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Hello,

I thought I read that bunny hopping is harder on a 29er, is this true? I've never been able to bunny hop and I decided that this year I will learn it or get frustrated trying. Would it be better to start with the 26er?

Thanks.
 

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chris the monikerless said:
I thought I read that bunny hopping is harder on a 29er, is this true? I've never been able to bunny hop and I decided that this year I will learn it or get frustrated trying. Would it be better to start with the 26er?
In the times this topic was brought up in the past, the general concensus was the height of the bottom bracket is more influential in being able to hop easier than size of the wheels or even the weight of the bike.

If you want my opinion, which I know you didn't ask for, learning and practicing how to manual is the proper way to lead into being great at hopping.
 

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No...

...it is not. Unless you're coming off a DJ bike or BMX bike with a crazy low saddle height.

A 29er similar that is similar in most respects to your 26er set up (saddle height, weight, suspension (or lack thereof) should be equally hoppable.

As much as I'd like to be able to manual I don't think hardly anyone would be bunny or j-hopping if they had to master the manual first...

Sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Soupboy said:
...it is not. Unless you're coming off a DJ bike or BMX bike with a crazy low saddle height.

A 29er similar that is similar in most respects to your 26er set up (saddle height, weight, suspension (or lack thereof) should be equally hoppable.

As much as I'd like to be able to manual I don't think hardly anyone would be bunny or j-hopping if they had to master the manual first...

Sean
What is "the manual" and "j-hopping"?

Thanks.
 

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Yes it's harder

No doubt, it's harder but it's harder to wheelie too. I am absolutely conviced that it's because your bb is lower compared to the rear axle. Well, that and the longer chainstays. But it's not impossible to learn-you can do it with practice.

A manual is a "coasting wheelie" but don't every EVER call it that because people will make fun of you. Just watch, it'll happen to me now. But for a bud, hey, I'll tell all.

And a J-hop is short of a wheelie then bunnyhop kinda thing-lifting the front then the rear wheels. This is in contrast to lifting both wheels at once. J-hops are harder on a 29" wheeled bike because it requires that pesky wheelie.

Good luck man :)
 

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The Duuude, man...
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I can wheelie like a mofo, miles and smiles.

My bunny hopping is average.

I can't manual AT ALL...

I can't J-Job at all either.

I don't think learning to Manual is the way to learn to bunny hop...if you had skills like that, you'd be teaching us.

Bunny hopping is easy, here's the steps:
1) get clippless pedals/shoes
2) install on bike and feet
3) clip in
4) raise arms and legs violently, the bike will follow
 

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Wheelies are a god given skill I'm just sure

Despite years and years of riding (like 30) starting with the old sting ray, I can't wheelie very well. My record has improved to 15' 7" as of last summer. Yeah, I've practiced! What is up with those guys that can ride'em for blocks and blocks? Maybe it's a DNA thing or something.

One question I've got for you wheelie guys-how fast are you going when you ride'em for a long ways? One theory is that I'm not going fast enough....my front to back is OK but I seem to tip over sideways....

J-hops now that I can do....I think it feels less like "manual then hop" and more like "hop off of the back wheel" with a little rock back then up.
 

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Fastskiguy said:
Despite years and years of riding (like 30) starting with the old sting ray, I can't wheelie very well. My record has improved to 15' 7" as of last summer. Yeah, I've practiced! What is up with those guys that can ride'em for blocks and blocks? Maybe it's a DNA thing or something.

One question I've got for you wheelie guys-how fast are you going when you ride'em for a long ways? One theory is that I'm not going fast enough....my front to back is OK but I seem to tip over sideways....

J-hops now that I can do....I think it feels less like "manual then hop" and more like "hop off of the back wheel" with a little rock back then up.
I had a childhood friend who was a big, fat, slob. No one would say he was athletic, but he could wheelie his 10-speed (they really were 10-speeds back then) all the way up his street, stop at the stop sign, look left-right-left, make the left turn, ride another 1/4 mile, make a right turn, head up my street, onto my driveway, onto my porch, then ring the doorbell, all without grimacing even once. Yes, wheelies are genetic.
 

