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Hey everyone, just wanted to get some good tips and discuss jumping in more detail.

Real quick background, I'm not a new bike rider. I've ridden bikes my whole life, from around 5/6 years old I was riding around my neighborhood, building little jumps, riding my bike in the woods, etc. Was MTB'ng as a teenager in upstate NY having a blast in the woods and going off drops! I am a good bike handler and know how to ride. Not saying I'm great or an expert, but definitely have good body awareness, balance, skill, and not just on a bike (I'm very athletic and very good at most sports).

But just recently have had the great luck of being able to purchase a sick FS mtb. A dream of mine since I was 10 and seeing all those DH racers in MTB Action mag, haha! A SC Megatower! And boy o boy is it wild! I'm having the time of my life and learning how to ride it and what it can do at a rapid pace. Every time I go out, and even every run I go down, I learn something new!

But the one thing I'm not really understanding yet is how to jump properly. I've read lots of articles, watched lots of videos online, and still not really understanding WHY they say to jump the way they do. So hoping some of you that can jump really well, can help me not only understand WHAT to do, in order to jump well and start progressing, but also WHY you do certain things.

So one thing I don't understand is the WHY of jumping. Almost all the videos and articles say something along the lines of: you have to compress your body/the bike/suspension right when your front tire starts to head up the lip of the jump. Kind of like doing a bunny hop on flat land, but as you're going up the face of the jump.

But this confuses me a lot! Because right now when I'm going off jumps, it's very passive and feels out of control. Like I'm getting FLUNG off the jump. The trail will be producing a TON of speed without even having to pedal, and then when I hit the jump, it just FLINGS me off and I feel way out of control. And I've read that phenomenon is called "dead sailoring". And that it's obviously No Bueno. And that it has to do with something the suspension storing energy and then releasing it, shooting the bike faster than my body? Or something like that. But then I start thinking about compressing the suspension even more by popping the bike down while in the transition, and I all I can think is: isn't that putting even MORE energy into the suspension? To be released even harder when i go off the jump? Shooting me even more out of control/farther/higher?

So if anyone that is a jumping expert or at least really understands not only HOW to do it, but WHY things happen, I'd really appreciate some help. I feel like I'm just missing something really easy and small, and once I get it down, I'll be jumping like a maniac. I can do a bunny hop and tiny little whip while on flat ground by compressing the bikes suspension real hard and quick over tiny little bumps on the trail.. And it feels totally in control. But then when I hit a jump, not at all, haha.

And also, how do I adjust all of this technique for steeper faced jumps at high speeds? Our local DH trails have some odd jumps on the trails. In sections that are really steep and fast, they have these jumps with steep short faces that are like 3-6' tall, but the landing areas don't line up in my mind with the speed and steepness of the jumps. Those ones are giving me the most problems. The table tops and more gentle lips are the easier ones to practice on right now for sure and not understanding how to hit these more dangerous jumps. Thanks


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The reason for pushing off on the face of the jump is because that's what jumping is... pushing yourself away from the ground. There are a lot of bad videos out there but the Fluidride videos are great. Fluidride is probably the gold standard in MTB instruction.

FYI, you don't need tips and your situation is not unique. 99% of riders just need to get the basics down and practice a lot.
 

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Basically you want to be in control of your weight and how its "flung" off the lip. There is no control or timing of your weight/suspension when you just ride off it passively, that's why you feel out of control. Preloading puts you in control of your weight, suspension, and the timing of all of them so you leave the jump safely. Just because you are preloading doesnt have to be massive and leave the lip with a ton of energy, it may actually be less energy than what your currently experiencing while doing it passively.
 

