Stuck on logs

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Stuck on logs

Postby ScottyB » Sat Oct 16, 2010 8:57 pm

So I am having some trouble on the larger logs out there. When I try to pop over them I get jammed up pretty well on my larger sprocket. All goes well right until that point where I get stopped dead. I think my speed is good, maybe my ground clearance is the issue, or technique? Any ideas on what I could try to improve on this? Nothing sucks more than stalling out on some stupid log.
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby Evans » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:26 am

If your getting the front wheel over and you think your speed is good the next thing is getting the rear wheel over , if you are digging the big ring into the log you need to pop the rear end up to get the rear wheel up onto the log to keep rolling ... One smooth action as the front wheel clears , just before the chainring hits pull the rear up and push down on the front while slinding back off the seat some ...
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby kraft » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:21 am

If all else fails just sing the song

"The Log Song", from Ren & Stimpy

"What rolls down stairs alone or in pairs
Rolls over your neighbor's dog?
What's great for a snack and fits on your back?
It's Log, Log, Log!

It's Log, Log, it's big, it's heavy, it's wood.
It's Log, Log, it's better than bad, it's good!
Everyone wants a log! You're gonna love it, Log!
Come on and get your log! Everyone needs a Log!"
Do the thing that is hard to do and the power will come.
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby ScottyB » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:46 am

Thanks Evans - I don't ride clipped yet so that may be hard. But I will work on it. Going out today for a little so we will see what happens.

Kraft - Actually thought about making my thread title "It's Log, Log, it's better than bad, it's good!". haha. I am with the right kinda people :D
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby knobbysideup » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:53 am

Just complain about it, and someone from the parks or YAMBA will come chainsaw it out, or build a ramp over it for you :-)

Trolling aside,
It's all about balance and timing. Advanced log hopping is a dynamic, or 'dyno'-move. You can do slower maneuvers as well.

Here's how to progress with confidence:

- start with track stands. Be able to balance your bike without moving.
- from there, hop in place. This is the same motion you will eventually use while moving forward down the trail. Compress and hop straight up. Focus on not 'cheating' with your clipless pedals. You want to compress the bike, and then explode upwards. Lift your handlebars to bring the bike up with you. This is the core of being able to get over logs.
- another drill is to track stand on small curbs. Then move to hopping (bouncing) up and down on the back wheel with your front wheel planted on the curb. When you are comfortably able to control that, move to bigger curbs, stairs, park benches. You should be able to plant your wheel on a park bench and control moving your bike the entire circumference around it. This is the basis for trials riding, and gives you the balance and feel you need to get over larger logs.

Ok, those drills will give you a solid base, but they are not actually hopping a log. Here's how you do that:

- smaller logs can be bunny-hopped. You have already figured out how to do that from the 2nd drill above. The only difference is that you will be in motion. Timing is very important. You want to be in your arc over the log, not before it or behind it:
1) compress the bike
2) lead with the front wheel by pulling up on your bars
3) as your bottom bracket passes over the log, push your bars away from you , and twist them forward while bringing your legs up, focusing your strength at your core. This will kick your back wheel over the log. You can use your legs to assist in clipless pedals.

- bigger logs, you have two options:
1) rather than hop, just pop a wheelie, sink your chainring in, and then continue pedalling, while shifting your weight forward. This will pedal you over the log. You need to be standing on your pedals when you do this, or the resulting plant will be quite painful. You will still do the bar throw and twist, but it won't be as intense as the one you would do in the air.

2) this is just a hop, but where you will use your front wheel as a fulcrum to get you over the log. You will do everything the same as the bunny hop used on smaller logs, but the difference is the timing and actually using the log as a pivot to pop over it.
a) time your approach so that when you bring the front wheel up, it lands on top, or on the back 1/3rd of the log.
b) when the wheel touches the log, continue your decompression, and throw the front bars down, while twisting them away from you. This will kick the back wheel over the log.
c) shift your weight back behind your saddle as you go over the log, or you will endo/faceplant.

Another technique, which those with a BMX or trials background use, is to never touch the log with the front wheel. They just pop a wheelie, then hop off of their back wheel. Personally, I've never been able to do that, and the results when I try are quite entertaining to whoever happens to be near me. Feel free to give it a try, though :-) This technique works better for those who don't attach themselves to their pedals.

This was a bit detailed, but I hope it helps. Do the static drills on curbs and benches. Do the static bike hopping. Those things will help with the actual dynamics of the log hop tremendously. Good luck!
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby finsout » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:04 am

If we just cut all the logs out, you wouldn't have to worry about it! ;) ;) ;)
I'm a county parks trail user and I vote!
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby jim-s » Sun Oct 17, 2010 10:35 am

I was frustrated by big logs for a long time, too, and hitting the occasional log on a weekly ride didn't help. What did work was finding a good practice log on the trail and trying it over & over until the muscles learned the timing & balance. It's all about those 2 things, plus confidence.
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby ScottyB » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:08 pm

Thanks guys :)

I was out today at RR and did pretty well with the logs on RC.
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby danwalko » Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:37 pm

Hey Scotty...

Hope you are planning on trying your log skills at the Time Trial this Sunday!!!
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby diggingtrail » Sun Oct 17, 2010 5:23 pm

My first suggestion is, if you aren't racing or planning on racing, ditch the big ring and get one of these: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping ... p?id=21043
I run a 24 small ring, 36 middle ring and a Gamut bash in the front. The bash slides right over logs, and protects the middle ring in the rocks.

