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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question about how to approach an obstacle. I love reading responses to posts like this because in the past it has helped me learn - hearing other people's ideas about riding techniques is valuable. Hopefully this will help others as well.

Situation: There is a long concrete beam/pillar that is lying down on its side, and I want to get on top of it. It is square shaped, with the sides being between a foot an a foot and a half tall, and it is about 25 ft long. I thought it would be fun to ride up on it, get to the other end, and drop off. Essentially, I want to climb up an 18" obstacle.

Problem: How to get the back tire up. I can get the front wheel up with no problem. However, there is not enough clearance under the big chainring/BB for the back tire to contact the obstacle and even if there was, I don't think it would really help because it's a vertical face high enough that you can't really "ride up" it. I try to pop up the back tire so that the chainring clears and the back tire contacts it, but I can't seem to get enough air under the back tire to get far enough up the vertical edge that I can pedal up. Part of the problem is that at that point, (1) my weight is shifted slightly back from lifting the front tire up, giving me less leverage and (2), the bike is up at a 25-30 degree angle, again giving me less leverage.

I have been practicing riding up progressively bigger curbs/obstacles and trying to learn how to pop the rear tire up without much/any contact with the obstacle, and I have progressed, which is helping, but that's only part of the problem. I also need to be able to shift my weight forward once my front wheel has cleared the edge so that I can help the back end up, and I'm having trouble with this.

So, the questions that I pose to you are this: Do I have the right idea as far as how to approach the obstacle? Can you tell me how you would approach an obstacle similar to this?

I think the description is clear enough, but if not I can take pictures tomorrow and post them. Thanks so much, and let the insightful discussion begin!

-B
 

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breakingbryan said:
I have been practicing riding up progressively bigger curbs/obstacles and trying to learn how to pop the rear tire up without much/any contact with the obstacle, and I have progressed, which is helping, but that's only part of the problem. I also need to be able to shift my weight forward once my front wheel has cleared the edge so that I can help the back end up, and I'm having trouble with this.

So, the questions that I pose to you are this: Do I have the right idea as far as how to approach the obstacle? Can you tell me how you would approach an obstacle similar to this?

I think the description is clear enough, but if not I can take pictures tomorrow and post them. Thanks so much, and let the insightful discussion begin!

-B
Here's a good video- if you pause it you can drag it along and get a great view of body positioning-

http://www.trials-online.com/video/basic_rideup.php

The obstacle in the video is about as high as I can go without jumping into it. The trick is as soon as you get your front wheel on the top, you need to really stomp down on the rear to get it to rebound up, then suck it into your body as much as possible by throwing your arms out and bending your legs to allow it to come up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Wow that's a great video, and exactly what I was talking about - good find. When you say stomp down, do you mean stomp down in the same way you would when doing a bunny hop? I noticed in the video that his rear wheel actually lifts above the edge and comes down on top, so I suppose this is a matter of getting enough lift from myself and being able to tuck the bike under, a la bunny hopping, correct? Another think that looks key is to maintain your position over the bike while lifting the front up. Looks like he does this by pedal assisting the front wheel up while staying nice and forward over the bike.

Also, I am not on a trials type bike, but a hardtail MTB. I assume the front suspension and extra weight would make this a bit different to handle, though I'm not exactly sure since I've never been on a trials bike.

-B

EDIT: After looking over the site you linked to, there is some very valuable information on there and I think regular trail riders could benefit greatly from watching and reading about techniques used by trials riders.
 

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breakingbryan said:
Wow that's a great video, and exactly what I was talking about - good find. When you say stomp down, do you mean stomp down in the same way you would when doing a bunny hop? I noticed in the video that his rear wheel actually lifts above the edge and comes down on top, so I suppose this is a matter of getting enough lift from myself and being able to tuck the bike under, a la bunny hopping, correct? Another think that looks key is to maintain your position over the bike while lifting the front up. Looks like he does this by pedal assisting the front wheel up while staying nice and forward over the bike.

Also, I am not on a trials type bike, but a hardtail MTB. I assume the front suspension and extra weight would make this a bit different to handle, though I'm not exactly sure since I've never been on a trials bike.

-B

EDIT: After looking over the site you linked to, there is some very valuable information on there and I think regular trail riders could benefit greatly from watching and reading about techniques used by trials riders.
Ya, it's a great resource. I don't ride trials, but the technique is the same no matter what bike you're on (some you just have to over emphasize- I can do it on my dirt jumper, 6 in trail bike, and 8 in dh bike- it just needs more energy to pull off with each one).

On pedal assist- I've always found that speed can make up for pedal assist. Maybe I should go back and learn better technique.
 

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go from the side, so you're not pulling your bike up and forward, you're just swinging the rear wheel up and sideways..

ie, you start your move with your bike one whole bike-length in from the start of the beam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wouldn't I go about doing that in a very similar manner? I would still have to get the height out of the back end in order to swing it up. Maybe I'm not understanding what you are talking about, but I do not see how it would be that much easier, unless maybe with your way the approach speed would not be as crucial, but the way I see it, it is up and over v. up and forward. I know what you mean as far as what it would look like to do, but can you elaborate on the technique so I can better understand?
 

