How to wheelie a Mountain Bike

Techniques are things we learn to become better
mountain bikers, and tricks are things we learn just for fun. The wheelie fits somewhere
in the middle, so it’s no wonder that everyone wants to learn to do them. Let’s fire up the sensei music and do some
learning. Getting into a wheelie is a matter of accelerating
quickly. Naturally, you’ll have a tendency to lean forwards while accelerating, but to
wheelie you need to lock your arms and sit up straight. Get into a low gear, go slow, and then try
pedaling in quick bursts. You’ll probably do a little wheelie, but you don’t want
to do little wheelies, you want to wheelie through the trails like a G. To do that, you
need to reach a balance point over your rear wheel, which may be further back than you
feel comfortable with. So, take note of the fact that hitting your rear brake will instantly
bring your wheelie to an end. Try experimenting with this to boost your confidence and lose
your fear of falling backwards. It also may be a good idea to leave one foot unclipped,
or better yet, learn on platform pedals. So your first task is to reach your balance
point, which is really just a matter of practice and repetition. Your second task is to keep
from falling over sideways. Just like riding your bike normally, you need to steer to stay
up. During a wheelie, steering is done with your handlebars and your knees. Try to get
a feel for this very early on, as it’s an essential part of doing a really long wheelie. So let’s summarize. Start in a low gear
that you can spin fast in. Your arms should be locked, and you should be sitting up straight.
Accelerate forcefully and your front wheel will come up. Keep accelerating until you
reach a balance point, and then sustain your spin. If you feel yourself falling backwards,
tap your rear brake. If you feel yourself going forwards, accelerate. To lean or turn,
use your handlebars and your knees. A lot of riders have trouble getting their
front wheel up, and some even say their bike is too heavy, but this is almost never the
case. Usually, they’re just giving up too early. There are situations however, where
your bike is the problem. For instance, single speed bikes may not be easy to wheelie at
low speeds, since they’re locked into a higher gear. Even so, you can wheelie on any
bike with enough practice. Once you do learn to wheelie, you’ll be
totally hooked. Whether it’s to add style to your riding, blast over roots, or to get
your front wheel up before a drop, you’ll be glad you took the time to learn. Thanks
for riding with me today, and I’ll see you next time.


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