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Bunny Hopping on a Touring Bicycle

Old 10-23-17, 10:00 AM
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Bunny Hopping on a Touring Bicycle

Bunny hopping is one those ubiquitous and basic tricks quite useful for daily riding. Heck, even road bikers can bunny hop on mountain bike terrains!

But I have never seen videos showing how to bunny hop on a fully-packed touring bike. Is there anybody here with a strong enough muscle cores to overcome the sheer extra weights on the touring bike?
How long did you guys trained your cores for? And were your bicycles strong enough to handle such repeated tricks?
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Old 10-23-17, 11:10 AM
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My touring bike weighs more than a roadie ride of 18-22 lbs. The bike packing rig comes in at 50-55lbs or so. So no, wheelie when needed.
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Old 10-23-17, 11:19 AM
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why in god's name would you want to bunny hop a touring bike are u talking a loaded bike if so forget it.
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Old 10-23-17, 12:13 PM
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I havent come across a situation where I felt it necessary to bunny anything with a loaded touring bike. Pull up the front wheel to not slam into something?...Sure. But jump stuff?...nope.

Between the geometry of a drop bar bike not being conducive to bunnying, the sheer weight of a loaded touring bike, and the lack of ever feeling it necessary to hop- i havent ever thought of it, much less actually tried it.


I would be interested to hear situations where it was necessary to bunny hop on a loaded touring bike instead of braking to a slow roll/stop before the object, steering around the object, or just pulling up on the front wheel to roll over the object.
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Old 10-23-17, 12:24 PM
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I just run right over them.
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Old 10-23-17, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet
I just run right over them.
Because rabbits are expendable! (And tasty.)


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Old 10-23-17, 01:30 PM
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Aznman, I can bunny hop my unloaded touring bike, but not as well as I can one of the roadies. Loaded up? No way!

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Old 10-24-17, 05:59 AM
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I regularly bunnyhop my loaded touring bike over fallen logs and whatnot, it took years of grueling core muscle training and lots of personal sacrifice (and don't forget spokes) to attain this level of flytitude.
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Old 10-24-17, 09:25 PM
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Ive done it to jump a black snake on a trail when I was really booking along. Must of worked because when I went back it was fine. Could not have done it without clip in pedals. The bike was about 65 pounds total with water and food, four panniers with gear. Not sure about core strength being the key. Kind of fat and lazy. I just didn't want to either wreck swerving on a dirt track or kill the snake.
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Old 10-25-17, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by antokelly
why in god's name would you want to bunny hop a touring bike are u talking a loaded bike if so forget it.
It's not that you want to, it's that you screwed up and need to. At least that's how it happened to me. Decades ago, when I had leg and core muscles, three of us were on a descent in the Rockies with full loads on two of the bikes and one of them empty. We came across a steel plate in the road. The only problem was that the plate had been moved off of the hole it was supposed to be covering. By the time the two of us with loads realized that there was a five-foot long gap in the road, it was too late to go around it. Thankfully, we were going fast enough that we didn't need much lift to clear the gap.

Of course the person with the empty bike was genetically predisposed to being smarter than my friend and I. In other words, she wasn't riding too fast to be able to deal with unexpected gaps in the road and she simply slowed down and went around the hole.
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Old 10-25-17, 11:50 PM
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I can't figure out how to get the trailer to hop too.

Do I need to try it on a tandem so the stoker can help?
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Old 10-26-17, 05:36 AM
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Yes, I find being able to hop to be a valuable skill even on a loaded touring bike. Suddenly seeing too late that there is a ridge in the concrete, pot hole, or whatever does happen. It has definitely saved me from flatting a few times and maybe even from destroying a rim.

I am a not especially athletic 66 year old and can still manage to get the wheels off the ground when necessary, but even if you only manage to unweight them a little it does the trick in most cases. It isn't something that I ever really practiced on the touring bike, but I guess reflexes from mountain biking just kick in when they need to.

These days I pack super light so it isn't all that much different than hopping the unloaded bike, but back when I was using 4 fully loaded panniers I could still manage.
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Old 10-26-17, 07:49 AM
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yup, having the reflexes and instincts to at least unweight as much as you can certainly reduces the weight/impact going into your wheels when you see something a bit too late.

reacting like this, fast and getting the timing right, is an essential riding skill. Riding on all kinds of surfaces in your lifetime clearly develops this sort of thing and I recommend it to any newer riders.
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Old 10-26-17, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
It's not that you want to, it's that you screwed up and need to. At least that's how it happened to me. Decades ago, when I had leg and core muscles, three of us were on a descent in the Rockies with full loads on two of the bikes and one of them empty. We came across a steel plate in the road. The only problem was that the plate had been moved off of the hole it was supposed to be covering. By the time the two of us with loads realized that there was a five-foot long gap in the road, it was too late to go around it. Thankfully, we were going fast enough that we didn't need much lift to clear the gap.

