Bar-twisting madness


Whenever i land from going off of a jump my handle bars either go forwards a little or go back a little. what should i do? oh yea and i have tightened them as much as i could.


Rob, you maniac.

Sounds like you need a new bar and/or stem.

Also, you’re landing too far forward or back. When you land, the force should go into your feet. Also also, it sounds like you should work on landing more smoothly.

— Lee

5 replies
  1. chris says:

    Rob, Lee is right, your style and/or equipment must change. I assume you are talking about rhythm jumps, not just drops. Anyway, if it is style, I will say that I am not the greatest jumper but I have tried very hard over many years to improve and I’ll tell you the ten things that were vital to my improvement. 1. Relax almost everything. A BMX coach told me to be completely relaxed except for my feet on the pedals (flats) and my hands on the grips. Ankles and wrists and everything in between were relaxed, including the mind. 2. Spotting your landing is vital. Never look at the gap, look at where you want to land. 3. The hardest. Ignore what your friends are doing and go back to smaller jumps that you are completely mentally comfortable with and do lots of drills. Practice balance, like Lee says. Jump them as slow as you can, boosting each one. Jump them as fast as you can, sucking up each lip. This way you will be prepared for those sets where the perfect speed for one jump is too slow or fast for the next. If worse comes to worse, if you have gone too far, jump off the back of the bike, if not far enough, jump over the front (this is only effective on bigger jumps, jumps ten feet or less you will just have to take the hit). Learn from that incorrect speed and adjust the roll-in or previous jump (now that fast and slow practice comes in handy). 4. Wear protective gear and don’t jump alone. 5. Bad roll in = bad take off. Bad take off = worse landing. If your approach is not perfect, abort BEFORE you get to the top of the lip. 6. Don’t ever do the next jump in a set unless you have done the preceding jump perfect over and over again, fast and slow, relaxed, with no tagging, no casing and no hannahs. 7. Relax your mind. Don’t jump when you are angry, frustrated or tired. There will always be another day. Walking away unsuccessful is ALWAYS better than being carried away injured. I may not progress quickly, but when I was younger, keener and stupider those broken bones meant no progress until healed. And now without recent injury those big gaps I dream of doing are looking more do-able every time I see them. 8. Jump with the right people. Don’t jump with people that are gung-ho, they will just drag you into hospital with them. Jump with sensible, friendly, understanding, compassionate, realistic people who themselves are experienced and can jump smooth and rarely make mistakes. Ride in a manner respectful to them; taking you to hospital or waiting for the ambulance is not something they want to do. Plus your accident may get those 1000 man-hour trails dozed which may require a second visit to hospital. 9. Jumping is like baseball, three strikes and you are out. If you roll in three times and don’t do it, go back to something else that you are successful at. I think Lee’s book covers this aspect of riding. 10. Don’t arrive at a set anxious to get further than where you got to last time you jumped there. If you jumped the fourth jump out of six once or twice last visit, aim to jump the same four ten times in a row in perfect style and ignore the fifth jump. It is a more realistic, achievable and anxiety-free goal. It will be an improvement on your previous visit and will help you get the fifth in style and safety. Remember, just because finally worked up the balls to hit the launch at some random speed, doing a freaked out white-knuckled nose down dead-sailor, somehow pulling out of that huuuge nose heavy landing, casing the front wheel so bad you smashed the landing (thank god for long travel forks,huh?), it doesn’t mean you really can ‘do’ that particular jump. Do it ten times with perfect form. 11, 12 and 13. Adhere to the local trail rules.

    If equipment is the problem, try a decent billet stem with four bolts on the front. Try those smaller diameter RooX or Kore bars with the shims that extended the clamp area to satisfy Steph. Lee, sorry for the rant. I just started and couldn’t stop. Feel free to correct me or edit this. Chris.

  2. chris says:

    Rob and Lee,

    The irony is that Lee’s book ‘Mastering Mountain Bike Skills’ arrived in the post about two hours ago and I just finished all the jumping stuff in it and as much other stuff as I could before the sun goes down. Rob, if you haven’t already, buy the book. I’m off to practice my California-dust-over-hardpack drifts.


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