Jumping your mountain bike is no doubt one of the best ways to make the most out of your ride. Not only does it let you hit and overcome obstacles on the trail. But it also helps you learn something fun, while also progressing your skills as a mountain biker.
It’s a great feeling you get when riding!
But learning how to jump on a full suspension mountain bike is more difficult because of the rear shock that absorbs all the energy when you take off and land.
But you don’t have to worry about this because we’ll help you jump your bike — the right way.
We’ve also listed down the steps, and a few tips you need to take in for you to progress your jumping skills.
So, how do you jump a full suspension mountain bike?
Before You Jump
Learning about new mountain bike skills such as jumping is all about skill progression. You should have already learned the basics such as bunny hops before you learn intermediate skills like this.
You should also be already comfortable riding your bike at a certain level. Know if you’re already comfortable learning this new trick by checking the skills you have and check if your bike can handle big impacts with a solid frame and mid-to-long travel forks.
What to Learn First Before Jumping
Learning the fundamental skills of mountain biking makes it much easier for you to improve your skills. You’re also less likely to crash because of your proper techniques.
Here are some skills you need to learn:
A manual is just like doing a wheelie. But you use your whole body instead of lifting your bike through pedaling. Manuals have a lot of practical purposes for mountain biking, which makes this an essential skill to learn for jumping.
You also need to be more comfortable compressing your bike’s suspension to make it stiffer and getting your front wheel off the ground. Also, resist pulling to gain more speed and better upper body control when you take off later on your next big jump.
You should have already learned how to MTB jump on flatland before hitting jumps like tabletops and doubles using your mountain bike. A tabletop jump is the easiest and safest to do so start with this first.
Maintaining bar mounted control is easier with tabletops which is why riders prefer this. Just make sure that your front wheel is straight, have your ride clipped, and always maintain proper technique by learning how to bend slightly and having the right saddle height to improve balance point.
A bunny hop is a skill where you lift both your wheel off the ground to get over obstacles rather than slowing down. Jumping is doing a bunny hop on obstacles which can give your wheels more air time.
Steps to Jumping Your Bike
Pump the bike before getting into the lip of the jump by pressing all your body weight to your feet. Compress through your hips as you need room to move once you get to the jump.
Stand up fast by extending your legs and arms as your front wheels get off the jump. Everything needs to be quick because you need to extend your rear wheel and rear end to get off the lip of the jump. Mastering this technique gives you good air time.
The weight transfer for this also needs proper timing, which needs to take some time for you to pull it off properly. Just don’t worry about failing your first few tries!
Stay calm once you’re in the air so that your bike goes in the right direction. You should also look at where you will land. This puts your bike at the right angle and lowers the chances of your wheels slipping and you crashing after a jump.
Landing your bike
Stretch out your body before you land your bike to absorb the impact, just like what your suspension does.
Make sure that your bike is aligned to the receiver before you come down so you get a smooth landing. Also, maintain speed after you land your bike. Making sure that you maintain speed makes it easy for you to control your bike instead of immediately braking.
Remember that mountain biking and trail riding are difficult for most riders and mountain bikers, so you need to start by making slow movements first before you start learning to jump a mountain bike.
Weight transfer is also important during the landing. You should place all your weight at the center and make sure that both wheels land at the same time so you won’t go over the bars.
Jumping on a Hardtail Vs Full Suspension
Jumping on a hardtail is better compared to a full suspension, but you’ll get a harsher landing without a rear shock. You’ll also jump much easier and with little effort as it requires less effort to bring your bike up to the air or do a take off find, knowing that the rear wheel won’t move.
Riders only have to compress the front suspension. You can then get more power to get the bike higher up the jump, which gives you more air time. We recommend that your body position stay loose so you won’t freeze and crash.
You can ride at the same speed with minimal line moves when mountain biking with a hardtail and full suspension. The only thing that’s different with these is that the rear wheel and back wheel pivot can move in accordance with the moving linkage before and after riders start jumping.
Full suspension bikes give riders a floaty feeling because the rear wheel linkages float freely underneath the back wheel with the added suspension. We recommend that your arms and legs aren’t fully extended to the point that they are locked so that you can still gain control and balance when you approach the lip of a jump.
Just be sure that you have flat pedals and wear proper safety gear like elbow pads and a full face helmet in case you crash because of the transition of bike type.
Although these are a bit expensive, they’re a worthy investment especially since you are at risk of crashing when you always jump. Some of the best ones out there are the RaceFace elbow pad and Fox Proframe full face helmet.
Tips to Know Before Jumping
Use flat pedals
It’s a good idea to use flat pedals if you’re learning how to jump a mountain bike instead of clipless pedals. This makes it easier for you to eject if something goes wrong. You also won’t have to rely too much on lifting the rear from the pedals stuck to your shoes, as opposed to flat pedals.
Find something you can handle
You should practice jumps somewhere safe. It should be a place where you won’t have a bad crash even if you come up short or overshoot. The best place to do this is on a tabletop with a flat section in the middle where you can land if you ever mess up.
Learning how to jump means you should always find the right style that suits you best. We’ve already shown you the gist of how you’re supposed to do it. And it’s now up to you how you will pull it off and get the right timing when learning how to jump a mountain bike.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Jumping
Feet coming off
A common experience for a beginner mountain biker when jumping for the first time is when your feet slip away from the pedals and your body is moving faster than your bike. You can avoid this by bending your arms and legs so you can bring the bike towards you when you’re in the air.
Turning front wheel
You can sometimes end up turning your front wheel on accident during your time on air. This happens when you tug your bars, which can pull one side too far from the other, thereby twisting the front wheel.
You should guide your bars to where you want your bike to land to keep it straight. Remember that your bars control your front wheel, so make sure your front wheel is straight.
Also, see to it that you are maintaining speed when approaching a jump and as the bike’s suspension increases. This same technique will help it easier to maneuver your bike and jump safely with minimal effort involved even though you are under consistent pressure.
It’s now time to try it out in the trails now that you know how to jump your full suspension bike!
It turns out that the question, “How do you jump a full suspension mountain bike,” isn’t really that hard to answer.
Be comfortable, don’t freeze up, and just go with the flow. But just make sure you’re not overdoing yourself and going beyond your comfort zone.
When you do, then there’s no stopping you from making the most out of your mountain bike. Keep safe and ride hard.
In no time, you will surely style it up by doing whips and tabletops.