Video: Make Jumping Easier - How To Bike with Ben Cathro Episode 10

Dec 9, 2021 at 10:05
by Pinkbike Originals  


HOW TO BIKE

EPISODE 10



Jumping your bike is one of the toughest skills to master. Join Ben Cathro as he breaks down all the techniques to turn your dead sailor into a healthy captain.




We'd like to extend a huge thank you to Santa Cruz Bicycles, Deity, POC and DHaRCO who supported this project.







67 Comments

  • 58 1
 I have watched all 10 episodes and I still suck.... Ben, I want my money back!!! Great series, really enjoyed it!
  • 16 0
 I've honestly noticed improvement in how I corner and how I get through chunky sections of trails. Lots of room for improvement left (for me), but fantastic tutorials, Ben has the gift of being an excellent communicator combined with deep subject matter knowledge.
  • 11 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: Ben's comment along the lines of "when I'm riding, looking far ahead is the only thing I'm thinking about" has improved my riding a lot. Going from dissecting what I'm doing as I'm riding, to focusing on that one thing (looking far ahead) has paid off a lot.
  • 5 0
 @withdignityifnotalacrity: It actually has helped me as well. I think a lot of us know this stuff, but like you said, he is a great communicator and that makes me think about things when I am hitting sections. Turns helped a lot and I watched that episode a few times. I am better at turns, but still not where I would like to be.

*** biggest fear is that this series would ruin Friday Fails, I think that is safe for now.
  • 6 0
 @Tormy: I've been riding with a group of local shredders for going on a year now. Ofcourse riding with fast people naturally improves your skills, but in the last couple months I've definitely gotten "Damn *name redacted* you've really leveled up!" Comments like that are hard to beat. VALIDATION!!!!
  • 33 0
 "most people that jump well don't have a clue how they do it" - so true! So many good, and even pro, riders are absolutely terrible at teaching. Some well known youtubers in particular. This is not the case with this series at all!
  • 11 1
 Kasper Woolley (god bless him, amazing rider) trying to teach Paul the Punter how to corner was an almost meme level example of this.

Many elite level riders didn't learn from some instructor or YouTube video, they simply started doing stupid shit on bikes really early, so technique comes as second nature for them
  • 11 0
 Hope 2021 Advent Calendar Giveaway includes a coaching session with Ben in Scotland
  • 2 0
 I'm all in !
  • 6 0
 What's the best way to progress on big steep lips? I feel pretty comfortable on the mellow jumps like the one shown in the video but steep lips with or without a gap just scare me
  • 2 0
 Amen brother, steep lips make me feel like i'm going to rotate in some weird unpredictable way. I think the answer might be to be more aggressive with the pumping technique... but I don't know
  • 2 0
 Be wary of the shape of the take-off. At least a 2 ft flat spot from the top, however steep, will make for a predictable flight. A smaller lip right at the top has the tendency to buck the rear wheel.
  • 3 0
 Go ride Crank it Up about 30 times, or any medium sized table top jump trail, it helped me a bunch, but I still suck at the huge A-line size jumps, gotta work on those.
  • 2 1
 It´s all about being active on the bike. Look at all the Otb Jump Friday fails, they´re always to passive and to much on the back of their bikes.
Go downand bent your knees when you roll on the kicker and then pop out while you leaving the lip and push down when you reach the highest point.
May you have a small Dirt Jump track somewhere, where the kickers are shaped steeper, practice there as often as you can and you will soon jump bigger stuff easy.
  • 4 0
 Here’s some waffle from an average rider. I like to think of it in terms of physics. Starting with a simplified version of Bens technique, crouch, press, release. Crouch, press the bike into the ground thereby storing energy, stand up as the front wheel nears the top of the lip, separating the body from the bike and releasing the stored energy. This energy is what gives you the pop and the separation is what stops the energy acting on your body allowing a safe jump. If that makes sense let’s think about a steeper lip.
First think about that stored energy between the bike and the ground and how it can push back at us if we don’t separate with a good release. Now think about not only are we creating downward energy but the bike has forward energy (physicist’s don’t laugh at my poor terminology!). As the forward energy meets a steeper lip some of that is going to add to the downward stored energy or to put it another way the lip is going to feel as if it’s pushing back harder than a mellow lip. If your entrance speed is equal to that of a more mellow lip your release will have to be faster. You are trying to in some way match your release to the amount of stored energy (the same is also true of jumps immediately after a compression). If the speed of your release is not matched to the amount of stored energy then some energy will be transferred to your body (often resulting in the dreaded kick).
The 2nd part is what Ben talks about with moving the weight back. This allows you to redirect the forward energy up the lip as opposed to storing and releasing it. The upward energy may end up being similar but you don’t have to manage the release as much. The steeper the lip the more dynamically you will have to be with your body. For the really steeper lips as you move the weight back you partially straighten the arms and legs to “drive” the bike up the lip immediately prior to release. As Ben noted with an example in the video, when taking off in this position you will need to move your body forward in the air to bring the bike down to meet the angle of the landing.
Despite the bro-science I think putting it all together on a really steep lip is closer to witchcraft and those guys that just seamlessly put all the movement together to effortlessly soar always blow me away. As with most things the best approach is to find somewhere with progressive features where you feel safe(ish) and just practice until it clicks. For some with an abundance of talent this might happen right away, for the rest of us we’ll get there someday!
  • 3 2
 Lower rebound and learn what the pre-load of the jump demands. You do not want the rear shock rebounding upwards while the wheel is still tracking ground and causing resistance.

