Improving my jumping - should I grab a Dirt jump bike?

MattyB

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
662
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Herts, UK
#1
Suspect this is a question for @Gary...

2018 was my first full year back on 2 wheels since Uni over 15 years ago. I rode my 120mm FS trail bike, then at the end of autumn got a gravel bike for staying fit through the winter; whilst I would always prefer to take out the MTB cleaning pivots in freezing water after a winter ride started to grate. I guess I am a fair weather MTBer! I will probably get a full suss EMTB at the end of the year after the 2020 bikes are announced, but before then I want to concentrate on improving my skills on the trails. That includes getting more confident at manualing, bunny hopping and jumping; at nearly 40 I have no ambitions to become the next Sam P 🤣, but I would like to be able to tackle trail centre reds with confidence and maybe even the smaller dirt jumps at Chicksands and Woburn.

And that’s why I’ve started to wonder if a secondhand dirt jump bike might be a good idea. My FS trail bike is great, but might it be easier to build my pumping, bunny hopping and jumping techniques on a lightweight HT jump bike? There seem to be plenty on eBay and Facebook in the £200-300 range, some with suspension forks and others without. Is this a good idea, and if so what should I get - 26” or 24”, suspension forks or not? Or would I just be better investing the cash in coaching instead? Thanks in advance!
 
Feb 2, 2019
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herts
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Merida EoneTwenty
#2
I would say coaching would be your best bet, it’s not what you ride it’s how you ride it that counts. At your age I thought getting a bmx again was a good idea, it was fun for a while & riding with Jedi from Uk bikeskills was awesome but the pain when I got it wrong was just to much for me.
I would get a small rigid hardtail & get out on it, know your limits & have fun, start small & work your way up.
As you have mentioned Chicksands & Woburn you can’t be to far from Tony (aka Jedi) at UK Bike Skills he is a great guy & has the patience of a saint.
Cheers.
 

Gary

E*POWAH Elite World Champion
Patreon
Mar 29, 2018
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ESommet VR
#3
A DJ bike isn't essential but riding one a lot will definitely refine your technique and if you ride DJ trails (dirt jump sets), pumptracks, BMX tracks and the like regularly on one it should make you a smoother rider.
Since you're a mtber (rather than BMXer) I'd go 26" with a short travel fork.
I just so happen to have one for sale just now. (it's older but pretty high spec, Saint/Zee, Pikes, hope/Stans wheels etc. and has a dropper as I rode it at trail centres and on trails as well as just jumping. With this spec I'd be after £500 for it.
£300 should get you something useable, just check it;s not shagged. DJ bikes can get a very hard time.
Tony (jedi) is an old mate and if confidence is lacking I honestly believe he's the best coach in the country to sort that out for you and should be able to teach you the basics so you can progress quicker (and safely).
for jump specific coaching Tom Dowie still coaches down that way too (chicksands) So after seeing Tony and putting what he's taught you into practice for a while (that's when the real skills are built and progress happens) it'd probably be worthwhile seeing someone like Tom too. Tony knows him so can probably advise better than me on when you're ready to try dirt jump specific coaching. (DJs are a little different than your average red graded trail centre jumps)
 

njn

Well-known member
Founding Member
Mar 14, 2018
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#4
Skip the dj and get an ebike asap. Find some flow trails and have at it.
 

MattyB

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
662
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Herts, UK
#5
Thanks gentlemen - I sort of suspected that coaching would be the better investment, but it's nice to have it confirmed. I will email Tony and get on one of his public sessions or 1x1 courses; if I can take on the kind of natural jumps you find on an average on red trail I think I will be happy enough. Dirt jumps may be a bit of a stretch for my middle aged bones! ;)
Skip the dj and get an ebike asap. Find some flow trails and have at it.
I am set on getting an ebike this year, I am happy to wait until autumn - there are a number of machines due that I want to see reviews on/test ride (especially the EZesty and the new range coming from Whyte) before I make a decision. In the meantime my Hawk Hill will do me fine for this year, it's only done about 1k so far anyway.
 
Feb 2, 2019
45
15
18
herts
Ride
Merida EoneTwenty
#6
If we are allowed to include stuff we have for sale then I have an old Azonic frame I have owned since new, I never really used it as it was to small so I built it up with all the light stuff I had for my daughter to use, I also have some wheels that I could do you, but if you're into full on retro then I could probably build it up into a full bike :giggle:

46083785585_94ebe0581f_z.jpg
IMG_3746
by Martin Robbo, on Flickr
 

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