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And also, how do I adjust all of this technique for steeper faced jumps at high speeds? Our local DH trails have some odd jumps on the trails. In sections that are really steep and fast, they have these jumps with steep short faces that are like 3-6' tall, but the landing areas don't line up in my mind with the speed and steepness of the jumps. Those ones are giving me the most problems. The table tops and more gentle lips are the easier ones to practice on right now for sure and not understanding how to hit these more dangerous jumps. Thanks
The steeper the lip/bigger the kicker, the more you need to actively preload and push into the lip. On low angle/non-kicker jumps you can get away with riding off the jump at trail speed and you can get a decent trajectory for your airtime and landing. Not on kickers, because if you ride over it passively the lip will kick your rear wheel up and launch you forward and possibly over the bars. On those steeper kickers you need to get low aproaching the jump, then aggressively push into the lip by jumping vertically as you get to the lip. The motion is basically the same as if you were jumping up aggressively from a crouched positon with your feet flat on the ground. Watch some videos of guys boosting jumps on a dirt jumper and you'll get the idea.
 

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Preloading into the jump makes you in control of the bike once airborne. If you simply ride off of the end of the jump then the bike is basically taking your carcass for a ride. Do you have much experience jumping while skiing? I feel like it's the same physics of preloading then popping off of the lip. Since we are heading into winter, if you have the chance to practice jumping on snow then you can get a feel for the movement but the landing is generally softer than on a bike (unless you live in an area that's mostly icy).

On the steeper face jumps it's important to make sure that your body weight is going up/forward. When you're riding up to the jump at speed the takeoff can look like a vertical wall. Therefore, some people make the mistake of leaning back as they're heading up the face as if to get away from the jump. Don't do that. You'll land on your back.
 

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Put on a blindfold and walk off the end of a dock. You will flop randomly into the water with no control.

Now stand at the end of the dock and bend your ankles, knees, hips (your whole body) and then jump into the water, extending your body. Now you've got control over how and where you will land in the water. How you jump off the dock will determine if you do a swan dive, or a cannon ball, or a belly flop. Everything that happens in the air and on the landing is really determined by your feet pushing your body off that dock, which determines where you send your momentum.

Learning to preload your suspension gives you a solid platform so when you extend your body and jump, you have the same control on where your body and your momentum goes as when you jump off a dock.
 

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I think jumping is one of those skills which require a lot of exposures to many different environment, such height, radius of lips, speed, and etc. Just because you can do a few jumps well, it does not mean you can do them all.... All jumps are different at least slightly. Therefore, you have to do differently. Mostly, the radius of lip, height, degree of arc of the lip, and speed will cause you to do differently. For instance, 3 feet high with small radius lip (45 degrees at the end of the lip) vs 5 feet lip with a larger radius (35 degree at the end of the lip) will be different.

Bike parks are mostly mellower lip even though the height may seem bigger. In turn, it is easier to jump with speed. If you try to jump 3 feet steep lip with decent speed, you really need to know what you are doing. It can buck you easily. Many riders relies on speed to clear jumps, but that is not necessarily a proper technique. Yes, there is a slowest speed it will require to clear, but if you use correct technique, you will surprise how slow you can go.

As for preloading or loading into a lip, it is not as simple as just pushing into a bike because it is a lot to do with a timing and how you push it. A compression of suspensions will happen whether you preload or not if you are jumping a lip with a radius (arc) because the direction of travel (you and bike) will be altered upward. The problem is the time of compression and decompression of the suspension as well as the trajectory of your body and bike. Again, this will depend on the radius and arc of the lip, but if you just ride over the lip (meaning just letting the compression happen by itself), your body's and bike's inertia will immediately go forward after the front wheel goes over the top of the lip. At the same time, the rear suspension will fling you forward even more. You know the outcome of that....

A properly done jumping on an arced lip will require you to push through the transition of the lip after you preload. This will cause your body's trajectory to change (more upward than the lip). I believe this "pushing through the lip or transition" part is very difficult to grasp for many riders. I was certainly one of them. As you may guess it, it is not as simple as just preload and extend your legs. It is somewhat movement wise, but timing and how fast changes depending on radius/arc/size of the lip. A shorter small radius lip will require much more precise timing of preload and push because you are spending far less time on the transition than a bike park medium size lip.

Of course, the speed also cause the timing to change. The speed also increases your kinetic energy drastically. So the timing of preload and push will be even more crucial. It will require more effort and precise timing to redirect your increased inertia/trajectory. In general, pushing/extension of legs should start as your front tire starts to go over the top of the lip(or just before). The preload needs to happen to accommodate this process prior to this. Therefore, small/short lip may require a preload to happen before the lip.

