Learning to do a wheelie

jeannot18 Posts: 720
edited August 2011 in MTB beginners
I am trying to learn to do that, went out yesterday but I am having some problems, can't really lift the front wheel and find my balance. I know that it is just a matter to persevere, but I have a question. Currently I have a 10cm stem on the bike, would a shorter one (let's say 50/60mm) makes it much easier? I feel that the Rockrider frame's geometry is not too friendly with lifting the front wheel.

Pédale ou crève
Specialized Elite Allez with 105
Rockrider 8.1 : )


  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    It would make it easier, yes, but there's no reason the current stem will prevent you from wheelieing.
  • Thewaylander
    Thewaylander Posts: 8,594
    The thing with learning to wheely is you have to lean back far further than you think.

    Way i got the idea many years ago was to ahve someone lift my front wheel while sitting too the wheely point, then you kinda need to lean back to get the spot, its a long way back :P

    Next uis to lean back so far and pedal a bit untill you step of the back a few times so you can get a feel for the weight shift.

    After that its learning how to keep it in place,
  • nozzac
    nozzac Posts: 408
    Since the lift on a wheelie is mostly leg powered, the bike's geometry isn't so important - not like it is with a manual.

    I'm trying to relearn my wheelie at the moment as it happens. I've found the biggest obstacle is not to go back far enough and I put that down to a bit of fear of looping out and falling which is stupid really cos it doesn't hurt at all. So I totally agree with the poster above - deliberately loop out several times at the start of each practice session so you know it's no big deal to land on your feet, and then start using the rear brake to stop it. You learn the balance point and the use of the brake like that.

    Another tip I've picked up is to commit to a certain number of pedal stroke - like 3 to start with. The first picks up the wheel and then the other 2 to continue the wheelie. Then up that number.
  • jeannot18
    jeannot18 Posts: 720
    Thanks guys, you are probably right I don't lean back enough, looks easy when you watch those videos on YouTube but not that easy when you are learning...
    Pédale ou crève
    Specialized Elite Allez with 105
    Rockrider 8.1 : )
  • paulbox
    paulbox Posts: 1,203
    It is a strange thing, sometimes when I'm out on a ride I mess about and do a few wheelies, some rides I find it easy, others I can't do more than 2 or 3 pedals... :?

    I used to be the same in my old BMX days, a friend however could just wheelie along for as long as he wanted, to$$er... :wink:
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • mbhuw
    mbhuw Posts: 79
    Try it out on some soft grass ( so if you go too far back it shouldn't hurt as much! ). Just pedal hard to help pick up the front wheel and lean back lots!
  • i practised for ages whilst on holiday. I found 4th gear for me was best for getting the front up. im sure my main problem now is not leaning back enough.

    I will say tho for those just starting, getting the lift technique correct is important. I was yanking on the bars and coming down on my wrists hard, now i realise its more of a joint action, whilst you pedal to lift the front wheel simply lean back and it pops up. I also find sitting with my butt off the chair at the back helps
  • handful
    handful Posts: 920
    Vaaru Titanium Sram Red eTap
    Moda Chord with drop bars and Rival shifters - winter/do it all bike
    Orbea Rise
  • mattrgee
    mattrgee Posts: 157
    I can wheelie my 8.1 and have a 15cm stem on it. Took me about 3 months just to get the wheel up! :oops:
  • Good video link, on last years tour de France some fella crossed the finish line at the TOP of a mountain, doing a one handed wheelie with the bars on full lock....impressive stuff :shock: