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Old 11-16-03, 03:48 PM   #1
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helpful tips

guys know any helpfull tips for balancing? manuals, wheelies, whatever.
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Old 11-16-03, 03:59 PM   #2
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guys know any helpfull tips for balancing? manuals, wheelies, whatever.


Practice, practice, practice some more.
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Old 11-16-03, 04:21 PM   #3
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Practice, practice, practice some more.
Yep. Not much more. Find that sweet spot and be prepared to land on your back - a lot. Practice wheelies up a hill and manuals down a hill...
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Old 11-17-03, 01:25 AM   #4
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I know what you mean. As a kid, doing 180 bunnyhops, long wheelies, endos, and jumping on homemade rickety ramps on my BMX came second-nature. As an adult, I don't have enough balance to use toe clips!

You probably already know about this site but take a look at http://users.aber.ac.uk/sjs9/Tutorial/tutorial.htm
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Old 11-17-03, 02:50 PM   #5
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how do u 180 bunnyhop?
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Old 11-17-03, 04:52 PM   #6
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Hop in the air while at the same time turning your body in the direction you want to go. If you point your upper body by twisting AND get enough air you will land 180 degree
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Old 11-17-03, 04:57 PM   #7
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...Also when you first start out (I can't do it on a mountain bike yet but here's how I used to do it on a BMX as a kid...a long time ago!):

- Learn at a walking pace or slower but as you get better a bit faster than walking speed will give you better momentum.
- Start turning your bike in the direction you want to do the 180. I used to get a rhythm going by swerving from side to side until I was ready to commit.
- Clips will probably help a lot if you are using the crouch and jump method of bunnyhop.
- Have your feet at 3 o'clock and 9' o'clock. I have my left foot forward and spin to the left.
- You must snap or whip your body and bike around. In other words, you must commit to the move. It's almost an all or nothing move.
- Look where you want to go and snap your hip into it; just yanking on the bars won't do much.
- Progression: learn to do a 45 degree first, then 90, then progress to 180.

Okay, now someone teach me to ride a skinny, or a log...I know: practice, practice, practice!

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Old 11-18-03, 01:14 AM   #8
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I can't do 180's on my mountain bike yet, tried a few times but it's hard on rims. What I do remember from my bmx days though is that if you start to get 180's, land with your rear tire down and your rear brake on or in a low enough gear that you can keep the pedals from turning backwards and you can continue the spin on your rear wheel through a full 360. Feels pretty good when you get it.

For balance, there is the usual practice but something that helps some people, especially when they are warming up for the day is to find a wheelie tree. That's a tree with an overhanging branch you can grab to steady yourself, pedal the front wheel up, grab your rear brake and then grab the tree branch and get a feel for your balance point, moving your upper body and knees around a bit to play with your balance. It helps you get a feel for what the balance point is, and also what it feels like to go out of it in different directions.

Yeah, everyone knows what it's like to fall out of the balance point, but most people (myself included) don't realize it's happening until too late which either means they don't have time to correct or they end up having to make much bigger movements to correct.
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Old 11-18-03, 02:07 AM   #9
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What I do remember from my bmx days though is that if you start to get 180's, land with your rear tire down and your rear brake on or in a low enough gear that you can keep the pedals from turning backwards and you can continue the spin on your rear wheel through a full 360. Feels pretty good when you get it.
Oooooh yeah! Classic old school Bob Haro/R.L. Osborne freestyling (I'm giving away age ). That would require a true bunny-hop where you must pop your front wheel up first, then push your bars to get a nice parabola arc, and tuck your knees up to get your rear wheel to follow. Almost like a skateboard "ollie".

I find that hard to do on an MTB with the higher center of gravity, and squatter bars over a BMX. Then again I've practiced, but I haven't yet practice, practice, practiced...

Another tip that a friend of mine -- who can do a lot of the trials type tricks (backwheel hops, one handed wheelies, etc.) -- told me about (which I've never tried) was lowering the air pressure in your tires for some types of tricks. I suppose it's like lowering your air pressure for wet slippery trails for traction since it will give you more surface area. When he was doing back wheel hops, his tire almost looked flat.

Last edited by bentrim; 11-18-03 at 02:53 AM.
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Old 11-18-03, 01:19 PM   #10
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Tire pressure depends on what you're doing. I know trials riders like to run low pressures, but they also run really fat tires (like 3" I think) to make up for it. When you are doing lots of spins high pressures are the way to go, lots of freestyle riders like 60-100lbs in their tires.

You can do a proper bunny hop on a mountain bike, just keep at it. I'm not great at bunny hops but on my Specialized Enduro I can get 24" on a good day, with a hardtail I can go higher. Learning to manual your bike will help with the bunny hops as well, it helps you get a feel for getting the front end up without hopping.
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Old 11-18-03, 01:26 PM   #11
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