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Fastskiguy said:
One question I've got for you wheelie guys-how fast are you going when you ride'em for a long ways? One theory is that I'm not going fast enough....my front to back is OK but I seem to tip over sideways....
Fast isn't good.

Best gear is close to middle ring front, and #1 rear (32 or 34t). Going fairly slow - use the slow RPM torque to control it, not spinning fast, and not rolling fast...try not to accelerate during the wheelie, but go a constant speed...this is why you should practice on gentle inclines - helps you not accelerate but maintain constant speed/torque...wheeling down hill is very hard - and 1 step away from manualing...which I still can't do..

Be sure to keep your weight on the saddle..don't stand up....lean back a little, don't try to hunch forward and bring the bike up by pulling the handlebars into your face. Best "riding" position is to have your arms nearly straight...for me anyway...
 

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Recovering Weight Weenie
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IME, bunny hopping "feels" harder on a 9er.
It's really all the same physics-wise...but I feel like I'm not getting as high.
That said...I can hop over most anything I did before... and woudn't ever want a 26"er just to be able to bunny-hop knee-high obstacles and "feel" light-and-springy.
For example, I could bunny hop a rail-road tie without thinking about it on either bike.
2 rail-road ties would "feel" harder on the 9er but I think it could be done....
 

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don't give up

Fastskiguy said:
Despite years and years of riding (like 30) starting with the old sting ray, I can't wheelie very well. My record has improved to 15' 7" as of last summer. Yeah, I've practiced! What is up with those guys that can ride'em for blocks and blocks? Maybe it's a DNA thing or something.

One question I've got for you wheelie guys-how fast are you going when you ride'em for a long ways? One theory is that I'm not going fast enough....my front to back is OK but I seem to tip over sideways....

J-hops now that I can do....I think it feels less like "manual then hop" and more like "hop off of the back wheel" with a little rock back then up.
Just this year at age 42 I've learned how to wheelie my karate monkey for blocks. The trick as you seem to know is steering the wheelie so you don't fall to one side. That steering thing is strange and I'm not sure I intellectually understand what I'm doing. It has something to do with moving the bike side to side under your butt while seated. So when you feel yourself tipping in one direction you move the bike to the side sort of over to one @ss cheek. Do this with your arms pretty straight. Don't try and steer by turning the wheel. That gets you nowhere unless you have a very heavy gryoscopic wheel.

I think what is happening when you move the bike over to one side is that your weight is then hanging off one side and the rear tire is pointed a little in the opposite direction that your weight is hanging off of. This is kind of like turning a little to the left to initiate the lean to turn to the right. You'll recognize it when it happens but I'm still a little confused about just how it works.

Also a little bit of speed helps out because it takes less movement to correct for imbalances because you are going faster and the bike rights itself sooner in response to your adjustments. I think the biggest eureka moment will come when you feel yourself correcting for the dreaded tip by moving the bike around under your @ss by pushing the bars to one side or the other. Sorry if this is totally obtuse. Its probably why some people never figure it out. It's hard to describe!

Oh, almost forgot to mention it: try to learn it on a windless day. Wind reeks havoc w/ wheelies. All it take is a tiny gust to send you tipping. Once you figure out the mechanics you can correct for the wind but first things first.

I've graduated to going around corners on the bike path but the best I can do is two mild corners before I start swerving around and scaring everyone on the path. Exercise a very light rear brake when you get too far back to bring the front end forward. This, by the way, is the trick to the coasting wheelie - going down a hill you keep the bike a little tipped too far back and use the brake to keep from going totally onto your back. I haven't learned this one outright yet but I end up doing it some when wheelying downhill.

Good luck. It's really not that mysterious at all once you sense it happening. It also helps to ride w/ your legs a little splayed out to the sides like you are on a horse. This gives you the room to move the bike around under your butt.
 

