MTB Coaching | The Ride Series How to’s: Technical Lifts on the Trail

Technical lifts on the trail can be quite challenging. Even for an experienced rider it really takes a certain technique, and not just the brute force muscle up like it may appear. Rich Drew, of The Ride Series MTB Skills Clinics, takes us through the “lift and shift” technique. This skill is fantastic for getting up and over technical trail obstacles, and is something you can use every time you go for a ride.


The first installment of The Ride Series “How To’s” focuses on Technical Lifts. This is one of the most frustrating elements of The Ride Series and it requires you to really focus on applying the technique and not trying to rely on power. As Rob Drew says, ‘minimize the drama.”

– Approach the lift in the saddle, with your seat relatively high AND your torso upright with arms relatively straight. This is an important component since you need to be able to rock your torso forward and back using the seat for leverage.
– As you approach the obstacle, rock your torso forward as much as needed to create the energy for the lift.
– Rock your torso back and STRAIGHTEN your arms so they can pull back on the bars AS YOU give input into the pedals.
– Once you break that imaginary vertical plane with your front wheel, the lift portion is over.
– Ratchet your pedals back to level and stand up. You want to focus on opening up your hips as aggressively as needed. ALWAYS TRY TO KEEP YOUR BODY MOVING FORWARD.

Practice, practice, practice. This technique takes time to get comfortable. I still find myself defaulting to power at times. It’s amazing how easy some of the most technical lifts can be made to look.

I hope to see you at an upcoming The Ride Series MTB Skills Clinic!

Via: Rich Drew

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