Land flat on table tops and drops ok if not bottoming out?

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Land flat on table tops and drops ok if not bottoming out?
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Posted: Jul 25, 2022 at 5:25 Quote
Always done XC trails and blues but I’m progressing into blacks and encountering new features such as drops and jumps.

I started practicing jumps on table tops, but I can’t clear the jump yet so I’m landing flat on the table every time. There are also some 1’-2’ drops on local trails that land flat. I’ve been told that landing flat can cause damage to the bike frame over time.

Is landing flat to always be avoided or are there acceptable limits to stay within while learning new features, such as small drops and jumps? Isn’t landing flat on table tops how everyone starts out jumping?

I’m on a full suspension AL frame and I’ve never bottomed out. If you don’t bottom out, does that mean whatever you’re doing is safe for the bike? Not sure if that means I’m within the limits of the bike or if that isn’t a factor and I can still cause damage doing jumps and drops if I land flat.

Posted: Jul 25, 2022 at 7:49 Quote
You are fine. My local trails pretty much only have flat landings. 3-5ft is fine for most bikes ridden by most riders in most situations.

Posted: Jul 25, 2022 at 10:22 Quote
I'd think that landing flat is better than front or rear, as it distributes the forces better.

And IMO if you're bottoming out that's not good, as puts more stress on shocks. Best to have a little travel in reserve, just in case.

Posted: Jul 26, 2022 at 13:33 Quote
Bottoming out is fine if the occasional feature warrants it. The type of bike and it's intended use will determine how much it can take before you're at risk of damage.

If it's bottoming out solidly to the point you can hear it thunk and it's hard on your body, then consider making some adjustments to the bike and/or the way you're riding.

Posted: Jul 26, 2022 at 15:29 Quote
thisc*nt wrote:
Bottoming out is fine if the occasional feature warrants it. The type of bike and it's intended use will determine how much it can take before you're at risk of damage.

If it's bottoming out solidly to the point you can hear it thunk and it's hard on your body, then consider making some adjustments to the bike and/or the way you're riding.

Excellent advice.
You should, in fact bottom very lightly once on your "main" ride. If not, you are not getting the benefit of all your suspension travel.

Posted: Jul 26, 2022 at 16:30 Quote
Falcon991 wrote:
thisc*nt wrote:
Bottoming out is fine if the occasional feature warrants it. The type of bike and it's intended use will determine how much it can take before you're at risk of damage.

If it's bottoming out solidly to the point you can hear it thunk and it's hard on your body, then consider making some adjustments to the bike and/or the way you're riding.

Excellent advice.
You should, in fact bottom very lightly once on your "main" ride. If not, you are not getting the benefit of all your suspension travel.

Not quite. There is no point bottoming out for the sake of using all your travel. If you're overbiked for your main trail there is no reason to bottom out every ride.

Suspension should be set up to give you the desired ride characteristics. Ride the right terrain for the bike if you want to use all of the travel.

Posted: Jul 28, 2022 at 21:33 Quote
Thanks for info. I haven’t bottomed out so it seems that I’m fine for what I’m doing. I learned about metal fatigue and catastrophic failure from landing flat and wanted to make sure I’m not causing that. Sounds like I’m ok with landing flat on small drops and jumps.

Posted: Aug 8, 2022 at 16:10 Quote
thisc*nt wrote:
Falcon991 wrote:
thisc*nt wrote:
Bottoming out is fine if the occasional feature warrants it. The type of bike and it's intended use will determine how much it can take before you're at risk of damage.

If it's bottoming out solidly to the point you can hear it thunk and it's hard on your body, then consider making some adjustments to the bike and/or the way you're riding.

Excellent advice.
You should, in fact bottom very lightly once on your "main" ride. If not, you are not getting the benefit of all your suspension travel.

Not quite. There is no point bottoming out for the sake of using all your travel. If you're overbiked for your main trail there is no reason to bottom out every ride.

Suspension should be set up to give you the desired ride characteristics. Ride the right terrain for the bike if you want to use all of the travel.

I suppose you are right. I meant "when riding hard on your hardest trail, you should bottom out once." In other words, the gnarliest riding you can do. At the rider's limit, the bike should use all its travel at least once. Being "overbiked" for the trail, of course, would be a different scenario.

Posted: Aug 8, 2022 at 17:02 Quote
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJRCSdkK3Wg

Posted: Aug 9, 2022 at 5:23 Quote
Landing flat (or casing) is part of learning to do jumps and drops.

As you’re learning it’s highly likely that you’re not going as high as you think that you are, so it’s unlikely to damage the frame.

Part of what suspension is for is to absorb imperfect landings. Yes, landing hard will wear things out more quickly than being butter smooth, but it’s most likely to be your bearings (headset, suspension, hub and bottom bracket) than the frame itself. Fortunately they’re relatively easily and cheaply replaceable.

It is possible to break a frame itself, but it’s generally quite hard to do so and not a common event.

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