Of course the person with the empty bike was genetically predisposed to being smarter than my friend and I. In other words, she wasn't riding too fast to be able to deal with unexpected gaps in the road and she simply slowed down and went around the hole.
Sorry, I just am a little unclear and don't think I'm understanding this right. This is not saying that you bunny hopped over a five foot gap with a fully loaded touring bike is it?
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Old 10-27-17, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by BigFinner
Sorry, I just am a little unclear and don't think I'm understanding this right. This is not saying that you bunny hopped over a five foot gap with a fully loaded touring bike is it?
Yes, we really did bunny hop a five-foot gap. It helped that we were descending at about 50 mph. The speed helped us clear the gap, but it was a large part of the reason we couldn't just go around it.

I have vivid memories of my foolish riding on that particular tour. On one fun descent in driving hail, I fell behind a companion. Rather than slow down to deal with the fact that I couldn't look at the road much because the hail was pummeling my eyes whenever I looked up, I just bombed down and glanced up every so often to see where those bright yellow panniers were and steered towards them. If my riding companion had gotten a bit further out in front, I might have aimed myself right off the road.

If I ever have a serious crash that isn't my fault, I'll just look at it as making up for all those times I should have been toast but somehow didn't wreck. Of course I take far fewer foolish risks now that I'm too old to bounce. Hopefully that is all it will take for my luck to keep holding.
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Old 10-27-17, 10:50 PM
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B.
amen to that , you said it (your words ring true with me as well)
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Old 10-27-17, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree
Yes, we really did bunny hop a five-foot gap.....
you know forum rules!

pitchers or it dinna happen!
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Old 10-27-17, 11:30 PM
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If you think it's hard with a touring bike, try it with a tandem
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Old 10-28-17, 06:19 AM
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50 mph is around 75 feet/second, so I would expect you would just need to un-weight the wheels for a fraction of a second to clear a 5 foot gap, which is a lot more plausible than actually bunny-hopping a fully-loaded touring rig.
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Old 10-28-17, 02:59 PM
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guess so, but boy, a fraction of a second of mistiming and we're talking one heck of an impact and one sorry looking rear wheel afterwards.
No reason to not believe the story, but good thing he got the timing right.....
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Old 10-29-17, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by djb
but good thing he got the timing right.....
For sure. The timing thing is way more critical than actually getting much height.

If you get it wrong you can be coming down hard at just the wrong time and make the damage much worse. That said the reflexes get pretty honed if you actually use the skills, so if you have a good bit of experiencing mountain biking or maybe gravel grinding you get pretty good with the timing.

On the height thing... It is nice to completely clear the obstruction, but just unweighting without even one wheel leaving the ground can help immensely.
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Old 10-29-17, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
For sure. The timing thing is way more critical than actually getting much height.

If you get it wrong you can be coming down hard at just the wrong time and make the damage much worse. That said the reflexes get pretty honed if you actually use the skills, so if you have a good bit of experiencing mountain biking or maybe gravel grinding you get pretty good with the timing.

On the height thing... It is nice to completely clear the obstruction, but just unweighting without even one wheel leaving the ground can help immensely.
agree on all you said.
and the last bit, absolutely. This has saved me numerous times over the years when either not having the time to get completely off the ground or in the case of a too heavy bike. Basically you are unweighting a lot more off the wheels and therefore that much less weight off the tire as it hits.

I've recounted this before, but unweighting as much as I could possible do saved my rear wheel I'm certain when I was suprised by a pothole going down a hill in Guatemala this year.

It was a combo of early morning, caught out by a bad road where in Mexico the roads had been a lot better, deep shadows on and off in that particular section and sunglasses on (new ones slightly darker than my regular ones), gawking a bit too much at the fascinating scenery but letting the bike go a bit too much having been spoiled by the good southern Mexico roads.

no way in heck that I could get the bike off the ground, but unweighting as much as I could certainly helped reduce the impact. Having wider tires, good solid racks with very securely attached panniers, and a tough bike, all helped as well, and I was extremely impressed by how the bike shook it off (and frankly lucky).
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