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Mountain Biking: How to Ride Drops

Do you have a history of mountain biking and want to advance your capabilities? If so, learning how to ride drops is a great way of pushing yourself. Once you have equipped yourself with the necessary gear and gone through your pre-ride checklist, you can confidently attempt to take your mountain biking skills to the next level. From basics like proper body positioning all the way up to advanced techniques such as pumping and jumping – mastering mountain biking how to ride drops will give you an edge on any trail. So let’s get started.

Gear for Mountain Biking

To ensure a successful mountain biking experience, it is important to be properly equipped. Essential items for a mountain biking excursion include necessary gear to ensure an enjoyable experience.

A helmet is essential for any cyclist, offering full coverage and extra protection from debris on trails with adjustable straps and ventilation systems to ensure comfort. Mountain bikers should look for helmets that provide full coverage and offer extra protection from debris on trails. Look for features like adjustable straps and ventilation systems that will keep you comfortable while riding through rough terrain.


Gloves are an essential piece of protective clothing when mountain biking, as they can help protect your hands in case of a fall or crash. Look for gloves with padding on the palms and fingers to give you extra cushioning against bumps in the trail. They should also be lightweight so they won’t interfere with your grip on the handlebars while riding over larger drops or technical sections.


Mountain biking shoes should be designed specifically for off-road use, providing plenty of traction on wet or slippery surfaces as well as support when pedaling over rocks or roots. Look for shoes with reinforced toe boxes and stiffer soles that will provide more power transfer to the pedals when climbing hills or tackling tough descents at a bike park.

When selecting clothes to wear while mountain biking, comfort should always come first; but make sure whatever you choose offers enough protection from branches, stones, mud splashes etc. Opt for breathable fabrics such as nylon blends which wick away sweat quickly; this will help keep you cool even during long rides in hot weather conditions. Avoid loose-fitting items like baggy shorts since these can catch easily on bushes along the trail – instead opt for form-fitting garments like padded cycling shorts which hug close to your body without restricting movement.

To ensure an optimal mountain biking experience, it is essential to have the right gear and perform a pre-ride check. Before taking on any drops, be sure to check all of your bike’s components using our pre-ride checklist.

Pre-Ride Checklist

Prior to hitting the trails on your mountain bike, ensure all components are functioning correctly. This pre-ride checklist covers tire pressure, brake pads and cables, chain tension and lubrication, and suspension settings so that you can ride with confidence.

Ensuring the correct inflation of your tires is necessary for an enjoyable ride; over- or underinflation can lead to dangerous outcomes. Too little air will lead to more rolling resistance while too much air can cause pinch flats or worse if you’re taking bigger drops. Make sure to check your tire pressure before each ride using a reliable gauge like a digital one from Slime or an analog one from Park Tool.

Brake Pads and Cables:

Brakes are critical for safety when riding off-road so inspect them regularly for wear and tear as well as any fraying or damage to the cables themselves. You should also adjust their tension periodically depending on how often you use them since they tend to loosen over time due to vibration from bumps in the trail. If necessary replace worn out brake pads with new ones that match your specific type of brakes (disc vs rim).

Chain Tension and Lubrication:

The chain needs regular maintenance including keeping it clean by wiping away dirt after every few rides along with occasional lubrication when needed depending on weather conditions (wetter climates require more frequent lube applications). Also check the chain tension occasionally since loose chains can affect shifting performance negatively while tight chains put extra strain on other drivetrain components such as cassettes and cranksets which could result in premature failure of those parts if not addressed quickly enough.

Mountain bikers need suspension settings tailored specifically towards their weight, riding style, terrain type etc., so it is important to make sure yours are dialed correctly before heading out into rougher terrain such as bike parks. Here small mistakes could lead to serious injury due to higher speeds involved with bigger drops compared to slower speed XC trails where smaller errors won’t be noticed quite as easily but still have consequences nonetheless.

Prior to hitting the trails, ensure your bike is in top condition by going through a pre-ride checklist. With that taken care of, you can focus on mastering the basics of riding drops and taking your mountain biking skills to new heights.

Riding Drops: Basics

Riding drops can be intimidating for mountain bikers of all levels, but mastering the basics is essential to taking your skills up a notch. Whether you’re tackling smaller drops or bigger ones at the bike park, it pays to have good technique and confidence in your abilities. Here are some tips on positioning your body, timing your approach, and landing the drop with success.

Positioning Your Body:

Proper body position is key when riding drops. You want to keep your weight centered over the bike frame while keeping an upright torso and slightly bent arms for better control. It also helps to keep a slight bend in both knees as this will help absorb any impact from the drop. For bigger drops, try leaning back slightly just before takeoff so that you don’t go too far forward when airborne – this will help you land more smoothly.

