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Bunnyhops and Wheelies

Komodo

Chimp
Jul 9, 2010
13
0
Hey...it seems like no matter how much i practice, I still can not bunnyhop or balance my wheelie......Is there something that i'm doing wrong???

Whats your guys' techniques...

How did you guys learn to bunnyhop so high?

Thanks
 
Aug 4, 2008
328
4
Needs moar practice. Seriously - if you've got feeling that you're practising a lot and that your results are not good enough, the simple truth is that you didn't practice nearly enough.

I was riding for about 5 years when I realised how much I suck at fundamentals. So I started learning wheelies, manuals and bunnyhops.

In a year of daily practice I was able to: wheelie and coast pretty good and bunnyhop 50 cm and manual a bit (couple tens of meters).

I haven't pracited for couple of years and now I suck aggain.

As far as technique goes - try exaggerating your moves, get out of your comfort zone. Lifting your front wheel 10 cm is not wheelie.

For wheelies, lean far back, stretch your arms and keep front/back balance using pedals and brakes - for left right balance only tilt your body left/right.

Coaster is wheelie without pedalling - you need a downslope. Everything is same as with wheelie - except front/back balance which is now attained only through braking (lean back!) - thus improving your balance.

Manual - aggain, lean back and stand up from seat. Front/back balance is attained through hip and knee movement.

Bunnyhop - first part is basically manual after which you just push your bars away from you and contract your knees.

There is also a certain progression: Wheelie -> coasting -> manual -> bunnyhop. Really if you want to do any kind of meaningful bunnyhop you need to get your basic manual move dialled.
 
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dump

Turbo Monkey
Oct 12, 2001
6,784
1,933
Good advice StabprimoMonkee.

Learning these on a dh or full suspension bike is going to make it very difficult. These things are best learned on a rigid bike or hardtail.
 

homepiece

Monkey
May 22, 2006
234
0
OHIO
all of these are a combination of balance and timing. Be sure you have proper technique and pedal position. After that it just takes time and practice.
 

SBDHrida

Monkey
Aug 19, 2005
238
0
aMERica
There is also a certain progression: Wheelie -> coasting -> manual -> bunnyhop. Really if you want to do any kind of meaningful bunnyhop you need to get your basic manual move dialled.
I don't think you necessarily need to learn the other 3 before being able to bunnyhop. I agree, you need to be able to properly pull up the front end of your bike (i.e. with straight arms and body position rather than trying to yank it up with your upper body), but I don't think you need to have developed the balance to keep it there.

My only reasoning is that I'm sh!t and manuals and wheelies, but can bunnyhop pretty well.
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,832
0
South Seattle
I don't think you necessarily need to learn the other 3 before being able to bunnyhop. I agree, you need to be able to properly pull up the front end of your bike (i.e. with straight arms and body position rather than trying to yank it up with your upper body), but I don't think you need to have developed the balance to keep it there.

My only reasoning is that I'm sh!t and manuals and wheelies, but can bunnyhop pretty well.
I think my wheelie record is about 15 ft. My manual skills are worse. But I bet I can get my hardtail 24" in the air with flat pedals though. The 2 skills have little correlation.

When we were kids, we had a bunny hop bar that we would drag out onto the sidewalk every day during the summer. Granted, we used to crank down the straps on our toe-clips to clear it, but it was still practice.
 
Aug 4, 2008
328
4
My point was only that initial move for bunnyhop is actually the same as initial move for manual. For any kind of meaningful bunnyhop - beyond 30 cm - You WILL need rear wheel balance. The better you get at manualling the better your bunnyhops will become. If I put it another way - the longer/better you can balance on initial move - the higher you can jump.

Also if you two guys are so good at hopping tell me how high/far you can hop while moving fast? Like 20+ MPH fast?

I thought so.
 

Arkayne

I come bearing GIFs
May 10, 2005
3,742
13
SoCal
Practice on a bmx bike to learn the motions and balance points. It'll transfer over the MTB easily.
 

bullcrew

3 Dude Approved
Who knows I can ramp the DH rig up and loft it decent and manuals soso wheelies I can roll around and working on doing circles etc in the parking garages down the ramps...

From day to day depending on mood and if Im tired or not dictates how they work out. :D

There was a good beginner tip on PB about wheelies and how to...

http://www.pinkbike.com/news/how-to-wheelie-ZEP-Camps-2010.html
 

buildyourown

Turbo Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
4,832
0
South Seattle
There is a wheelie gene. I've seen people who could barely ride a bike, ride an endless wheelie. Some people just have it, some people don't.
And yes, I can balance on my rear wheel, trials style. I know were the balance point is.
 

OGRipper

back alley ripper
Feb 3, 2004
10,248
689
NORCAL is the hizzle
There is a wheelie gene.
I've never believed that whole thing about a gene. I've got friends who couldn't do wheelies, asked me for tips, started practicing, and now they can rock them all day. It might come easier for some but I think anyone with decent skills and a little motivation can learn to do it.

Keep your arms straight, get your weight behind your rear wheel, lean back farther than you probably think you need to, and be ready to grab your rear brake when you start to go over. Helps to be on a gentle incline when you first learn.

I suppose there might be a gene for decent bike skills in general. There are definitely some people who are not wired for any kind of technical/skill riding. But assuming a basic level of aptitude I think anyone can learn to wheelie.

I don't think you need to be able to wheelie or manual to bunnyhop. It it is true that you need to get a feel for first pulling up the front end and then following with the back wheel, but it happens pretty quick, almost in one motion.
 

MinorThreat

Turbo Monkey
Nov 15, 2005
1,630
41
Nine Mile Falls, WA
It helps to have grown up in the '60s on Stingray bikes. Every kid in my neighborhood learned to wheelie. The bigger question was who of us could carry one for more than a (suburban) block.
 

bullcrew

3 Dude Approved
I've never believed that whole thing about a gene..
Equilibriam.... Some people have it more than others and its also controlled by the ears and sinus as well.. Some people can flip and have little to no disorientation and others fall over some get motion sickness while others dont... Balance is the main thing with this and wheelies are about balance and the bodies shifting as well as the reflexes to correct itself...

So if there is a wheelie gene I suppose its something to do with that...

Practice definently and almost anythings possible but there are those who pop right up and have no issues...
 

primo661

Monkey
Jun 16, 2008
412
0
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
If you can't wheelie more than 20m or so, I wouldn't stress. I know a guy who can manual from his place almost all the way to my house, about 1km down the road having hardly ever practiced but he cant jump very well. My younger brother is a natural on two wheels. As soon as he was strong enough to lift his front wheel, he could wheelie almost as far as he wanted. He quit downhill for a year and was better than where he left off when he came back. I personally, along with many others, wish we had that innate ability. I'm not saying you can't get it with practice but being good at manualing and wheeling has alot to do with natural inclination. I think they call it talent;)