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Secrets of the wheelie

ntrailzntrailz Posts: 21
edited May 2009 in MTB beginners
Can anyone help me with this?

Every time I pull a wheelie and start to pedal I move off to the side and begin to lose balance then have to put the wheel back down again :oops:

I don't know how hard to pedal or what the best gear is. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Posts

  • lowish gear. I do my best either on the granny ring or upto 12th on the 2nd ring. I found that too & kinda learned to counter balance myself. so if you lean a bit to the left, make a concerted effort to try to hold it stronger on the right hand side. lean back & it comes in time. Mate of mine can go miles like it, no effort, I was never that good but happy enough to do a bit
    Start Weight 18st 13lbs March 2009
    17st 10lbs August 2009
    17st 4lbs October 2009
    15st 12lbs December 2010

    Final planned weight 12st 7lbs
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Practice practice practice! On grass. Cover the back brake, drop the saddle a little, and find a gear that helps you get the wheel up and keep it there.
  • ThewaylanderThewaylander Posts: 8,767
    Also use your knee's to help balanc the bike slightly.. it sounds wierd but its a smaller weight shift out so helps to stop over balancing..
  • XtreemXtreem Posts: 3,066
    Practice practice practice! On grass.
    I agree about the practise part, but on grass?
    I find it difficult to do it on grass, because there is some small bumps, and you can't
    compare it to the smoothness of the asphalt.

    About going sideways, do the folowing.
    When you feel the bike starts to move to the left, shift your weight to the right of the
    saddle, and the oposite.
    You actualy don't seat in one position on the saddle but you constantly moving your
    censored to the left or right.

    For fine adjust use the knees as above.
    And if you're not doing it, then do it with flat pedals.
  • I mastered this years ago so im gonna try and pass off my wisdom :wink: start off practising in a low gear (once you get the hang of it you will be able to change up gears mid wheely !) use your knees to counter balance as well as you handlebars, quite difficult to explain but if you know about opposite lock in a car its a similar principal i;e if your bike leans left turn your bars right and vice versa, the weight of your front wheel acts as a counter balance. Once you have the hang of getting your balance point shift up gears as your wheelieing to keep your momentum dabbing your back brake if you think your going over the back (dont be afraid of this just jump off and run with the bike) dont want to push you to hard but I do them with one hand and actually find this easier in some respects as you have a free arm to use for balance. Hope you suss it soon coz wheelies are cool !!!! :D
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,408
    Why bother?

    Manuals are worth learning, they're helpful on the trail. Same goes for bunnyhops etc. Wheelies have no useful purpose.
  • abducteeabductee Posts: 189
    I agree that manuals are more useful on the trail but wheelies are a good way to learn to balance on 1 wheel. Which did you learn first whyamihere?

    My advice would be to stick at it.
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    whyamihere wrote:
    Why bother?

    Manuals are worth learning, they're helpful on the trail. Same goes for bunnyhops etc. Wheelies have no useful purpose.

    I disagree......being able to pop the front wheel up and keep it straight by cranking the pedals is very useful.....especially if you discover a drop that you are going too slow for....it can really save your face from a bad scrape!
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • XtreemXtreem Posts: 3,066
    [b]cee[/b] wrote:
    .especially if you discover a drop that you are going too slow for....it can really save your face from a bad scrape!
    Unless you wear a fullface. :wink:
  • duckaxeduckaxe Posts: 1
    ntrailz wrote:
    Can anyone help me with this?

    Every time I pull a wheelie and start to pedal I move off to the side and begin to lose balance then have to put the wheel back down again :oops:

    I don't know how hard to pedal or what the best gear is. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

    I think I have an answer for you. I've visited hundreds of forums, videos, instruction and friendly advice and I've practiced for years without success... until recently.

    There's one thing I've never heard anyone mention...

    When you stab the pedal with your dominant foot and yank on the handlebars, it naturally tends to make you lean toward one side or the other. It's a herky-jerky motion that immediately throws you off balance. There is a trick to it, though. Pedal a full revolution to find the sweet spot. Don't look for the sweet spot with the first pedal stroke (dominant-side). It's not going to happen until you get really good at popping and riding wheelies. Instead, pop the wheel up with your dominant side, as usual, but then pedal just a little bit harder with your non-dominant-side. Two things will happen. One: The second stroke will counter-balance your tendency toward one side or the other. Two: You'll bring the front wheel up to the sweet spot (the feeling of weightlessness that comes when you're perfectly over the contact patch of the rear tire) in a gliding motion, rather than trying to jerk it up.

    Think of getting the front wheel half way up with your dominant foot (the one that you take off with when you're standing still) and getting the wheel the rest of the way up with your non-dominant foot.

    Don't worry about feathering the brake or being on an incline or any of the rest of that stuff. You first have to find the balance point before you can ride on it.

    Just my 2c, but I hope it helps. Don't give up, you'll get it eventually. I did. And if I can, anyone can.
  • memphis32memphis32 Posts: 55
    Interesting...

    I've always started with my weak foot, used that to get me halfway up, and found the balance point with the dominant foot. I've seen it taught that way elsewhere too, so I'm not the only one...

    I still have the tipping over problem though, and am just scared of going over backwards, even though I know I can easily step off the back if it all goes wrong!
  • memphis32memphis32 Posts: 55
    I've never got manuals down at all though - I just can't seem to get the front end up without pedalling. I keep feeling the bike is too big, but then see someone like Hans Rey pop a manual on a 90's 20" frame with the saddle up... Sorry if this is hijacking the thread, but it's kinda relevant...?
  • XtreemXtreem Posts: 3,066
    and am just scared of going over backwards, even though I know I can easily step off the back if it all goes wrong!
    Learn to do wheelie with your fingers covering the back brake.
    WIth using the back brake I can now stop to zero for a second or two and continue to wheelie.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    fall off, get back on, fall off, get back, on fall off, get back on, nearly fall off, keep going, nearly fall off, keep going, dont fall off - done it! brilliant.. now find a group of girls and do it next to them.. :)

    ok so not all girls go for wheelies, they didn't when I had a bmx years ago, in fact my gf couldn't care less, probably cos i'm a grown up.. but wheelies are usefull things, being able to pop the font up whilst keeping back wheel firmly down. plus it will improve your core balance. keep going..
  • whyamihere wrote:
    Why bother?

    Manuals are worth learning, they're helpful on the trail. Same goes for bunnyhops etc. Wheelies have no useful purpose.
    Nor do supermans or seat grabs or any other stunt but we all wish we could do stuff like that - the wheelie is the first natural step on the stunt ladder for most people.
  • owen908owen908 Posts: 170
    To perform a wheelie i usually select an appropriate gear for the speed im traveliing. I dont use my arms to lift the front wheel at all. With my most powerful leg forward i push down and shift my weight back. I'll keep the back brake covered with one finger and if i start to built momentum i'll dab the rear brake (althought quite difficult with the avid ultimates becuase they're so powerful you just end up being shunted back down). Its alittle harder to master but its possible to shift up through the gears whilst wheelieing.This lets you maintain speed whilst wheelieing.

    I frequently use powered wheellies on the trail ; especially technical climbs where you cant rely on a manual without momentum .So the powered wheelie is usually the best option to get over obstacles and small steep drop offs where a quick powered wheelie will see the front wheel over the the drop off whilst the back will roll down and should if the timing is right see both wheels back on level ground preventing you from going over the handle bars.
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