I’m excited to announce a special skills session focused on skills for BMX and gated racing. April 20. $100. Be there!
Hey Lee—just read the post Are you pumping too hard?. Great post. It brought up a question for me too.
I just got BMX Skills and read the pump chapter and it got me thinking about trying to hop frontsides altogether since I hadn’t really thought about doing that before. Instead I’ve been trying to absorb them in most/all situations and stay in as much control as possible, which is tough at high speeds.
So I’ve given it a little practice on a couple different pump tracks and haven’t been very successful. On both of these tracks the rollers are fairly close together and it feels like there’s not enough space/time to hop the frontside and like my fork is already compressing into the next roller when I’m trying to hop. Am I just not going fast enough? Is it something where pulling the bike towards me on frontsides will eventually turn into hopping them naturally? Or is this technique better suited for tracks that are a little more wideopen or on the trail when there’s space to set up? Or do I just need to practice more, haha.
One last question: is it always faster to hop the frontside if you can (excluding the suspension issue)?
Sorry for all the questions. Any more detail on this technique in general would be awesome!!
Ps. Got the MTB book for my cousin for Xmas. He has recently got into riding and I know this will get him Riding and hooked…now i’ll have a partner in crime on holidays
I was browsing your site and saw the book and training program Pump Up the Base. It looks like it is predominantly geared towards MTB but I was wondering if it might be something that I could use for my winter BMX training? From the outline that I’ve read and some of the example pages and the comments it may be useful for some basic skills work on just about any type of riding. I do not ride MTB and I’m a novice in BMX so I also wanted to make sure that it would be something that I could apply to my sport as well.
When I am jumping my bmx bike I have a tendency to get off balance in the air if I try and push the face of the jump. If I do not push the face of the jump and just let my momentum carry me off the lip I fly straight as an arrow, but I would like to continue to build speed off the lip and also go a little further to clear some of the larger jumps. I am not not sure if I am to tight on take off, or if I am pushing to late on the jump face, etc. Any suggestions on what I might be doing wrong?
If I can get this together I may see you at Colorado Indoor BMX this year. Thanks.
I bumped onto your site whilst desperately seeking info on a jumping technique that seems to be difficult to find on the web, at least if one doesn’t know the name of it. So in this video that is attached, Mike Day uses it as per text book example in the first jumps after the gate: he pumps the rear wheel mid-air.
My question then is, what does this achieve: I think that it is to scrub speed so as to allow for taking the lip of the jump with more speed and then scrub off some mid-air so as to not land too far. Am I correct in my thinking?
Hi Lee, I’ve got a question for you that your blog readers might find entertaining, if not useful. I’m a lifelong cyclist and have been riding (small “r”) for over 30 years. Road, track, cyclocross, triathlon, touring, commuting, mtb, and have just recently started to dabble in BMX. For some inexplicable reason I crash nearly ever session. Sometimes it’s the front tyre that washes out. Other times it’s the rear. Sometimes I have no idea what happened – I just find myself rolling in the dirt trying not to get run over. Sure I crash from time to time on the mtb and during cyclocross, and have gone down on the road a few times as well – but I generally know why and have never crashed as much as I seem to on the BMX. Any idea as to what’s up?
I have your mountain biking book and it’s been really helpful. I plan on picking up a copy of the BMX skills book too.
I’d like to start incorporating some BMX pump track riding and BMX jumping to gain some skills as you recommend. There are also some skate parks around where I live and I thought that might be fun to try too for the hell of it. Right now I have no experience in BMX, but thought that getting a bike that is capable of BMX racing and dirt jumping would be good. From what i understand, BMX race frames and components aren’t designd to be jumped and take hits like the freestyle BMX bikes are designed to take. So I guess my question is do you think it’s better to start out with a BMX race bike and then pick up a separate dirt/freestyle BMX bike if I want to get into dirt jumping? Alternatively, would it be better to just get a chromoly dirt/freestyle BMX bike and use it for both dirtjumping and pump track riding?
This question is spurred by Pedaling in attack position?
Do you have any pro tips how to pump-manual while still pedalling? It’s OK to me if I want to do it on a table-top or with a small speed, but when the speed goes up and bumps get bigger I can’t keep up with the terrain…
I live in Santa Fe and we are thinking about having a clinic/intro for kids to BMX and pump track riding. What suggestions do you have for that we should cover?
Hey there Lee
I am a mediumly ordinary MTb rider, who does not get out often enough. I have bought Mastering Mountain Bike Skills edition2, and it is a great book, however I really do not to get to session stuff much which would imprint skills into my old brain. And so often ” just riding” gets in the way of actual learning.
Recently a couple of pump tracks have been built where I live ( In Wellington, NZ ) and they are of course just ideal for sessioning and skills. I am just starting to ride awkwardly on them.
My question is this: might is be worthwhile getting a BMX bike for the purpose of fun and skill acquisition?
I have a peferectly excellent MTB (an Ibis Mojo) however in a way having a completely different bike would make riding a pump track an event, and I would be more likely to session it and not be tempted by the nearby MTB trails?
I do not want to build a hard tail MTB as the Mojo is just fine for all the trails, and in some ways a HT is an unbalanced beast compared with a fully rigid BMX or a fully sprung MTB ?
Your BMX book does look enticing!