For a large lip, you will be preloading somewhere in the transition of the lip. The key is the timing of the extension of your legs. If it happens too early, it will also cause bucking. I think it is better to learn the timing of one specific jump. Once you are consistent with it, then you can move onto different jumps.
Now, there is one more thing with preloading..... As others mentioned, it is very common, even for those who are doing it for a long time, to preload too far back because of fear. This can result in many different undesired outcomes, such as dead sailor and bucking. You need to preload with an attack position. The rear suspension must be compressed, but the front end needs to be as well. Also, by preloading with an attack position, you will have more movement/leverage to extend upward. This is very similar to a bunny hoping (American bunny hop, not English bunny hop). You can not bring the front wheel up effectively unless you preload with a slightly forward posture.

I would not try to pull the handlebar for jumping though. If you preload with a right posture and extend/push upward, pulling the front end naturally happens in most cases. This may be more difficult to even imagine unless you have some experience with bunny hop or jumping unfortunately. Whenever I feel like I am not jumping well, consciously preloading with an attack position usually fixes it for me.

Jumping is relatively simple maneuver if you know how. However, it will require your full commitment. In fact, commitment/confidence is one of the most important part of successful jumping. If you hesitate, usually it does not end well. Of course, commitment/confidence only comes from repeated successful outcomes and a ton of experience. Unfortunately, there is no short cut to this skill.

I apologize for such a long message, but I really hope it helps you at least a little. Jumping has some many nuances to it. So it is very difficult even explain. You just have to keep on trying to get the right feel. If you get a chance, a professional lesson do help.
 

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Hey everyone, just wanted to get some good tips and discuss jumping in more detail.

Real quick background, I'm not a new bike rider. I've ridden bikes my whole life, from around 5/6 years old I was riding around my neighborhood, building little jumps, riding my bike in the woods, etc. Was MTB'ng as a teenager in upstate NY having a blast in the woods and going off drops! I am a good bike handler and know how to ride. Not saying I'm great or an expert, but definitely have good body awareness, balance, skill, and not just on a bike (I'm very athletic and very good at most sports).

But just recently have had the great luck of being able to purchase a sick FS mtb. A dream of mine since I was 10 and seeing all those DH racers in MTB Action mag, haha! A SC Megatower! And boy o boy is it wild! I'm having the time of my life and learning how to ride it and what it can do at a rapid pace. Every time I go out, and even every run I go down, I learn something new!

But the one thing I'm not really understanding yet is how to jump properly. I've read lots of articles, watched lots of videos online, and still not really understanding WHY they say to jump the way they do. So hoping some of you that can jump really well, can help me not only understand WHAT to do, in order to jump well and start progressing, but also WHY you do certain things.

So one thing I don't understand is the WHY of jumping. Almost all the videos and articles say something along the lines of: you have to compress your body/the bike/suspension right when your front tire starts to head up the lip of the jump. Kind of like doing a bunny hop on flat land, but as you're going up the face of the jump.

But this confuses me a lot! Because right now when I'm going off jumps, it's very passive and feels out of control. Like I'm getting FLUNG off the jump. The trail will be producing a TON of speed without even having to pedal, and then when I hit the jump, it just FLINGS me off and I feel way out of control. And I've read that phenomenon is called "dead sailoring". And that it's obviously No Bueno. And that it has to do with something the suspension storing energy and then releasing it, shooting the bike faster than my body? Or something like that. But then I start thinking about compressing the suspension even more by popping the bike down while in the transition, and I all I can think is: isn't that putting even MORE energy into the suspension? To be released even harder when i go off the jump? Shooting me even more out of control/farther/higher?

So if anyone that is a jumping expert or at least really understands not only HOW to do it, but WHY things happen, I'd really appreciate some help. I feel like I'm just missing something really easy and small, and once I get it down, I'll be jumping like a maniac. I can do a bunny hop and tiny little whip while on flat ground by compressing the bikes suspension real hard and quick over tiny little bumps on the trail.. And it feels totally in control. But then when I hit a jump, not at all, haha.

