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Straight jump: Free-Ride style


Mostly suitable for small steps and stairways, performing a fast straight jump is a rather basic way to go down. Without suspensions, this approach can be brutal if not well landed, and doesn't leave much room for control.

A fast move

trials riding tutorials Jumping over a flight of steps.

At worst, you just need to go fast enough to clear a flight of steps and land flat. Free-ride full-suspension bikes are a better bet for this.

On a trials bike, you can also boost your jump with a bunny hop during take-off, or improve your landing by dropping the rear wheel first but speed makes this option a dangerous one.

Obviously, it's the easiest jump technique to learn, but quite useless in natural trials riding where you won't often find enough run-up distance or where your landing area is limited. Remember that speed is dangerous.


Understanding the move

trials riding tutorials Pull a manual as your front wheel leaves the edge.

Build up enough speed before take-off and stop pedalling just before reaching the drop edge, concentrate on your balance. Pull on the handlebars and ride into a manual to maintain the front wheel up while you approach the edge on the rear wheel.

Shift your weight backward, arms fully stretched to maintain the front wheel horizontal as it leaves the step and dives into the air.

Once in mid-air, just let the bike drop naturally to the ground, extending your legs before the bike impacts with the ground so that you can flex again for a smooth landing. Because you cruise at a good pace, it is safer to damp the impact with both your legs and arms as you lean over the middle of the bike.

Depending on the terrain, try to control your brakes to a progressive stop while you flex over the bike to absorb the impact further. The straight jump is not very safe when dropping from high, unless you can land into a slope.


Bear in mind that in extreme downhill or free-ride sessions, riders nearly always land into a slope, so that the suspensions do the work progressively over a fairly long stretch.


Landing flat is painful
If for some reason, you pull too much on the handlebars during take-off or if you lean back too much, then you may end up landing in an uncontrolled manual or a desperate wheelie, which is really risky until you use the rear brake.

If you don't pull enough on the bars, the bike may dive forward, and you'll land on the front wheel instead, which can be ugly and a good introduction to a crash. Landing flat won't do any good to your wrists either. As usual, start jumping off small kerbs and progressively build it up. Learn the other proper drop-off techniques.


Click on any step below and use the scroll-wheel to move through the animation.

Straight jump: Free-Ride style

trials riding tutorials
1° Build up enough speed before take-off and stop pedalling just before reaching the drop edge, concentrate on your balance.

trials riding tutorials
2° Pull on the handlebars and ride into a manual to maintain the front wheel up while you approach the edge on the rear wheel.

trials riding tutorials
3° Shift your weight backward, arms fully stretched to maintain the front wheel horizontal as it leaves the step and dives into the air.

trials riding tutorials
4° Once in mid-air, just let the bike drop naturally to the ground, extending your legs before the bike impacts with the ground.

trials riding tutorials
5° Because you cruise at a good pace, it is safer to damp the impact with both your legs and arms as you lean over the middle of the bike.

trials riding tutorials
6° Depending on the terrain, try to control your brakes to a progressive stop while you flex over the bike to absorb the impact further.


Biketrial video Watch all the slow-motion video clips for this move Biketrial video


180° and 360° jumps

trials riding tutorials Give a strong twist during take-off.

To perform a 180° or 360° jump, the whole idea is to give a strong twist to what would otherwise be a straight jump. Like for a 270° side drop, you must initiate the rotation during take-off, with plenty of torso inertia on a skewed bunny hop impulse. Take-off is the same for the 180° and 360° jumps, only tucking for longer or jumping from higher for the full 360° turn.

Landing a 180° jump backwards requires a lot of practise if you want to back-pedal and roll smoothly. Don't lock your brakes upon landing as this will throw you off-balance. You should practise your 180° bunny hops on a flat area, at a moderate speed (the take-off action relies on your extension and body language, not on your horizontal speed).



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