Watch: How To Wheelie a Mountain Bike

I love wheelies, but growing up around a lot of BMX’ers, people who did wheelies were made fun of. Forget that, let’s do some wheelies.

The first thing to note is that wheelies are very different from manuals. In a manual, you balance the bike by repositioning your body. In a wheelie, you stay put, and adjust the torque of your pedaling to stay up. The harder you pedal, the further back the bike will tilt.

Start out at a comfortable speed, then pedal hard and lean back with your arms straight out, the nose of your bike should pop up. Sometimes sitting back on the seat helps. A common mistake is taking one good crank and then letting up. To do a wheelie, you need a sustained spin with plenty of torque.

If you feel yourself going back too far, a tap on the rear brake will put your front wheel back down. If you want to be a dick about it, go way back and slam on your brakes at the last second. Actually…you didn’t hear that from me.

Once you get the backwards and forwards part figured out, you can try steering and leaning to get a little more control over your wheelie. All it takes is some practice and some experimentation to find the right gear and seating position.

So we may ask ourselves, are wheelies useful for anything? Well, they do teach you a very important lesson about weight transfer. By learning wheelies, you’re getting more of a feel for adjusting the pitch of your bike, and that’s worth something. Also by default, learning a wheelie means you can get your front wheel off the ground, which is useful in a lot of situations as well.

What do you guys think about wheelies? Were they ever cool? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for watching, and ride safe.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 1 wheelie

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