Lippy jumps: The bucking stops here

An experienced rider has everything dialed except lippy jumps. They pitch him over the bars — and he doesn’t care for that action.


First off, thanks for writing the “Mastering…” book. I’ve been riding for 15 years but your point about practice makes permanent, not perfect is right on the money. I was able to step up my riding in a short time thanks to the clear instruction.

However, there’s one area I’m really struggling with – jumping steep lippy jumps. I’m really comfortable with drops (8+ ft) and being in the air and do fine with flatter jumps – even big ones. I can even work in some basic tricks on them. But with steeper, lippier jumps I keep getting pitched forward and have had some super sketchy front wheel landings just prior to going all the way over. Not good. I know this is probably hard to diagnose over email, but do you have any pointers or ideas on what I can try. I think I’m pulling up/off the face of the jump vs. pumping into it but I’m not sure. Any ideas would be appreciated. And thanks again for the book. Awesome stuff.


Hey Brian.

This is a great question. I encountered this issue a couple weeks ago, coaching a 43-year-old emergency room physician.

Here’s what’s happening:

– You’re stiff on takeoff.

– When your front wheel hits the lip, your tense arms are pushing your weight onto your back tire.

– Your back tire hits the lip extra heavy — and it rebounds extra high. That’s where the buck comes from.


– Stay very loose. Weight on your pedals, completely disengaged from the handlebar.

– When your bike rides up the lip, stay on top of the pedals and let the bars come to your hips. This keeps your weight centered fore-aft.

– In the air, let the bike come up toward you and rotate down toward the landing. The less you do with your hands, the better!!!

Check out the photo sequence on this page. The little jump is neither steep nor lippy, but see how freely my bike moves beneath me? This is even more important on a big jump.

See also:

Controlling mid air rotation


— Lee

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