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Basic Guide - How to Jump a Log

Being able to jump a log (or other obstacles) is one of the most fundamental skills for mountain bikers. It can make the difference between maintaining momentum, or having to stop and get off your bike and walk. Here are four techniques for smoothly and safely jumping logs and other obstacles on your mountain bike.

Technique No. 1 involves approaching the log at walking speed. This is a great way for beginners to gain confidence. As you approach the log, lift your handlebars so your front wheel rises up onto the log. Think of your front wheel as the center point of a lever that will pivot you and your bike over the log. As you lift your front wheel onto the log, push your handlebars forward, pivoting you and your bike over the log. When the rear wheel reaches the log, shift your weight back slightly so you don’t have to much weight over your front end, and smoothly roll off the log.


Technique No. 2 is an evolution of the first method where your motion is essentially the same, but your speed is increased. Again approach the log, lifting your front wheel onto the log and using it as a lever. Now push your handlebars down and forward, which will lift your back wheel. Since you are going faster, your back wheel should barely touch the log. This allows you to maintain more speed on the trail.


Technique No. 3 allows you to carry even more speed. This time lift the front wheel up higher than the log so that it doesn’t contact the log at all. While doing this, keep your weight shifted back and as your front wheel goes over the log and your rear wheel is about to contact the log, lift up on your bars so you  basically wheelie over the log. This is the precursor to the most advanced technique, which is simply hopping over the log and not touching it at all.


The final technique is to hop over the log so your tires don’t contact the log at all. This will allow you to maintain maximum speed. Basically it’s just like doing a bunny hop on flat ground. Just shift your weight back to lift the front wheel up, then push the handlebars forward, let your legs compress, and the rear wheel will follow you up and over the log.


Remember that when practicing, start with a small object and work your way up to larger obstacles — and always wear a helmet.


If you have any questions about jumping logs, call the Performance Bicycle Spin Doctor product support line at 1-800-553-TECH. Happy riding.

Mountain Biking