the power of prehop

today i discovered the POWER OF PREHOP! Before today my highest hop was 78cm (just under 31") and i decided it was time to incorporate a prehop into my hops. After probably 15 tries, I nailed an 85cm hop (33.5"). i still prefer hopping with just a snap of the tire, but its nice to now I can add almost 3 inches with a prehop. i will continue to develope it to try and add more height. it felt really good nailing that jump!!!

Man, my best height with a prehop is about 20". But I can’t do it seat out yet.
Congratulations, though!

Funny you mention this. My best hop as of now is still with a pre-hop, but it’s an old record (about a month).

On average, my hopping height seems to be higher without a prehop than with, although I know I should be able to hop heigher with one. I’m just happy I’m not using one as much, as it makes me a more versatile trials rider. I still find pedalgrabs easier with a prehop, though.

As for seat out hopping, I recently tried to jump up a threeset on my muni, and I found my but bottomed (no pun intended) on the tire. This was surprising, as I never knew I squatted so low during seat out hops.

Thread jacking: Does anyone else think there’s any use in jumping high if you only have a 1 in 20 success rate? I find that I can land 27", but not more than 5% of the time. That’s kinda useless, so why bother? Why not get 26" down much better, before continuing on? That’s what I’m doing now, and I like it better, because it preps me better for a real trials comp, where 5% is 92% less than I’d like. I find that if I haven’t gotten my tire on the obstacle by the 10th try, it’s not worth doing unless I’m competing. Why put consistency behind height? Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I guess you could say that th higher you can hop, things get less intimidating, but who cares? I can easily ride up to a 32" picnic table and go for it rubber to rubber. I know I won’t land it (heck, I’d be lucky to get all the way to the crank), but it still isn’t intimidating.

for me, when i can get a higher hop, it automatically increases my consistancy at lower hops. so if when my highest hop was 27 inches, i could get 24" consistantly, but when i got up to 30", i could get 27"s consistantly. so being able to hop higher just helps my technique. working on higher hops helps my smaller hops more than just working on my smaller hops. plus high hops are just plain fun. at the 2 comps ive been to, i have never used a hop higher than 20". comps just dont seem to put any emphasis on high hops. but when riding trials out and about i use high hops all the time. and that is the best riding, not comps.

I find myself doing more big gaps then big hops. Most of the time on a ride I don’t ever run into a hop higher than 25" but lower than 32" (I don’t know why). I tend to have one 18"-25" opening hop to get onto the rock, and then i follow with a bunch of 5’ish gaps to toher rocks. Also, I don’t find landing big hops from nowhere to nowhere all that fun, compared to technical ups of only about 18". For example, I sometimes just practice gapping 4’ to the thin edge of a 2x4, and then doing an 18" jump to the top of a box, rather than just doing some big (for me) 27" hop onto a box. But yes, comps don’t seem to emphasize big hops that much, but that’s not a bad thing, as there’s lots more to trials than hopping height.

i guess the thing to do is to practice with what you have around you. it sounds like gerble has some rocks that help him to work on gapping rather than hopping high. i, on the other hand, have lots of things that are high to hop on with not many gaps (either 4 or 5 feet or 8 feet or more). i have, on campus, probably 10 lines that invlove hops of 27-34", so obviously hopping high is something i should practice if i want to perfect these lines. since i have very few places to practice gapping, i cant practice much to improve this skill. i practice with what i have and i have walls to hop on. i understand what gerble is saying about trials not just being about hopping high, but that is definitely one aspect of trials, and should not be ignored. comps should include high hops, gaps, and other technical skills. comps must focus on every aspect of riding.

i guess the thing to do is to practice with what you have around you. it sounds like gerble has some rocks that help him to work on gapping rather than hopping high. i, on the other hand, have lots of things that are high to hop on with not many gaps (either 4 or 5 feet or 8 feet or more). i have, on campus, probably 10 lines that invlove hops of 27-34", so obviously hopping high is something i should practice if i want to perfect these lines. since i have very few places to practice gapping, i cant practice much to improve this skill. i practice with what i have and i have walls to hop on. i understand what gerble is saying about trials not just being about hopping high, but that is definitely one aspect of trials, and should not be ignored. comps should include high hops, gaps, and other technical skills. comps must focus on every aspect of riding. you also said that there is no use in having a high hop is it is not cinsistant. that is why you practice to get it consistant.

