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Thread: Wheelies

  1. #1
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    Wheelies

    I would like to read any advice you guys could give me on riding wheelies. I can't do one for the life of me. And its discouraging me so much, sometimes I feel like just giving up on biking altogether.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    First off, welcome to the BikeForums! What type of wheelies are you trying to master? For show, or to get up a sidewalk? Over a small log?

    The basics to any wheelie is the same, lean back, easy gear, pull up. Your bike will make a difference, on my old 32 pound hard tail, i couldnt wheelie for the life of me, with my fisher i have no problems holding a wheelie for a hundred feet on the street.

    Let me know if you have any other questions

  3. #3
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    I can't wheelie for a long time, but I can do one just enough to do whatever I need to do a wheelie for. What is giving you trouble? Can you get the front tire just a little bit off the ground?
    Booyah!!

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    I can lift the front wheel, but not in a slow, controlled manner. I'd like to feel more under control when I do it, plus I really want to ride a wheelie for at least a couple feet.

  5. #5
    NOT a weight weenie Hunter's Avatar
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    My advice is practice, practice, prctice. Joe gives the corredst advice. Balance however is key knowing where to center your weight when the front end comes up. Practice, practice, practice.

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    Make sure you are practicing wheelies on platform pedals, .....otherwise if you are clipped in, you could flip backwards and land on your back. If your wearing platform, you can jump right off. Practice starting a wheelie from both feet, i first started with my right foot, and after a while, i found out that i could get started better on my left foot. Wheelies are much easier to do on a bike with more of a laid back angle. I have a specialized P.3, and i can wheelie MUCH better on it than i can on my klein. have fun!!

  7. #7
    Chicago Cyclist ViciousCycle's Avatar
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    I've started practicing wheelies to deal with Chicago road constrution. During road construction season, the height of the road can suddenly change. The effect is like having a miniature curb across the road. These mini-curbs often cause cyclists to slow down so that they don't get a flat by hitting them too hard. But I figure that hopping my front wheel over the mini-curb should also help. Now I've reduced the risk of flats to my front tire, but I'm left wondering if all I've really done is transfer the risk of a flat to my rear tire....
    The Easter Island people were clever, but their civilization collapsed after they chopped down the last tree on their island. You can't be 'resourceful' if you've used up all of your resources.

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    Is a wheelie different to a bunny hop. I hop over curbs and ramps on my touring bike with no problem. I found you have to use your weight and brakes.
    Lean forward, control your speed.
    Lean back, pull front wheel up.
    Clear front wheel over bump
    when front wheel lands, apply front brake. This will transfer weight from back to front.
    Using your toe-clips or clipless pedlas, pull up the rear wheel, and release the front brake, so rear wheel clears bump.

    The masters of hops are CX racers. I once say a guy ride up a near vertical earth ramp and hop over a 1 foot high log at the top of the ramp. That alone gave him enough advantage to win the race.

    I think chainstay length is more important tha seat angle in getting a hoppable bike. Its hard to do a proper wheelie if your rear end is long.

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    I hate when I try do to a wheelie and I end up falling on my back.
    Very embarrasing...

  10. #10
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    ... and painfull!

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    when I practice, I either not pull hard enough so the front just comes up a little then falls back down or I loop out the back cause I pedaled and pulled too hard. I like the last one better tho.
    I have platform pedals so now I can just jump off while still holding on to the bars, but I still fell on my *** once. It hurt a lot.
    I'm almost givin up on riding a longer more controlled wheelie by now...oh well.
    Thanks for the help anyway.

  12. #12
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    Dont give up! It may take months to figure out how to wheelie, but once you get it down, it becomes in invaluable tool when riding on the trails. It took me years to learn how to keep a wheelie up for over long periods. Keep on tring, its worth it

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    Hey...what bike are you riding when you are doing wheelies?

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    I practice on my old 98 GT Palomar, but I have a brand new Kona Stuff now and I'll be practicing on that one this next times.

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    Dont give up! It may take months to figure out how to wheelie,
    Ok I won't give up yet but its so discouraging not being able to get it already!
    Last edited by IRBaboon; 09-11-01 at 04:05 PM.

