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Thread: wheelie

  1. #1
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    wheelie

    I can't figure out how to ride a wheelie for more than 5 seconds!!!! Anyone got any tips?
    MY BABY:

    03 Giant iguana marzocchi mx comp fork, time atac alium pedals, race face prodigy crank, sun ringle rhyno lite rims with xt hubs, avid mechanical disc brakes, easton ea 70 riser bar.

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    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Gotta lean waaaaaaaaaaaay back and keep a smooth cadence.
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

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    Hey there bro, don't feel bad. I'm trying to learn how to ride one presently and I'm not even to the point to where I can get the front wheel off the ground and keep it that way for any length of time. I just raise up too high then fly off the back or don't raise it high enough. Also, when I finally get it off the ground to a proper height, it's like reflex kicks in and I grab the back brake and instantly come down (without even wanting to pull the brake lever). Maybe we can get some help here from some wheelie-masters
    2002 Trek 4500
    Rockshox Psylo SL, 2003 Shimano WH-M540 wheelset

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    I've been working on my wheelies since the beginning of last summer. There's a balance point when the front wheel is off of the ground and is pretty high up. Once you get to the balance point you'll know it b/c the bike will roll right under you with out any instant urge to pedal needed to keep it up. The problem is once you get to the balance point you have to keep it there and that just takes practice to do. My current high is something like 12 pedal strokes, but that was a fluke. Good for me is about 6 strokes before the wheels come down.

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    when you wheelie do you stand up or sit down?
    MY BABY:

    03 Giant iguana marzocchi mx comp fork, time atac alium pedals, race face prodigy crank, sun ringle rhyno lite rims with xt hubs, avid mechanical disc brakes, easton ea 70 riser bar.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    I sit, leaning wayyyyyy back.
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  7. #7
    Gravity Is Yer Friend dirtbikedude's Avatar
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    Here is some tips ;

    Step #1: You will probably hit the ground. Wear protective gear. Chances are, you will loop backwards, land on your tail bone, smack the back of your skull and spin a pedal into your shin bone.

    Step #2: Practice with platform pedals. Leave the BMW Shin Burger Pedals in the tool box. A clipped in wheelie is a suicide mission.

    Step #3: If your seat height is higher than your handlebars, lower your seat. Install a stem 100 mm long or less.

    Finally, it's time to practice! This trick is much easier on a mountain bike than a BMX bike. Mountain bikes are very stable on the rear wheel. The front of the bike is fairly easy to lift up and the long wheel base inspires confidence. Bikes with chain stays less than 17" are easier to learn on.

    Step #4: Try your first attempt pedaling up hill. Not up Pikes Peak, but up a gradual hill. If you begin to wheelie, you will **** out and pedaling harder to keep the front wheel up. Pedaling up hill will add resistance. This resistance will counter your spastic pedaling forces and should help keep your front wheel up. After mastering the up hill wheelie, you can practice on flat ground. In order to wheelie on flat ground, you'll have to slow down by modulating the rear brake. This is a tricky move, since squeezing the rear brake will force the front tire back down to the ground.

    Step #5: Do not practice on a windy day. The wind will push your front wheel away from you. Even the slightest blow will affect your wheelie. It is possible to ride a wheelie in the wind, but it takes a lot of practice. I met a surfer kid in Clearwater, Florida who could wheelie his BMX bike on wet sand, fighting constant 25 mph winds, bare foot with no brakes.

    Step #6: Stay seated; utilize a combination of the forks rebound, upper body strength and power on the cranks to loft the front of your bike in the air. Try using the middle chainring and the 32 tooth cog on the rear gear cluster. You need to choose a gear that will maintain the wheelie and is easy to lift the front wheel at slow speeds. You can shift gears while in a wheelie. It's very difficult to do. I've seen people carry 30 mph wheelies shifting and pedaling.

