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Skinny drop crash

I somehow had it in my head to not go too fast, that it was better to err on the slow side. And since I'm good at riding skinnies, riding it slow was not a problem. Looking at the video, clearly visible in the slowmo segment, I stopped pedaling as approached the lip so at that speed, my front wheel dropped like a rock. So I made two mistakes, one in judgement, the other in execution.

37 Comments

  • + 7
 Wasn't the speed that made you crash. You need to lunge. Try and get your back flat, extend your arms out and get your head down. You could go off that suuuuper slow and make it. Try finding a small drop, maybe a foot or so. Put can down and aim to land your back wheel on it. Then move the can further and further back towards the actual drop. Eventually it'll be right underneath what you're dropping off, and you'll notice how slow you're going to still hit the can. But if you're using the right technique, you won't have any issues!

This video shows the basic technique: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CH7EomWMVos

One thing I would say is, when we were competing our MTB instructors course, we would exaggerate the lunge so that our helmets hit our bars, and our stomach was on our saddle. It's pretty difficult to do it, but once you get it, you'll be dropping no problem!

Hope this helps!

Happy riding!
  • + 4
 The TLDR version of this is "pretend you are hopping off a curb"
  • + 3
 and chose 26 as your optimal wheel size... could help Big Grin
  • + 1
 I'm not sure I can agree with you bluetelecaster. He does need a little more speed. If he wanted to clear the drop off with that speed it would be nice to know how to properly manual. Just pulling up and sitting all the way back with arms extended his front end would and could still nose dive. He just needed a bit more speed while keeping his weight a little back and he would've been fine.
  • + 2
 Yeah, bluetelecaster, I need to learn the lunge technique. Seb Kemp also describes it in this article:
www.bikemag.com/friday-five/friday-five-drops

"Get into a low athletic position: bend your arms and knees to load your suspension and to get ready to initiate your move. Lunge the bike forward off the drop: push the bike out in front of you by extending your arms and legs. Accelerate the bike out from underneath you by forcefully pushing it forwards. This should feel like you are allowing your hips to go back but really the bike should be moving forward faster underneath you, not you going backwards."
  • + 2
 Seriously just practice off of curbs. Ride off in such a way so that you land with both wheels at the same time, or maybe the rear one slightly earlier. You basically manual off. And speed compensates for a lack of ability to hold that manual position for a long time.
  • + 1
 Can I just add that there is more than 1 way to ride a drop, depending on speed and skill. The lunge technique mentioned above is similar to power manualling off the drop, and involves pushing the bike forward/the front up so your front wheel doesn't drop before your back is off the lip. That's good for low speed when that's a real concern, but the technique you should be learning for higher speeds is less pushing the bike forward and more unweighting/bunnyhopping the entire bike. Rather than lifting the front wheel/pushing it forwards you push down into your bike before the takeoff and then rebound upwards in a preloading motion. This will keep you more balanced on high speed drops, but won't keep the front end up as well on low speed ones Smile
  • + 4
 Whatever man. You still are the only guy I've seen clean the stockade skinny at hillside (scary) and I hope I ride as well as you when I'm your age. That being said, practice catwalk wheelies if you want to go slow, or go really fast and do a sloppy manual. Ps I wouldn't have done that drop that day if I was in your group. Cause I'm a sissy.
  • + 1
 Thanks, Eric. There are actually 4 members of the Browner stockade skinny 'club' at Hillside. Mike Samson is the champ, IMHO, as he's ridden it with 4 different bikes.

FYI, my cracked ribs from this crash have healed and if the horrible warm snowless winter continues, I might be tempted to get back up to Hillside and tackle this skinny drop again. I think I've learned enough. ;-)
  • + 1
 This is so perfect it almost looked staged. Another option to taking it slow is to time your pedal stroke right as your front wheel approaches the end of the ramp to pop the front wheel up. That's how we used to take drops to flat on BMX bikes when we were kids. Just don't pedal to hard or you'll land back wheel first.
  • + 1
 Nice to see mostly helpful comments but disappointing to see even one critical one. You unhelpful critics have never made "dumb," errors that resulted in crashes? Ever?

