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My bike is still out of commission and waiting on a new derailer hanger from IBEX. But i have not stopped reading this site and daydreaming about the trails.

During one of my daydream rides, i began to start thinking about fallen trees and logs on the trail and the best way to get over them .. None of them are too high that you cant climb over them. maybe the tallest is 9 or 10 inches.

I have only been riding for about 4 months now, and am wondering if climbing (one wheel at a time) is the best way to get over or am i just being a wuss and not bunny-hopping over them like i should?

How do you guys deal with logs and trees?
 

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You've got the right idea. One wheel up, then roll over with the other. Shift your weight back over the saddle when your front wheel clears the log, or you'll end up with too much weight foward, and end up on your face.
Start practicing on smaller logs and rocks, then work your way up.
Sometimes it's helpful to build a ramp out of other logs or rocks to help get over the big ones. Otherwise people tend to ride around, which isn't the best policy for trails.
It's helpful to ride with some more experienced riders, so you can watch their techniques. Even if you ride slower, and have to walk some parts, you'll get to see how they handle obstacles, and choose lines.
I can clear smaller logs with a well timed bunnyhop, but for the big'uns, just do what's comfortable. I've been riding for 7 years, and I still have to dismount on the largest ones.
 

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I'm not a really big hopper, myself. I prefer to keep rubber in contact with turf most of the time (I've got a stubborn XC streak and keeping power getting to the ground keeps you going fast). I recently put on a bash plate to give me a little more confidence in the hops and to take bigger logs one tire at a time. Do what feels comfortable for what you're facing.
 

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I'm learning to get over logs that are about 12" or more. This technique is useful for when your chainring will hit if you try to let your rear wheel roll over it. Pop your front wheel on top of the log, then (here's the key) while your front wheel is still on the top or just rolling over the log, then pop the back wheel up. Get your speed and timing right so that when you pop the back wheel up, it lands on top of the log.
 

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Wheelie-Mule kick is the way to go over increasingly larger logs. Practice on small stuff to get the timing and then move on to larger and larger logs. Done right, you will be able to get over logs without hitting your big ring and without slowing down too much. I can clear about a 24" log, without breaking pace too much, but it took me a few trys to get there. The most important thing is to commit to the process. If you try to bail in the middle, you will likely end up on your face.

Here's the approach:

First, don't go too slow. You need to be carrying enough speed to make it over the log, and a little more won't hurt either.

Wheelie your front wheel on to the top of the log.

As soon as your front wheel is on the log, bunny-hop/mule kick your rear wheel up. If you have been carrying enough speed, your rear wheel will land on the top of the log.

At this point you have two options: 1) get your weight back and let the front wheel go to the ground. Make sure you are behind the seat, or you might do an up close ground inspection. 2) The "Jap Zap" (named for some Moto X racers action) In this scenario, when the rear wheel hits the top of the log, you do a small bunny hop again. This will pull your bike up level and you will come off the log level with the ground.

The "Jap Zap" is particularly effective when going over larger logs, or logs that have a severe down slope on the landing side.

Pratice on small stuff to get the timing and remember, speed is your friend. Too slow and your mule kick will put the rear tire into the log (resulting in rapid deceleration and face planting) You want to do this a few times on logs where the cost of failure is not a face plant.
 

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I meant to say this earlier, but I got distracted. Please don't build ramps over logs, or chainsaw them out. If you see chain ring marks on them that means someone is riding them (or at least trying). I hate when people see fit to reduce challenging obstacles on the trail to their level, instead of learning to handle them. To me, riding is about increasing my fitness and my skills. Over groomed trails are boring and don't invite a return trip. Natural obstacles rule!!

(off the soapbox now)
 

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rebel1916 said:
a ramp on one side allowss the jumpers to jump, without ruining it for us XC types. Just a thought.
rebel1916,

Without wanting to go OT on this thread, I'm going to respectfully disagree. I'm an XC type and I don't want natural obstacles to be ramped for jumping. Leave em the way they are and learn to ride them to the best of your ability. Anyone can launch off a ramp, cruising over a previously untamed obstacle is a bigger rush than a trail jump any time.
 

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Tebr73 said:
rebel1916,

Without wanting to go OT on this thread, I'm going to respectfully disagree. I'm an XC type and I don't want natural obstacles to be ramped for jumping. Leave em the way they are and learn to ride them to the best of your ability. Anyone can launch off a ramp, cruising over a previously untamed obstacle is a bigger rush than a trail jump any time.
Yeah man, for you. I ride XC too, and my bike is not really built for big jumps. When I get a chance to do a jump or drop that is size appropriate to my bike I like to pretend I'm 14, and huck off it. My point is you are an XC guy. You certainly don't want yahoos removing obstacles. Other people are looking for a different rush. Since we all gotta share the trails, we gotta make allowances for other riding styles. I think you would agree that the odd log with a ramp approach option, is far superior to the chainsaw method the trail sanitizer shmucks are quick to use.
As an aside I was loading up in the parking lot of my local trail system (Stewart State Park in NY) which is about as XC as it gets. Fast, flowing, berms, lots of power climbs, and steep rocky decents etc. Unloading their cars are a bunch of kids with full face helmets and a mix of all mountain, and 40 LB DH and freeride bikes. I asked one if he didn't think he was packing a lot of bike for what was back there. He said that all those steep rocky sections, that I always look at as an exercise in line selection, balance and brake control, are great to fly off of if you have the right bike.

Share and share alike is what I say.
 

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jlk_250 said:
How bad is it to hit your chainring on a log crossing? No big deal or something to be avoided at all costs?

Jon
Somewhere in between those two extremes, but generally closer to no big deal.
 
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