How to Wheelie on a Mountain Bike
Wheelies can be fun to attempt, and of course they are a sure way to impress your friends. You can do two basic types of wheelie. The pedal wheelie is usually done as a trick, and should be learned first. The manual wheelie or "coaster" wheelie is generally considered more difficult. It can be useful on the trail for whenever you’ll need to lift your front wheel over obstacles in your path, such as rocks or tree roots. Whether you choose to attempt one wheelie or both, they'll help you to improve your reflexes on the trail and in the city, plus your overall balance on the bike.
Attempting the Pedal Wheelie
Wear a helmet.You should wear a helmet just when doing general riding. So it is especially important to wear one when attempting a trick like a wheelie, where you're more in danger of falling than usual. And you'll get the respect of your friends and fellow riders for showing that you're not reckless, and are taking bike riding seriously.
Choose the terrain that best fits your ability.You might want to begin practicing on a level grass field in case of a fall. Test the flatness of the field by riding through it once before beginning. Otherwise, if you're confident enough, find a slightly uphill dirt or concrete path.
Adjust the seat to a low position.You'll be sitting down for the whole trick, and the lower you sit the better-positioned your center of gravity will be. But make sure you're able to sit firmly on the saddle without slipping off the back. Test this by lifting the front wheel at a standstill and leaning back on the seat.
Start off in a low-to-medium gear, at a little faster than a walking pace.If you start in too high or too low a gear, it will be difficult to pedal with enough force to lift the front wheel. Adjust the gears higher or lower as you find the right speed for your ability and the terrain.
Set the cranks at the 11 o'clock and 5 o'clock position.This allows you to put as much drive as possible into your initial pedaling. You'll want to initiate the first thrust from 11 o'clock with your strongest leg, which should be the leg you usually begin pedaling with from a standstill.
Shift your weight forward.Bend your arms and move your upper body over the front of the bike in a crouch position, but stay sitting.This will help you to "load the spring"--you're positioning your body toward the front at first in order to create more force for the sharp backward movement that will follow.
Lean back quickly over the rear wheel.This should be done with a sharp movement, giving a strong pedal stroke at the same time. Let your arms straighten without pulling the handlebars back (the front wheel should pop up without your needing to pull back).
- Continue pedaling at a consistent rate. If you stop pedaling, the front wheel tends to fall back down.
- Keep your fingers on the rear brake--this is your safety in case you feel yourself losing balance and tilting too far backward.
Control sideways and vertical balance at the same time.Feather the rear brake (to lower the front wheel) or pedal (to lift the front wheel) to adjust the vertical balance. To help balance sideways, flare your knees or arms out, or turn the handlebars in the direction opposite to the side the bike is leaning to.
Straighten the front wheel before bringing it down.Lean slightly forward and let the front wheel land softly back down. Be careful not to lean too far forward, just try to shift your weight back to center.
Learning the Manual Wheelie
Wear a Helmet.You'll be going faster while doing the manual wheelie than when doing the pedal wheelie, making a potential fall more dangerous. You'll feel more at ease wearing a helmet by knowing that if you make a mistake and fall, you'll be well protected.
Start on a slight downhill slope at medium speed.It will be easier to coast with this wheelie on a decline once you've figured out your balance. Since you won't be pedaling, the downhill slope will help keep the bike moving at a steady speed.
Position your feet and hold the pedals in place.Set the cranks level with each other at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position, and stand up on the pedals with your knees slightly bent. Your weight should be just back of center. The cranks will rotate slightly as you move backwards, but otherwise you won't need to pedal.
Lean forward over the handlebars, then lean back quickly.The front wheel should be lifted mostly by the shift of your weight backwards, and only slightly by lifting the handlebars. Lock your arms straight, keeping your feet level with each other on the pedals. Your rear end should be behind the seat at this point, and your body should have a “U” shape, with the arms and legs straightened.
Center your weight over the rear wheel.To be able to coast with the front wheel off the ground, you’ll need to find a point of balance over the rear wheel and hold it there. As your arms straighten and you lean back, push forward on the pedals with your feet (but don’t pedal) to adjust your balance.
