Posted April 14, 2012 by Adam in mountain bike technique

Ride Over an Obstacle – How to Ride Over an Obstacle in 4 Simple Steps

How to Ride Over an Obstacle in 4 Simple Steps

Don’t you hate it when you can’t ride over an obstacle? When you keeping having to get off your bike? When your mates are always bagging you for holding them up and you just wish you knew how to do it?

To start with remember that momentum is your best friend out there on the trail. Sometimes it is hard to ride a bit quicker leading up to an obstacle because you are not confident but if you carry momentum into the bridge or obstacle it will make your life much easier.

As always remember to stay loose and relaxed and look at where you want to go, NOT at what you don’t want to hit.

Step 1 :: The Approach

Stand up out of your saddle with your knees and elbows loose as you approach the obstacle. You should been in an easy gear roughly around the middle chainring up front and the 3rd largest rear cog.

Step 2 :: Get up There

When your front wheel is close to the obstacle the your bars up hard so that your front wheel lands on top of the obstacle. If you have trouble getting your front wheel up then lean back and take some weight off the front of your bike. Don’t go to far back though, keep your weight over the middle of your bike and keep your momentum and stay off the brakes!

Step 3 :: Get the Back Up

When your front wheel is on top of the obstacle push your handlebars and hips forward (pulling the back wheel up). With the momentum that you took into the obstacle your back wheel should make it up too. Taking weight off the back of your bike by lifting with your feet is the important step to getting smooth, bash-free rear wheel transitions and you will find this much easier with clipless pedals. The 1st few times you try this you may catch your rear wheel but don’t give up and remember to go in with momentum.

Step 4 :: The Finish

Compress your body and your knees to keep your bike rolling forward, and keep your arms pushing a little more. You should now be able to ride over an obstacle!

Practice Ideas

This skill can be used to both get up onto obstacle but also to get over obstacles crossing your path. Practice this skill on a ride around your neighbourhood and you will be ready for it out on the trails.

If you are having trouble or are not very confident then start with something small like a curb and work your way up to big logs and boulders or even bench seats and table tops.