TRIALS TRAINING: flip turns on a trials bike
The flip turn is a very cool advanced technique - in fact a 180 degree flip turn is so cool that members of the opposite sex will flock to you, and members of the same sex will get sex change operations just to spend a night with you.
BASICS OF A FLIP TURN
The essential steps for a flip turn are:
- Lean your body weight in the desired direction
- Zap and wheelie in the desired direction
- Use body weight and legs to flip the rear around
- Use wheel hops to regain your balance.
THE FLIP TURN USING A TWO WHEEL HOP
The most basic flip turn is using your body weight to change direction during a two wheel hop. Keeping balance is easier as the bike is moving, and the changes in direction are small. This is a handy way of turning on slippery uphills if you are already using two wheel hops to maintain traction.
FLIP TURN USING A kicker
The next easiest flip turn is using a kicker. Start with using the kicker to get the front wheel up. Once you get the hang of this, try a combination of wheelie and floater turn to hit the kicker with the rear wheel to get it airborne. You never know when both of these techniques could be useful in competition.
THE FLIP TURN USING A jump
You can use any natural rise in the terrain as a jump to get both wheels in the air. This is particularly handy if jumping a gap and there is a turn immediately upon landing - the flip turn can have you already pointed in the right direction upon landing.
THE FLIP TURN without a kicker
Once you have mastered all these techniques, it is time to try the flip turn without a kicker on flat ground. It's usually best to try this in second gear. To make it easier, roll to a very brief stop then do your flip turn and ride away. But as you feel comfortable, try it from a balanced stop, then try to finish in the one spot as well, using wheel hops to regain your balance.
You will probably have started with 45 to 90 degree flip turns - slowly work your way toward 180 degrees.
Try two flip turns in a row. Two 90 degree flip turns still add up to 180 degrees!
Man made trials courses often have logs in a square configuration. Try balancing on a log and doing a precise 90 degree flip turn on to the next log. This will really test your ability to land your wheels exactly where you want them.
As with most trials techniques, trying to do flip turns in rocky terrain or on slopes is a great way to ensure you have fully mastered the technique.
See all of these techniques in our Flip turns video.
Copyright B. Morris 2014
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