Keep the front wheel 1 to 1 ½ feet off the ground.Steady your balance and coast for as long as you need to. If you feel yourself falling too far backward, feather the rear brakes to bring the wheel down.If the front wheel begins to fall forward, rock your hips in a backward motion while pushing outward on the pedals.
- Most obstacles on the trail won’t be much higher than a few inches (tree branches, rocks). But in order for you to be able to coast with the front wheel off the ground, you need to fix your center of balance over the rear wheel, and this should bring up the front wheel at least one foot.
Bring the front wheel down steadily.Either feather the rear brakes or shift your center of gravity forward to bring the wheel softly down. If you're avoiding obstacles on the trail, make sure the path is clear before finishing the wheelie--bringing the wheel down directly onto a rock or branch could cause a fall.
QuestionWhat if I'm overweight?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCheck your bike's weight limit, but otherwise, just keep riding, it's a great way to lose weight. You may not be able to do a wheelie right away, but if you keep riding and practicing, you'll get there.Thanks!
QuestionI can't lift up the front wheel, any tips?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you have a full suspension, try locking it out, then lock your knees a little, push down on the fork to make it rebound, and lean back to make it spring back. Make sure your hand is on the rear brake so you don't go backwards.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I do it on a much heavier mountain bike?Matt GanderCommunity AnswerLow gear, lean back, start slow, pedal really hard.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if the bike is too heavy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt will be harder, but keep trying, you'll get it eventually.Thanks!
QuestionCan I do the manual wheelie while pedaling?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. Not pedaling is what differentiates a manual from a wheelie. All you should do with the pedals in a manual is a little pedal kick to keep the front wheel up.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my bike has no suspension?Mark CortezCommunity AnswerWell, it all depends on how you manage your weight. In my opinion, I actually think bikes without suspension (or bikes with only front suspensions) are easier to use for wheelies.Thanks!
QuestionWhat are the best number gears to do this in?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt depends on where and how you are trying to do it. Each situation will require a different gear to complete a wheelie safely.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if it's not a mountain bike?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should be careful if it is not a mountain bike, as it may not be able to support a wheelie.Thanks!
- Wear a helmet and as much protective gear as possible (long pants and sleeves at least, gloves).
- It will be more difficult to learn to wheelie on a full suspension bike. The backward weight shifts involved in doing a wheelie are less easily controlled on bikes with rear suspension. So it is recommended that your try this on a bike that only has front shocks.
- If you are finding it hard to get the front wheel up for the pedal wheelie, try "preloading" your front shocks--it'll help pop you up. To preload your suspension, simply lean forward, applying a lot of weight and pushing down on the shocks. When they start to spring up, lean back, pull, and pedal.
- Never use a bike with pedals where the shoe locks in (toe clips) or with toe straps. If you fall backwards, your feet can get stuck and you won’t be able to break your fall.
- If you’re practicing on a road or path, make sure it is clear of other bikers and pedestrians before beginning. Also try to practice away from light posts, trees, and parked cars
- Make sure the bike is fully in gear before pedaling.
- Never lean all the way back.
- Make sure your rear brake is working at 100% before attempting wheelies. Using it is the best way to bring down your front wheel, preventing you from falling back and off the bike.
Video: How To Wheelie A Mountain Bike | Essential MTB Skills
Snap subpoenaed by DOJ and SEC on IPO disclosures, shares sink
How to Play Full Contact Spoons
John Kerry is secretly working to save the Iran nuclear deal
How to Get Rid of Spectacle Marks on Your Nose
Heres What Sex Toys Have Looked Like Throughout History
15 Hairstyles Perfect for Embracing Your ThickHair
40 Skull Tree Tattoo Designs For Men – Cool Ink Ideas
Victoria Beckham SpringSummer 2013 RTW – New York Fashion Week
Anthony Vaccarello Debuts Saint Laurent Campaign Photos
How to Play the G Major Scale on Piano
How to Level a Camper
How to Make Breakfast Strata