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i didnt search hard for a video, but kinda like that. its a bit easier because you dont have to throw the bike and yourself forward to clear the rear wheel.. you just swing it up.
 

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9.8 described what you need to do quite well, but I'll see if I can help a bit more. When you aproach the obstacle, get ready to lift the front, as soon as you lift the front and set it down, then immediately give your last pedal and "throw" the bike/rear up onto the obstacle - if you have clipless pedals it's much easier. To throw the bike as said you need to basically un-weight the bbike, throw your hands forward and suck your knees in allowing the bike to loft up - the motion really is like you're trying to throw your bike away from under you in a forward direction.

As to 1pivots idea :eek: that's a real trials type move he's talking about, so not sure if achievable, but if you've got the balancde and want to try it power to you - I know I can't even think of doing that.
 

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LyNx said:
if you have clipless pedals it's much easier.
What Lynx meant to say is "if you have clipless pedals it's cheating and you are not a real biker"

easy mistake.
 

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What ever :rolleyes: I only learned on cheap plastic flats, which my feet constantly slipped off of and then I moved to clipless, so that's all I know and YES, I wish I could ride flats and do that sort of stuff as easy :p

CaveGiant said:
What Lynx meant to say is "if you have clipless pedals it's cheating and you are not a real biker"

easy mistake.
 

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CaveGiant said:
What Lynx meant to say is "if you have clipless pedals it's cheating and you are not a real biker"

easy mistake.
Yeah, sort of like using your hands when you are a goalie :rolleyes:
 

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LyNx said:
As to 1pivots idea :eek: that's a real trials type move he's talking about, so not sure if achievable, but if you've got the balancde and want to try it power to you - I know I can't even think of doing that.
i couldnt find a better video.. :/ its sort of like what the guy in that video does, but without balancing.

i dont mean balance on your rear wheel (i sure cant do that either :D). you ride along side the ledge, pull your front wheel up first, and then swing your rear wheel up next. its a little bit easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Pivot - Again, you still have to get some decent height out of the rear end of the bike, and you still have to tuck it under. I see the difference now though - it's almost like you are twisting the rear up after the front has planted. I do think this would be much harder on a MTB but I'll start small and see what happens.

To everyone else: I ride flats all the way, don't like the idea of clipless, France sucks, and math without a calculator will only get you so far in life - it is the application of theory that people usually suck at, in higher level math anyway.

Back on topic: Great advice so far, keep it coming. Now that we have determined a few options as far as how to approach it, what are some things that can be worked on technique wise to build up to a move like this? I have pretty decent body/bike control, can trackstand fairly well, bunnyhop, rotate when I bunnyhop, small things like that, and I am practicing getting better at those types of control things. I guess it's kind of self explanatory what I need to work on, but do you have any tips about practicing?
 

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Oh no, I fully and totally understood what you were saying :eek: for the life of me I cannot bounce or tail whip my bike - balance just isn't that good yet :madman: and to eat it onto a concrete obstacle would surely hurt or be dangerous.
One Pivot said:
i couldnt find a better video.. :/ its sort of like what the guy in that video does, but without balancing.

i dont mean balance on your rear wheel (i sure cant do that either :D). you ride along side the ledge, pull your front wheel up first, and then swing your rear wheel up next. its a little bit easier.
 

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I can't clear an obstacle that high yet, but I've recently learned how to hop the back end, and the keys to me figuring it out:
-weight forward. No, further than that. No, further. Keep going.
-toes pointed downward
-push up and back with your legs like you're doing a prone hamstring curl.
-keep your core tight.

Of course, you're starting with lifting the front tire. The exercise I've been practicing in parking lots is: weight back and pull to pop up front tire, then weight shift forward and loft back tire. I set up a small obstacle (read: piece of wood) and practiced going over it one tire at a time.

I found that once I got the motion down, it was relatively easy to loft the back tire high, and I use platforms. Lots of practice before I can do it reliably over logs and things, but getting the basic motion to click I think is an important step.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah I think a key to all of this is to start small and really get a feel for how the technique needs to be in order to accomplish what you want. If that means riding around a parking lot looking like an idiot practicing how to lift the rear wheel off, then that's what needs to be done. Of course there are ways to make it more fun, but still, practice is key.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So while out riding today I noticed a few things. One is that I feel much more comfortable jumping forward than I do trying to swing to the side. The biggest thing I discovered was that the timing is the most crucial part of the whole thing. You really only have a split second once that front wheel is up there to jump the back end up. It's very hard to do properly, and I'm still nowhere near clearing the foot tall obstacle yet. Getting there, though.
 

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LyNx said:
What ever :rolleyes: I only learned on cheap plastic flats, which my feet constantly slipped off of and then I moved to clipless, so that's all I know and YES, I wish I could ride flats and do that sort of stuff as easy :p
Good flats are better than clipless when it comes to this sort of stuff. If you ever try flats again, get a pair with some nice sharp metal pins and you'll be good to go. It's amazing how much more confident you become when you're not attached but don't worry about slipping off the pedals.

OP, speed is your friend here, don't be afraid to let momentum help carry you up the last few inches of the ledge. You don't need to completely jump up the ledge, just enough that your momentum will pull you the rest of the way up. Eventually, that ledge will become easier and easier and you'll be able to hop straight up. Just keep practicing.
 
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