And also, how do I adjust all of this technique for steeper faced jumps at high speeds? Our local DH trails have some odd jumps on the trails. In sections that are really steep and fast, they have these jumps with steep short faces that are like 3-6' tall, but the landing areas don't line up in my mind with the speed and steepness of the jumps. Those ones are giving me the most problems. The table tops and more gentle lips are the easier ones to practice on right now for sure and not understanding how to hit these more dangerous jumps. Thanks
Less brake, MORE THROTTLE!!!!!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The reason for pushing off on the face of the jump is because that's what jumping is... pushing yourself away from the ground. There are a lot of bad videos out there but the Fluidride videos are great. Fluidride is probably the gold standard in MTB instruction.

FYI, you don't need tips and your situation is not unique. 99% of riders just need to get the basics down and practice a lot.
I have had this issue as well and it took me watching the fluidride videos, and the ones that reference row and antirow to understand what I need to be doing.

https://www.youtube.com/c/JoyOfBike (row antirow tutorials)
https://www.youtube.com/c/Fluidride (If you are in the Seattle Area Fluidride has lots of classes you can take to learn).

I just found those videos from Fluidride, Dani Arman, and Alex Bogusky in the last few days. There is good stuff in there, thanks. I'll have to keep watching more of those and really start practicing instead of just ripping down the trails.

I already know a few really good jumps and sections of trail that have some easier table top jumps, and then some of the faster steeper jumps, but with safe landings in case I blow it. I think I'm going to spend about half my time now riding just practicing the jumps. I need to learn how to get more comfortable with them, get used to being in the air, learning to control my body and bike much better and how fast or slow I need to go, etc. And then just do them hundreds of times and become very comfortable and proficient until I move on to bigger stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think jumping is one of those skills which require a lot of exposures to many different environment, such height, radius of lips, speed, and etc. Just because you can do a few jumps well, it does not mean you can do them all.... All jumps are different at least slightly. Therefore, you have to do differently. Mostly, the radius of lip, height, degree of arc of the lip, and speed will cause you to do differently. For instance, 3 feet high with small radius lip (45 degrees at the end of the lip) vs 5 feet lip with a larger radius (35 degree at the end of the lip) will be different. Bike parks are mostly mellower lip even though the height may seem bigger. In turn, it is easier to jump with speed. If you try to jump 3 feet steep lip with decent speed, you really need to know what you are doing. It can buck you easily. Many riders relies on speed to clear jumps, but that is not necessarily a proper technique. Yes, there is a slowest speed it will require to clear, but if you use correct technique, you will surprise how slow you can go.
As for preloading or loading into a lip, it is not as simple as just pushing into a bike because it is a lot to do with a timing and how you push it. A compression of suspensions will happen whether you preload or not if you are jumping a lip with a radius (arc) because the direction of travel (you and bike) will be altered upward. The problem is the time of compression and decompression of the suspension as well as the trajectory of your body and bike. Again, this will depend on the radius and arc of the lip, but if you just ride over the lip (meaning just letting the compression happen by itself), your body's and bike's inertia will immediately go forward after the front wheel goes over the top of the lip. At the same time, the rear suspension will fling you forward even more. You know the outcome of that....
A properly done jumping on an arced lip will require you to push through the transition of the lip after you preload. This will cause your body's trajectory to change (more upward than the lip). I believe this "pushing through the lip or transition" part is very difficult to grasp for many riders. I was certainly one of them. As you may guess it, it is not as simple as just preload and extend your legs. It is somewhat movement wise, but timing and how fast changes depending on radius/arc/size of the lip. A shorter small radius lip will require much more precise timing of preload and push because you are spending far less time on the transition than a bike park medium size lip. Of course, the speed also cause the timing to change. The speed also increases your kinetic energy drastically. So the timing of preload and push will be even more crucial. It will require more effort and precise timing to redirect your increased inertia/trajectory. In general, pushing/extension of legs should start as your front tire starts to go over the top of the lip(or just before). The preload needs to happen to accommodate this process prior to this. Therefore, small/short lip may require a preload to happen before the lip. For a large lip, you will be preloading somewhere in the transition of the lip. The key is the timing of the extension of your legs. If it happens too early, it will also cause bucking. I think it is better to learn the timing of one specific jump. Once you are consistent with it, then you can move onto different jumps.
Now, there is one more thing with preloading..... As others mentioned, it is very common, even for those who are doing it for a long time, to preload too far back because of fear. This can result in many different undesired outcomes, such as dead sailor and bucking. You need to preload with an attack position. The rear suspension must be compressed, but the front end needs to be as well. Also, by preloading with an attack position, you will have more movement/leverage to extend upward. This is very similar to a bunny hoping (American bunny hop, not English bunny hop). You can not bring the front wheel up effectively unless you preload with a slightly forward posture. I would not try to pull the handlebar for jumping though. If you preload with a right posture and extend/push upward, pulling the front end naturally happens in most cases. This may be more difficult to even imagine unless you have some experience with bunny hop or jumping unfortunately. Whenever I feel like I am not jumping well, consciously preloading with an attack position usually fixes it for me.
Jumping is relatively simple maneuver if you know how. However, it will require your full commitment. In fact, commitment/confidence is one of the most important part of successful jumping. If you hesitate, usually it does not end well. Of course, commitment/confidence only comes from repeated successful outcomes and a ton of experience. Unfortunately, there is no short cut to this skill.
I apologize for such a long message, but I really hope it helps you at least a little. Jumping has some many nuances to it. So it is very difficult even explain. You just have to keep on trying to get the right feel. If you get a chance, a professional lesson do help.
Thank you for your detailed response! It helps a LOT. There's a lot of stuff in here and I want to respond to a lot, but instead, I think I'll just chew on this info and the other good responses and practice instead. And IF I have more questions after digesting all this and practicing, I'll come back for more help. Thanks to everyone for your responses.
 

