A wheelie is one of the most enjoyable stunts that one can do on a mountain bike. However, even experienced mountain bike riders at times find it hard to pull off an awesome wheelie.
This tutorial will help one pull an eye-catching wheelie. It will definitely impress other riders out at the park.
Despite practicing for years, some riders have never been able to pull off the perfect wheelie. However, it is quite easy if one follows the proper technique in pulling off this stunt.
Check the condition of the bike
Before attempting a wheelie, it is important to make sure the bike is in great shape. Most importantly, make sure that the breaking system works, to avoid injury.
Adjust the Seat
A wheelie is done seated and thus the seat is critical to the perfect wheelie. Make sure to set the seat as low as possible in order to lower the centre of gravity and thus increase bike stability.
Pop a Wheelie
- Adjust the gearshift to low or medium level.
- Bend forward so that the upper torso is just beyond the handle bar. This is important in achieving balance during the wheeling.
- Begin peddling fast while at the same time yanking on the handlebar. This will ensure that the front wheel lifts off the ground without any problems.
- Lean back in the seat and continue peddling. This should cause the front wheel to pop up into the air.
- Move back towards the edge of the seat while still firmly gripping the handlebar. However, make sure to have a finger on the rear break lever.
- Now just chill out while ever so slightly yanking the break lever. This stabilizes the bike thus keeps the rider from smacking the back of their head against the ground.
- Keep the bike in perfect balance by fiddling with the brakes and pedals. Pedalling keeps the wheel up while a slight touch to the rear break keeps the bike from flipping over.
- If one feels the bike going sideways, make sure to adjust this sideways movement early. If the rider waits just a bit too long, it will be too late and they will crash.
- Make sure to try the wheelie on a day of low winds, other one will definitely loose balance.
- Using the feet or the handle bar achieves sideways balance. The handlebar has to be tilted in the opposite direction, in addition, stick out a foot in the opposite side to counter any imbalance.
- To end the wheelie, gradually drop the front wheel to the ground. However, it is important to ensure that the front wheel is straight when doing this.
Important Tips and Tricks
Although speed is necessary to pull off the wheelie, a rider must not overdo it. Doing so will cause the bike to spiral out of control when popping the wheelie.
Never attempt the wheelie on a rainy day, especially for beginners. The bike is just that much hard to control. In addition, the strong gusts of wind have a very dangerous effect on the stability of the bike.
Bitumen surface is the most appropriate for popping the perfect wheelie. Dirt surface is dangerous for beginners as the tiny pebbles increase slippage and affect balance.
Always remember safety is key to any fun activity. Never attempt a wheelie on a street, the best place to do so would be at an empty park.
Beginners should always try their first wheelie up a gradual hill. This will counter any spasms from the pedalling force and keep the wheelie up.
If the bike has shock suspensions, lock out the suspension system. The wobbling effect created by the suspension system increases the difficult of maintaining balance during a wheelie.
Wear protective equipment when trying the wheelie, especially the helmet. Despite the best of effort, one will most likely end up falling off the bike at least once.
In order to achieve the perfect wheelie, there are no short cuts to it. Regular practice is the only way to become a pro.
It is important to remember that the wheelie is only the beginning of great mountain bike stunts. There are many stunts, which one can learn, or even come up with their own.