Video: Jesse Melamed Shows You How To Break Down A Mountain Bike Trail

May 4, 2020
by Jesse Melamed  


Get an in-depth look at how to break down a trail from a professional EWS racer.

Jesse has raced the Enduro World Series for the last 7 years where finding the optimal line is critical. He has raced all over the world and has honed his ability to quickly understand the best way to link together sections of trail.

bigquotesYou want to make sure you are always in control or always know when you are going to be in control. It's ok to get a little loose if you can see there is a berm or safe spot ahead where you will regain control.

Watch and learn! Is there anything you would do differently? Thanks to Gary for this amazing trail!


76 Comments

  • 41 1
 @JesseMelamed Please keep this content coming! (Break down post similar to this with ALN would be DOPE!)
  • 33 0
 When we are allowed to be out with others I will make sure to do one with her!
  • 4 0
 @JesseMelamed: More of these trail break downs! I could watch these all day!
  • 9 0
 @slovenian6474: So much effort! But I am working on it!
  • 3 0
 @JesseMelamed: loved it! me and my 9 year old super appreciate the effor you went to!
  • 5 0
 @JesseMelamed: i could a pretty good video like this showing you how to BRAKE down a trail! Smile
  • 1 0
 @Shredtheduck: Braking is important!
  • 9 1
 How about breaking through a mental speed limiter? I've noticed that on fast tech sections I start to feel sketched out right around 27-28MPH on technical sections or loose dirt and start to pull lightly on the brakes. What's the trick to recalibrating your brain to feel comfortable at those speeds? Time and patience?
  • 2 0
 I absolutely have this same problem.

I'm just way slower. I don't ride tons of tech yet, and my limit is usually ~24-25mph.
  • 18 0
 Interesting! I find it impressive that you know the speed at which you start to feel sketched out. I will definitely put this in my next video!
  • 1 0
 I'm not sure its impressive in my case :/.

According to my GPS, I rarely hit over 24-25mph. And I know I catch myself "comfort braking" (maybe "safety braking"?) when I get up to speed. Which I'm assuming is why I hit nearly that same max speed every run, on any trail.

Any tips you can give would be great Smile .

Thanks again for the content Big Grin .
  • 6 0
 @ocnlogan: It could depend on your style of trails. Our trails are not the fastest so I wouldn't be expecting to hit those speeds.
  • 5 1
 Man do I understand that. As you get older that comfort at speed diminishes. It is a small percentage but in your 40s you notice it. Train your brain for speed early in life! It feels like the optimal speed and skill happens in early 30s. Brain and body are balanced best then for our sport. (just my biased experience)
  • 7 0
 Exposure to speed is necessary to be comfortable with it. It’s why a lot of moto guys have an easy time transitioning to dh.

Ride faster trails and you’ll get more and more comfortable with speed and carry that comfort into all of the trails you ride.

There are a few great dh shuttle trails near me that are particularly fast, and I always feels immensely more confident hitting any trails at speed after a weekend on em.

You have to gradually work up your speed and let your skill set dictate that though, I’ve learned the hard way that’s it’s much better to dial in your approach and skills than to go your fastest all the time. Speed is easy, skills aren’t.
  • 9 0
 Some SOLID advice from a solid racer. #RockyMountain
  • 5 0
 Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: yh
Think that i learn more this way than watching tutorial vids!!
  • 4 0
 @lyalltheweebeastie: This is kind of like a tutorial for how to look at a trail. Hope it helps!
  • 5 0
 Loved the video, Mr. Marmalade. I'm the coach of the University of Vermont mountain bike team, and sent it out to my squad. Figured I'd share my comments with you, too.

"Sup MTB nerds, 

Jesse Melamed just posted a sweet trail breakdown video where he talks through the features of an enduro-esque trail. He's one of the top EWS dawgs, but he's really good at breaking things down to an understandable level for us mere mortals. Also, he's a friendly Canadian, which is is cool. And not one of those weird French speaking ones.

For me, watching this illustrated really proper MTB technique within the context of specific features - some of which I already implement subconsciously, and some of which was completely new information. All of it, though, is really helpful! 

Pretty stoked on the tips - thanks to Jesse's analytical noggin, I can better analyze my own riding. Check it out, and maybe write down one or two takeaways to practice next time you're on trail (which is soon, hopefully - Cochran's is open!)