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I'm gonna nominate pseudo as the wheelie pope

I hope I don't get in trouble from Padre but those seemed like divine words from the almighty god of the wheelie channeled thru Pseudo Intellectual. Words to help us poor masses wheelie better. We stive for the perfect wheelie but deep down we know that we must set the front wheel down sometime, we know that the perfect wheelie is unattainable. Maybe Nat's buddy was the wheelie messiah?

See, this only makes sense if you can't wheelie. Otherwise you are just wondering what I've got in my coffee this morning :)

Thanks for the tips and sorry to hijack your thread Chris

pseudo intellectual said:
Just this year at age 42 I've learned how to wheelie my karate monkey for blocks. The trick as you seem to know is steering the wheelie so you don't fall to one side. That steering thing is strange and I'm not sure I intellectually understand what I'm doing. It has something to do with moving the bike side to side under your butt while seated. So when you feel yourself tipping in one direction you move the bike to the side sort of over to one @ss cheek. Do this with your arms pretty straight. Don't try and steer by turning the wheel. That gets you nowhere unless you have a very heavy gryoscopic wheel.

I think what is happening when you move the bike over to one side is that your weight is then hanging off one side and the rear tire is pointed a little in the opposite direction that your weight is hanging off of. This is kind of like turning a little to the left to initiate the lean to turn to the right. You'll recognize it when it happens but I'm still a little confused about just how it works.

Also a little bit of speed helps out because it takes less movement to correct for imbalances because you are going faster and the bike rights itself sooner in response to your adjustments. I think the biggest eureka moment will come when you feel yourself correcting for the dreaded tip by moving the bike around under your @ss by pushing the bars to one side or the other. Sorry if this is totally obtuse. Its probably why some people never figure it out. It's hard to describe!

Oh, almost forgot to mention it: try to learn it on a windless day. Wind reeks havoc w/ wheelies. All it take is a tiny gust to send you tipping. Once you figure out the mechanics you can correct for the wind but first things first.

I've graduated to going around corners on the bike path but the best I can do is two mild corners before I start swerving around and scaring everyone on the path. Exercise a very light rear brake when you get too far back to bring the front end forward. This, by the way, is the trick to the coasting wheelie - going down a hill you keep the bike a little tipped too far back and use the brake to keep from going totally onto your back. I haven't learned this one outright yet but I end up doing it some when wheelying downhill.

Good luck. It's really not that mysterious at all once you sense it happening. It also helps to ride w/ your legs a little splayed out to the sides like you are on a horse. This gives you the room to move the bike around under your butt.
 

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As for bunny hopping I use flats. Allways have.It is a loading and transfering weight move. Pull up on the bars and then flick them foreward with you wrists,at the same time you allow the feet to bring the rear of the bike up. I can bunny hop up about a 24-30 ledge and with speed can bunny hop up 4 stairs. Not very impressive but that is my tech. As far wheeling it is a balance point that you must reach. If you do not get to the balance point you will have to pedal hard to stay up and start going too fast. Too far backwards and you will loop out or stop by using the brakes too much. You also must be able to use the brakes in very small amouts, modulation is important here. Coaster wheelies are the same as a wheelies just no pedaling.Manuals are about the same as a coaster wheelie but you are standing. I can wheelie as far as I want and can manual about 40 feet.Again not very impressive. I know the tech. but do not have hours to practice. :D As for wether they would be harder on a 29er. I do not know. The longer the chainstay is the harder it is to get to the back wheel but the more stable it is when you get there.
 

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Hardline said:
As for bunny hopping I use flats. Allways have.It is a loading and transfering weight move. Pull up on the bars and then flick them foreward with you wrists,at the same time you allow the feet to bring the rear of the bike up. I can bunny hop up about a 24-30 ledge and with speed can bunny hop up 4 stairs. Not very impressive but that is my tech. As far wheeling it is a balance point that you must reach. If you do not get to the balance point you will have to pedal hard to stay up and start going too fast. Too far backwards and you will loop out or stop by using the brakes too much. You also must be able to use the brakes in very small amouts, modulation is important here. Coaster wheelies are the same as a wheelies just no pedaling.Manuals are about the same as a coaster wheelie but you are standing. I can wheelie as far as I want and can manual about 40 feet.Again not very impressive. I know the tech. but do not have hours to practice. :D As for wether they would be harder on a 29er. I do not know. The longer the chainstay is the harder it is to get to the back wheel but the more stable it is when you get there.
I bet it helps to use flat pedals when learning to wheelie (or manual).

