TrashZen Trials riding tutorials: learn bike trials and improve your mtb riding skills.
Home • Tutorials • Links • Forum • About • Contact • Disclaimer
le site en Français the site in English
 


Landing Smooth


Most beginners jump and just wait for gravity to take over. Instead, a smooth reception should engage your body into a firm but progressive transition.
Landing smooth is essential to make the most of your bike and your bones. It requires a lot of practice but it is very useful to avoid pinch flats when landing on sharp edges.

It is important to set yourself an objective, a target landing zone for each wheel. By identifying your landing spots for both wheels, you'll be prepared to either stop completely over the rear wheel or at least decellerate enough to control your next transition, or you may choose to use extra damping with a firm push-up on your arms as the front wheel hits the ground or the nearest obstacle.

trials riding tutorials Kenny Belaey crouches and stays over the rear wheel.

trials riding tutorials Jack Carthy is fully stretched upon touch-down.

The smoother you are, the less pressure you need in the tyres without pinching flat on every jump, and you'll have more grip with low pressure (see that in most landings the rear tyre goes nearly flat).

How much of the impact you can damp depends a lot of your position in the air, and the surface of reception. For round blunt obstacles like wood logs, less pressure gives extra gripping because the tyre can litteraly grab the edges and shapes. Less pressure makes tyre rebounds smoother for landing, and ensures a more comfortable ride.

It is important to target your landing zone with precision. Once in the air, adapt your posture to match your objective and guide your wheels to the targets you have identified.


Avoid landing flat

trials riding tutorials Hannes Herrmann finishes with a firm push-up on the arms.

trials riding tutorials Kenny Belaey fully stretched, about to flex upon landing.

In most cases in biketrials, you must land on slanted grounds (each wheel on a different rock or bump, at different heights).

If you land on a flat, always try to land on the rear first, to absorb most of the impact with your legs before the front wheel touches down, then you can absorb the reminder of the impact with your arms.

If you drop off sideways, make sure you land aligned with the bike, else you can fall sideways upon impact. During the jump, adapt your posture and guide the bike towards its target.

Front wheel up

trials riding tutorials Benito Ros flexes over the bars to land both wheels at the same time.

trials riding tutorials Aurélien Fontenoy stays centered before landing the front wheel.

If you have to land with your front wheel hitting a higher point than the rear wheel, then try to keep some weight over the bars, so that you can damp the impact with both the arms and legs at the same time, flexing progressively while keeping your torso close to the handlebars. This will prevent you from being ejected backward in case the front tyre bounces back too firmly.


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

Front wheel up against an obstacle

mountain biking and biketrial skills
1° Aim your rear wheel with precision to stop most of the impact on the rear tyre, crouch progressively after impact.

mountain biking and biketrial skills
2° With the front wheel staying high, do not stretch back too much upon landing but stay centered over the bike.

mountain biking and biketrial skills
3° As the front wheel touches the obstacle, stay positioned closer to the handlebars to absorb the impact with both the arms and legs.

mountain biking and biketrial skills
4° Perform a rapid but firm push-up to damp the impact and keep your balance over the bike without falling backwards.


Landing with the front wheel down
If you have to land with your front wheel on a lower point than the rear wheel, then you should really try to absorb all of the impact on the rear wheel, maintaining as much balance as possible on the rear wheel, and then lower the front wheel as progressively as possible to its target while you keep your bum above the rear wheel.

Else, with too much weight going forward upon impact, you'll end up over the bars, or if you can resist the impact, your front tyre could pinch flat against the rim.

Then, you can either ride further down to stop progressively (the smoothest option when the track allows it), or you may have to lock your front wheel into a firm stop (more damping from the arms).


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

Landing with the front wheel down

mountain biking and biketrial skills
1° Try to absorb all the impact on the rear wheel, balancing as much as you can over the rear tyre.

mountain biking and biketrial skills
2° Lower the front wheel progressively, maintaining your bum well above the rear wheel.

mountain biking and biketrial skills
3° With too much weight put forward upon landing, you could be thrown over the bars.

mountain biking and biketrial skills
4° If the track allows it, you can ride further down to stop progressively while damping the move with your arms.


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

trials riding tutorials
Hannes Herrmann jumps off after a smooth reception.

trials riding tutorials
Andrei Burton aims his rear wheel with precision.

In all scenarios, before dropping off or jumping, try to be as low as possible on the bike (crouching) so that when you stretch again in the air, the real drop heigh (as seen by your center of mass) is lessened.

You should then extend both your legs and arms as much as you can while in the air, before touching ground, so that you can flex for longer and have extra margin to absorb the impact upon touch-down. Never land directly on the front wheel unless you know what you are doing.

For small jumps, you can land both wheels at once and flex your knees and arms at the same rate to end up well stabilized. Check out the physics of the landing process, that may help you understand what you want to achieve.

Also check out the Crash Speed Calculator and more explanations in the physics lecture.

trials riding tutorials
Vincent Hermance stays centered to maintain balance over the rear wheel.

trials riding tutorials Giacomo Coustellier about to touch down smoothly.

trials riding tutorials
Kenny Belaey aiming his rear wheel at a wood log.

trials riding tutorials Vincent Hermance absorbs the impact before the next drop.

TribalZine

Trial Inside

RushWay trials mechanics

TrialProd

Your Complete Guide to Trials Riding