too far to the back, unless the situation demands (wheelie, seat bounce, etc.) is only going to give you problems...

try riding with the majority of your weight forward on the seat, like crotch close to the gas tank. Not only will the bike respond better to your control, your arms won't be stretched, due to your body being so much closer to the bars. Also, I never stand straight up on a bike. Knees bent, butt up, shoulders forward. They call it the "attack position" and I have to constantly remind myself to practice it while riding.

Two of the best tips I ever read on here was "weight forward" and "weigh the outside peg":thumbsup:

Sounds to me that if you're holding on so tight with your hands, you really should hold on and squeeze WAY more with your legs. You should be able to hardly close your hands over the bars and feel comfortable. Keep the outsides of your palms on the bars, almost rotate your wrists a little bit to point your hands inward. Just wrap your pinky and ring fingers around the bars and keep the others on the levers (or you could leave 1 on the levers). Then squeeze like all hell with your legs. Experience will come.

Thanks for your response. I have a couple questions regarding grip.

- Is holding on with the pinky and ring finger enough to hold on over jumps/whoops/rhythm sections? I guess it's normal human response to hold on very tight so you don't fall off, get hurt. Will this also lessen the forearm burn during riding? I can't do more than a lap without stopping because of that.

- When holding on with the legs, the part you hold on to the bike is the plastic radiator shrouds correct?

In my humble experience, having your butt too far to the back, unless the situation demands (wheelie, seat bounce, etc.) is only going to give you problems...

try riding with the majority of your weight forward on the seat, like crotch close to the gas tank. Not only will the bike respond better to your control, your arms won't be stretched, due to your body being so much closer to the bars. Also, I never stand straight up on a bike. Knees bent, butt up, shoulders forward. They call it the "attack position" and I have to constantly remind myself to practice it while riding.

Two of the best tips I ever read on here was "weight forward" and "weigh the outside peg"

It seems over the period of the year that I forgot the basics in riding technique. Thanks for refreshing my memory, and I will put it to use next weekend for sure. At least I will have my new rear shock on (for my correct weight), and perhaps it will help as well.

In terms of your problem, its most likely the fact you're sitting down everywhere. You've gotta reverse that thought and stand up everywhere before you can graduate into sitting down. If you were to just stand up on the jump face, you wouldn't have any problems because you'd be pinching the bike and not sliding back on the seat...

- Is holding on with the pinky and ring finger enough to hold on over jumps/whoops/rhythm sections? I guess it's normal human response to hold on very tight so you don't fall off, get hurt. Will this also lessen the forearm burn during riding? I can't do more than a lap without stopping because of that.

Usually through bumpy sections, I'm gripping with my legs more then with my hands, but for sure my hands are on the bars fully, not just my pinky. When jumping, you don't need to have your hands really on the bars very much, as you're airborne and the only thing thats of any consequence is landing and having your arms ready for the impact.

Reducing the amount of energy you put into the bars is critical for not wearing yourself out. Riding tight like that comes from many factors, but the biggest is inexperience. I find myself riding tight sometimes and I have to fight it and believe it or not the solution is to go faster! When you go quick and put in lap after lap with a decent pace, you will eventually ride looser because you will have no choice, your body won't be able to take it.

- When holding on with the legs, the part you hold on to the bike is the plastic radiator shrouds correct?

Its not one particular area, as you can't really grip whilst sitting, gripping the bike is actually a standing/aggressive stance sorta deal. So you wouldn't be gripping the radiator shrouds because you arn't gripping while sitting. Of course there are other parts about gripping the bike like weighting the outside peg and such, but thats a different conversation.

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