Gravity riding, like you can experience on Alpine descents and in stunt-packed bike parks, is a big part of mountain biking now, yet many riders have yet to try it.
One such man is former MBUK deputy editor John Stevenson, who's been sunning himself in Australia for the past 10 years. He's a dedicated cross-country rider who feels that mountain biking has advanced almost too fast for him to keep up with, so he's stayed clear of gravity riding - until now.
Having finally realised that it's not just a phase for rubber faced 19-year-olds, he's determined to learn just how different, and fun, riding big travel gravity bikes can be. Luckily, I'm on hand to show him.
Big bounce switch
Although you can get away with a hell of a lot on a big bounce full susser, you still need to have the right bike-handing skills or you'll be taken for a ride you won't forget. If you're used to short travel cross-country bikes or even hardtails, you'll know that you have to move around on the bike to maintain your flow - just riding along will get you nowhere. The more you put in to riding such rigs the more you get out of them, and the same applies to big travel bikes.
Don't think that you can hop on a bike with 8in of travel and take it easy - you have to work hard. Yes, it will roll over terrain where you might have to dismount on a cross-country bike, and yes, you'll feel invincible on it, but you must also tame it like a wild horse.
John's the perfect person to show attempting this, because he has similar abilities to many XC-orientated riders. In Australia, he battles with singletrack and stunning big mountain cross-country riding, and when back in Blighty he frequents Afan Forest park. He's not shy about tackling the odd jump but he's most at home on a hardtail or a short travel cross-country full susser.
Watch the video now: