Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Mountain Biking
Reload this Page >

Learning to hold a wheelie!

Notices
Mountain Biking Mountain biking is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. Check out this forum to discuss the latest tips, tricks, gear and equipment in the world of mountain biking.

Learning to hold a wheelie!

Old 06-07-11, 07:57 PM
  #1  
Want2Wheelie
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Learning to hold a wheelie!

Whats up all. New to this site, but looks like a good place to get some much needed insight. Where to begin... I started back up on a mountain bike almost a year ago as something to get me outside the dorm room up at University of Maine Orono
I've always had a thing for wheelies but growing up on motor sports, the trick comes easily. Learning to wheelie on a mountain bike has been quite the effort switching from a Suzuki LTR450... Basically I've made it as far as being able to get the front end up for a short period of time (sitting down, continuous pedaling). Where I'm having trouble is finding my balance not bringing the front wheel off the ground, but rather side to side. I've read/watched many wheelie tutorials and came to the conclusion that it's not the bike that matters, its the rider. With this in mind I've been focused on finding out what I'm doing wrong and how to fix this. For instance, I've found that I can hold the longest wheelie by bringing the front wheel up as quickly as possible (using preload and throwing myself back with arms stretched out) while keeping it as straight as possible (sounds like common sense but before hand I was jerking the bike left and right unknowingly while bringing it up). Currently, I can bring the front wheel up to the balance point back and fourth, but shortly after the bike will fall off to either side and I can't for the life of me correct this issue. I've tried everything from turning the wheel in the opposite direction, balancing with my knees, pointing my toes outward with my feet to the edge of the pedals, pointing my toes forward with my feet flush against the pedals, leaning (as much as possible), keeping my focus on objects (low, mid, and high), seat height, and all sorts of combinations of these techniques/adjustments. Also, it seems like acceleration can keep me balanced side to side, but I'm looking for a "balanced" wheelie rather than a power wheelie). As far as my current rig goes, its an absolute PIECE OF JUNK! Pictures attached. I can't imagine the bike has anything to do with my difficulties after reading what some wheelie masters have said. I feel like once the skill is aquired, one should be able to (with a little adjusting) be able to ride out a wheelie on any sort of bicycle. However, my bike may be an exception to this rule. The back wheel does not belong on the bike I have. It is off center to the left by about half an inch and the bearings are basically shot which allows the rim to wobble on the hub (about half an inch of play total), no rear brakes, and so on... Given three days of 2 hour (nonstop wheelie) practice sessions on top of a deserted parking garage, I have seen little to no improvement over where I left off before becoming serious about learning this skill. Before linking the video of my current efforts, I would like to make a few things clear. I am riding without a helmet and with my shirt off (coming from Maine I'm not used to the Virginia heat and simply don't care). I'm not looking for a lecture on safety since I'm fully aware of the dangers associated with riding at 3 MPH with the front end of my bike lofting off the ground (if I eat **** and break something I would have myself to blame...), and if a little bare skin will offend you, don't bother taking a look. I'm simply looking for good advice on where I'm going wrong/what I'm doing correct. Is this just a matter of continuous practice until I find the perfect sideways balancing point or do you see any bad habits inhibiting my ability to hold a wheelie? How long did this take any of you wheelie experts to master? Again, no flaming, lectures, etc. Simply good advice . Sorry for the long post but I figured getting all the information down to begin with was the best way to go. Thanks fellas, lets see what you got for me!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUv4GUxtpWs
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
2.jpg (84.8 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg
1.jpg (74.1 KB, 12 views)
Want2Wheelie is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:28 AM
  #2  
cryptid01
one less horse
 
cryptid01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: The Hinterlands
Posts: 5,601
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Wow, you really want to wheelie. That's cool, it's a fun skill to have. Have you experimented with changing your seat height? Odd as it may seem, raising it a bit might make things easier. Also, get your wheel fixed.

p.s. becoming a true wheelie master is a way of life, not something that can happen in 6 hours.

Last edited by cryptid01; 06-08-11 at 07:33 AM.
cryptid01 is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 08:43 AM
  #3  
sscyco
Fool O' crap
 
sscyco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: spokane
Posts: 1,234

Bikes: Are faster than yours.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
OK – here is my opinion of the ever elusive wheelie –
I don’t think it is a skill that is learned – you either have it or you don’t. That being said, if you do have it, practice is still needed to master the skill.

Watching your video, I think you are not hitting the sweet spot deep enough to control the side torque easily. Try looping out (high enough in the wheelie that you have to step off the back) – after that, wheelie to a point just before that and bring your front end back down by hitting the rear brake. Next – do the same without bringing the front end down, tap the brake while pedaling, to keep from looping, and keep force on the pedals to keep the front end up. If you get to this point you will see that the side to side control is much more manageable.
__________________
sscyco is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 08:53 AM
  #4  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 40,609

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9825 Post(s)
Liked 4,806 Times in 2,513 Posts
A properly functioning and properly aligned rear wheel and higher stem/bar (maybe also a shorter stem if you have no need for anything approaching an XC stance) would make the task easier.

1998 Trek 930 is actually not too shabby of a bike, IMO.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 06-08-11 at 08:57 AM.
LesterOfPuppets is online now  
Old 06-08-11, 09:01 AM
  #5  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 40,609

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9825 Post(s)
Liked 4,806 Times in 2,513 Posts
Just looked at the video, and I'm with ssyco. You need to get comfortable leaning back a hair more.

Here's an inspirational video. Tons of wheelie, manual and stoppie action!

LesterOfPuppets is online now  
Old 06-08-11, 10:08 AM
  #6  
crazzywolfie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Orangeville, Ontario
Posts: 387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
that video is pretty cool
here the next step above that
crazzywolfie is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 11:22 AM
  #7  
NYCJohn170
nOOb
 
NYCJohn170's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 120

Bikes: Gary Fisher Tassajara Specialized Tricross

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 17 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
I don’t think it is a skill that is learned – you either have it or you don’t. That being said, if you do have it, practice is still needed to master the skill.

Somehow I've always suspected this. Having tried it a few times on my sons BMX.

I saw an 8, or so, year old girl in Cental Park. Flying down the steepest hill just standing on the pegs on the back wheel. Nobody on the seat or handlebars. Totally unconcerned, she knew she had it.
NYCJohn170 is offline  
Old 06-08-11, 07:16 PM
  #8  
Want2Wheelie
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
So gave it another shot today (was hot as hell outside). Seems like it was a matter of getting the bike up to that "sweet spot" as quickly as possible, since the sideways balancing is coming much easier with the front end higher up in the air. Now its just practice until my arms fall off or until I get it perfect. Even though its said that it may be something you either have or don't have, I'm a firm believer that with enough practice, most things are possible. Thanks to those who responded, I'll post a GoPro video once I have both a helmet and the ability to hold a mile long wheelie .
Want2Wheelie is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
JeffOYB
Cyclocross Racing
6
10-26-16 12:57 PM
sp00ki
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
48
05-29-15 07:35 PM
madnez
BMX
5
10-17-14 06:38 PM
hyhuu
Road Cycling
66
11-24-11 11:17 AM
jameskpolk
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
46
07-16-11 10:33 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.