Next knobby's tips below are what I was going to write but he beat me to it and probably wrote it better than I would have. This is how I learned to clear logs and is what I still do.

knobbysideup wrote: 2) this is just a hop, but where you will use your front wheel as a fulcrum to get you over the log. You will do everything the same as the bunny hop used on smaller logs, but the difference is the timing and actually using the log as a pivot to pop over it.
a) time your approach so that when you bring the front wheel up, it lands on top, or on the back 1/3rd of the log.
b) when the wheel touches the log, continue your decompression, and throw the front bars down, while twisting them away from you. This will kick the back wheel over the log.
c) shift your weight back behind your saddle as you go over the log, or you will endo/faceplant.

Another technique, which those with a BMX or trials background use, is to never touch the log with the front wheel. They just pop a wheelie, then hop off of their back wheel. Personally, I've never been able to do that, and the results when I try are quite entertaining to whoever happens to be near me. Feel free to give it a try, though :-) This technique works better for those who don't attach themselves to their pedals.
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby ScottyB » Sun Oct 17, 2010 7:05 pm

diggingtrail wrote:My first suggestion is, if you aren't racing or planning on racing, ditch the big ring and get one of these: http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping ... p?id=21043
I run a 24 small ring, 36 middle ring and a Gamut bash in the front. The bash slides right over logs, and protects the middle ring in the rocks.

Next knobby's tips below are what I was going to write but he beat me to it and probably wrote it better than I would have. This is how I learned to clear logs and is what I still do.

knobbysideup wrote: 2) this is just a hop, but where you will use your front wheel as a fulcrum to get you over the log. You will do everything the same as the bunny hop used on smaller logs, but the difference is the timing and actually using the log as a pivot to pop over it.
a) time your approach so that when you bring the front wheel up, it lands on top, or on the back 1/3rd of the log.
b) when the wheel touches the log, continue your decompression, and throw the front bars down, while twisting them away from you. This will kick the back wheel over the log.
c) shift your weight back behind your saddle as you go over the log, or you will endo/faceplant.

Another technique, which those with a BMX or trials background use, is to never touch the log with the front wheel. They just pop a wheelie, then hop off of their back wheel. Personally, I've never been able to do that, and the results when I try are quite entertaining to whoever happens to be near me. Feel free to give it a try, though :-) This technique works better for those who don't attach themselves to their pedals.


That's pretty cool. I was actually going to ask about removing the large ring but thought that it would sound stupid. Do you need the bash guard or can I just have 2 rings?
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby wrench347 » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:04 pm

yes, you need a bash guard! well not in a life or death way but yeah, every time the chainring hits the log/rock/whatever it gets a little more beat up and soon your big ring becomes a bashguard. removing it & not installing a bashguard will then allow your middle ring to be the new bashguard ;-) i run 24 & 34, had a poycarb bashguard and cracked it. now i have my battered old big ring with the teeth ground off serving as my bashguard. its not pretty but it works. practice the skills greg listed and you'll be sailing over stuff.
tony
I'm a county parks trail user and I vote!
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby rmichels » Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:23 pm

One drawback I have found with the bash guard is if you are riding on the road limits your speed. Not that I do alot of road riding on the mtb bike, but there are time where you are going from one trail to another on the road.
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby Glancing Aft » Mon Oct 18, 2010 1:48 pm

If you don't want to loose the big ring I have a big ring bashgaurd that i'd be willing to get rid of cheap. PM if you're interested.

Two other suggestions I don't think were mentioned:
1) If you ride a full squish bike try locking out your rear shock. When learning the mechanics of hoping over stuff it's much easier to get a feel for the body movements without a rear shock compressing under you.

2) Buy a 29er they roll right over everything ;)
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby rmichels » Mon Oct 18, 2010 5:50 pm

I can't lock outmy rear shock, but I do have much more trouble on my full suspension versus the hard tail. i road for a few years on the hard tail before getting the full suspension so maybe its that I just don't have the same experience. It's also a lefty and has a different feel (or maybe just the look that throwing me) from my regular hardtail fork and my timing seems to be impacted.

Ray
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby ScottyB » Mon Oct 18, 2010 10:26 pm

danwalko wrote:Hey Scotty...

Hope you are planning on trying your log skills at the Time Trial this Sunday!!!


What is this you speak of?
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby danwalko » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:20 am

The "Revenge of the Dark Side" Time Trial this Sunday. You must be a paid up YAMBA member and then the Time Trial is free and the cookout afterwards is free.

See this post http://yamba.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=339

Hope to see you there!
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Re: Stuck on logs

Postby knobbysideup » Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:51 pm

Another point I forgot to mention. In addition to balance and timing, it is also about energy and momentum transfer. You can get a more effective loading stage by grabbing your brakes just before a big obstacle. This will help to transfer your forward energy/momentum into vertical as it compresses your tires and shocks (if you have them). Shocks, btw, are your worst enemy for getting over logs. Their whole job is to absorb all of that vertical energy which you are trying to actually get some use out of, so the comments of learning on a hard tail (better yet, fully rigid) have a lot of merit. But, once you learn your suspension, it can be used to cheat a bit as well. I'm not going to begin to try to explain all of the dynamics involved there :-)

The energy and momentum transfer tip goes for getting up technical climbs as well. Just like an airplane. In order to climb, you need excess power and momentum. Momentum is just keeping it moving. Excess power is from being in a gear or two lower than stall. If you are on a single speed, well, all you have is momentum, so keep as much as you can :-)

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