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Benefits of cycling

Trials Skills To Improve Your Trail Riding | MTB Skills


(upbeat music) – Welcome back you beautiful people and today’s all about trial skills. Taking them over to the trail to help you get over certain obstacles. And to be honest I’m not
really good at trials, so I bought Chris Smith in to help me do such techniques out there on the trail. – Yeah and it looks like you need some work on those track stands, Blake. So let’s get into it, and get
started on the track stands. So the track stand is one of
the basic skills from trials, but a really important one. What we try and do, is just
find a nice uphill slope. Basically that stops you
using your brakes so much, as well, and stops the bike falling away. Basically I’m just pushing
forward with my front foot, turning into it with my upper body, And if I feel my balance moving, I correct it with my upper body. So every time that front wheel moves, just keep moving your upper body, keeping that pressure through the cranks. You can ease off just to let it roll back, just to catch your balance again. But yeah that’s the easiest
way, to keep looking ahead, down at your front wheel,
just see what works for you. Another really important part with the track stand,
is to actually relax. If you find yourself tensing up, you’re gonna be all over the place. Just let yourself breathe,
relax those muscles, and it’ll make it a hell of a lot easier. – Right, track stands on the trial. Well this is a perfect situation. Look at this, it’s a blind drop. So you can come in with a walking speed, and when you get right to
the end you can track stand, spot your line, look over to the cress. Yep, I see my line, and
then you can drop in slowly. Nice and safe. Alright the same applies when
you come to a bit of a climb, a technical climb, you
can track stand before it, spot your line, get
comfortable and lean back, and put the power in. (grunts) Damn it! Oh. Bloody hell! Put the power down, for the fifth time. Yes, yeah! Alright this technique is the slap, the splat, or the bump technique. It kind of helps you out when you come to an obstacle
in the trial that is quite big, and you can’t really get
over with a bunny hop. So you what you wanna
do is you come into it, you’re gonna lean back, you
wanna get that front wheel a bit lifted up a bit, splat
it, slap it, or bump it, to get that front wheel up into the air, you’re leaning back and you’re
gonna drive that back wheel just over the obstacle, and through it, so you don’t have to get off your bike in the middle of the trail. Okay it’s not all about
speed when you’re doing it. You’re gonna come and
you’re gonna lean back, bump it, and get that whole bike over. But it’s all one fluid
motion when you’re doing it, you don’t wanna stop, you don’t wanna, right I gotta lift the front wheel, right, now I gotta do this. It’s all fluid motion. You’re gonna bump it,
slap it, or splat it. Do that, get the front wheel over the log, and when you’re back wheel’s coming you’re gonna pull up on the
bars, pull up with your hips, put your feet on those pedals, to bring that back wheel over. You don’t have to do a bunny hop over it, you can just let it go a little bit light, so your wheel just rolls
over that obstacle, and so you can get through it. And right the last and most important one, is commitment, you
gotta be super committed through all stages of this slap, bump, splat, attack thing over it. Because if you’re not, you’re gonna just drive the front wheel into it, it’s gonna send you into the bars. Or you’re gonna get your front wheel up, and you’re gonna drive
the back wheel into it, and it’s just gonna stop you, could end up having a puncture. So you gotta be committed all the time when you’re doing the
slap, pat, bump, attack. – So here’s a perfect chance to get all trials in, on the trails. The log across the track, we’re gonna use the splat technique. Let’s hit this hard,
commit, get our weight back, lift that front wheel
up, fly across the log. (upbeat music) So we’re gonna be taking
a look at the front touch, or the hook technique. This is a really advanced technique, especially on the trail bikes. The trials guys can go
up massive stuff on this, I’m talking six, seven foot tall. They basically hook their front
wheel on the top of a wall, bounce the back wheel off
of it, in one fluid motion. They get up on some incredibly high stuff. This picnic table for our trail bike is still pretty impressive. So lets take a look at the
technique for this one. (upbeat music) So lets take a look at the front touch. Before we even get into this, we need to be about two
of three bike lengths away from the obstacle that we’re going up. And I’m also going to switching, I’m normally right foot forward. So I’m gonna be switching my
