Maintenance Justice

The Basics

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I've recently started riding Trials and although I'm not new to MTB or cycling in general I'm completely new to Trials so starting from scratch. 

I've been focusing on learning the basics like hopping on the back wheel up, down and across objects. Pedal or 'wheelie'  hops, balance, front brake control etc

I haven't yet got a group to ride with and like most older riders limited time to practice. I thought it'd be encouraging and helpful to share videos with other new riders to share our progression and tips on techniques seasoned riders do without thinking! (feel free to chime in with useful hints though, seasoned riders...) 

To get things rolling I've been working on side hopping up steps on the back wheel but struggling to keep it on the back once I've hopped up. I'm also having a mental block with hopping down obstacles to the back wheel. I haven't got the technique right to keep it balanced once I hit the platform below which is fine if you're on the flat but if you're high up, much twitchy bum. Thoughts? 

 

 

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On 04/10/2020 at 11:58 AM, Maintenance Justice said:

I'm also having a mental block with hopping down obstacles to the back wheel. I haven't got the technique right to keep it balanced once I hit the platform below which is fine if you're on the flat but if you're high up, much twitchy bum. Thoughts?

I don't think it was something I really tried much for quite a while, nor hopping up things, I struggled with rear hops just on the spot on the flat for ages. As with everything start small and slowly work your way bigger. I've only rear-wheel-hopped off around 2 feet, it's not the actual hop down which is difficult, it's the setup where the difficulties (mental/physical) can occur, and that's really the reason I didn't attempt risky moves until I was satisfied I had at least enough control to handle the setup before the hop down.

My last video was a couple of months ago, yet another "I'm so shit at trials" moment, messing about...

Edited by marg26
don't really want my video featuring so much in another person's thread, replaced with link.
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I think you've hit the nail on the head there. It's that moment finding balance then going for the kick up to the rear when you know you're winning or bailing. I think you're right in saying to practice small, I've found this afternoon bending your knees on the back wheel and tucking your hips toward the frame changes your centre of balance so you don't have to lean back as far when hopping up something. 

 

 

12 minutes ago, marg26 said:

it's not the actual hop down which is difficult, it's the setup where the difficulties (mental/physical) can occur

 

 

 

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Some solid progress today during lunch at the works Trials area. Managed to overcome my fear of dropping off the big table at the back. Now I know I've got it down it opens up a lot of possibilities, just need to gradually ease up the size of the drops! Adam showed a great technique of kicking the pedals to roll forward on the back wheel rather than hop forward, it saves a lot of energy and helps readjust your balance. Good tip

Also Stan is still rough as

 

Edited by Maintenance Justice
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After getting over my initial fear of dropping off an obstacle on the back wheel at work I headed back to my local park to tackle the bandstand steps again. As I'm learning with Trials it's as much about belief in your ability and taking a skill and being confident to apply it to an obstacle. I had about 20 attempts at this doing one step at a time before trying all three. Obstacles like this seem a good confidence builder, bring able to tackle it one bit at a time before the whole really helps. Physiologically much better than one big do or die move. 

 

 

 

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I've been linking the rear 'balance section' to get to the table now I'm confident enough to hop off it. Still a bit hesitant but getting better. Thought it'd be cool to see the Tarty Bikes trials area from my point of view! 

 

 

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I've been working on Wheelie Hops this week. Struggled initially because my technique was all wrong but a few pointers from Cap at work and I reckon I have the basic technique down, just need to go bigger! 

 

 

 

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I'd be interested to hear the pointers?

It's a move I've put off learning until more confidence on rear wheel, then consequently forgotten to try. See also sidehops. I've seen the advice to keep trying things I find difficult, but... fear...

If only we were as flooded with trials coaching videos on youtube spewing out regular contents as there are bodyweight/weight lifting/strength training/rehab coaching videos.

 

 

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Yea it's definitely better to understand the right technique from the get go rather than just trying to figure it out. So Caps advice was start with your good foot forward and pedal one half rotation. As your bad foot comes forward use pressure and a lift of the bar to raise the front wheel but not too high. As your good foot comes around for the full 360 degrees give a firm pedal kick and pull the bars up to your chest and jump up on the pedals to get lift. Like a scissor motion as you do in a normal pedal hop. 

I used some lines on the floor to figure out where I would take off with the hop so I could work out how much run up I needed and that helped a lot to hit the ledges in the right spot. 