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This is very well written. I am in my early 50s and had been working on jumping less than a year and through my learning experience I concur with all points written here. I don’t know if it can be explained any better.


I think jumping is one of those skills which require a lot of exposures to many different environment, such height, radius of lips, speed, and etc. Just because you can do a few jumps well, it does not mean you can do them all.... All jumps are different at least slightly. Therefore, you have to do differently. Mostly, the radius of lip, height, degree of arc of the lip, and speed will cause you to do differently. For instance, 3 feet high with small radius lip (45 degrees at the end of the lip) vs 5 feet lip with a larger radius (35 degree at the end of the lip) will be different.

Bike parks are mostly mellower lip even though the height may seem bigger. In turn, it is easier to jump with speed. If you try to jump 3 feet steep lip with decent speed, you really need to know what you are doing. It can buck you easily. Many riders relies on speed to clear jumps, but that is not necessarily a proper technique. Yes, there is a slowest speed it will require to clear, but if you use correct technique, you will surprise how slow you can go.

As for preloading or loading into a lip, it is not as simple as just pushing into a bike because it is a lot to do with a timing and how you push it. A compression of suspensions will happen whether you preload or not if you are jumping a lip with a radius (arc) because the direction of travel (you and bike) will be altered upward. The problem is the time of compression and decompression of the suspension as well as the trajectory of your body and bike. Again, this will depend on the radius and arc of the lip, but if you just ride over the lip (meaning just letting the compression happen by itself), your body's and bike's inertia will immediately go forward after the front wheel goes over the top of the lip. At the same time, the rear suspension will fling you forward even more. You know the outcome of that....

A properly done jumping on an arced lip will require you to push through the transition of the lip after you preload. This will cause your body's trajectory to change (more upward than the lip). I believe this "pushing through the lip or transition" part is very difficult to grasp for many riders. I was certainly one of them. As you may guess it, it is not as simple as just preload and extend your legs. It is somewhat movement wise, but timing and how fast changes depending on radius/arc/size of the lip. A shorter small radius lip will require much more precise timing of preload and push because you are spending far less time on the transition than a bike park medium size lip.

Of course, the speed also cause the timing to change. The speed also increases your kinetic energy drastically. So the timing of preload and push will be even more crucial. It will require more effort and precise timing to redirect your increased inertia/trajectory. In general, pushing/extension of legs should start as your front tire starts to go over the top of the lip(or just before). The preload needs to happen to accommodate this process prior to this. Therefore, small/short lip may require a preload to happen before the lip.

