Light hands: It works, it really works!

Here’s a note from a stoked rider/reader.


I was out hitting my jumps today, trying to work on two things, light hands after I leave the face of the jump and spotting my landing. I have been hitting the same jump sequence over and over until I do these two things as second nature as walking, well for some of us walking is tough too!

Upon for the first time today I was really starting to feel it, total weightlessness on my bars and nailing my landings but I also notice something else, how smooth the landings were, even if I went way past the tranny.

I proceeded to test this out and hit the jump sequence really fast and land past most of the landings, sure enough no biggie, felt smooth as can be, where as before, if I would have landed past the tranny with heavy hands, total violent landing.

It makes sense that everything stems from all the weight, 90% of the time, being over your pedals.

I thought anybody could rail a berm but holy, was I mistaken, I am hitting berms so hard now with light hands that I am causing my tire to rub the frame sometimes and when exiting the berm I used to come out like a breached whale, now, freakin manualing out of some turns, sweeeeeeet!

Thanks for such a great book, I wish I would have known some of this stuff when I was racing!

Right on!

I’m stoked to know you’re having fun — and that the book and site are helping.

One cool thing about mountain biking: the better you get, the better it gets.


— Lee

3 replies
  1. Glenn says:

    Yep! In cornering, on not just berms but on trails, you told me to be light on the bars and it is a huge change in my riding. I’m a lot more flowy and I don’t seize up in cornering anymore. I think if I was jumping it would be the same. Relax a little, you know?

  2. Mark says:

    shouldnt we be weighting the front wheel in corners for traction? Lee could you kindly explain how light hands works when cornering? Thanks

  3. leelikesbikes says:

    If you drive all your weight through the pedals, about half your weight presses onto the front tire. That is perfect for most turns. You can increase front traction by shifting your weight forward, but that can be tricky. Best to master neutral hands first, then get aggressive with the front end.

    Look around the Skills/Training category on this site. This topic has been covered thoroughly.

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