Geezer you're inspirational. I'm 56 and love riding Pacific Spirit Park here in Vancouver, Canada. It's a huge and heavily forested walking park that allows cyclists. Ride a bit away from the road and you'd never guess you were in a big city. Trouble is it has no technical stuff whatsoever. So... I'm gonna buy a decent AM or XC full suspension bike - probably a Trance 2 - and start exploring some other areas and a few beginner bike parks.

I commend you for posting your fail for all to see. Some will learn from it.

I actually had a fail at PSP Feb 27th. First ride of the year I stood up to roll over two roots. The first was no problem but the second, being that I was then barely moving, stopped my Giant Roam 2 hybrid cold. As I'd only stood up but didn't do anything to lighten up the front end I teetered forward until momentum handed the ass kicking duties to gravity. It took over and I went straight down over the handlebars. Hit my sternum, scraped my chin and right knee and thought I'd sprained my wrist. Six hours later, the pain being unbearable, off I went to VGH Emerg. Xrays and a CT Scan revealed I'd actually fractured a bone in it. My hand had bent back and compressed it. One week in a cast and now a two weeks more of a month to go with a splint. Good thing I have Short Term Disability coverage at my job.


That was a needless and dumb dumb dumb error I made. I just totally forgot to unload the front wheel.

Anyway cheers! Let's see a video of you taking that drop like a pro eh?

JB
  • + 0
 For this kind of drop, you need to pull up the bars and shift your body weight on top of the rear tires, the rear tires should touch the ground first for flat deep drops like this to eliminate going over the bars.

This execution is valid only on drop off with sloped receivers like this.
www.pinkbike.com/video/418617
  • + 1
 You should not pull the bars up. Check out www.youtube.com/watch?v=WURfF2CaaW0 from 0:30
  • + 1
 No. That video shows if you pullup and the speed us too slow and youll end up going over the bars for steep drops, as what Ive said the landing should be on the rear wheel and weight shifted at the back and pullup to do this, and this is what the video your link showed.
  • + 1
 My video shows at 2:25. exactly like this, a skinny with a deep drop off, I pulled the bars and shifted my weight backwards and the landing was on the rear wheel.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbt_lDxbuY0
  • + 2
 New blog post:

What I’m doing to learn from my nasty skinny drop crash at Hillside
mountainbikegeezer.com/learning-from-nasty-skinny-drop-crash
  • + 1
 Griff, I've read several of your blogs. Those of us that follow you know that your crash had less to do with your lack of skill but more to do with just misjudging. You sir are one bad dude!
  • + 3
 wow, lifting the front wheel on a 29er seems to be hard. Smile

got to stick with my 26 ^^
  • - 1
 Not really, most 29er bikes are super light bikes I tried that on a stumpy so light compared to my Demo 8 or Giant Reign both are 26er. Heres a link on the 29er.

www.pinkbike.com/video/429335
  • + 3
 Cool. I won. My ribs have healed, too, so it's a win-win. ;-)

Anyone know what the "sweet EVOC product" is?
  • + 2
 What are you thinking? Lift the bars, get some good speed, just do SOMETHING.
  • + 1
 Im sorry, but i have watched this video so many times. and its just as funny as the first time .LOL. I hope the ribs werent too much trouble though.
  • + 2
 Glad to provide the entertainment, @CamPow! Ribs healed quickly, thanks. I'm eager to give the skinny drop another go as soon as spring gets here.
  • + 1
 I absolutely LOVE clips where people think getting behind their seat is the answer to everything.
  • + 2
 Yeah, Griff! Shoulda tucked it for the front flip Smile
  • + 2
 I'll try that when I get a little older, Tyson. ;-)
  • + 2
 Don't ya just love riders that think the bike does all the work haha
  • - 1
 hahhahaahhaaaa damn right Beer
  • + 1
 If there was a lake after that ladder you would have nailed it. At least your buddies got a laugh in
  • + 1
 Reminds me of the one at carver lake
  • + 1
 Hmm, I don't think I've seen a skinny drop at Carver. Got a link to a photo, @jfkusa ?
  • + 1
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/13000359 not as big but i can do skinnies and i can do drops but this just gets me for some reason
  • + 1
 Ahhh, yes, I do know that one. I think it's tricky because it's also a skinny/drop combo.
  • + 1
 I'm so confused, how do I properly hit these drops.
  • + 2
 omg I LOLd at this one
  • + 1
 what did he expect ?

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