Getting bucked: technique or equipment issue?

Hi Lee,
Awesome site and book. I love your approach to mountain biking revolving around technique and skill over equipment.

Anyhow I always been riding a hardtail until i finally purchased my Blur a little more than a year ago. Ever since then i’ve been having an issue with the rear of the bike. When I hit a triangluar shaped bump, or jump at a good speed i would suck up the bump pretty well so the front wheel would stay planted and track the ground very nicely. The back wheel however would tend to launch off the bump causing a situation optimal for an endo.

I am in an attack position during these situations with the front end relatively light and my weight being more towards the rear of the bike. Many people have told me that my rebound for the rear is just set to fast causing the rear to pop at the top of the crest of the bump. This is hard to believe since the bike is very well behaved in any other situation it is in. Is this situation caused from a problem in my technique or just a setup issue?

Hey Jerald,

The No. 1 cause of MTB injuries requiring hospitalization is flying over the bars. Endos are to be avoided!

Your rear wheel is launching extra upward because it’s hitting the ground extra hard. That’s Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

As with most MTB dynamics, there are technique and equipment components.

When you’re hauling mail, you have to handle bumps aggressively. Here I’m doing the full-seat-height Lycra version of a BMX roller: rock back into a manual, then suck it up with the rear. From this video shoot.

Most riders are afraid of getting bucked over the bars, so, when they approach a bump, they lean back. That can be a bad idea. Your rear wheel hits the bump extra heavy, and it rebounds extra hard.

You said you hit these situations with your “front end relatively light and my weight being more towards the rear of the bike.” That is most of your issue.


1) Stay centered and let the bike move below you. This is the A-1 best default setting for most situations.

2) If you’re going to lean back, you must actively suck up the bump with your legs. Imagine a BMXer manualling then sucking up a roller.

DHers sometimes hit rough sections in the back seat, but their suspension is set up for that. Keep reading.

If your rear wheel is kicking up on single hits, rebound is not the issue. The issue is compression. Remember Newton’s third law? Your spring rate is too stiff, or you have too much compression damping. Check into a softer, more responsive setup.

To sum it up
Dial in your technique. Set your bike up for the way you ride it. Rip!


— Lee

Know more. Have more fun!

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