Perform Mountain Bike Stunts

Perform Mountain Bike Stunts
Riding a mountain bike is a lot of fun especially if you can impress your friends with a few stunts. From the basic bunny hop to the table jump to the many and varied techniques of trail riders, mountain bike stunts are sure to impress. Practice stunts away from your friends, though, to avoid the inevitable laughter when you don't pull it off.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

The Basic Bunny Hop

Step 1
Ride towards the obstacle you're going to jump. Compress the tires and suspension of your mountain bike by pressing your weight into the pedals and handlebars a split second before it's time to jump. Float your weight above the saddle.
Step 2
Pull your mountain bike into the air with the handlebars and pedals. The compression performed in Step 1 gives you extra air. Remain smooth and relaxed throughout this stunt.
Step 3
Land the jump with either the rear wheel first or both wheels simultaneously. Avoid grabbing the front brake until your balance is settled and you have full control of the bike. Absorb the shock with your knees and elbows.

The Track Stand

Step 1
Impress your friends with your balance and coordination when you stop to chat by staying still on your bike without putting your feet down. This stunt is called a track stand. Roll to a stop, preferably on a very slight incline, stand up on the pedals slightly and position your shoulders above the front hub.
Step 2
Turn your mountain bike's front wheel slightly and level out your pedals with one foot forward. The wheel should be pointed towards your forward foot.
Step 3
Drag the brakes slightly and ratchet your pedals to achieve minuscule amounts of forward momentum. Use the incline to move similarly backwards. With this stunt, you're never actually motionless. With practice, though, you can stay virtually still.
Step 4
Improve your track stand by practicing at every opportunity. The balance you achieve can actually help you pick your way through tight rock gardens. Eventually, you may be able to master this stunt to such a degree that you can perform it without using your hands.

Ride Steps

Step 1
Look better than everyone else when you get to a stairway. While your riding partners are getting off their mountain bikes and shouldering them, you're taking the slow, stunt route.
Step 2
Approach the steps dead on. While it's possible to ride up at an angle, you will probably slip your rear tire as you go over the lip. Set your gears fairly low; ideally, you want a complete rotation for each stair.
Step 3
Pull up the front tire to go over the step. This is a very basic wheelie.
Step 4
Get your power foot at about the 1 o'clock position as it touches the step. Ratchet your pedals around if necessary.
Step 5
Balance your weight slightly towards the front of the mountain bike to take weight off the rear. Pedal through smoothly and ride forward. Make your friends wait through this stunt and repeat Steps 2 through 5 to get to the top of the stairway.

Wheelie Drops

Step 1
Ride over obstacles large and small with wheelie drops. This mountain bike stunt is an essential skill; the bonus is that it's great fun. A wheelie drop is riding over an obstacle and landing your rear wheel before your front.
Step 2
Get onto the obstacle, whether it is a log, rock, table or drop. If you're going fast enough, you should just be able to pull back into a basic wheelie and drop your rear wheel off.
Step 3
Pull up on the handlebars and bend your elbows while simultaneously applying a quick power burst with the pedals, if you are riding more slowly. This should launch your front wheel into a wheelie.
Step 4
Position your pedals horizontally as you land. Absorb the shock with your knees. Avoid grabbing the rear brake through this stunt, or you may go right over the handlebars. As you ride away from the obstacle, allow the front wheel to touch down smoothly. The more smoothly you perform this stunt on your mountain bike, the more you are guaranteed to impress.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
If possible, practice mountain bike stunts on soft grass before you attempt them for real. Practice with platform pedals so you can easily bail should things go awry.
 
Always wear proper safety gear when performing a mountain bike stunt, and while riding in general. The most important piece of safety gear is the helmet.

 

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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