- Coach Sammy"
  • 3 0
 Awesome! I am super stoked to hear you found it useful and passed it on to your students. Hopefully they do write down one or two things that they want to remember and apply to their own riding from the video. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 Nice work and Go Cats Go. I raced bikes there from 1990 to 1994 when we only had road racing. I continue to be impressed with the Vermont program.
  • 1 0
 Man Jesse you make that last slab look easy. I just close my eyes and don't know which line I'm heading for! Do you know if the builder wants a catch berm there b/c friends are talking about heading out with shovels
  • 2 0
 Gary McFarlane built it. Best to check with him.
  • 8 0
 yeah, please don’t go slinging dirt without checking with the builder. Gary’s an easy going guy but changing someone’s vision to suit your own riding style is bad form.
  • 1 0
 I can almost guarantee that you should not build a catch berm there. The lack of catch berms of any kind in Australia probably has a role to play in us producing a disproportionate amount of high level dh racers.
  • 2 0
 That's why it's important to get your braking done early. The rock starts quite smooth so you have plenty of room to keep yourself slow before the real crux of the feature, then you shouldn't have too much speed before you need to slow down on the dirt again. Like those below, I wouldn't change too much. But you can definitely do a bit of work without over doing it. If you prop up the logs and make sure it isn't going to fall away like it is then I am sure he would be ok with that!
  • 1 0
 @DodgeORama: Sorry, should have qualified. The original line had a decent corner there, but unseasonably dry weather and ppl session'ing that particular feature have caused the corner to get blown this spring
  • 2 0
 @blanshard16: ah gotchya. still worth reaching out, I’m sure he’s appreciate the help as well as the ask... I’m a little attached to the trail, I put in a solid few hours on it last spring Smile
  • 1 0
 @DodgeORama: Thanks for your work! Great trail
  • 1 0
 @blanshard16: isn’t it!? Stoked to have played a small part in it... all Gary’s vision, I was just one of a few shovel wielders that helped.

Excited to go back out and try these tips!
  • 4 0
 Where is a bear?
  • 10 0
 I haven't seen a bear yet this year. I'll try to make that happen for the next video just for you.
  • 3 0
 Yes I came here just for a bear too!
  • 8 0
 @kingbike2: I will endeavour to get you guys a bear
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed: They are out and about ,i ran into one on the Coho Trails a couple days ago.
  • 1 0
 Is that a chest a chest protector or the gopro mount? Currently in the market for a chest protector so was just curious what you use, if it was.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure that's a gopro mount.
  • 1 0
 It's just the chest mount.
  • 2 0
 Bust a wheelie kuz you killed it. Now I get it! Cheers and thanks for giving us your time.
  • 2 0
 haha you're welcome!
  • 1 0
 It's SO COOL to be able to get detailed pointers from the fastest people around. Thanks @JesseMelamed for your time and for the massive brain dump. \m/
  • 2 0
 You're welcome! I'm just happy its appreciated.
  • 2 0
 @JesseMelamed: hell yeah, we love it.
  • 1 0
 @JesseMelamed do you ever ride a coil shock on your Slayer? or are your strictly on an air shock? What benefits do you get with either setup?
  • 1 0
 I honestly haven't tried to the coil on the Slayer yet. In the past I have always preferred the feel of the air shock. I like the mid stroke support it offers.
  • 3 0
 May the 4th be with us
  • 4 0
 and with you!
  • 3 0
 @JesseMelamed: try?...there is no try...
  • 1 0
 @cartoon: The force will be with you. Always.
  • 1 0
 You know when they put an actual metal fence on the trail, you better watch out and scrubbing some serious speed.
  • 3 0
 Definitely a smart move to slow down if you see a fence.
  • 1 0
 You inspire me to do great things

also, do you like the new Fox DHX2 coil?
  • 1 0
 Awesome! I haven't ridden the new DHX2 yet!
  • 2 0
 Jesse is one of few pros who answer his fans comments! Great job!
  • 2 0
 Every. Single. One.
  • 2 0
 Cheers for the shout out Jesse, rad video!
  • 1 0
 awesome content Jesse, keep it coming! Thank you
  • 1 0
 Will do!
  • 1 0
 Liked this, be good to see the full run....cheers
  • 1 0
 It's coming!
  • 1 0
 You did take the inside line after all, so that's a 'Jesse Melamed' ;-)
  • 1 0
 Haha true, I just liked it better than getting sucked into the rut that was falling apart.
  • 3 3
 Brake or break? Hope doesn't brake himself!
  • 2 0
 uh, what?
  • 1 0
 I'd say both would apply here! But not breaking myself.
  • 1 0
 Awesome. Thanks man.
  • 2 5
 Is this trail on trailforks? If so what's it called?
  • 3 0
 It may be! It's not well known so I'm leaving it unknown.
  • 1 1
 You can find someone else riding it on youtube and they mention it by name... only hint is it's a "NEW TRAIL".
  • 4 5
 It's on trailforks. It's called tomorrow.
  • 1 0
 @Wigal123: Valleycliffe invasion inbound, until ppl discover most is uphill both ways! (half joking, seems to already be the trend lately based on the social medias)
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