The rotating mass of large mountain bike wheels already makes jumping them challenging even for experts. You need to learn how to take off a bit sideways and angle the bike off to reduce the jarring sensation that is steep lips.

Look up BMX riders jumping over spine ramps to understand how this mechanic works. You will never see them just go straight over it. It's an awful feeling. They are always angling off and reducing the harsh compression of running full speed into a near vertical lip.

Also, along with lowering rebound you should be either adding compression or adding air pressure (if your shock doesn't have a great compression dial/is budget). You're going to want to mimic the feeling of a hardtail/DJer, but still ideally be able to go through that travel in the event of a horrible over shoot/case.
  • 3 0
 May sound silly but strength training helps me personally. I'm bad at doing exercises but if I don't, taking those forces in a predictable manner and being able to push against the lip kinda goes out the window. Ben touches on it when he talks about crumpling. Most of the guys I do know that are good at jumping are pretty fit and I don't think that's a coincidence.
  • 1 0
 @ihatton929: Nice. Yeah its going to help get more practise in too: stronger = less fatigue = more reps
  • 1 0
 @Bomadics: That trail alone is worth going to ride at Whistler…
  • 6 3
 Ben, really enjoyed watching these videos, even after load of years riding, there's always more to learn or to be reminded of techniques, and how they have evolved - especially from our days racing SDA!

Just recently got my ebike for winter / training and find it interesting the different techniques it requires, mostly on the climbs but also the descents - that might be a good video for another series / spin-off!
  • 2 0
 I've watched a lot of videos about how to jump (because I'm bad at it), and I think this is easily the most comprehensive, thoughtful (and also funny!) video so far. Kudos! Time will tell whether I've actually learned anything useful from this one, but it certainly gave me a few things to keep in mind during my next session.
  • 1 0
 Loved this series Ben, thanks!

I am absolutely in the camp of doing a UK bunnyhop style where my rear wheel doesn't reach the lip. I think part of my problem is that I'm in the habit of taking jumps at speed to make up for my lack of 'pop', and if I'm riding at speed I get nervous about changing my jump style (I've seen too many Friday fails!). I have a theory that jumping too soon is low risk, but if you delay your pop too long you'll get bucked by the suspension - this may or may not be true, but so far I haven't crashed a jump so I've been sticking with it!

