How to Bunny Hop on a Mountain Bike

How to Bunny Hop on a Mountain Bike
For those that don't know, bunny hopping is a mountain bike maneuver in which you launch both wheels of the bike into the air at the same time. Though you can get by on many trails without the need to bunny hop, the skill is one that will be invaluable to mountain bikers. It will also add plenty of fun to the sport, allowing you to sail over obstacles rather than go around them. Take some time to learn and practice bunny hopping, and you'll be a better rider for it.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Step 1
Find a smooth, clear road or stretch of dirt. Try bunny hopping where there is room for error. Use very little speed and simply hop in place rather than attempting to clear an obstacle.
Step 2
Stand on the pedals with your knees bent and your rear over the seat. Keep your weight centered over the frame, with your arms bent.
Step 3
Bring the cranks to a level position.
Step 4
Bend your knees and elbows, contracting into a spring-ready position. Push down on the pedals with your feet, then unload your force by pulling the handlebar up into the air and simultaneously bouncing off the tires to launch both wheels upwards. This entire motion should happen within an instant.
Step 5
Continue to practice until you get that first, satisfying bunny hop. Getting both wheels off the ground can be difficult the first time. Try it again.

Tips & Warnings

Try installing or borrowing clipless pedals if you can't get the rear wheel up. Since you strap your feet in, you'll be able to pull the rear wheel upward with your feet.
The above bunny hop pulls both wheels off the ground at the same time and can be used to clear smaller obstacles with some speed. When you master this, you can move to the J-hop in which you initiate with a front wheelie, then pull the rear wheel up.
Build your bunny hopping skills progressively. Once you've mastered hopping in place, try small obstacles with some gentle speed.
Mountain biking is dangerous. Always wear a helmet.
Do not approach obstacles that you're not comfortable hopping over or you may get injured.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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