Posted April 14, 2012 by Adam in mountain bike technique

Ride Off-Camber | Learn How to Ride Off-Camber Sections

How to Ride Off-Camber

You will need to ride off-camber sections on just about every trail but riding them at speed can be frustrating. Here is the best way to ride them…

Step 1: Have a Look

The first thing to do is have a look at the off-camber section before riding it. This may involve getting off your bike, or you may be able to think quickly and make an assessment as you approach it.

What you are looking for is the angle at the section you are going to be riding on it. More specifically you want to see if it has been cut into the hill’s slope or if it’s the same angle as the hill slope. You also want to assess the angle of the slope; the length of the section; and your entry and exit points

the relationship between the trail and the hill angle will determine your body positioning. The length of the section will determine the speed you need. Looking at entry and exit points will where you need to be at any particular point.

You ideally want to enter the off-camber section at a point higher on the slope than the point you exit at. When you ride off-camber sections, you will naturally drop down the slope.

It will also make things easier if you can go into the section at a speed that will allow you to finish it without having to pedal.

Step 2: It’s All in the Hips

Now that you have a plan of how you are going to ride the off-camber section it’s time to do it. When practicing try and find a nice easy section that won’t need to much speed.

The main key to riding off-camber sections is body and hip positioning. Your body position will enable you to have maximum control – make sure you stand just off your seat with the pedals level. This will help with your control and encourage you to use more of your upper body.

As you enter the off-camber section, lean the bike slightly toward the slope and start shifting your hips away from the hill but with your body twisted towards the hill. What this does is reposition your your bodyweight to a counter balanced “virtual” center of gravity as your bike is leaning towards the mountain and your body against it.

So that was, lean bike over towards hill, move hips out away from hill, turn your upper body towards the hill.

Now all you have to do it roll through the section and adjust your body position as needed. As the slope and the off-camber gets greater exaggerate your hips more and use your bodyweight more.

As you exit the section move your bike and body back to a central position. Also, try to stay off the brakes as using them will tend to pull your bike down the slope.

Step 3: Changing Lines for Advanced Fun

If it is not possible to enter the off-camber section at a higher point than the exit point, you will need to change move your bike up a slope.

This is where having your feet in a flat position will really help you control the bike. The same principles as the previous section still apply but you need to either hop or turn up the hill.

To turn up the hill you are actually increasing the angle you will be riding against, so simply swing your hips out and get your weight re-centered.

If you want to hop up the hill, just do a simple bunny-hop up the slope to get to your new position. Be careful though. Bunny hopping can pre-load the bike and that added weight on the tyres can cause loose traction just before you do the hop.

Step 4: Pedaling Off-Camber

Pedaling in an off-camber section is pretty hard and requires a fair bit of concentration. You now have a variable pedal position and therefore body position. You also have to avoid hitting the ground with your pedals.

Other than these things, the you use the same principle of thinking about where your bodyweight is. Try and pedal your bike with your hips in the same position as when you generally ride off-camber sections and make constant adjustments around the Pedaling

It will feel funny as your pedal strokes will be a little messed up but just remember where your bodyweight should be – off the bike to counter balance the slope and keep downward pressure on the tires.