I recently bought a copy of TrashZen guide to Trials which has helped explain things well too

 

 

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Been a while since I posted - I've been working on wheelie hops still. I was OK at them but something wasn't right, I've been shown a different technique starting with leading foot higher in the stroke and leaning back to throw your body weight forward to gain momentum. It works! I can get up 3 pallets quite easily. I'm going to really up the stakes this weekend... 

I've also massively improved my replacements but I properly ruined my back in doing so! I'll try and get some vids up of those later. Lastly I swapped my bars to the Trialtech Carbon Risers which have made the bike much more stable. 

Edited by Maintenance Justice
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Back at Tarty HQ this morning for some practice. Started with Replacements, really struggled with these initially but a change to technique has made a massive difference:

1- Start with the object to your weak foot side = more room to move and less to travel

2- Use edges on the front or rear wheel to get extra bounce

3- Use only the front brake! I was using the back too and it kinda stifles your hop, like you are working against yourself

I've also been working on my back wheel precision hopping to smaller platforms getting ready to try narrow walls and rails. I'm getting better with side hops but more work needed on technique there, I'm not getting enough pop. I know now my front wheel needs to drop more and to drive the back wheel like a pedal hop but lean into ths platform to get things moving in the right direction. 

 

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I’ve been meaning to work on bigger back wheel gaps and decided yesterday to just go for it. I’ve felt for a while I could probably do it I’ve just never tried it! Just goes to show sometimes you’ve just got to give it a try. Pallets helped a lot with this, so much better to move the distance to suit then inch it bigger, gaps like this in the real world seem hard to find that are relatively safe. I also found it easier with a take off platform an inch or two taller than the landing.

A couple of things I quickly learned:

1- I needed to be as close to the edge of the take off as possible, that extra bounce from the edge compressing the tyre helps loads and physiologically having your front wheel that bit closer makes a difference.

2- Maximum effort! I really needed to drop the front end low and commit to a big kick to get the pop and drive to make the gap. As Ads pointed out the lower the front wheel the harder you can kick without looping out. I need to work on getting this movement smoother and quicker.

On landing and watching the video back I need to compress into the landing more, you can see I get thrown off balance a bit when my knees stop bending. For gaps to rails and walls this is going to be important!

 

 

 

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I’ve been meaning to work on bigger back wheel gaps and decided yesterday to just go for it. I’ve felt for a while I could probably do it I’ve just never tried it! Just goes to show sometimes you’ve just got to give it a try. Pallets helped a lot with this, so much better to move the distance to suit then inch it bigger, gaps like this in the real world seem hard to find that are relatively safe. I also found it easier with a take off platform an inch or two taller than the landing.

A couple of things I quickly learned:

1- I needed to be as close to the edge of the take off as possible, that extra bounce from the edge compressing the tyre helps loads and physiologically having your front wheel that bit closer makes a difference.

2- Maximum effort! I really needed to drop the front end low and commit to a big kick to get the pop and drive to make the gap. As Ads pointed out the lower the front wheel the harder you can kick without looping out. I need to work on getting this movement smoother and quicker.

On landing and watching the video back I need to compress into the landing more, you can see I get thrown off balance a bit when my knees stop bending. For gaps to rails and walls this is going to be important!

 

 

 

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In work today to do a bit of catch and spent an hour afterward working on side hops. These and pedal hops seem to be the techniques taking time to progress. I’ve had it explained in some detail how to side hops properly (weak foot facing the platform) but this is one of my things that I need to do the ‘wrong’ way (strong foot facing the platform). 

I practiced the right way a lot but it always felt against the grain so I decided to do it this way and it works for me. I found being able to load my weight onto my strong foot before jumping and kicking a lot more stable allowing me to get the pop I need and control the path of the back wheel better. I’ll continue learning both ways but I think this way will be my ticket to bigger heights. I could barely manage 3 pallets comfortably the right way, I surprised Myself that I could get up 4! The lesson? Try different approaches! 
 

 

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In work today to do a bit of catch and spent an hour afterward working on side hops. These and pedal hops seem to be the techniques taking time to progress. I’ve had it explained in some detail how to side hops properly (weak foot facing the platform) but this is one of my things that I need to do the ‘wrong’ way (strong foot facing the platform). 

I practiced the right way a lot but it always felt against the grain so I decided to do it this way and it works for me. I found being able to load my weight onto my strong foot before jumping and kicking a lot more stable allowing me to get the pop I need and control the path of the back wheel better. I’ll continue learning both ways but I think this way will be my ticket to bigger heights. I could barely manage 3 pallets comfortably the right way, I surprised Myself that I could get up 4! The lesson? Try different approaches! 
 