For a large lip, you will be preloading somewhere in the transition of the lip. The key is the timing of the extension of your legs. If it happens too early, it will also cause bucking. I think it is better to learn the timing of one specific jump. Once you are consistent with it, then you can move onto different jumps.
Now, there is one more thing with preloading..... As others mentioned, it is very common, even for those who are doing it for a long time, to preload too far back because of fear. This can result in many different undesired outcomes, such as dead sailor and bucking. You need to preload with an attack position. The rear suspension must be compressed, but the front end needs to be as well. Also, by preloading with an attack position, you will have more movement/leverage to extend upward. This is very similar to a bunny hoping (American bunny hop, not English bunny hop). You can not bring the front wheel up effectively unless you preload with a slightly forward posture.

I would not try to pull the handlebar for jumping though. If you preload with a right posture and extend/push upward, pulling the front end naturally happens in most cases. This may be more difficult to even imagine unless you have some experience with bunny hop or jumping unfortunately. Whenever I feel like I am not jumping well, consciously preloading with an attack position usually fixes it for me.

Jumping is relatively simple maneuver if you know how. However, it will require your full commitment. In fact, commitment/confidence is one of the most important part of successful jumping. If you hesitate, usually it does not end well. Of course, commitment/confidence only comes from repeated successful outcomes and a ton of experience. Unfortunately, there is no short cut to this skill.

I apologize for such a long message, but I really hope it helps you at least a little. Jumping has some many nuances to it. So it is very difficult even explain. You just have to keep on trying to get the right feel. If you get a chance, a professional lesson do help.
 

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This is very well written. I am in my early 50s and had been working on jumping less than a year and through my learning experience I concur with all points written here. I don’t know if it can be explained any better.
Thank you so much!! I guess I should have done proofreading before I posted....

I just realized I forgot to add one more thing. The length of the wheelbase (as well as chainstay length) of your bike can affect how it jumps too. As it gets longer, the radius should be larger (the lip should be mellower). It may not be ideal to learn on a BMX box jump with a current super long geo bike. It can be done, but it may be more difficult to get the timing right.
 

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I'm just learning to jump (this was my first season at it), and I've watched a lot of videos and read a lot of posts. Everyone seems to agree that a preload is essential (the stomp before the lip). There's a bit of disagreement on whether the stomp should be perpendicular to the bike or vertical. There's a lot more disagreement on whether you should be explicitly pulling on the bars when you launch, although even the pulling advocates admit that if you pull too aggressively, you can do more harm than good. Most seem to agree that after launch, you should anti-row the bike.

That's what I've gotten from it so far. I'm still experimenting, or at least I was until they closed the bike park.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you so much!! I guess I should have done proofreading before I posted....

I just realized I forgot to add one more thing. The length of the wheelbase (as well as chainstay length) of your bike can affect how it jumps too. As it gets longer, the radius should be larger (the lip should be mellower). It may not be ideal to learn on a BMX box jump with a current super long geo bike. It can be done, but it may be more difficult to get the timing right.
Not sure I understand what you're saying has to change IF you have a longer wheelbase bike and longer chainstay? I have a VERY long wheelbase bike and long chainstay setting with my Megatower XXL frame. So how would that change how I need to adjust on jumps? Thanks
 

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There's a bit of disagreement on whether the stomp should be perpendicular to the bike or vertical. There's a lot more disagreement on whether you should be explicitly pulling on the bars when you launch, although even the pulling advocates admit that if you pull too aggressively, you can do more harm than good.
Stomping vertically or even slightly forward is the basic technique to jump safely. Leaning back and rowing aggressively when you stomp is a more advanced technique to really boost the jump and get max vertical. I wouldn't characterize the two techniques as being in opposition so much as being a progression.
 

