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Barneys Unite!
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Any hints on keeping my front wheel up on drop-offs? Everything and everyone says to "lift the front wheel". How? I pull up and very little happens. It feels like I'm pulling against myself, and not around a fulcrum point which would make the front end come up. Even when I go off a standard curb, my front wheel hits first.

I ride a 2004 Fisher HKEK, and I suspect that the geometry doesn't help (although it climbs like a mountain goat).

Any hints or ideas? TIA.
 

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Shamisen Appreciator
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don't try to pull "up" on the bars...rock your weight back and pull back on the bars. Rock back and down a little like you want to get your pelvis behind the rear wheel. That will get your body going in the right direction.

BTW: The Fishers tend to have shorter than standard chainstays, making it much easier to float the front end.
 

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if you can wheelie for two seconds then you can do a drop off. basically if you are going off of a drop slowly (ie not flying off but rolling off), you should do the following.


-get in a gear that you can wheelie with. If you are running 3 rings (i only got one on my bike), use the middle in the front and the biggest or second biggest in the back.
-then get your strong foot so its ready to push down on the pedal (ie be ready to pop a wheelie)
-Creep up to the edge of the drop (if its a really big one I actually stop and trackstand).
-with your front wheel at the edge of the drop, kick hard down on the pedal (yet smoothly) with your strong foot and pop a wheelie.
- wheelie untill your front wheel is off the edge hanging in mid air and your rear wheel rolls of the edge of the drop.
-now your in the middle of the air and weight is towards the rear like mentioned above (but not so much that you flip onto your back... i've done it, it hurts and its easy to do).
-this part is important... land on your rear first then your front. this two stage landing helps your bike and your wrists.

Practice first doing wheelies and figure out which gear you like. Go off a few curbs and concentrate on wheeling off of them and only allowing your rear tire to hit first. then progress into larger drops. remember the large drops you don't have to lean back as much, and your wheelies should be nice and smooth. Not being smooth with the wheelies can lead to trouble when on anything but dry concrete (you can peel out on dirt and end up going off of the drop but not in the correct posture). when you get good at that you can impress your friends by side hopping off of drops and doing 180 endos off of them landing in the same manner. (side hops are actually easier and look pretty neat)
 

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Sloooow Drop-offs

If you are approaching the dropoff slowly (because you needed to slow down just before it, or there's something right after it that needs a slow-speed move) you may also have the option to set your front wheel gently on the ground below the drop and then let your back wheel follow.

As the front wheel goes over the edge, keep your weight well back so that the front is light. After the front wheel is down, shift your weight forward to lighten up the back. If the ground slopes away below the drop to help ease the wheels onto the lower surface, so much the better.
 

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dukeblaster said:
-snip-
-now your in the middle of the air and weight is towards the rear like mentioned above (but not so much that you flip onto your back... i've done it, it hurts and its easy to do).
-this part is important... land on your rear first then your front. this two stage landing helps your bike and your wrists.
-snip-
keeping your finger on the rear brake lever might save you from going over backwards...
 

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This usually works only on drops less that a couple of feet, but does work well for smaller drops. anything that is waist high or higher this method won't work and you'll end up breaking your face.

Rollin' On said:
If you are approaching the dropoff slowly (because you needed to slow down just before it, or there's something right after it that needs a slow-speed move) you may also have the option to set your front wheel gently on the ground below the drop and then let your back wheel follow.

As the front wheel goes over the edge, keep your weight well back so that the front is light. After the front wheel is down, shift your weight forward to lighten up the back. If the ground slopes away below the drop to help ease the wheels onto the lower surface, so much the better.
 

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Yup... not too high

Ha! - you're right about that, Duke! The first time I ever used this technique I didn't intend to... was crawling along, bushwacking, and didn't see a 4'-deep, sheer-sided ravine. The front wheel dropped straight to the bottom and the rear wheel swung overhead in a graceful arc. It was more like slapstick than like an endo because I finished up under the bike, flat on my back, still in riding position, with hands on grips, feet on pedals, butt on seat, surprised look on face. :eek:

And anybody doing the move should be sure to stay off the front brake until after that back tire comes down, too!
 

