You have always wanted to know how to wheelie a mountain bike. You secretly admire people who do it and think to yourself “how could I possibly do that?” You assume it is too hard and even if you committed to learning it would probably take you ages.
Well, it is not as hard as you think. Riding wheelies involves several intricate moves all done at the same time therefore it may seem like a difficult trick. However, like any other skill, remember the more you practice the better you will become at it.
Doing a wheelie enables you to get over obstacles easily as you ride. It will also help you practice balance and control.
Let’s get on to helping you learn how to wheelie a motorbike. But first, a few precautions:
- Wear a helmet and any other protective gear you find appropriate. Some people wear gloves, long pants and long sleeved tops.
- Do not use a bike with pedals that have a shoe lock or with toe straps. In case you fall the foot will remain strapped on the pedal and it could cause serious injuries.
- Do not lean all the way back.
- Survey the area you will be practicing on to ensure that there are no oncoming vehicles and bikes during your practice period.
- Ensure your rear brake is fully working before embarking on wheelies.
- Ensure your bike is fully geared before beginning to pedal.
- If your bike has back suspension, lock the rear suspension system. Do not wheelie on a bike with suspension, as it will not be sturdy.
- If you are a beginner, do not attempt your first wheelie under the rain. It is difficult to exert the level of control required to do a wheelie.
- Immediately the front wheel lifts do not exert force on the handlebar. Shift your weight back.
- Always remain seated while riding a wheelie.
Now that you are equipped with cautionary measures, here is your step-to-step guide.
1. Choose a Terrain That is Suitable
For a beginner, it is advisable to start on a level ground or a slight uphill and you can proceed to more dynamic grounds as you master the art of riding wheelie.
2. Adjust the Position of Your Seat To a Low Position
Note that you will be seated throughout the time when you will be doing the wheelie. Lowering the seat lowers your center of gravity giving you stability and balance. Seat firmly on the saddle without slipping too much in the front or the back.
3. Start to Ride
Ride at a low to medium gear at a pace that is a little faster than a walking pace. Too high or too low gear will make pedalling difficult. You will need to pedal to gain the momentum to be able to lift the front wheel and keep the rear wheel moving.
4. Crank at 11 O’clock and 5 O’clock Position
You want to initiate the first lift thrust with your strongest leg. For most people, the strongest leg is the leg that they start pedaling with. This enables you to build as much momentum as possible for your first thrust.
5. Shift Your Weight Forward
Remain seated on the saddle and as you continue pedaling, shift your weight forward. Bend your elbows and round you back to come to a crouching position.
6. Lean back over the rear wheel
While remaining seated, lean back quickly on the rear wheel. The movement should be kind of jerky. While still pedaling strongly, Allow your arms to straighten and do not pull the handlebar back. Naturally, the front wheel should pop up without having to pull back the handlebar.
To maintain the front wheel up, keep pedaling consistently otherwise the front wheel will fall back to the ground. All along, as the front wheel is thrust, keep your fingers on the rare brake. The rare brake will allow you to stop in case you lose balance or tilt too far backwards.
You may tend to feel an imbalance sideways. To gain balance either flare your arms or knees out or turn the handlebars to the opposite direction from which the bike is leaning. Maintain vertical sturdiness by compressing the rear brake to allow you to lower the front wheel or pedaling to maintain the lift.
In actual sense, the art of riding a wheelie lies in finding an intricate balance between sideways and vertical sturdiness.
7. Come Down
To come down from the lift, lean forward slightly and allow the front wheel to land softly back down. Take care not to shift all your weight forward at once. Keep pedaling at a medium pace and begin to slow down until you come to a standstill.
Now that you have learnt how to wheelie a mountain bike, go forth and master the art. Remember to stay safe as you have fun. You will soon learn that performing a wheelie is not as hard as you previously thought.