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Not sure I understand what you're saying has to change IF you have a longer wheelbase bike and longer chainstay? I have a VERY long wheelbase bike and long chainstay setting with my Megatower XXL frame. So how would that change how I need to adjust on jumps? Thanks
As the wheelbase gets longer, the front tire wants to roll over the top of the lip earlier relative to your body. If the chainstay is long, then you have to extend upward longer in order to prevent bucking. Megatower seems to have a reasonably short chainstay length though. It is a matter of timing of preload and extension for the most part.
Also, the term "longer" is relative to your body size. As with most of MTB skills, if you want to control your bike, it is easier if you have more leverage. I am a short guy with short arms and legs.... So I have less leverage compared to someone with longer arms and legs. I am probably more sensitive to the wheelbase and chainstay length. So I have to exaggerate my preload and extension more than you would in order to compensate for a longer bike.
Having said that, it depends on the shape of the lip. A long takeoff like ones at a bike park should be fine, but a short and steep lip with a longer bike will be more difficult to jump properly, and feel right doing it, at least to me. It could be my lack of skill....
Since you are riding XXL, I think your bike may be right length for your leverage. I could be totally wrong, but bikes were always too short for a tall rider in the past. However, it was not too short for a short person. Now it seems that it is pushing to be too long for a short person, but it is near perfect for a tall person. I am always in between small and medium sizing on most bikes. With new geo trend, I am definitely staying with a small frame. Some frames have insanely long reach for my taste....
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
As the wheelbase gets longer, the front tire wants to roll over the top of the lip earlier relative to your body. If the chainstay is long, then you have to extend upward longer in order to prevent bucking. Megatower seems to have a reasonably short chainstay length though. It is a matter of timing of preload and extension for the most part.
Also, the term "longer" is relative to your body size. As with most of MTB skills, if you want to control your bike, it is easier if you have more leverage. I am a short guy with short arms and legs.... So I have less leverage compared to someone with longer arms and legs. I am probably more sensitive to the wheelbase and chainstay length. So I have to exaggerate my preload and extension more than you would in order to compensate for a longer bike.
Having said that, it depends on the shape of the lip. A long takeoff like ones at a bike park should be fine, but a short and steep lip with a longer bike will be more difficult to jump properly, and feel right doing it, at least to me. It could be my lack of skill....
Since you are riding XXL, I think your bike may be right length for your leverage. I could be totally wrong, but bikes were always too short for a tall rider in the past. However, it was not too short for a short person. Now it seems that it is pushing to be too long for a short person, but it is near perfect for a tall person. I am always in between small and medium sizing on most bikes. With new geo trend, I am definitely staying with a small frame. Some frames have insanely long reach for my taste....
Hmm, ok. So I might have a harder time on steeper/shorter lip jumps and have to figure it out. Got it.

And even though my bike is an XXL with a 445mm chainstay, it's still not even close to "fitting" me. At 6'8" I would need a bike with like 32-36" wheels and MUCH longer reach, top tube and stack numbers. But I don't have that option. So the Megatower is the biggest bike with a Lifetime warranty I could get. It feels pretty good to me, but that's because I'm so used to ALWAYS riding bikes that are SO small for me. I'll work on trying all that stuff you discussed and see how it goes. Thanks

I still wish someone could explain the physics of WHY preloading the body and bike and suspension works much better than just flying off the jump. Everyone can tell me that it IS better, but nobody has explained WHY. It just doesn't make any sense to me right now, without someone explaining it. WHY does compressing the springs and shocks not FLING you off the jump even more so than just rolling off the jump? Someone mentioned (and I've read this in a really good detailed jump article), that when you preload the suspension, that your body AND the bike are being shot off the jump at the same time and with relatively similar energy. So that is why it feels like you're more in control, even if you go farther/higher. But it only talked about the physics of why rolling off the jump is bad, not the physics of why preloading is better.

Thanks again for your detailed response as well as everyone else's help! Hopefully I'll be launchin these jumps like a semi pro sooner than later, haha
 

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It's not the act of compressing the suspension it's pushing off of the jump face whether you have suspension or not. It's like jumping on a trampoline and landing with stiff legs vs matching the rhythm. What you're really doing is controlling the timing and body position. Why do that? Because if you don't the jump will compress your legs and arms for you and it will be out of phase and your body position will be wrong.
 
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