Evans Cycles
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Jump Bikes
 
 
 
 
Any bike can be jumped, but only those purpose built to cope with the constant stresses that this puts through the frame and components will live to tell the tale. Jump bikes are a new genre, and the type of bike used for this activity is heavily based on individual preferences and interpretations.

Above all a jump bike needs to be strong and durable, but at the same time cannot be too heavy, as they need to be very nimble and easy to manoeuvre, so a balance needs to be struck. What may surprise you is that jump bikes don’t need lots of suspension; in fact some have no suspension at all. Jumping, or at least jumping well, is about smooth transitions from take off to landing, so there should not be huge impacts to absorb, unless it’s all gone a bit wrong of course! Also, suspension travel tends to absorb some of the momentum that is required to keep the flow between repeated jumps, so can have a negative effect.

Jump bikes are mostly hardtails (with front suspension only) or fully rigid (without suspension). Where front suspension is used it is usually fairly short travel e.g. 80-100mm. Wheel sizes commonly used are 24inch or 26inch. Smaller wheels are stronger and will mean that the bike is smaller overall too, which will subsequently be lighter and more manoeuvrable for tricks. It is not uncommon to see 20inch wheel BMX bikes being used as jump bikes as they are ultimately the most nimble of all.

Often jump bikes are single speed, as relatively little pedalling is required for this style of riding, and it eliminates the risk of damaging derailleurs or shifters in a crash. Some are available with gears, acknowledging the fact that riders often need to pedal their bikes to their favourite jump spots. Jump bikes do not require hugely powerful brakes either, as they are not required to stop quickly from high speeds, so a lighter disc brake or even a v-brake can be used.

Wheels, cranks, pedals, handlebars and stem, must be strong and durable, to withstand the repeated landing forces. If they’re not up to the task it could mean a nasty crash resulting in injury.
 
This story was last updated on 17/01/2012