5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Riding Drop Offs | MTB Skills

5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Riding Drop Offs | MTB Skills


– Drop offs, the nemesis
of many a mountain biker. In this video, I’ll talk you
through the common mistakes people make when trying to ride
drops and how to avoid them. (upbeat music) Mistake number one is just go for it and rolling off that drop off. You will get away with that
if the drop off isn’t too big. You see, like this, if I
rock my front wheel off and just get the back of the bike, it’s not big enough to hit much A-rim. But when the drop off gets
much bigger than this, much higher than your axle height, you’ll start dragging your tail ring and can go over the bars. So to avoid making this
mistake, you just need at judging the size of
drop offs and know when they’re too big just to
be able to roll off them. So when it gets that size,
you’ve then got to start lifting your front wheel
using a bit of technique so you don’t just bomb that front wheel down to the ground straight away. (upbeat music) So this is an important one to try and fix if you’re doing that, because not only can you lose your balance, but also, just ’cause you’re using
your muscles to do it, actually your weight stays
near the front of the bike. Therefore, if you get the timing wrong and land your front wheel early, your weight is on that
front wheel as well. So the right technique,
check out my manual videos. It’s all about using your
weight, so going down and back, getting your hips over
the back of the bike, and really your hands
just come back with you. So the bar should stay straight, weight is nice and safe
over the rear of the bike. Another bad technique that
can lift the front wheel but can lead to problems
if you get it wrong is rather than just pull on the bars is trying to use your weight to go up. So standing up tall
can swing the weight up and pull the front wheel up,
but really what happens then, is you’re standing really
tall, and when you land, your weight’s just gonna
slap down onto the bike. You also risk sort of lifting off your pedals when doing that. So sort of like trying to
roll to the back of the bike, stay nice and low, you’ve got that bend in your legs as well,
so then push the bike down into the ground, will
just soak up that landing. (upbeat music) We’ve stepped it up a notch now. Check out the size of this drop off. It’s definitely not rideable,
and that is proved by the hundreds of grooves in here from people dragging their chain rings, pedals, and the hillside
just drops away after it. So it’s not really the
size of the drop here that’s gonna catch you out,
it’s what happens after it. So the next big mistake that people make, especially when moving on to
bigger drops, is brain freeze. (winter wind whistling) If you actually look at
the size of this drop off, it’s not that big, it’s
only a couple of foot if you go nice and steady. However, it looks much
bigger and you can go six, eight, 10 foot if you a bit further. But what I’m talking about
here is a brain freeze. The drop really isn’t the problem. It’s the run in and the run out, because people focus so
much on that drop off, they forget about these other parts to it. So this run in is quite
technical, it’s quite flat, you’ve got a 90 degree
corner with not much support, and you wanna roll over
with a bit of speed. But if you mess this up, it doesn’t matter about the drop, you’re in trouble. Same on the way out, you
can be concentrating so much on this, nail the drop
off, got the technique, but realize then, you’re offline, you’re in the ruts, and that’s
where the problem happens. So it’s really a case of
trying to think through the whole section, not
just focusing on this, ’cause it could be that
that catches you out. Another disadvantage of being too focused, or even scared about a section, is you might even stop
breathing or blinking, and then your body starts
to freeze up as well. So just try and breathe, try and relax and concentrate on your line and you’ll stay nice and loose on the bike. (upbeat music) Another mistake that can
be pretty catastrophic on drop offs is moving too far back. So, I always talk about
against the back of the bike, touching manulin, sometimes don’t need to if you’ve got a bit more speed. But if you move too far back, hit your bum into the rear tire, it’s
gonna stall the bike and can send you over the bars. And I’ve seen this a lot of times in the fails and bails
that people send in. Deivathin actually did this
at the Fort William World Cup. He jumped on a twenty-niner,
’cause that is a difference. A bigger wheel, you’ve got
less room than you think or you might be used to,
and you hit the rear tire. It really stalls the bike
and big crashes can ensue. Even Dave Gentry, a fellow
YouTuber did that very thing on this very drop and it ended in tears. So big thing is getting used
to how much space you’ve got. And this all by practicing,
moving around the bike, practicing manuals, until you almost just sort of drag your shorts up a little bit and then you just get used to it, you know how much space you’ve got. Of course, like I’ve just said, if you jump onto a bigger wheel bike, you have to get used to it all over again. (upbeat music) Hitting the brakes in a panic
when you come to a drop off could be the worst thing you do. So, of course, touching the brakes, you’re just gonna send
your weight forward. So yes, I would still
recommend covering your brakes at all times, but it’s definitely a trick to try and stay off the
brakes, learning to just keep your head up, get your weight back when all goes wrong, staying off the brakes does take a bit of practice. Right, so there are some
common drop off mistakes I’ve seen people make over the years. Hey, try and avoid them. Don’t forget bike setup if you’re new to doing bigger drop
offs, you might want to go harder with your tires
and suspension than normal because any mistake could
amplify by overloading your bike or maybe your
tire even squirming, that could make things go even worse. If you wanna see a video on how to manual, click over there if that one, that should help out a little bit. And if you wanna see Blake’s recent video on some common jumping mistakes,
over there for that one. Thumbs up if you like
Learning to Do Drop Offs, and hit that subscribe button.