I can see that. BUT, once you have hops of 2’ and up, you begin to quickly eliminate riders on otherwise easy lines. There aren’t more than 30 riders on this continent who could compete on a technical course with 28" hops and over. Also, it’s hard to set up a line that’s 40" off the ground because of an opening 40" pedalgrab. Not to mention, from the pics I’ve seen, most of the bigh hop lines I’ve seen you do are perfectly pedalgrabbable, and don’t need rubber to rubber. In a comp, I can hop 2’ very consistently, but when encountered with a 24" hop, I’d probably go for a pedalgrab for safety. Also, I have large hops around, too. I can stack my boxes to 30", but my landing area is only about 8"x18". That’s not ideal when landing a 30" hop. Also, I find that it’s much harder to find a line anywhere that has more than 8’ total of climbing. Much more often near my house, as you’ve pointed out, I have one big hop followed by mabey 10-12 big, sometimes technical gaps. I have lots of fun doing this. If I scouted, i could find other spots with more vert, but why bother. My skill is developing perfectly quickly as it is. Also, from my impressions, you don’t have all that much vert. You have a bunch of lines with a big 27" opening hop, but it doesn’t seem to me that you’ve got lines where it’s like you do a 2’ up, then immediately another hop of 27". Also, in U2, didn’t you notice how most of the trials lines were more gap than up? Trials is not all up, and it’s stupid to make it be that. I’m also more satisfied by a technical 16" up than some stupid 28" up. One of my favorite lines is a 12" up onto a rock with almost no landing space, and then immediately anothe 8" up onto a 4x4 sixe landing area. No big ups, just hard.

Happy Hops :slight_smile:

P.S. When i get a digital camera, I’ll try and get photos and video clips of my riding territory. Mike Middleton and I are already putting together a small video, although it’ll be a while.

why would anyone be satisfied with some stupid anything? basically what you just said is that while the stuff you ride is technial and fun, the stuff i do is stupid and pointless. why do you think that if its not on a slanted rock, its pointless? the pictures on the site are not a good representation of everything i ride. the pictures are from the one or two times i have been able to ride with someone else in the last few months. like i said, there is no good spot for natural trials near my dorm, so i guess everything i do is stupid. also, a 16" techincal up is not likely to require more skill than a 28" “stupid” up. Both take practice. But most likely, one would be able to land a techincal 16" up long before a “stupid” 28" up. i dont understand why you have so much against hopping high. since i live in a dorm and cant build a trials course in my backyard, as i dont have one, naturally i am going to post about what i can do, which in my case is hopping on walls. when i am not in school in dc, and home in richmond, va, there is a great spot for natural trials with everything you desribe, and it is fun. but while i am at school, i have just as much fun working on urban skills. urban trials rarely has a technical landing area so height is really the main skill required. i dont think you sould be so negative about something you dont like. but if thats what you are into, may i suggest you visit some of the bike trials forums, such as all they do there is insult eachother and brag non stop.

I do: because he can’t do it.
Gerble, you need to stop flaming everyone for everything. This forum shouldn’t be like those biker ones Muniracer is talking about.

Alright, that’s reasonable. I don’t have anything against hopping high, except for in comps when it cheats out lots of riders of a fun comp. A 30" technical hop would probably even throw a rider of your stature. I know from experience that on familiar ground I can do 2-3" higher than on new ground. Also, I would like to point out that the big eliminator at TOque (or was it Motorama?) was just a bunch of 4x4s set up, without all that of a large hops, although both of the major competitors on it could do over 3’.

As for the “stupid”, I wasn’t trying to insult your riding, I was referring to one afternoon about a month ago when I was doing hopping practice. I had just landed the same 25" hop 15 times in a row. I hadn’t fallen on the hop once. Then I stepped back, and thought. I was satisfied, but I wasn’t having fun. I liked lkanding it, but I felt it led nowhere. Basically, I just suddenly noticed that what I was riding was no longer entertaining, and I felt stupid. I don’t want to rail on your riding, I actually admire how quickly you went from “John Glazer’s Crazyness” to “I landed 33.5” yesterday. I really wish I could do that. BUT, I don’t want to do that if it means only hopping next to the same wall for two months. I understand that a 16" technical hop will take less time to land, but a 28" hop feels like it’s not worth the tons of nonstop focused work on only one thing to land.

I still hold that a trials comp can do without a bunch of massive hops, though.

Also, i guess I conveyed that I basically have a rock yard in my back yard, but that’s not the case. My back yard is crowded with pplants, and even if it weren’t, it’s only 12-15’ by 25’. Not space for a trials course. l have a 1/2 mile uphill ride to my rock trials spot, and it’s on rocks 5’ from a heavily travelled road where cars will go 25 without looking. It’s also windy as hell. SO, I end up missing half my hops because I have to look up to see if a car was coming and get blown over. Not to mention, the rocks have been there for only about a month. Also, I only get to go there at most twice a week. My most common trials course is plain stupid. Your riding is amazingly varied compared to my riding of a few 2’ boxes, some risers, and an 8’ long skinny. The only time I get to ride outside of my neighborhood is from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. on Thursday nights, which I can only do if I have friday off.

