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33 minutes ago, Mattlikesbikes said:

I will say, I am on the SS and have for years played around a lot with manualing and wheelie dropping stuff. 

Wheelie dropping was something I actually used to practice in my backyard.  I took my ~18" tall wood benches and would pop unto them, then I'd wheelie drop off them.  Somehow I lost the nerve, probably when I broke my ankle in 2016.  This is a good point.  I will make myself new benches to practice wheelie drops as well.

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1 minute ago, AntonioGG said:

Wheelie dropping was something I actually used to practice in my backyard.  I took my ~18" tall wood benches and would pop unto them, then I'd wheelie drop off them.  Somehow I lost the nerve, probably when I broke my ankle in 2016.  This is a good point.  I will make myself new benches to practice wheelie drops as well.

The Joy of Bike guys recommend against it, but I think for a drop that is theoretically rollable, wheelie dropping is reasonable. Particularly if you have decent forward momentum at the same time.

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26 minutes ago, AntonioGG said:

For me the wheelie drop is a last-resort-too-late-to-bailout-not-enough-momentum thing to keep in the back pocket.  It's a security blanket for me.

Wheelie drop with a pedal kick or a quick manual? For me the last resort oh-shit! move is a small manual. I can't manual for more than a few feet, but it certainly has saved me from a few trips over the bars when something unexpected appears on a chunky down. (And this is one of my many reasons for loving short chainstays.)

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Gave noob @Lacch another tour of Brushy today and a couple of things came out of that. First, on Peddlers he asked me how it was that I was speeding through the berms effortlessly while he was trying to hammer through them to keep up. I mentioned that somebody on this forum had offered a cornering clinic at Peddlers in the past, but for me, anything I've learned has come naturally. All I could really offer was to set your speed ahead of the turn and trust the berm without braking. My technique is to weight the front wheel and drive it through those turns, but I recall that others on this forum have said the opposite works for them. Of course with any cornering, bermed or not, learning to balance through a turn vs. steering through it is essential. 

Once we moseyed over to 1/4 Notch, Lacch observed that I was "gliding" through rock gardens while he was "pounding" through them. I tried to describe a couple of concepts. One is unweighting the bike, meaning that I'm either putting my weight forward and pulling the bike through stuff, or putting my weight back and pushing the bike through stuff. For me it's hard to describe when to do what because it just seems to have come naturally over time for me. The other concept I tried to describe was using your body as a lever, meaning instead of yanking up every time you need to clear a small ledge or obstacle, you instead are pushing your feet forward with your weight back, while simultaneously pulling back ever so slightly on the bars. I had to point out as well that while doing so it may look like I'm seated, but I'm actually hovering over the seat by maybe only 1/2 inch. 

I have nothing against study and practice, but I do believe that if you have any sort of athletic ability, much of what you need to know comes naturally over time with just dedicated hours on the trail and the trial-and-error efforts that go with that. 

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2 hours ago, throet said:

observed that I was "gliding" through rock gardens while he was "pounding" through them.

I had an "ah ha" experience while gliding over a rock garden with my Fox Float suspension. I almost slapped my forehead when I realized it. "It's like I'm floating over these rocks." Duh! Fox FLOAT. 

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I've gotten pretty good over the years at getting up ledges with a front wheel lift and lunge forward (punch), but now as I'm trying to tackle bigger ledges, I'm seeing how messed up my form really is. In one of Lenosky's videos, you can see that at the point of his crank approaching the ledge, he has just completed a pedal stroke and is already fully extended high above the bars. With that movement, his rear wheel is instantly thrust upward to a height nearly equal to his front wheel. Contrast that with my body position as I'm getting close to making impact, and you can see that I have absolutely no chance of even clearing my chain ring, let alone the rear wheel (yes this ended badly).@Morrishas demonstrated the proper technique on this same ledge that I'm trying to clear. For me, the timing of the move just seems incredibly tricky, or possibly I'm just not coordinated enough to put it all together. I'm able to clear the ledge at Huck Finn that is slightly shorter, but even then manage to ding my chainring half the time. Definitely need to put in some practice time to perfect this move. 

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Edited by throet
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Still trying to get bigger jumps dialed in, especially kickers. My lack of proficiency is holding me back when riding with more advanced riders, and keeping me from going faster at races.

Need more sessions

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8 hours ago, throet said:

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Note the difference in saddle height!  Maybe it's 'allowing' you to stay compressed too long.  Personally, I approach seated, lean back to manual, then stand and punch.  I know I don't need my seat lower to go up, only down.

