The Hows and Whys of Dirt Jumping

One of the many sports commonly involving mountain bikes is known as dirt jumping. This particular sport is based on the idea of using shaped mounds of dirt to push yourself into the air. After takeoff, the challenge is to regain control over your vehicle of choice to ensure a safe landing in a specific spot. The sport can be played with several different rides. The most common of these are 20 inch wheels BMXs, Cruisers, mountain bikes and freestyle motocross. Of these, the mountain bike is without a doubt the favored choice.

Dirt jumping is not considered a competitive sport, but rather one you participate in for the simple enjoyment of it. The bikes used are manufactured by smaller, less known companies, which adds a little to the exclusiveness of the sport. Dirt jumpers consider their sport to be part of the underground, which is probably why there aren't that many competitions. Over the past few years, companies have begun to organize competitions with cash prizes for dirt jumping, but it still hasn't reached that stage where almost everyone has heard about it.

Some seem to think that dirt jumping, as a sport, is identical to mountain bike racing. This statement is false. While the two sports have some aspects in common, dirt jumping focuses more on the height and duration of the jump than who finishes the race faster. In addition, the number and quality of the tricks performed is also a factor. It is a far more dangerous sport than racing and takes many years and a lot of practice before the bruises stop appearing.

However, not all mountain bikes are necessarily suited for dirt jumping. The frames tend to be smaller than those used for other purposes and usually only have a rear brake. The size of the wheels is either 24 or 26 inches and the forks are rigid or short travel. The wheel size is especially important since it determines the shape of the takeoff. This is why, before starting to learn the sport, you should make sure your mountain bike is up to the task. Accidents have been known to happen because the participant did not have the proper equipment. Taking care of your mountain bike is extremely important, not only so that you can prevent yourself from breaking a leg or worse, but also so that you come out on top when you do those dangerous jumps.