    Step #7: Relax. Loosen up on the handlebars and go with the flow. Let your arms stretch out, look far ahead and breath. You will need to steer the bike with body English. Keep your feet to the outside of the pedals and apply pressure to each pedal accordingly. Try to not lean your body with the bike. Leaning in the same direction as the bike will cause you and the bike to turn. This is an advanced move. Try and ride a straight line for now. Eventually, you will feel the sweet spot. Riding a wheelie is almost effortless. If you're exerting yourself, you're working too hard.

    The wheelie is the trick you will base all other tricks on. Once you have mastered it, you can practice "coaster wheelies". (A sit down wheelie while not pedaling, usually performed down hill). Once you learn the coaster wheelie, you should try "manuals". Manuals are easily mistaken with coater wheelies, but they're much harder. Basically a manual is a stand up coaster wheelie.

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    To sum up what dirtbikedude said, use your back brake to keep from tipping over and if you still start to tip over simply jump off. And then just go out and practice, up and down hills, mostly sitting down. Lean back not forward, and sometimes the faster you go, the easier it is because the front wheel acts like a gyro.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jim311's Avatar
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    Man, I'd love to be able to pull a wheelie while rolling downhill... I saw it on DropIn once... I was amazed. I just need more time in the saddle.. I used to be able to hold a wheelie foreeeeeeeever
    My money pits:

    Cannondale Jekyll 500 with Avid Mechs and Sun DS2 rims with XT disc hubs.

    Cannondale F900 with SRAM XO shifters/derailler, Mavic X3.1 tubeless wheels, Avid Mechs, Race Face Next LP cranks, Time ATAC pedals, SRAM levers.

  10. #10
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    Are you riding clipless of flats? If using clipless I would definitely get some flats to practice those prolonged wheelies. Just go find a soft grassy area, and lean as far back as possible getting a feeling for how much brake you need to use, and work on a smooth cadence.

    I just recently started to wheelie and and I can wheelie drop about 3 feet and working my way up. However, I can only wheele for about 4 seconds, which is partly due to using clipless pedals and the fear of falling backwards.

  11. #11
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Jim311
    Man, I'd love to be able to pull a wheelie while rolling downhill... I saw it on DropIn once... I was amazed. I just need more time in the saddle.. I used to be able to hold a wheelie foreeeeeeeever
    If it's the one I am thinking of its a manual. When you don't pedal to maintain and you 'hump' the bike you manual it around. I have seen it often around here but am ALWAYS stunned when the can maintain it.

  12. #12
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    I can find the balance point just fine... my problem is that I end up going sideways, like I can't just go in a straight line, and that leaning just gets worse until I have to bring it down and normally put a foot down to keep from tipping over. My other problem is that I get going too fast. I'm probably not leaning back far enough. On a prolonged wheelie, I just get faster and faster until I can't pedal fast enough anymore. I've got to be the worst guy ever when it comes to balancing. You would think that I could figure out a wheelie after trying it for like 20 years. I can't trackstand either.

  13. #13
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    To be honest Corndoggy you should be back so far on your bike you don't HAVE to pedal very much...

    FearFactor......of course it could be telling you can't trackstand either...balance issue?

  14. #14
    Got Jesus? bikeCOLORADO's Avatar
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    If you don't find that balance point...you keep pedaling faster and fast and things do get outa control fast. I've seen a trials guy ride a wheelie at a walking pace completely around a city block, on the sidewalk - steering around pedestrians and corners like it was NOTHING.

    The brake helps you maintain that balance point.
    Your knees and body english will keep you in a straight line (or turning when you need to).

    I suck at it...but I'm getting better.

  15. #15
    www.titusti.com montlake_mtbkr's Avatar
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    I suck at wheelies too. I was practicing for about an hour the other day and got about 4 pedal strokes at best. Whoever said they couldn't trackstand -- work on that first. With better balance everything else is easier. I couldn't trackstand worth **** a month ago and now I'm doing it in on singletrack when we get bunched up and need to wait to spread out. And at stop lights, cross walks etc. I'm not super good at it but I can usually stay up for 30-40 seconds before losing my balance. I find it's easier to pop a wheelie from a trackstance than when moving, maybe that's just me, I dunno.

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