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    Once you got the wheelie down pat, you can start on the front wheel wheelie if you know what I mean...
    Me and my friend were just messin around and I was tryin to front wheelie, I kept goin over the handle bars... oh well
    if someone can describe how to do it, be my guest to share!

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    great write up in bicycling mag(i think) on doing wheelies. alot of ideas(like starting on an incline for easier liftoff). I have greatly improved my wheelie ability from it... its weird i never really had any desire to pull a good wheelie until a saw the chick in the mag look so cool doing it. I hoping to show up at a finish line doing one( but it must be b/c i won so I not there yet)

  18. #18
    sandcruiser thbirks's Avatar
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    Yeah, I was gonna mention the article in Bicycling mag too, It's one of the best things i've seen them print in awhile.

    I'd also mention that it helps to use weight transfer to do your wheelies. First put your weight on the handlebars and then bring your body back as you torque on the cranks. You can feather the rear brake to keep from going over backwards. A little pressure on the brake will bring the front wheel back down. I wish I didn't have to learn that the hard way.
    "only on a BIKE"

  19. #19
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    Ok some tips,first try doing a "wheelie" on a upgrade or uphill in a very low gear..if your righthanded try using your left leg for the initial power "up" if your lefthanded viceversa...now become totally concious(sp?) of your rear brake lever..this will save you a lot of pain !!..at the first sign of tipping over backwards hit the rear brake..it will be your best friend !! now on the incline give the pedals a sudden burst of power whilst pulling up on the h/bars and shift your body weight backward while pedalling harder trying to find "the magic spot of balance" also using your knees to steer you ..hang your left knee out if you start heading right and viceversa !! Now another sytle of wheelie is called the "manual", this is done on a decline..when at a reasonable speed you haul your body weight backward while pulling up on the bars and coast along on the rear wheel..this technique is a lot harder to master..but looks way cool..I hope this helps..have fun and take it one step at a time !
    Velosophy#1: It is better to have a bicycle and no money , than money and no bicycle ! Velosophy # 2 : "Winning is simple, but not easy." #3: "Give a man a fish and he shall eat for a day , teach him how to fish and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day"

  20. #20
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    Here's my method on wheelies - chain on the small ring and second or third largest rear cog. Start down the sidewalk slow, at a walking pace. At the 2 o'clock position of the crank on your strong leg, power it down and pull up the bar. You'll get better control and stay up longer if you're moving a bit faster.

    As you work out the details, pay attention to whether it helps your balance to keep your butt fore or aft on the saddle. Too far back, and you'll fly off the back of the saddle. Too far forward, and you'll have problems getting the front wheel up.

    Good luck.

  21. #21
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    u guys have really thought about wheelies, ive got its concept pretty good, but still need lots of work. Thx

  22. #22
    horizontally adapted bentrox!'s Avatar
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    Check out the current issue of Bicycling magazine (I think.) There's a pretty thorough step-by-step progressive photo description of the necessary dynamics involved in executing a wheelie. Looks like fun.
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  23. #23
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I've always been able to pop a wheelie and ride it about 20 to 30 yards, but that was it. My buddy could go and go and go and even go around corners...etc. I asked him how he did it and he said practice...DUH! What I realized by watching him, was he started with one finger on the brake with slight tension. I always used the brake as a last ditch effort, but he started his wheelies with it on. As he started to fall too far back, he would squeeze the brake ever so slightly. He was always riding on the verge of falling over backwards. Since this realization, my wheelies have gotten longer and I can even do one-haders, but still not ride one more than 100 yards. Hope this helps.
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  24. #24
    0^0 fubar5's Avatar
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    How should you hold the the bike during a wheelie? With your arms extended? or with a slight/moderate bend?
    Booyah!!

  25. #25
    Donating member Richard D's Avatar
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    I pulled my first wheelie this morning

    The only thing was it wasn't intentional....

    I pulled back a little too hard whilst trying to get up a hill

    Scary stuff...

    Richard
    Currently riding an MTB with a split personality - commuting, touring, riding for the sake of riding, on or off road :)

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