I can sympathize to location problems. I have an hour-long commute to most places in town, and I have to stand with a unicycle most of the way (it can be turned to be an hour and a half too, because some ignorant bus drivers think my one-wheeled device is a bike). This limits my riding options, because I can’t do a solo ride because if I get hurt, I can’t wait an hour to get home. I have friends with 1/2 acre trials course, which I turn green with envy for whenever I think about it.

I really now understand what you’ve got to ride, and in that case, I’m sorry for railing on it. I realy don’t want another MB forum. That’s all for now.

dont worry, i wasnt offended :slight_smile:

while i do ride for fun, i also ride because it is something i am committed to. its more than just a hobby for me, its a sport. so satisfaction is just as important as fun when i ride. yes, trying a jump over and over until i get it is not “fun” in the true definition of the word, but the satisfaction i get when i make it is just as important. of course i dont learn to jump on the same brick wall over and over so i can say, “i hopped on this brick wall,” i learn it so i can apply it elsewhere. the hop that i originally posted about was not at this wall, but actually as a part of a line i saw when i was just riding around. while the line was pretty simple, just a hop, a skinny, and a drop, it was a line none the less so i didnt feel i was just hopping from nowhere to nowhere. i dont really think trials is fun in the way the word implies. i think muni and freestyle stuff is fun, but trials is really just a test of skill. it involves fear, pain, sweat, and of course, joy. i ride trials for the satisfaction i get when i realize that my practice and skills have paid off.

edit: oh yeah, john is my brother. he is the crazy one. i am Trip Glazer.

There’s clearly a curiosity about just how high guys can hop, and all kinds of big numbers are bandied about. Why not find out for sure?

My suggestion for a trials competition is to borrow from the FMXers (Frestyle Moto Cross), who have a competition called “Step Up,” where they simply try to clear a bar which is raised higher with each heat, like a high jump competition.

Versions could be done with no prehop, with prehop, seat in and seat out. I used to be able to slam dunk a basketball with both hands, and I’ve gotta see the guy who can clear a 32" bar, seat in, with no pre hop. I ain’t even remotely close to that heigth.


I can bet that at least 5 people on this forum can clear a 32" bar seat in without a prehop, it’s called a rolling hop :wink: . The record is somewhere around 3’. Now, we’re not discussing over a bar stats, as that’s been around forever. It’s an okay idea, except it has nothing to do with trials. The problem is that you have to clear youir pedal on the way down, and that lowers the max by at least 2". I can get onto a 28" object, but I doubt I could land 25" over a bar sidehop. I think a better comp would be to have a bunch of 1/2" risers and have a comp of high jump onto those. Then things would become a good indication of the average skill level and who’s really the highest jumper.

Muniracer: Firstly, I knew you were Trip, but I was referring to how you seemed so very humbled and amazed when John landed that, but now youcan do 5" more! Such a contrast!

I agree on the hopping for prep. for later lines. I too practice hops so I can apply it later, but lately I’ve fallen down from my past average of 90 mins min per day. Now it’s around 3 hours a week. Just because I don’t find it as satisfying. I have lots more fun with the balance beam and such. Also, Potter’s right, I can’t hop all that heigh. I seem to have hit a wall where I can’t get anything over 26-27" to be at all consistent. That means it’s rather devoid of satisfaction, and I then go in search of more interesting and complicated trials lines. lately I’ve been very happy with strange “endurance lines”, where I try and land 8-10 large, possibly technical gaps and ups, without a dismount. It’s hard, but very satisfying, and the learning curve seems to be rather steep, which, beiung an impatient youngin’, I like.

later, i’m soon to be off to ride (god I love summer, sun sets 'round 7:00, so iut’s light enough for riding up until around 7:45)

At Motorama I noticed Ryan using two hands for some seat out ups. I’d never seen anyone do this before and it stuck in my mind. I didn’t get around to trying this until a few weeks ago and guess what. It really helps! I added a few inches to my ups and thery are much more comfortable.

Gerble, you never got around to showing me how to do a rolling hop at Moab! I want to learn this. I had to blast out of Moab Sunday to catch my plan and I forgot to ask. Maybe someone can give me some quick pointers here since we’re on the topic jumps and hops.


Damn! Sorry, I completely forgot! You may have noticed lots of riders doing it on the trail, I noticed Ryan using it to keep the flow of his muni going when he hit an unrollable obstacle. I saw him do a big one on an uphill that was cool. When doing rolling hops, the way I learned was to jump over sidewalk squares on my uni without stopping my riding. I started with small ones, then moved on to doing one of them at a time. I just ride quickly, and when my pedals feel right I launch and try to fly over the square. Now on my 24" with a fireball I can do about 2.5 squares, just flying along and laujnching myself. I rarely ever do any hops after the maikn hop, unless I’m catastrophically off-balance, in which I’ll have to hop to stay up.