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17 hours ago, ssorgs said:

Note the difference in saddle height!  Maybe it's 'allowing' you to stay compressed too long.  Personally, I approach seated, lean back to manual, then stand and punch.  I know I don't need my seat lower to go up, only down.

That's a really good point. In in Lenosky's video he states that the two big benefits of using the punch vs. a bunny-hop to get up ledges are 1) can be done at slower speed, and 2) no need to lower the seat. I tend to lower my saddle any time I come into a technical section, but perhaps that is hurting me more than helping me in some situations. I'm going try some different approaches.    

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I usually lower my seat before punching up a ledge. if I don't the seat hits me in the taint. maybe that's bad technique, but I approach like like a bunnyhop. a good hop usually means tucking the bike high enough that the seat could get in the way. I've stabbed myself in the sternum with the nose of my seat, so dropping the seat with the flick of a switch changed the game for me.

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For me it's more crank position and timing than anything to do with seat position. Like you, the seat is usually dropped unless I'm just pedaling along. In my experience, if you're having trouble using the "punch" or "boost" method it's because you're waiting too long to compress the suspension for the pop after you get the front tire up on the ledge. 

A lot of this stuff reminds me how hard it was to learn ollies on my skateboard. Seemed like the impossible at the time and yet 30+ years later I can still do them with my eyes closed. Just takes time 

Edited by ATXZJ
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11 minutes ago, ATXZJ said:

A lot of this stuff reminds me how hard it was to learn ollies on my skateboard. Seemed like the impossible at the time and yet 30+ years later I can still do them with my eyes closed. Just takes time 

Haha reminds me of golf! Once you have to start remembering more than one or two things through the execution, you end up just playing as life-long hack! I just don't have the patience.  

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Look at the feet and pedals. Jeff's pedals are level, you've gotten into a position were it's a little harder to do, but one foot up it's hard to punch without getting your momentum a little off camber.  Then you suck up some inertia trying not to fall to one side.  Also feet, Jeff's feet are toes down.  That flick down as you spring up with the legs does a ton towards shooting your momentum not just up, but up and forward.  

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1 hour ago, Chongo Loco said:

Look at the feet and pedals. Jeff's pedals are level, you've gotten into a position were it's a little harder to do, but one foot up it's hard to punch without getting your momentum a little off camber.  Then you suck up some inertia trying not to fall to one side.  Also feet, Jeff's feet are toes down.  That flick down as you spring up with the legs does a ton towards shooting your momentum not just up, but up and forward.  

Haha funny you mentioned trying not to fall to one side! Here's the ending to that attempt. Felt fortunate to have a tree to grab onto. 
image.thumb.png.984996cdd22b5746dac2beb81148fc39.png

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11 hours ago, throet said:

Haha funny you mentioned trying not to fall to one side! Here's the ending to that attempt. Felt fortunate to have a tree to grab onto. 
image.thumb.png.984996cdd22b5746dac2beb81148fc39.png

this is the main reason I wear gloves while riding: grabbing trees is rough on the hands.

 

I've been considering going back to riding clipped in recently. stuff like this reminds me of the extra confidence that I have with flats. I feel like there might be a point where I feel comfortable again, but it's not yet.

Edited by mack_turtle
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1 hour ago, throet said:

That was actually pretty impressive. Was your intention to hop off sideways or to wheelie drop the exit? 

That video was the result of 4 progressively less impressive efforts. The first one, I hopped up on the ledge, did a perfect little track stand, and the side hopped off the left side, landing both wheels at the same time. At that point, @Jessica decided to get videos. The very next run, I hopped up just fine, and just rolled off the other side with no problem, but I wasn't able to manage a track-stand.  The next run was aborted because I didn't like the run-up, but still more impressive than the fall-off. The video above was the 4th run. At the time, I thought there was a chance that my left hand was broken. It still hurts a bit, but I've biked over 500 miles in the 17 days since it happened, so it can't be that bad, right? 

It's good though because the video shows exactly what went wrong. I distinctly recall on the first and most successful attempt, that I landed on top of the slab with my left foot forward. And I've long observed that I can't track-stand for shit with my right root forward--and I downhill and usually coast left foot forward as well, even though I'm right handed. And on the roll-off attempt, and the fall, I landed on the slab with my right foot forward. So I need to do one of three things. 1) just stop screwing around because I'm old. 2) learn to track stand with my right foot forward, or 3) learn to land step-ups and trials moves with my left foot forward. 

