Crossing Cambers

Intermediate trials training: riding across a camber or slope

This information is subject to our disclaimer.

Riding across a steep camber or slope can be tricky as losing traction at either end could see you and the bike sliding or worse, tumbling, down the slope.

First, pick your line. Where possible you will want to stay above the existing line so that if you do slip you can hopefully get traction on the line everyone else has been using.

You will need to stay very smooth on the clutch and throttle as any wheel spin will see the rear end of your bike heading downhill in a hurry. It may help to ride in a higher gear and slip the clutch as needed.

Body positioning is important (when isn’t it?). Keep your weight central to the bike so both wheels are evenly weighted. If you think you are about to lose traction it could pay to slightly weight to the rear so that it will be the rear wheel that slips and it may be easier to recover without needing to dab.

Keep your legs apart (e.g. don’t grip the bike) and weight the outside footpeg and lean the bike into the slope. This keeps your inside leg ready to use if needed. It also means you may be able to throw your body weight to the inside and possibly recover from a small slip of either wheel.

If you need to wheelie over obstacles while riding on a camber, remember to use your legs and minimal throttle as per our wheelie tutorial. Any excess throttle makes it very likely you will lose traction at the rear and slip downhill. Use your legs to compress the suspension and haul on those bars as the suspension rebounds.

challenge yourself

Find a steep slope which is just above a flat safe area. Find the limits of how steep a slope you can ride across before your tires give way. Try different surfaces like rock and dirt.

Copyright B. Morris 2014