Why/how do prehops work?

During today’s trial session I decided to learn how to prehop. At first I thought it was all about compressing the tire and using this power to jump higher. I failed every time with this in mind.

Then I tried to do a very small prehop and with slow(!!) fluid movement go for the actual hop. That improved my hopping height instantly. Because the time between the prehop and the actual hop was quite long I can’t believe it’s the more compressed tire that adds the height - it doesn’t even feel like this is the way it works.

So I was just wondering why does a prehop help so much? Or am I completely wrong and it’s all about the more compressed tire?

at least for me, the main thing i concentrate on prephops is how hard i jam down when i land right before the hop.

For me the prehops helping me to balance myself, just before I stop for a second and jump.

I have a terrible time with pre-hops too, but talking with Max Schultz a couple of years ago he explained the pre-hop converts horizontal energy into verticle energy. That’s why you’ll sometimes see people do two - or even three pre-hops for tall jumps. It’s a way to increase the horizontal speed and therefore provide more verticle speed.

Having said that, I still suck at it.

Going off what blueharmony said. You know diving like in the olympics? yeah im one of them. Anyways on the big tall concrete platform when we do our “silly” “run” down the plat we pick up speed then jam our feet into the end of it which launches us up higher then just running off or hopping off. The prehop is kinda like that.

Think of your tire as a trampoline… If you wonna jump high you cant do it standing still on the trampoline, you need to do a jump before the high jump. That’s the same on unicycle (when you do sidehops). Also you should put around 60% of you power in the jump in the prehop. Do some slow jumps concentrating in getting some balance before the prehop. When you feel for it stop the small slow jumps and standstill and lean to the side you wonna go to and jump. You want to have the air pressure so high that you wont hit the ground with the rim, as long it isn’t doing that, you can set the pressure as you like it. Also in the beginning you want to not go to far away from the pallets/what ever you jump up to, just make the prehop a length that you can easily jump and control. You should also place your feet so the beginning of your toes is standing on the edge of the pedal, if you aren’t already doing that :slight_smile:

To explain the trampoline stuff look at this! skip to 1:00 to see, as blueharmony said how you convert your horizontal energy to vertical. This is the gymnastics answer on prehops. They want to do as long jump as possible into the trampoline and by that they will get more height.

Good luck on the prehop! :smiley:

That is why you can set the air pressure lower for a hop up than a hop down from the same height w/o risking a pinch flat. Some will set their tire’s pressure real low, hop up, then climb down or hop down in several stages.

IMO the tire shouldn’t be lower for a hop up than down… If I fx. jumps 6 pallets with prehop, I need a higher pressure up than down, because of the prehop, but I recommend you to ride the same air pressure, when going up and down… It’d be pretty awkward if you always need to put a higher pressure in the tire, when you have to go down the obstacle you just jumped up :stuck_out_tongue:
I’m having a pretty hard prehop, therefor I need a high pressure compared to my weight (I ride about 40psi and I weight 59kg), and since I’m not that heavy I don’t need much pressure for a drop. So you don’t necessary need a higher pressure down than up, but for most beginners/people with not-so-heavy prehops you will need a higher pressure down than up…

+1, I’m not a good trials rider, but I bottom out a lot more on hopping up than dropping down the same thing. I don’t do prehops though, I rarely ride trials so I’ve forgotten how to do them. :stuck_out_tongue: Going up you’re pushing down as hard as you can to get compression, but going down you can focus on landing smooth and rolling out so you probably won’t bottom out as much.