Bunny Hop a Mountain Bike

Bunny Hop a Mountain Bike
The bunny hop is one of the most useful mountain biking techniques you can learn. It allows you to jump your bike over small obstacles. It's easier to perform a bunny hop if you have clipless pedals installed on your bike rather than platform pedals, but it's possible either way. Read this article to learn how to bunny hop a mountain bike.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Learn the Basics of the Bunny Hop

Step 1
Perform a front wheelie, a very simple maneuver on a mountain bike. Stand slightly, floating your weight above the saddle, and shift your balance rearward. Pull up on the handlebars smoothly and your front wheel should lift.
Step 2
Execute a rear wheelie. Allow your weight to shift forward slightly and apply your front brake only. Your rear wheel should then lift. This is somewhat more difficult and dangerous than a front wheelie.
Step 3
Do a rear wheelie without your brake if you have clipless pedals. Stand slightly, floating your rear end above the saddle and shift your weight forward a bit. While balancing your weight with your hands on the handlebars, pull your feet upwards and forwards, raising the rear wheel.
Step 4
Practice these techniques over and over again until you feel comfortable getting your mountain bike's wheels off the ground.

Perform a Bunny Hop

Step 1
Pedal your mountain bike until you have a decent amount of momentum. Bunny hops are easier and you're more stable if you have a little forward inertia.
Step 2
Stand up on the pedals and float your weight above the saddle. Keep your center of gravity fairly even, biased slightly towards the rear.
Step 3
Compress both the front and rear of the bike by pressing your weight downwards into the handlebars and the pedals. This gives your bunny hop the spring.
Step 4
Pop your weight upwards and forwards to get both wheels off the ground. Stay smooth and don't jerk. If you jerk your weight violently, you're unlikely to retain much control.
Step 5
Fly through the air for a moment. You're in the midst of the bunny hop. Stay relaxed and prepare for the landing.
Step 6
Keep your weight slightly to the rear to ensure that the rear wheel lands first. As the rear wheel comes down, absorb the impact with your knees. Don't sit down; you might receive an uncomfortable shock to your tender bits and lose control of the bike.
Step 7
Bring the front wheel down. Absorb the shock in your elbows and shoulders. Keep them relaxed and your elbows bents throughout the landing.
Step 8
Allow the bike to settle before you grab your brakes. A smooth landing and stop is just as important to a bunny hop as the launch, so keep your weight balanced to the center or rear before you brake. You have now performed a bunny hop.
Step 9
Practice this basic bunny hop until it is second nature and you can get a decent amount of height before moving on to more advanced jumps.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
When practicing your front wheelie, press down on the handlebars as if you were doing a pushup before you pull up. This pre-loads the front suspension and tire to give you more of a spring. Press down on the pedals as if you're getting ready to jump straight up in the air in order to pre-load the rear suspension and tire. If your bike has clipless pedals, this is the only method you have of getting the rear wheel in the air.
 
Like all mountain bike techniques, the bunny hop has an element of danger. Always wear a helmet and other safety gear, and practice on a soft lawn.

Article Written By S. Daniel Ackerman

S. Daniel Ackerman lives to ride his mountain bike and has spent the last decade mostly on it, sometimes on the ground near it, surviving to write about his experiences.

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