Can You Jump With a Mountain Bike?

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Over the years, mountain biking has split into numerous genres, including dirt jumping, freeride, downhill and cross-country. Although certain mountain bikes are designed for narrow single-track trails, others are designed to execute aerial jumps and tricks. Examine the suspension system of your mountain bike before attempting a jump to avoid frame damage.

Recreational MTB

Mountain bikes built for beginners can adapt to an off-road dirt track as well as a smoothly paved path. The recreational MTB is outfitted with a rear suspension integrated into the frame. The frame of the lower-priced, entry-level mountain bike is constructed of high-tensile steel. As opposed to more durable frames made of chromoly or titanium, the high-tensile steel frame can bend or crack during a high-impact jump off a large dirt ramp.

Hardtail MTB

The hardtail mountain bike has been designed to offer increased handling and maneuverability on narrow single-track trails. Unlike the recreational model, the hardtail mountain bike does not feature a rear suspension integrated into the frame. The hardtail mountain bike is a good choice for beginners because of its simple low-maintenance design. Still, attempting to jump your hardtail mountain bike over a dirt jump might result in frame damage or painful bruising around the groin area.

Full-Suspension MTB

The majority of dirt jumpers ride a full-suspension mountain bike because of its shock-absorbent design. The full-suspension mountain bike frame is outfitted with a forward and rear suspension for increased comfort during high-impact landings. The shocks of the full-suspension model help to distribute the force of the jump evenly throughout the frame to prevent cracks and bends. The seat post of the full-suspension model often has built in shocks for increased comfort.

Jumping Technique

Master the jumping technique on flat ground before heading to your local BMX or mountain-bike course. Pedal forward while keeping your elbows bent at a 45-degree angle. Pull up on the handlebars to lift the front tire off the ground. Jump vertically by using your pedals as a platform. Lift your knees to allow the rear tire to ascend off the ground. Lean forward to keep the tires of your mountain bike parallel to the ground. Bend your knees as the tires make contact with the ground.