Essentials: drops and skinnies

hey Lee, i have two questions. the first is, is there a specific way to ride skinnies? i try and try and i just end up having to hop off the side. so do i need technique or do i just need more practice? the second is about drops. there is this drop that is about 3 feet. i havent really done drops before, and the landing is pretty wide open. there is just some gravel mixed in with the dirt. should i suck it up and take it? any advice?


Don’t “suck it up and take it.” Unless you think scars are cool.

The key: Keep your front wheel up until your back wheel leaves the edge. When you take off with the bike level, it’s easy to control your flight and land smoothly. Much better than dropping the front and getting the catapult treatment. For fast drops, practice manuals. For slow drops, practice pedal wheelies.

Look in the Skills/training area on this site. I’ve written a fair amount about drops.

The book Mastering Mountain Bike Skills has insane detail.


– Start wide and low.

– Carry enough speed so you’re not wobbling. If you’re pedaling, use a
gear that lets you stay smooth. Novice riders get jacked up with a too-easy gear.

– Look to the end.


Also in the book.

Rock it,

— Lee

4 replies
  1. PostCanyonLoc says:

    Killer advice Lee! I just experienced all this just this summer. My introduction was more mental, I just hung out and waited until a youngster dropped, then shortly behind him, must’ve been his Dad, older than I, did it with textbook style.

    I learned that “chasing” another rider, will get er done. Even on the skinnies.

    Love the site Lee! I log on too much and have scoured the archives- MORE MORE MORE!

  2. Denise says:

    Trust Lee – and the book – it works. After reading up on drops, I followed my son, Clay around this Fall and was able to start doing smaller drops and have worked up to a nice 2′ drop that I go back and practice on. Next Spring – looking for bigger ones to work up to. For now – it’s all snow-covered – so it’ll have to wait.
    Yes – great stuff in that Book! 🙂

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