feet to my left foot forward, so that’s opposite foot forward. What that’s gonna do it
allow big explosive drive when I go to crank up onto that table. So I’ve got my front foot forward, as I’m lifting that front
wheel up nice and high, I fixated on a point where I wanna place that front wheel on the bench. So when I’ve got that
front wheel on the bench, I’m squashed down on the suspension, and I’ve curled my feet around the pedals, I’ve lifted that back wheel up, whilst pushing forward with my handlebars, driving that bike onto the bench as well. You might find that your back wheel sort of barely makes it up,
but just keep pushing forward, and pushing the weight and
driving your hips forward, and that bike will go up onto the table. And once you’re on there, it’s easy, this is the easiest part. Roll to the edge, give it a
quick stab on your pedals, do a mini wheelie off of the bench, keeping that front wheel nice and high. Land, back wheel first,
ride away, nice and smooth. There’s a few mistakes
that when it comes to using that front touch technique,
that you can make quite easily. One of the ones I see a lot, is coming in with your cranks level. Like I said, it’s really important to make sure you’ve got that good foot, your wrong foot forward. Just allows that drive that instant pfft to lift the front wheel up. If you’re coming in, with
your right foot forward, or your strong foot forward, you’ve got nothing to drive that bike, you’re purely trying to
do it with your hips, and your body, and it just won’t happen. You really need that rear wheel drive, and the explosive technique
to get your up onto there. So for the front touch
or the hook technique, front wheel placement is crucial. If you come underneath, you don’t lift that
front wheel high enough, basically you’re just gonna go
straight over the handlebars, and probably slide across the bench, which is gonna be pretty cool,
and make your mates laugh. But if you go too far, you’re not gonna get enough
lift off that back wheel, the bikes gonna hit sorta there and your chain rings
gonna bash into the table. And again you won’t get up on the table. You really need that to
be right on the first little bit of the table. As soon as that hits,
drive that front wheel in, and lifting the hips up, drive
that bike onto the table. – Now we are gonna use this hook. Well this hook technique is perfect when it comes to a step
like this, a little ledge. It’s got a little bit of slope, so when you’re coming in, you’re coming in with
a little bit of speed. So what you’re gonna do is
lift your front wheel up, as soon as your front
wheel has tapped there, like Chris has told you, you’re gonna force your body weight up, pulling on your pedals, curling your feet on those
pedals to get that back wheel up, land, and put the power down
and continue down the trail. (upbeat music) Ah yes, logs, the log ride. When you come to trail, if
you’re out in the carpark, or you’re out on the
trail, it’s a great time to practice your balancing skills when it comes to a log like this one, ’cause you can just
get up onto this thing, have a little bit of a hook, ride along. This is a great place to start building a confidence in
your balancing skills. Especially when you come to a bit of a sticky situation out on the trail, where there’s a bit of a north
shore, and it’s a bit narrow, and it’s like six foot up in the sky. You don’t wanna be
learning it straight away and chuck yourself in the deep end. (upbeat music) (grunts) (laughs) Oh so close, damn it! – So let’s talk endos. The basic endo is a trials move, isn’t much use to you out on the trail. So basic endo is when you go along, you pull that front brake on, shift, squash that suspension, and move your weight forward whilst holding onto that front brake. I’ll just show you this maneuver now. So we come in, pull that
front brake, squash. So that isn’t much use out on the trail. What we need to learn is how to move that back
end of the bike around. So let’s talk through a few techniques on getting that back
wheel all the way ’round. Basically all we’re doing,
is just starting a technique at our toes, so connecting to the bike, so you’re obviously
pushing into those pedals, whilst turning with your
feet and your ankles. And continue that motion
up though your hips and your upper body, whilst
holding onto that front brake, whilst looking as well. You really need to look with your head. If you do it whilst looking straight, it will just go straight. You actually need to turn and look to where you want it to turn. Basically that will let that whole bike maneuver all the way around the corner. – I’ve done this a lot, and that’s taking the wrong whole trail. So the super stylish way to do this, to turn around, is the endo. Perfect way to turn around,