 

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Been a while since I posted I’ve been busy improving side hops, gaps and recently started trying hooks. Side hops are going to take a while I think, I’ve been forcing myself to go the ‘right way’ and my brain is finally beginning to accept it. I’ve analysed the technique so much I know exactly what I need to do but translating that into the real world is going to take some work! 

 

 

Ive also had my first few go’s at hooks in the back yard. Until I got more comfortable with wheelie hops I didn’t even entertain these, definitely something to learn first to get the momentum and lift to get your front wheel over the top. Once I figured out the starting distance (about the same as a wheelie hop to ledge) it was pretty straight forward to hop up and lock in. A lot more work to get the hop up faster and smoother, I only had 30 mins on these and I know the technique now so I reckon it’ll be up to back wheel next time!

 

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Today was a milestone day. I finally plucked up the courage to drop from the table to the floor at the warehouse. It took some serious negotiation with the head to get it done. 

I’m at that stage now where size is becoming a factor in getting things done, you have to trust in the technique you know you can do but scaled up it’s a different proposal. Trials is weird in that it puts you in situations you wouldn’t normally find yourself on a ‘normal bike’ but baby steps and increasing gaps and drops gradually definitely helps re-train  your brain to see where the new limit is.

 

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Took advantage of the cold dry weather to work on my wheelie hops. This rock was a battle, slightly uphill, concave landing spot, off camber top..all that jazz made it a bugger to stick. 2hrs of attempts and I figured I need more speed and to compress before the initial front wheel lift with the weak foot. For 3 pallets worth of height I’ve not had to do that before but now it’s a must to get the momentum needed. Sometimes you’ve just got to slog it out and repeat a spot until you figure it out.

I’m pleased with the end result though, this spot was my first on a trials bike and I feel like I’ve made decent progress since my first ride here.

 

 

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You're progressing well. I'm jealous of the wheelie hops as I have not cracked them yet (although only recently tried due to fear of looping out). I guess it also pays off having guidance from someone knowledgeable.
Last month I dreampt I was riding around doing wheelie hops about the size of that rock without too much trouble, which gave me a little psychological boost and motivation!

What's with the big black borders around your recent video's though?

 

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Wheelie hops took me while too, on one of the first few goes I did loop out and went flat on my back, really knocked the wind out of me. It’s helped having some solid advice but it’s been just repetition to get it right, I put them off for ages but in the end just started grinding it out and the improvements are slowly happening so keep at it man!

I’m using a free video editing app which borders stuff but that’s cool, I’m happy to have a running record even if the quality ain’t great!

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I feel like I’m starting to level up a bit and the contributing factor seems to be time and commitment.

I’ve been doing a fair few 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hour sessions and it’s not so much attempting big or difficult stuff that’s helping although that is a driver but it’s building muscle memory for small corrections in balance and control when manoeuvring the bike. The sort of stuff you had all day nearly everyday to practice as a teenager but now needs pre planned pencilled in slots to work on!

Ive found a good balance of these longer sessions with an adequate but not too long a recovery time in between which is helping the progress stick. With this little increase in control comes a willingness to commit. Being prepared to do that drop because you know you can set up on the back wheel or having the confidence that you can power across a gap when you kick hard. 
 

Doing big (for me) or tech stuff is great for a bit of boost in confidence but putting the time in to fine tune that control is where the progress is. It’s something maybe neglected by older time restricted riders but there comes a point when you hit a ceiling of how high you can drop or hop because of the limit of that control. Work on it, it’s worth it.

 

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I learnt a new thing! Still struggling with side hops (although it feels like they’re coming on the big bike) so I’ve been looking at different ways to get up stuff and I’ve seen a few riders do these.

It was actually surprisingly easy to pick up, with a bit of practice doing pedal ups these feel like a ‘low risk’ move, pretty safe as long as your front wheel clears the lip and easy to bail from. As your lifting the bike up from the rear once the front hits the only limit is how high you can plant your front wheel (more forward momentum and weight shift to get higher) so it’s allowed me to get up stuff that would be a mega effort to side hop. Well worth a try next time you’re out if like me your struggling to get up high things.

 

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On 19/04/2021 at 9:08 PM, Maintenance Justice said:

I feel like I’m starting to level up a bit and the contributing factor seems to be time and commitment.

Funny that.

Keep it up, you’re looking good.

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