And why the hell is it called a "manual" anyway? What does it have to do with hands, other than you have a pair?
 

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The 05 Montare and 04 xCal that I testrode felt waay harder to ride wheelies with than my 26er. However, for some reason the 05 Paragon feels almost identical to the old 26er when it comes to wheelies...I must admit that I'm lucky if I can hold them for 30 feet though.
One thing that I've found to be significantly easier on a 29er is trackstands. I was just starting to get decent at them with the 26inch when I got the Paragon. It's not just the fact that I've gotten better at them either- they are much easier to hold on a 29er.
 

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ncj01 said:
I can wheelie like a mofo, miles and smiles.

My bunny hopping is average.

I can't manual AT ALL...

I can't J-Job at all either.

I don't think learning to Manual is the way to learn to bunny hop...if you had skills like that, you'd be teaching us.

Bunny hopping is easy, here's the steps:
1) get clippless pedals/shoes
2) install on bike and feet
3) clip in
4) raise arms and legs violently, the bike will follow
In the words typed above, admitted is an inability to manual, average bunny hopping, and the statement that an opinion is that learning to manual is not the way to learn to bunny hop. These concepts together seem to clash.

And note in my original post I stated learning to manual is the key to being great at hopping, not just average.

And if the outlined steps 1-4 above are the way the original topic poster wants to hop, then I take back my statement about bottom bracket height making any difference in being able to hop. If that's the technique, then I guess all that really matters is how high you can jump with a weight attached to your feet and hands.

And out of curiosity's sake, how does that help someone using flats?

BTW, I agree with longer chainstays making it harder to manual. I think bb height affects the ability more, according to the old conversations. I suppose I don't truly know myself.

Nat said:
And why the hell is it called a "manual" anyway? What does it have to do with hands, other than you have a pair?
I hadn't really thought about it before, but with your question it makes sense. A true manual is a wheelie without a pedal kick, so I guess it has everything to do with your hands (and body english of course).
 

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clipless pedals

Clipless pedals are definately not the answer to learning to hop. I've ridden with some people that rely on clipless to hop. They tend to slow down approaching obstacles quite a bit, then hop both wheels off of the ground simultaneously, keeping the wheels level with the ground. It is inefficient and silly to watch. I think you'd be better off going over one wheel at a time. Learn to hop with flats. Clipless will help keep your feet on the pedals on rough landings.

It is important to be able to pull small wheelies if you want to hop efficiently. As you approach an obstacle at speed, you want to be able to lift the front wheel then pull the back wheel off the ground.

Back in the BMX days, I could hop up a 3ft loading dock. Nothing outstanding, but it made me feel good. A lot of that translated over to the 26er. I've cleared knee high logs on the 26. I was a bit worried about being able to do the same on the 29. It took me a few laps around our local loop to get comfortable, but just last week I cleared a log that was actually built up for riding over. I just said f' it and went for and didn't touch the damn thing. it was nice. Probably 18" to 20".

Front shocks help out quite a bit on the landings, since they allow for a much more graceful nose down landing. The don't bother be much on the take offs, but riding rigid does make the take-offs a bit easier.
 

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Image etched...

...in my mind.

ncj01 said:
4) raise arms and legs violently, the bike will follow
I just pictue someone jerking the bike off the ground without actually increasing the height of their body relative to the ground. Kind of a DH ski racer tuck.

I'd love to manual but apparently I'm too retarded. This is not news unfortunately.

I can j-hop like a mofo though - 26er, 29er, flats, clipless. I can't really wheelie my SS well (my only MTB right now) but I agree that the guys who can wheelie well tend to use fewer RPMs vs. more.

Sean
 
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