BMX Skills: Drop In

As an avid BMX enthusiast and advisor, I am thrilled to share with you some valuable insights on one of the most fundamental skills in the BMX world: the drop in. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of drop ins, the necessary equipment and safety gear, the technique itself, overcoming fear, and much more. So, let’s gear up and dive right in!


BMX, short for Bicycle Motocross, is an exhilarating sport that combines elements of cycling, acrobatics, and freestyle tricks. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, mastering the drop in is crucial to your progression and overall riding ability. A drop in is essentially descending down a ramp or slope with confidence and control, and it serves as the foundation for more advanced tricks and maneuvers.

1. What is BMX?

Before delving into the drop in technique, let’s take a moment to understand what BMX is all about. BMX originated in the late 1960s in Southern California and quickly gained popularity worldwide. It involves riding specially designed bikes on various terrains, including dirt tracks, skateparks, and street courses. BMX riders push the boundaries of balance, agility, and creativity as they perform jumps, spins, and flips on their bikes.

2. The Importance of Drop In

The drop in is a fundamental skill that every BMX rider should master early on. It not only enhances your overall riding ability but also builds confidence and control. When executed correctly, a drop in allows you to smoothly transition from higher ground to lower ground, enabling you to tackle ramps, bowls, and other obstacles with ease. Additionally, drop ins are often a prerequisite for more advanced tricks and stunts, making them an essential building block in your BMX journey.

3. Necessary Equipment and Safety Gear

As with any extreme sport, safety should always be a top priority in BMX. Before attempting drop ins or any other tricks, it’s crucial to have the right equipment and safety gear. Here are the essentials:

BMX Bike:

Invest in a high-quality BMX bike that suits your riding style and preferences. Ensure it has sturdy construction, appropriate wheel size, and reliable brakes.


Protect your head with a certified BMX helmet that fits snugly and covers your forehead. Your helmet is your lifeline, so never ride without one.

Pads and Guards:

Safeguard your body by wearing knee pads, elbow pads, and shin guards. These protective gears minimize the risk of injuries during falls and impacts.

4. Understanding the Drop In Technique

To execute a successful drop in, it’s essential to understand the technique and mechanics behind it. Let’s break it down step by step:

Body Position and Balance:

Start by positioning yourself on the bike with your knees slightly bent, feet on the pedals, and arms relaxed. Maintain a balanced stance and distribute your weight evenly.

Approaching the Ramp:

Roll up to the edge of the ramp with a moderate speed. Keep your eyes focused on the desired line and maintain a steady pace.

Executing the Drop In:

As you reach the edge of the ramp, lean forward slightly, bend your elbows, and shift your weight toward the front wheel. Initiate the drop in by pushing down on the handlebars and extending your arms.

Maintaining Control:

Throughout the drop in, maintain a firm grip on the handlebars and keep your body centered over the bike. Adjust your body position as needed to maintain balance and control.

5. Body Position and Balance

Achieving the right body position and balance is crucial for a successful drop in. By keeping your knees slightly bent, you allow for better shock absorption and flexibility. This stance also helps you maintain stability and control while navigating the ramp or slope. Additionally, keep your arms relaxed and your weight evenly distributed on the bike. This balanced position allows for smooth adjustments and quick reactions during the drop in.

6. Approaching the Ramp

Before attempting a drop in, it’s important to approach the ramp with the right mindset and speed. Start by rolling up to the edge of the ramp at a moderate speed, ensuring you have enough momentum to carry you through the descent. Maintain your focus on the desired line and visualize yourself executing the drop in with confidence. Remember, a positive mental attitude can significantly impact your performance.

7. Executing the Drop In

Now comes the exciting part: executing the drop in itself. As you reach the edge of the ramp, it’s natural to feel a surge of adrenaline. Embrace the thrill and channel it into your technique. Lean slightly forward, bend your elbows, and shift your weight toward the front wheel. This body position helps initiate the drop in smoothly. Push down on the handlebars while extending your arms, allowing the front wheel to make contact with the ramp. As you descend, keep your focus ahead and maintain a steady grip on the handlebars.

8. Overcoming Fear and Building Confidence

Fear is a natural emotion when it comes to attempting new tricks or maneuvers on your BMX bike. Overcoming this fear is essential for your growth as a rider. To build confidence and conquer your fears:

Visualize Success:

Before attempting a drop in, visualize yourself performing it flawlessly. Imagine the feeling of control and accomplishment.

Start Small:

Begin with smaller ramps or slopes and gradually progress to larger ones. Taking incremental steps allows you to build confidence and improve your skills gradually.