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robust, yet smooth
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but it's the drops >2'

dukeblaster said:
This usually works only on drops less that a couple of feet, but does work well for smaller drops. anything that is waist high or higher this method won't work and you'll end up breaking your face.
... that I need the help with. I can ride down the smaller ones. It's the pucker factor of getting up on the back wheel - even on the smaller ones (!), that's stopping me from being on the cover of MBAction.

-capt p
 

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How's your wheelie?

Capt Pearl, can you wheelie smoothly and confidently?

Reason I ask is, a while back Poke'[email protected] posted about having problems handling switchbacks. I got the feeling that the most important problem wasn't with his switchback technique. Rather, it was his basics - like trackstands - that needed some work first. It's hard to be confident when our skills are wobbly.

So, are you comfortable rising up onto your back wheel on level ground, and can you wheelie when you want to, without the front end getting squirrley when you pull back on the handlebars? If not, there's no reason why you should be comfortable going over dropoffs on your back wheel, either. And if you're out of shape when you leave the edge you might not like the landing very much.

BTW, those photo's of MBA riders might make many of us feel like there's something wrong with us if we can't do every move straightaway, controling the bike like it was an extension of our body and making it look easy too.
 

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robust, yet smooth
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I got mad skillz

I'd have to say that I'm not confident in my skills. I can get the front wheel up enouth for many rideable objects, but I don't have a strong wheelie. I tend to not get up enough or to feel like I'm riding my wheelie at an angle. And not very long at that.

Ditto my trackstand. It's more of a track-pause.

Hmmmm. Well, you know, other than those little things, I still don't know why I'm not on the cover of MBA.

gratzi, Rollin' On.

-capt p

Rollin' On said:
Capt Pearl, can you wheelie smoothly and confidently?

Reason I ask is, a while back Poke'[email protected] posted about having problems handling switchbacks. I got the feeling that the most important problem wasn't with his switchback technique. Rather, it was his basics - like trackstands - that needed some work first. It's hard to be confident when our skills are wobbly.

So, are you comfortable rising up onto your back wheel on level ground, and can you wheelie when you want to, without the front end getting squirrley when you pull back on the handlebars? If not, there's no reason why you should be comfortable going over dropoffs on your back wheel, either. And if you're out of shape when you leave the edge you might not like the landing very much.

BTW, those photo's of MBA riders might make many of us feel like there's something wrong with us if we can't do every move straightaway, controling the bike like it was an extension of our body and making it look easy too.
 

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The wheelie will take you about a day to practice and get good at if you think about what you are doing.

As always the best way to learn a wheelie is to watch someone do one... go to a trial website and download a couple movies. For a drop off though you really don't have to wheelie all that much. just a few inches to a few feet, and you don't even have to wheelie at an extreme angle either. I sometimes go off huge drops having my front tire level with my rear (ie my bike is // to the ground). Actually on larger drops i do not like to wheelie at an extreme angle since there is a greater risk of flipping on your back. So in reality you don't even have to do a wheelie... just keep your bike level.

This is what you need to do. don't bother trying to wheelie at a high angle if you only want to do drops. go find a curb on some dry pavement to start off with. try riding off of it slowly (at about a walk pace). as you approach the edge of the curb (in a easy gear or a gear suitable to do a wheelie), pedal real hard once your front wheel is about to go over the edge. try hitting both tires first (larger drops will aquire you to hit rear first). remember your not trying to wheelie at crazy angles, just enough torque on the rear wheel to keep you level for that split second when your front wheel is touching nothing.

some tips that might help.

be in an easier gear (ie middle chain ring in the front and biggest or second biggest in back)

butt off of the seat and toward the rear of the seat.

there is no need for excessive force from your arms to level out

you shouldn't have to pedal more than one revolution (if you are you are pedalling too soon).

have a buddy watch you to trouble shoot.

once you get use to going off of a curb try something thats about 1-1.5 feet high.

good luck... don't break your face

capt pearl said:
... that I need the help with. I can ride down the smaller ones. It's the pucker factor of getting up on the back wheel - even on the smaller ones (!), that's stopping me from being on the cover of MBAction.

-capt p
 
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