Judging a rollable drop

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danlightbulb
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Judging a rollable drop

Postby danlightbulb » Tue Nov 06, 2012 13:10 pm

Hi,

As there isn't a specific skills forum Im posting this here.

Ever since I came off the bike at Llandegla a few months ago after attempting to roll the level 3 drop off in the skills area, I have had it constantly on my mind during rides.

I am finding it very difficult to judge whether or not a drop is rollable. Its affecting my speed and confidence. The biggest problems seem to be when on the approach to a medium step type drop, something in the region of 8 to 10 inches. I am aware in my mind that it would be close to the limit and its really effecting me.

I am also struggling where there is a sequence of steps one after the other, or a pothole at the bottom of a step. I'm worried that my front wheel will bog down when the suspension compresses and I will go over the bars (which happened to me before).

What can I do to solve this problem? I did consider going for a double chainring to improve ground clearance but apparantly it wouldn't make much difference anyway, and tbh the problems are in my head I guess.

Thanks

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njee20
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby njee20 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 13:16 pm

Won't a 10" drop always be rollable? :?

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Thewaylander
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby Thewaylander » Tue Nov 06, 2012 13:23 pm

i want to make a comment about my obvious and 10".... ugh....

Mostly its a lean back and go issue, and the scary thing is with most drops of theses sizes is the faster you go the less you even notice it was there in the first place.

Northwind
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby Northwind » Tue Nov 06, 2012 13:40 pm

If you mean pure wheels-on-ground rolling, then it's not just about height, it's about angles- is there a downslope or a straight drop, etc. If in doubt, roll your bike over it first and see what happens- your BB will be a little bit lower when you're riding, as it'll be somewhat sagged, but it'll give you a good idea.

But ironically, once you get up to a certain level of butt-clenching, it's easier to drop than roll.
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bluechair84
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby bluechair84 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 13:52 pm

Thewaylander wrote:i want to make a comment about my obvious and 10".... ugh....


Your obvious doens't have a good 10" in it :)

I find I usually need to go a little faster than I am as I'm overly precautious. ars* out back behind the saddle... not much can go wrong really. But unless the landing is really steep, you don't want the front to drop much before the back leaves the lip.

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welshkev
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby welshkev » Tue Nov 06, 2012 13:56 pm

just pull up or unweight the front end as you go off the drop..or as said above...lean back. practice on a curb, that's what i was told, it's the same principal.

it's not great to be landing nose first a lot. again, as said above it's easier and carries you through if you hop/drop off stuff rather than take the hits of just rolling off the edge.
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Northwind
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby Northwind » Tue Nov 06, 2012 14:02 pm

Don't pull up, push through.
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welshkev
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby welshkev » Tue Nov 06, 2012 14:07 pm

Northwind wrote:Don't pull up, push through.


well i sometimes pull up :wink:
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RockmonkeySC
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby RockmonkeySC » Tue Nov 06, 2012 15:40 pm

Northwind wrote:Don't pull up, push through.


There are two different techniques. I prefer to pump the fork & use the rebound to lift the front for a manual off the lip. This way you are set up before you get to the drop, also easier to throw in tricks when you start hitting bigger, faster drops.

EH_Rob
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby EH_Rob » Tue Nov 06, 2012 15:48 pm

There's been some useful tips here which I can't add to without repeating stuff.

However, what I would say is that in the time you spend thinking 'is it rollable?', you could have set yourself up to ride it properly, which will enable you to carry more speed.

Also, when you start hitting bigger drops the technique is the same as when you ride a little one really, so it's a chance to get into good habits rather than rolling stuff.

ilovedirt
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby ilovedirt » Tue Nov 06, 2012 16:06 pm

Why are you rolling them anyway? It's not really teaching you anything about hitting drops - all the drops at the skills park are easy enough if you're going fast enough and keep the front up.

And most drops are rollable depending how steep the transition is so you don't catch your cranks, but it's pretty much easier to just send them most of the time. If you really want to roll them, you can drop your front wheel down and scoop the back end up so you don't catch your cranks and then push through it, depending on the size...
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ddraver
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby ddraver » Tue Nov 06, 2012 16:11 pm

Those drops are nasty buggers too as they re drops to flat. I think the direst answer to your question is experience, there is no secret.