Once I could do sidewalk squares and curbs, I just tried to do height. Instead of throwing myself forward, I leaned back, and stopped all but the tiniest bit of forward motion in order to do the jump, and then I lift up and pike. On rolling hops like that, I always do a few stabilizing hops after the big one if I’m going onto an object, or, if I’m going over a bar or something, I find I’m usually very off balance, and need to stop and idle to get going again, because most of my forward motion is gone. I find that as objects get higher, the distance I hop onto them from also increases. On a 20" or over rolling hop, I’m often finding my take-off point to be at least as far from the object as the object is high. It helps to try to rolling hop onto stuff off of sidewalkcement that shows your treads. You know the stuff. When I do that, I’m often surprised how far away I am from the object when I take off. If it helps to measure your pedals, by all means, do it. I measure when ever I’m unsure. Other riders are aversed to it.

As for two handed seat out, I find it’s not all that helpful when going big. From what I understand, Ryan does it for control on slants, because it makes it so he can take a steeper incline before he needs to put the seat in. When going big seat out, often my head or shoulder is at pr below the level of the seat, so holding with two hands wouldn’t help, because I wouldn’t be able to pull it to the side so it could clear my body. So: with set up hops on inclines and technical surfaces, two handed can be helpful, but on big ups, it’s often counter-productive. Your problem may be where you hold the seat. I know some riders who couldn’t seat out very well until I showed them that they need to hold way back on the seat, not in front or such. If you use a KH seat, try holding it on the colored part.

hey gerble, maybe you can give me a tip on a line im working on (im jacking my own thread!). it does start with a big hop but thats not what i am asking about. the line is a 30" hop onto a 10" wide platform (while it is 10" wide, it is several feet long), once i am up, i ride straight to the end of the platform, where i am faced with a 6’ gap with a 28" drop onto a similar platform. sometimes i dont get all the distance and hit the corner, but when i make it, i usually have to immediately jump forward, off the platform, because i have so much momentum. i am hopping mostly straight forward, but with a little bit of an angle on my tire so i can use sideways force too. how can i land this gap more effectively and stay on the platform?

First I have my own question. Did you hack 2" off my boxes?!! Today I did my first hopping practice in about 4 days, and I was able to immediately, without a warm up, do 7 no-prehop 25inchers, followed by 7 prehopped 25" hops (bear in mind, lately I’ve had a hard time with prehops). So, already I had 14 in a row without a fall yet. Then I raised it, and I landed 26" without a prehop first try. I got it six more times (with and without a prehop. I also noticed when I no-prehopped, I could’ve gone over a bar, as my tire was landing around 7-8" onto the obj.), before I added anothe inch so it was 27". Again, I landed it first try-no prehop! I landed a few more with and without prehops, before scrubbing my tire against the side and getting crank:( . Then, immediately after the scrub, I landed 10 27 inchers in a row, alternating prehop-no prehop! Then I had to have dinner, but i can’t believe it. I finally broke 27"! I’m really satisfied, but now I have to rig some new risers:( . That’ll take a while.

As for the line, I’m not all that good at gap-drops (most of my stuff is flat-gap-ish, and I usually land into an incline, so stopping myself isn’t much of a problem). BUT, I ride with Mike Middleton, who’s crazy! He landed a ~6.5’ gap with less than a vertical foot of height difference consistently (we’ll put it in our video we’re making, which should be online in a few months)! He can hang with the bike trials guys on gaps, which is saying something. The guys we ride with are expert, and one of the just got back from Europe for some trials training camp. And the landing platform is only about 20" wide! Anyways, I’ve started to agree with him on gaps with a drop factor. He does it seat in, because it gives him exactly what it sounds like you need-stopping power. I find when I do flatish gaps to my balance beam andf then to a small paltform, I have the same problem as you. I ethier overshoot, or undershoot. If I scrub the edge, I land on the box, but do what you described, and hop off the other end. I’ve been working on this, but there’s no clear solution for flat gaps.

As for a gap with drop in it, there seems to be hope… Try it seat in, which I find gives much better stopping power for big gaps. You may land hard, but at least you’ll land it (I hope). That’s all i can say, try it seat in, and do more of a lateral gap rather than front, although I know it’s hard, and also the tire really wants to shear off the rim. I think seat in is really the best idea I have, though. Try it on a fireball, too. Even if you miss it, it makes this cool screech. I love it for street, because I can gap and it makes me sound like I’m super-skilled and can skid:D .

New Jacking: What tire do you use? I just was given a Monty whiteline, and it’s not all that great. Certainly not $10 more than the luna. It’s got a rounder profile, but the knobbies are nice for grabbing obstacles (that is, when I make it :slight_smile: )…

its the tire that comes on the onza

It’s called a Luna.