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1707 Views 27 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  AchrisK
So... I've been riding for about 3-4 months now, my bike has 200 miles on it... and I still can't bunnyhop worth a damn. I've watched videos of all kinds. I can do a 'very' small hop just so that I can feel the tire lifting and hitting, but that's it... prob can't even jump a shoe.

Is there something when you were starting, you did, and all of a sudden you were like... "eureka!!!" ?
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Practice , timing and more practice .
Did someone mention practice?

Don't worry about high hops so much as some good technique for clearing trail obstacles. I can't hop but about 8" and once my legs are burned, not that much. Take a look at these vids for just such techniques. The hops will come with more time and .... are you ready for this....? Practice. :thumbsup:

Log jumping technique

Clearing obstacles technique
it honestly isn't all that difficult.
use a fully ridgid bike, pull up on your handle bars, put pressure on the pedals and push foward.
once you land it, you can do it without trying.

also, don't care about how high you can go with it at the start.
and mostly concentrate on how to put the pressure on your pedals. attempt doing VERY small endos, once you can do them, just add it to the list.

i think my biggest problem with doing a bunny hop is once i get the front wheel up my gut prevents the rest of the maneuver from happening. back to the drawing board.
I started riding about a year and a half ago, and started trying to learn to bunnyhop without really having a complete grasp of what I should or shouldn't be doing. As a result I learned the "wrong" way to bunnyhop - both wheels leaving the ground at once as you pounce straight up. I've used this over the last year to help me get over obstacles when I'm traveling at speed and it does seem to be a valid skill. Note that I'm in my mid 40's and have never been the most graceful person in the world.

I've also been working on popping up the front & rear wheels as needed to help clear tough tech stuff. Now that I've spent a lot of time on the bike and am more comfortable I find that I can actually do the bunnyhop the right way - front wheel then back wheel. I think it came down to learning to just pounce, then applying the front/rear balance that I learned while popping up wheels over obstacles.

Oh yeah, and practice.

Steve Z
Learn to get your rear wheel up by itself and do that once you have lifted the front wheel. Wala! A bunnyhop.
What do you mean "put pressure on the pedals"?

It's kinda frustrating me cause I don't want to start using clipless pedals, although I have em, until I learned this... so I don't learn it the wrong way using the clipless.
hops come in time w/ practice......also, if your muscles aren't trained on that movement then it'll be some time before they're conditioned......

hops are a three step movement....
1. lean back a little (to unweight the front wheels a little) then pull up on the bars to get the front end up......leaning back is necessary because you'd be working against your own weight to pull up the front end otherwise.
2. push your bars forward and/or down to start to "pick up" your rear end. what you are doing is shifting your weight forward and unweighting the rear...imagine that you are pivoting the bike on a fulcrum that is positioned at the, pushing down the front will necesarily pick up the rear end....
3. pick up the rear end with your legs.....bring them up into your torso, the bike will follow. hints: if you point your toes down (like at a 45 degree angle) to the ground, then you increase the grip on the pedals...the pins stick into to the sole of your shoe better, and you can pull up the bike more efficiently....rather than simply pulling the shoe off the pedal as if your foot were in the horizontal position....

all this should be a fluid the early stages its difficult to get the timing, and thats the key to hops. also, the strength will come in time (especially long is the forearm conditioning), so practice, practice,'ll come. GL!
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OSOK said:
What do you mean "put pressure on the pedals"?

It's kinda frustrating me cause I don't want to start using clipless pedals, although I have em, until I learned this... so I don't learn it the wrong way using the clipless.
With your toes pointed down, you push forward on the bars and backward into the pedals with your feet. The opposing forces lock your feet onto the pedals and allow you to pick the back end up with your legs.
I've heard the "push forward on your handlebar" thing many times, but isn't that just the same as pushing down on it? That's what I always seem to end up doing!
I have been riding so long I don't remember if I ever learned to properly do them - I am thinking i didn't.

My solution was clipless pedals - when your feet are mechanically attached to the bike all you have to do is jump and the bike goes up with you.

However clipless pedals are not the greatest idea for a beginner - I made that change way to early (before I really knew how to ride well) and thus ended up with lots of crashes....
You've already heard or read the steps to bunny hop several times, but when you're actually doing it, it needs to be one smooth movement. If you're trying to do discreet steps while bunny hoping, you'll get nowhere. One smooth, fluid, motion.
I can't hop high but one thing that seems to help is: using trail opportunities to get some air under the tires.

Pick some bump on the trail, "weigh" the bike (push down) just when you are hitting the bump and then LET the bike come up. Or, find some depressions or dips that you can hop over. Just try all sorts of things to "weigh" and "unweigh" the bike. Sooner or later you'll get the hang of lifting the bike even without the bumps.
perttime said:
Pick some bump on the trail, "weigh" the bike (push down) just when you are hitting the bump and then LET the bike come "weigh" and "unweigh" the bike.
I may be reading it wrong, but it seems the technique you're describing isn't really bunny hoping. With what you described you're counting on the the bike's rebound to kick it into the air with both wheels coming off the ground at the same time. With a bunny hop, the front wheel comes off the ground first, with the bike then "pivoting, to bring the rear wheel up as well.
You are quite right: I am not describing a bunny hop. I am just describing things that get you used to leaving the ground in general.

Oh, you can also use the rebound to help you do a bunny hop. You just need to time and direct the weighing or preloading so that the front comes up first. On a rigid bike, you'd just use the rebound from the tires. When I bounce off a bump or go off a mini drop, the front usually leaves the ground first.

As said before, you need to do a fluid, somewhat complex, movement to get a bunny hop. My theory here is that doing small jumps from some bumps on the trail helps you get a FEEL for what needs to happen to get you in the air ... and how to get down, too, in a controlled way.
Well, I got that "eureka!" moment I mentioned earlier... when I tried helping lift the rear tire using the pedals by pointing my feet down and adding pressure. Before I wasn't using my feet at all, just the push back on the bars to lift the wheel, and was getting me VERY little air. Now, though still small, I'm getting the one fluid movement down.

Thanks all!!!
My biggest problem has been to keep my toes pointed down. There's snow and ice on the ground now so I won't get another chance at trying until it melts. But congrats on having your eureka moment!
yeah, the best way to practice for me is to just ride and point your toes down and push back with equal force. its est at a 12/6 o clock position when you learn. just do that when you ride. once you get down that motion its much much much eaiser.

the pushing foward on the bars is for balancing out the bike. once you pull up the bars you need to focus on your rear wheel only. its only to just balance it out so you don't land rear wheel first.

i still cannot do a track stand for more than 6 seconds. but i can bunnyhop on a ridgid bike 4ft and my new full squish only a foot.
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