Learn from Others:

Watch experienced riders execute drop ins and seek advice from seasoned BMX enthusiasts. Their insights and guidance can provide valuable tips for overcoming fear and improving your technique.

9. Common Mistakes to Avoid

When learning the drop in, it’s common to make some mistakes along the way. Here are a few to watch out for:

Leaning Back:

Leaning too far back during the drop in can result in loss of control and potential falls. Remember to maintain a slightly forward-leaning position for better balance and stability.

Lack of Speed:

Insufficient speed can make drop ins challenging and less controlled. Ensure you have enough momentum to carry you through the descent.

Gripping Too Tight:

While a firm grip is important, gripping the handlebars too tightly can restrict your ability to make subtle adjustments. Keep a firm yet relaxed grip for optimal control.

10. Progressing Your Skills

Once you’ve mastered the basics of drop ins, it’s time to progress your skills and explore more advanced techniques. Here are some ways to take your drop in abilities to the next level:

Increase Height and Steepness:

Gradually challenge yourself by attempting drop ins from higher ramps or steeper slopes. This will refine your technique and build confidence at greater heights.

Add Style:

Experiment with different body movements and add your personal flair to drop ins. Incorporate stylish tweaks, such as tuck no-handers or barspins, to make your drop ins stand out.

11. Advanced Techniques and Tricks

As your skills evolve, you can explore a wide array of advanced techniques and tricks that incorporate the drop in. Some exciting maneuvers to consider include:

360s and 540s:

Execute rotations while dropping in, spinning your body and bike in mid-air for an impressive visual spectacle.

Tailwhips and Barspins:

Combine drop ins with tailwhips or barspins, where you spin the bike frame or handlebars respectively, adding an extra level of difficulty and creativity.

12. Maintenance and Upkeep

To ensure your BMX bike remains in optimal condition, regular maintenance is crucial. Here are some key maintenance tips to keep in mind:

Check Tire Pressure:

Maintain appropriate tire pressure for optimal grip and maneuverability. Consult the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific tire type.

Inspect Brake System:

Regularly check your brake system for proper functionality. Ensure the brakes engage smoothly and the pads are in good condition.

13. Where to Practice Drop Ins

Finding suitable locations to practice drop ins is essential. Here are some popular options:


Many skateparks offer ramps and bowls specifically designed for BMX riders. These parks provide a controlled environment for practicing drop ins and other tricks.

Dirt Tracks:

Outdoor dirt tracks with ramps and jumps are ideal for riders who enjoy the thrill of off-road BMX. These tracks often have dedicated areas for drop ins.

14. Joining a BMX Community

Joining a BMX community can significantly enhance your riding experience. Here’s why:

Skill Sharing:

Interacting with fellow riders allows you to share tips, tricks, and experiences, accelerating your learning curve.

Safety and Support:

Riding with others provides an added layer of safety and support. You can learn from each other’s successes and mistakes while enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded enthusiasts.

15. Conclusion

Congratulations! You’ve now gained valuable insights into the world of BMX drop ins. Remember, mastering this fundamental skill takes practice, perseverance, and a fearless attitude. By following the techniques and tips outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a confident and skilled BMX rider.


1. Is it necessary to wear safety gear when practicing drop ins?

Absolutely! Safety gear, including a certified BMX helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and shin guards, is crucial for protecting yourself during falls and impacts. Don’t compromise on safety.

2. How long does it take to learn the drop in technique?

The learning curve varies from person to person. With consistent practice and dedication, you can expect to gain proficiency in drop ins within a few weeks or months.

3. Are there age restrictions for learning BMX drop ins?

BMX is a sport for all ages. However, it’s essential to consider your physical fitness and abilities before attempting drop ins. If you have any concerns, consult with a professional or experienced rider.

4. Can I practice drop ins on any type of BMX bike?

While drop ins can be practiced on various types of BMX bikes, it’s recommended to use a bike specifically designed for freestyle riding. These bikes offer better maneuverability and durability for executing tricks.

5. How can I overcome fear and build confidence in drop ins?

Overcoming fear is a gradual process. Start with smaller ramps, visualize success, seek guidance from experienced riders, and celebrate every small achievement. With time and practice, your confidence will grow.

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Duncan Peters

Remember, at, Duncan is not just an author; he's your cycling companion. Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or just starting your biking journey, Duncan is here to support and guide you every step of the way. So, hop on your bike, join the community, and let Duncan be your trusted source of inspiration, knowledge, and camaraderie.

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