Practice on other drops, including sessioning them over an over until your confidence is built up and your technique is good then go back and smash the mofo's!
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RockmonkeySC
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby RockmonkeySC » Tue Nov 06, 2012 16:24 pm

Doesn't matter if it's flat landing, if you can roll it then you can easily ride it properly. 3' to flat is easily doable on xc bikes.

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ddraver
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby ddraver » Tue Nov 06, 2012 16:53 pm

Not saying its different, just a bit more challenging...
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bennett_346
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby bennett_346 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 17:04 pm

ilovedirt wrote:Why are you rolling them anyway? It's not really teaching you anything about hitting drops - all the drops at the skills park are easy enough if you're going fast enough and keep the front up.

This, you shouldn't be rolling any drops, it isn't what they're for. That said if you're going to roll them technique will keep you on the bike.

But still. Please don't roll them, what's the point? You may as well not do them at all. To me that is equivalent to turning up at a car racing track and running around it because you're scared you'll crash the car :lol:

ilovedirt
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby ilovedirt » Tue Nov 06, 2012 17:23 pm

It's fair enough rolling them on the trail, but if you're going to the skills area to practice drops, you might as well not bother if you're just going to roll them. I'm not being harsh, just saying, that's what they're there for.
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danlightbulb
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby danlightbulb » Tue Nov 06, 2012 18:58 pm

Thanks for all the replies.

Many things have been said which definitely explain why I'm struggling.

Its not that I want to roll them, I'd love to be able to hit drops, roots, rocks at speed and not worry about being airborne but I cant seem to pluck up the courage to do it.

Part of the problem is that I can't find any to practice on. The skills area at Degla would be great but the level 2 ones were easy and all of a sudden the level 3's (to me) are too hard. There's nothing inbetween. Drops that are part of the trails I ride are in amongst other features and hard to go back and practice over and over. I was riding the Hopton red trail and the bit that overlaps the downhill course I struggled on because it was one rooty step/drop straight into another and another. Its ok maybe lifting the front for one drop but then when you're landing directly on top of another one how does that work?

paul.skibum
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby paul.skibum » Tue Nov 06, 2012 19:02 pm

ilovedirt wrote:It's fair enough rolling them on the trail, but if you're going to the skills area to practice drops, you might as well not bother if you're just going to roll them. I'm not being harsh, just saying, that's what they're there for.


Rolling off stuff that is being built to help you learn on easy stuff is eroding them and causing work for the trail builders. There is no try there is only do. Or fudge off. There is always that. :D

Your best bet is stop, go have a look and work it out, then next time around just ride at it safe int he knowledge its all gravy. If you need stuff to practice on get really good at the level 2 stuff so you know how to do it backwards then move up to the 3 - I have no idea what stuff you are talking about but trial and error is the only way unless you go on a course as far as I can see.
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70\'sPenguin
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby 70\'sPenguin » Tue Nov 06, 2012 19:07 pm

As has previously been mentioned; practice on kerbs! You dont need anything more to practice the technique.

JayKay3000
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Re: Judging a rollable drop

Postby JayKay3000 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 19:40 pm

All you need is time. Once small drops feel like a walk in the park then move up to something else*. Re-ride the same trails till you find them easy then tackle harder ones+. Don't run before you can walk because chances are you are going to end up rolling something that you are not confident in and hurting yourself and trust me, the body is not as strong as you might think.

Roots never become fun as they become slick in the wet and cornering on a root is generally a bad idea. I've run trails over and over with roots I've cleared without problem and then now and again they pop in a curve ball to wake you up.

I'm in with the pump or push into a drop off, u'll notice this when you jump the bike. Keep your weight back and keep the speed up for the flow of the trail as you're less likely to 'thunk' from the drop to the ground.

*With these easy drop offs increase the speed so you are more jumping off them. Scared of doing this? Do it on kurbs to get some lift.

+The short answer is that experience allows you to judge what you can and can't ride

Hey, I'm from the internet so I'd probably just play around till you get it. Repetition is the key and remember to have fun with it. I'm sure we all look back at things we used to be terrified of and now clear with ease. :roll:


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