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Proper landing technique(12 posts)

Proper landing techniqueKristin
Sep 9, 2003 7:52 AM
I caught some air the other day and came down hard on the front wheel. My bike made a loathesome sound, and I knew I'd made a mistake. Wheel is still in true, surprisingly. I know that you're not suposed to bring the front down first, but I keep doing just that. What is the proper way to land a jump?
airing it outChazWicked
Sep 9, 2003 8:04 AM
The rule of thumb is that your rear wheel should touchdown slightly before the front. That said, I tend to land completely flat, i.e. both wheels at the same time. I think the key bit is to gracefully absorb most of the energy with your body, staying loose and all that.

Body position should not be hovering over the bars. They should feel light in your hands with the weight nicely balanced on the pedals. If your hands are vibrating upon landing, you probably have your weight to far forward.

But this is from a guy who has broken both a fork and a stem on different occasions. I like to launch at every opportunity.

Have fun
Jumping road bikes???pedalAZ
Sep 9, 2003 9:08 AM
JK, right?

So, Chaz, what kind of carnage reuslted from losing a fork/stem in a jump?
I'll admit to a wee bit of air sometimes....Chicago_Steve
Sep 9, 2003 11:12 AM
I ride a cyclocross bike and... every now and then get the chance to get it airborne. My commute has a section that is being repaved and there is a 3" lip where the new blacktop will meet the curb. A little bunny hop at 18-20 mph and I'm over it as smooth as glass. So far no issues with 700x25c tires at 120 PSI but I try not to think about my wheels when I lift that front end to grab some air ;-)

Kristin.... Assuming your clipped in try lifting the front end a little before you pull up. This will let your front wheel be higher in the air then your rear and increases the chance of a better landing...
How much "air" is too much?Kristin
Sep 9, 2003 11:42 AM
There is a pretty wicked ramp coming out of the cube they installed on the Prarie Path. (The cube was installed to protect trail users from a bridge they are rebuilding.) Anyway, I get a foot or more off the ground when I come out of this thing. I could slow down, but I rely on that section of trail to keep my average up! Nothing sucks more than having to slow down on a -2% false flat in a tail wind. ;-)
A foot is pretty high I think...JFR
Sep 9, 2003 12:41 PM
...for a road bike.

That's funny about your avg speed comment... my jumps are also avg speed related :)

If the jump you described is the one you're landing nose first on... then (as I described in my other post) try pulling up on the bars a little more with your weight (butt) a little futher back... and stay loose... Don't think too much and TRY or you'll be tense, just do it.

Good luck.
Sep 9, 2003 12:29 PM
I don't understand:

"Assuming your clipped in try lifting the front end a little before you pull up."
Sep 9, 2003 2:08 PM
Well... That's probably a little bit of a poor explaination...

I was assuming that most roadies take advantage of the clipless pedals and simply get out of the saddle and pull the bike up to them (different then a trials style bunny hop as you are taking advantage of the fact that you are attached to the bike). If you lift the bars a little bit before you jump up then you can get a road bike up over most road obstacles.

Little did I know that Kristin's launching foot high drops (which I wouldn't recommend on most road bike)...

Steve (How do you explain how to bunny hop anyways?!)
uh oh... I doJFR
Sep 9, 2003 12:25 PM
Imagine THAT.

Two speed bumps get jumped on my to work.
Two pot holes get jumped (hopped) on my ride home.

I'm as gentle as possible and land both wheels together or the rear a fraction sooner. It doesn't seem too abusive.
the crashesChazWicked
Sep 9, 2003 1:23 PM
#1 - fork bent. Bike felt "funny" during a climb after repeatedly jumping this one beautiful arc. Probably got 2-3' of air over half a dozen launches. I had a look at everything before a really fast bomber descent & noticed that I had a stylie low rider fork. The fork rake was 20 degrees out with a serious bend right above the brake bosses. Oh right, I should mention that this was a custom cross bike. The builder, as it turns out, used road blades for the fork. Light and really compliant but perhaps a bit too much.

#2 - this one was scary. I dropped into this smooth buttery singletrack. The stem just completely failed at the weld JRA. I was then holding useless bars and I proceeded to launch over the bars. The cables went taught as the bars went down and hit the tire. This caused a nice pivot action for a traditional mountain bike endo. I think the cables may have saved me as if I just had the bars keep going towards the earth vs. a rotation, I'd likely have stuffed my face into the dirt and, who knows, neck damage...not sure but all scary. Luckily, only a scratch as I landed on nice pine needles vs. the nearby tree. I've since bought a thick Thompson stem.

My replacement for this bike is a eurocross steelman. Beautiful and designed for the kind of abuse that I give it. I've gotten this thing pretty high into the air running skinny 23c road tires and I'm not concerned with the wheels. A well built 32 spoke wheel is pretty indestructable.

I suppose if I had some swank sub 3 lb road frame I'd keep it close to the ground. But where's the fun in that? Plus, I'd want a bike that, under dire circumstances, would always deliver. Supposing I slide, get sideswiped, whatever into a road edge ditch but am somehow still upright, I'd try to *Lance* my way out of it, keeping weight back and hoping that there aren't any wheel trapping holes amongst the weeds. Super light bikes are for those destined for the podium.

I'll try to keep that in mindKristin
Sep 9, 2003 11:47 AM
I do tend to put a death grip on the bars. I'll try to keep it loose next time and see what happens. Thanks.
Jumping 101JFR
Sep 9, 2003 12:24 PM
hi Kristin, if you're bunny-hopping, your weight should be balanced font/rear and the bike should be pulled up with the bars, not your feet. You're still going to spring up with your legs but that's to elevate your body while pulling up on the bars (you shouldn't spring with the legs and snatch the bike with your feet; some people do and it can be done but it can also result in nose first landings and crossed up landings). I hope this makes sense.

If you're jumping off some kind of ramp (like a speed bump or rise in the road, or curb) your weight should have a rearward bias and (again) the bike should be pulled up with the bars, not feet.

It's natural to use your feet when clipped in to influence the bike, but try to avoid it when catching air and it will help.

You might also search on mtbr for more jumping "how to" discussion. Frankly, I'm surprised you didn't get more responses here.