Truth is that I need to find somewhere to session jumps at lower speed, but I can't find the 'right kind of jumps', and frankly I'm too lazy to put the work in! Smile
  • 2 0
 @BenCathro excellent series enjoyed the quirky playfulness as well. Would love to see a follow up episode on turning or altering position while in air off jumps including banked or cambered takeoffs.
  • 1 0
 Absolutely great series of videos Ben! I'm a pretty mediocre rider who spends some of his free time teaching others (with similar or even more advanced levels of mediocrity) how to ride. Your videos really help my thinking about both how to ride and how to teach! Thanks a lot, I hope to see more coming
  • 4 0
 Friday Fails might not be a thing after this episode.
  • 3 0
 I think it's pretty safe! Not sure many people really followed the ethos of the first episode (ie, gotta practice a tonne to get good!).
  • 4 0
 Ben Cathro should be nicknamed "The Arrow" he's skinny, tall, and fast.
  • 4 0
 I want to get back to school and have Ben Cathro as my math teacher.
  • 3 0
 Thx Ben! Really enjoyed watching the series and making progression on the way!
  • 4 0
 He got me at the Fake Floater.
  • 2 0
 The tension on the rear peddle was such a small detail, but I know that I don't do it. I never feel locked in when I jump with flats. Thank you Ben!
  • 2 0
 Anyone else work retail in 2011 and have flashbacks to 3.5 training every time they hear the kids yelling “yay” or the guys saying “oh no”?
  • 3 1
 I actually felt really bad for the "sended" Ben Cathro at 2:55. Cathro stop being a jerk!
  • 2 0
 I watched this video six or nine times.
  • 3 1
 I feel like alot or vast majority of people dont like getting air
  • 8 0
 I definitely have slowed way down in how much air I try to get. As I got older and got involved in different sports, the risk sort of grew considering how much of my life would be adversely affected from splattering myself. So ya, 25 foot gaps? no thanks. A nice rock drop or smaller table top? Yes please.
  • 8 0
 Wish you wouldn't post about my weaknesses on this public forum
  • 8 0
 I subconsciously absorb jumps because I'm scared to go up too high... Doesn't help my jump technique at all.
  • 2 0
 @plustiresaintdead: every. single. time.
  • 2 1
 I loved getting air, until I woke up in an ambulance with a concussion. Now I send lil 5 footers, far from any trees, or cliffs, or people for that matter :/
  • 2 0
 It's been my go-to method to keep trail speed low, and thus the risk of injury down. Only reserved to those bike park laps where you are riding in a full knight's suit of armour it's known as 'staying below escape velocity'.
  • 1 0
 I think PB was withholding the release of this until they had a surplus of Friday Fails clips to fall back on.
  • 2 0
 I wont lie the MTB hopper taught me how to jump
  • 1 0
 i see you guys have a problem with Scotch Broom over there as well, except maybe it's not a problem!
  • 2 0
 Even cathro thinks a long shocked coiled tallboy is sweet!
  • 2 0
 Would love to try a long shocked coiled tallboy!
  • 2 0
 @Habaden: they feel pretty incredible! Highly recommend
  • 1 0
 Awesome series, @ben-cathro! You break it down into practical, effective tips better than anyone I've seen.
  • 2 1
 The best way to learn how to jump is called GotoWhistlerandrideCrankItUpandC-More...
  • 1 0
 Nevermind... it's on the Instagram preview post but not on here.
  • 1 0
 (automatically added to favorites)
  • 1 0
 Awesome explanation- another stellar video from Ben.
  • 7 7
 My wife is also good at turning my dead sailor into a healthy captain, just in a different way...
  • 1 4
 And the girl next door even better
  • 1 0
 Great video. So glad Ben didn't invoke the whole "preload" rabbit hole..
  • 1 0
 I'd love to hear more about that rabbit hole. I'm a bang average jumper, and I've been trying to work on a more aggressive pre-load (after a jumping clinic last year), and was curious how Cathro wasn't doing that. Is preloading a bad thing?
  • 1 0
 @MuddyBrit: It's the term that's confusing. Cathro was definitely "pre-loading" the bike, everyone that pops/boost the jump does. It's just a terrible term.
  • 1 0
 @jeremy3220: Exactly; it's a crap term that does a horrible job describing the required action. Words matter, especially when you're teaching/learning.
  • 10 0
 @MuddyBrit: Preloading is not a bad thing. It's just one part of a series of motions. Jumping well is essentially the bunny hop (front wheel as high as you can first, then the rear comes up to level out), and preloading is a necessary part of that motion. People that want to learn to jump well would do themselves a HUGE favor if they stopped trying to learn on jumps and backed up to reteach their bodies correct bunnyhopping form through repetition OVER bigger and bigger curbs/stairs/cracks/roots/rocks. Then take that muscle memory and get air off (in contrast to over) speedbumps/roots/rocks (It’s pretty fun to be jibbing stuff on boring parts of the trail and on the way home anyway). Bunnyhopping off them mimics the timing they're going to need to be precise with the lips of jumps. Then jumps will feel like a natural progression and they can just go bigger and bigger (and I can’t recommend jump runs at bike parks enough for getting boosty much, much quicker through repetition. but again, only after teaching their body how to hit little stuff well).

I used to coach mtb and it’s interesting the amount of people that blow off bunnyhopping correctly as unnecessary. They feel they know how already and yet when they do it, they yank up the front and back at the same time and couldn’t clear a hose unless they were going 20mph. I personally feel that after a lifetime on bikes, and 30 years specifically on mtb, there is no other skill that lends itself to becoming a better rider through its usefulness. I mean, compare skaters pre-ollie and post-ollie and essentially you see how that one maneuver is so crucial to unlock everything else. That’s bunnyhopping to riding a bike well if you want to get air.
  • 4 0
 @ranke: I came to MTB in my mid-forties after skating from age 12 to my mid-30s. I quickly realized how similar the the ollie was to the bunny hop, both physically and functionally, and that my riding was not going to improve without learning how to do them. It's made a big difference. Totally changes how the trail looks, and is enormously helpful with jumps that don't have perfeclty crafted lips that do a lot of the work for you. It makes the notion of pushing down/into a jump in order to go up make sense.
  • 2 0
 @Gilesa: amen!
  • 1 0
 @ranke: Damn, I cutting and pasting your comment into Evernote. Strong words… Thanks!
  • 2 0
 @ride2day: hope it helps!
  • 1 0
 That was great, you should do a how to scrub in the next series
  • 1 0
 Banger bars! Will miss the series
  • 1 0
 Cathro for president!
  • 1 0
 radii





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