head back down the trail, and get back on the right trail. Oh, I knew left was the
right one, silly me. Woo hoo. Oh wow, this corner’s quite tight. This is where the endo is
going to come into play. Just to get your rear wheel ’round. Come in slow, do that,
and drop in the trail. Right, without the endo, even
slower, way more awkward. Look at that, ha! So the endo, in hindsight, is way better. So that’s definitely gonna help you. You can come in, look at it,
you got a turning circle, lean on the front, lock
up that front brake, get your body weight over
the front a little bit, use your hips to get
the rear wheel ’round, drop down, and then you’re pointing directly down the trail, to more fun. – Let’s talk side hops. The trials guys can do some massive stuff. I’m talking six, seven
foot high, shoulder height. It’s not problem for those
guys on their special bikes. But we can struggle on the trail bikes, we’ve got all our suspension, the bikes are obviously a lot heavier. A side hop can get you out of
a lot of grief on the trail. Basically, it’s just
a hop up onto a ledge, or a hop down sideways. We’re not going any momentum
going forward, backwards, it’s all going sideways. Be it on, or off. Let’s take a look at how
to do the techniques now. So again this is quite an advanced maneuver out on the trail. Before we even attempt this, you need to know how to bunny hop. So if you can’t bunny hop,
don’t even give this a go. This is a real explosive movement again, the footwork is crucial. You might notice I don’t
have my pedals totally flat, I’ve actually raised them
up, just a little tiny bit, so we’re kind of more in this position. As I come into the explosive part of it, I really squash down into the bike, I almost try to touch my
bum onto the back tire, whilst loading up the
suspension, mostly on the rear. Keep your weight more off the front, so get that weight right over the back, and as that suspension
squashes in, you look. Make sure you look all the
time, where you wanna land. As that suspension comes up
you drive down with your feet, and hop, and turn all
that energy sideways. You do that, through your
hips, and your upper body, and tilting that bike up and across and land it up on the ledge. So you might be wondering how on earth do we get that
bike to even move sideways. The way we do that is by
starting with your head. You’re tilting that to the direction that you actually want to travel. Also a hell of a lot of
that is actually upper body, you see me drop back down into the bike. I drop that inside shoulder
so I’m leaned into the bike, as I push on those cranks,
loading that back wheel up, and then explode it up into the air. I’m doing the weight shift sideways, looking at where I wanna land. – Right so on the trail you’ve
got three different lines. You’ve got middle one, top
one, and quite a low one. Now, when you get stuck
in a rut, it’s horrible. It’s hard to get out of ’cause you can cross your
things, you can slide out. So this is where you bring
in that side hop technique. So when you’re in a hole, you can go right, I remember that technique,
I remember the side hop. Kind of come in with a
gradual bit of power, then you give it a kick on the pedals, then you’re gonna side hop out of it. So you would wanna side hope to the top, which is a little bit difficult, but if you find yourself in
the rut quite earlier on, you can use this lower bit
to hope up a bit easier. But if you find yourself in there, ah, you’re stuck in the rut and it’s gonna be quite
hard to get out of that. Also when you’re coming down the trail, and you wanna go down that trail there, you can kind of side hop across this, because you don’t wanna ride through that. Especially because it’s wet,
it can grab your front wheel, and just hook you and
throw you off the bike. So, using that side hop
technique to hope across, to get down that trail
is key and it’s perfect. I’m gonna finish off this little video, I’ve made this, well,
I’ve found it, actually. It’s a figure of eight. But there’s obstacles
in this figure of eight that you’re gonna bring
some of those techniques we’ve shown you within
the video, into this here. So, Chris and I are gonna
move around this thing, using every element
just to get around this without putting your feet down. Are you ready, Chris? This is quite tight, this one here. And then over that log, that’s big! – Got it?
– Think so. Oh, that’s close! – [Chris] Good boy. – Nice trials, trials to trails. Hopefully this video’s given
ya’ a little bit of a help and understanding that you
can use those trials skills out there on the trail to help you get through a trail safely. – Or that tech stuff made it a lot easier if you can learn these
basic skills, for sure. – Yeah, don’t forget to
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