Barrier analysis (Derwyn vs Trebon)


One of my teammates (Harald Graham) took some video of myself jumping a barrier. He also captured Ryan Trebon jumping the same barrier. This provided me a rare opportunity to analyze the different techniques. First you should review each video as I did…

Did you see anything different? The first thing you probably noticed is that he is sick fast. I’ve since analyzed each frame one by one. Here are my observations:

Observation #1
Ryan: Heading into the barriers Ryan stays on his bike much longer, coasting towards the barrier at high speed.
Me: I’m off the bike early running up to the barrier. This slows me down significantly.

Observation #2
Ryan: If you look closely, Ryan uses his hand on the top tube to hold him self up while he clips out. Then – this is the coolest thing I’ve seen – he actually swings both feet forward before landing and initiating his jump. He steps down once, then twice and is over the barrier.
Me: If you recall from observation #1 I’m already running…as compared to “gliding”, which is how I would describe Trebon’s approach.

Observation #3
Ryan: While Ryan has very long legs he keeps his stride long and fluid.
Me: My steps are short and choppy.

Observation #4
Ryan: If you count Ryan’s steps after the barrier it’s about 4:
step1 – land
step2 – bike down
step3 – hand to bar
step4 – jump

Me: I step 6 times:
step1 – land
step2 – bike down
step3 – hand to bar
step4 – um?
step5 – er?
step6 – jump


  1. First, Trebon has been doing that remount thing for a long time so comparing yours to his is not particularly enlightening. Second, here is all you need to know about barriers (much from Tonkin);

    1) See how long Trebon coasts into the barriers? He’s taking a little break. Do that.

    2) In slow, out fast.

    3) Make barrier entry casual almost. Coast in, take a breather, set up, and dismount.

    4) Hand on the top tube. That allows you to unweight your pedal for the dismount.

    5) I *never* step through. Foot back every time. The key to this is unweighting the pedal (hand on top tube) and swinging hips forward (which pivots your feet in front to initiate the run). The more you can pivot, the faster you can dismount — but keeping it smooth trumps speed every time.

    6) Two steps before the barrier. You need to do this successfully in practice about 100 times in a row prior to doing it with confidence in a race. Otherwise, get off where you feel comfortable.

    7) Okay, you’re off the bike, now what?

    8) Time to get busy. Remember the slow in part? Done that. Time for the fast out. Start picking up speed. But as with getting off, smooth trumps speed.

    9) Longer strides are better but not crucial.

    10) You are over the planks, set that bike down gently.

    11) Push your bike to speed and get on. Don’t sweat the steps here. Different conditions warrant different remounts. The key is getting up to speed. Taking enough steps to go fast will help with remount because your body is already set up for an efficient mount — leaning forward, legs back.

    12) Get on.

    13) Stomp the pedals and get going. Fast out.

    There you have it. Easy-peasy.

    Honestly, don’t sweat the exact step count. You want to find out what works best for you. Make a pair of PVC barriers and practice, practice, practice. Make sure to vary the distance between them from session to session since barrier spacing varies from race to race.

  2. Though the episode is great viewing on it’s own, check out how Wellens takes the barriers once they get around to showing race footage. I tried that hop step today. Works great — better than trying to stride at my average height.

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