Timing Your Approach:

Timing is everything when it comes to riding drops successfully. Try not to rush into things; take time to scope out each jump beforehand so that you know what kind of speed you need for takeoff and where exactly you should aim for on landing (it helps if there’s a spotter). When approaching jumps, make sure that you have enough momentum but don’t go too fast either – hitting a jump at full speed can be dangerous.

Lastly, remember that practice makes perfect – start small and then work up gradually until even larger jumps become second nature. With time and effort, riding drops can be a rewarding experience.

Riding drops is a fundamental skill that every mountain biker should master, and with practice you can become an expert. Advanced techniques such as pumping the terrain, manuals and wheelies, and bunny hopping will help take your riding to the next level.

Advanced Techniques for Riding Drops

Mountain biking can be an invigorating experience, offering a chance to push your abilities and discover the great outdoors. If you’re looking for a challenge, try some of these advanced techniques for riding drops.

Pumping the Terrain:

Pumping is an essential technique that allows mountain bikers to gain speed without pedaling. To pump effectively, start by finding a small drop or dip in the terrain that will allow you to use your body weight as leverage against gravity. As you approach it, lean forward and compress your arms and legs slightly while keeping your center of gravity low over the bike frame. When you reach the top of the rise, release your compression and let momentum carry you down into another dip where you can repeat this process again. This pumping motion will help propel you forward with minimal effort on each cycle allowing riders to maintain their speed while saving energy on longer rides.

To hone your mountain biking skills, practice manualing and wheelying – shifting all weight onto either rear or front tire respectively to lift one wheel off the ground before dropping back down into place after clearing an obstacle. With enough practice, you’ll be able to maintain balance while riding drops and gain more control over bigger jumps or gaps in terrain features like rocks or roots along trails. Utilize your bodyweight as leverage against gravity when pumping for speed with minimal effort on each cycle, saving energy on longer rides. Keywords: Mountain Biking, Manuals & Wheelies, Pumping Terrain

FAQs in Relation to Mountain Biking How to Ride Drops

How do you ride drops on a mountain bike?

Riding drops on a mountain bike requires skill and confidence. Once you have mastered the basics, begin gradually increasing your speed while maintaining control to get accustomed to riding drops. Once you feel comfortable, start practicing small jumps and drops. Start with one foot on the pedal and both feet firmly planted, then slowly shift your weight to lower yourself into a dropping motion while lifting off the other foot. As you become more confident, increase your speed and height until you can ride comfortably over larger obstacles without hesitation or fear.

How to do big drops on a mountain bike?

Big drops on a mountain bike require skill and practice. Ensure your bike is ready for the terrain; modify seat height, tire pressure and suspension settings as necessary. When approaching the drop-off point, maintain control by keeping both hands on the handlebars and look ahead to anticipate where you want to land. Lean back slightly while maintaining an upright posture so that your weight is evenly distributed over both wheels when landing. Make sure to keep pedaling through the entire motion in order to absorb shock from impact with the ground below. Finally, be prepared for unexpected obstacles or changes in terrain that could cause a crash if not anticipated properly.

How do I get over my fear of mountain biking drops?

Mountain biking drops can be intimidating, but with the right preparation and technique you can conquer your fear. Start by learning about the trail features and terrain before attempting a drop. Practice on smaller obstacles to build confidence in yourself and your bike handling skills. When ready for bigger drops, use proper body position to maintain control of the bike; keep weight back, eyes up, arms bent slightly, pedals level or pointed down towards the ground. Finally remember that speed is key – too fast will cause loss of control while going too slow will make it harder to clear an obstacle. With practice and patience you’ll soon be conquering mountain biking drops like a pro.

How do you do a wheelie drop on a mountain bike?

A wheelie drop is a mountain biking technique that requires advanced skills and precision. To execute the wheelie drop, begin by accelerating and raising your front wheel off the ground while maintaining balance on the rear tire. As you come to a drop or impediment, push the handlebars downward to move your weight ahead onto the front wheel as it rolls away. The goal is to land with both tires firmly planted on the ground at once for maximum control when riding away from obstacles or drops. With practice, this skill can be mastered.


Mountain biking is an incredibly rewarding and challenging sport. With the right gear, a pre-ride checklist to ensure safety, and knowledge of basic and advanced techniques for riding drops, you can take your mountain biking skills to the next level. Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to mastering how to ride drops in mountain biking – so don’t be afraid to get out there and give it a try.

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