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On 10/7/2021 at 9:28 AM, mack_turtle said:

I usually lower my seat before punching up a ledge. if I don't the seat hits me in the taint. maybe that's bad technique, but I approach like like a bunnyhop. a good hop usually means tucking the bike high enough that the seat could get in the way. I've stabbed myself in the sternum with the nose of my seat, so dropping the seat with the flick of a switch changed the game for me.

Idk, but saddle to sternum contact going *up* just shouldn't happen.  Seems like to you're way too compressed.  Ledges are power (and finesse) and most of us need more, not less, leg extension to generate power and increase maneuverability (of our bodies, not nec the bike). Color me contrarian, but I think the saddle is only an *obstacle* going down or in the air; otherwise it's a critical fulcrum that focuses your riding position and enables leverage.

On 10/7/2021 at 9:29 AM, ATXZJ said:

For me it's more crank position and timing than anything to do with seat position. Like you, the seat is usually dropped unless I'm just pedaling along. In my experience, if you're having trouble using the "punch" or "boost" method it's because you're waiting too long to compress the suspension for the pop after you get the front tire up on the ledge. 

A lot of this stuff reminds me how hard it was to learn ollies on my skateboard. Seemed like the impossible at the time and yet 30+ years later I can still do them with my eyes closed. Just takes time 

I'll offer that bunny hops are not a good model for ledges, imo. You need more run-up distance and more time to provide for compressing/rebounding your suspension, which makes the coordination of the complete move trickier. I think there are also too many limits to that approach - tall ledges, consecutive ledges, dips before ledges, etc - where the technique isn't just harder, it's counterproductive.  I also find that compressing shifts my weight forward precisely when I need it backwards. 

Using your torso as a lever to raise your front wheel can be quicker, more predictable, and more forgiving than compressing.  More forgiving because bad timing on the compression can lead to an endo (up!), for instance, whereas if you lever your font wheel up but not enough, you can still roll it because your weight isn't working against you.

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43 minutes ago, ssorgs said:

Idk, but saddle to sternum contact going *up* just shouldn't happen.  Seems like to you're way too compressed.  Ledges are power (and finesse) and most of us need more, not less, leg extension to generate power and increase maneuverability (of our bodies, not nec the bike). Color me contrarian, but I think the saddle is only an *obstacle* going down or in the air; otherwise it's a critical fulcrum that focuses your riding position and enables leverage.

I'll offer that bunny hops are not a good model for ledges, imo. You need more run-up distance and more time to provide for compressing/rebounding your suspension, which makes the coordination of the complete move trickier. I think there are also too many limits to that approach - tall ledges, consecutive ledges, dips before ledges, etc - where the technique isn't just harder, it's counterproductive.  I also find that compressing shifts my weight forward precisely when I need it backwards. 

Using your torso as a lever to raise your front wheel can be quicker, more predictable, and more forgiving than compressing.  More forgiving because bad timing on the compression can lead to an endo (up!), for instance, whereas if you lever your font wheel up but not enough, you can still roll it because your weight isn't working against you.

FWIW, I'm riding a singlespeed hardtail and I rode BMX for nearly 20 years before getting a mountain bike, so my technique is derived from that experience. it probably works very differently with a squishy bike with spinny gears.

when I go up a ledge, I basically bunnyhop it. with one gear and no rear suspension to compress, the saddle is either just in the air not helping because I can't sit and spin my bike up, or its dropped if I think I'll need to tuck the bike more at speed. there's no other way to do that on my bike, that I can think of. like most people, the saddle on my BMX bike was always below my knees when standing, so I learned how to tuck the bike high to get the rear wheel to clear stuff. different kinds of ledges require different technique, like you said. for consecutive ledges, I have to ratchet-crank and pump my way up them like it's a row of moguls on a pump track. there's not option to sit and spin up stuff like that for me.

I rode all of the black trails at Reimer's yesterday with only one dab (and walked one climb because my heart was about to explode), my my technique is not holding me back. still, there's always room to evolve. I appreciate the feedback and I'll ride with that in mind.

 

Edited by mack_turtle
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53 minutes ago, mack_turtle said:

FWIW, I'm riding a singlespeed hardtail and I rode BMX for nearly 20 years before getting a mountain bike, so my technique is derived from that experience. it probably works very differently with a squishy bike with spinny gears.

Yeah, ymmv!  My *solution* may be for a different problem...

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