Bunnyhops. How?

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  • Bunnyhops. How?
  • I’m no expert – but I can do a reasonable hop on a good day. Lost confidence a bit recently so have been practicing

    IMO getting the back wheel up is all in the arms – pushing the bike away from you whilst the front wheel is in the air. Point your toes and allow your legs to suck up into your body at the same time

    Lots of guides talk about “scooping” up the back wheel with your feet. This is not quite right – I think the push with the bars is far more important


    2 ways.
    1.) the ‘proper’ way using hands on the bars and flat pedals involves pulling up and/or unweighting the front wheel, then a kind of scoopy flicky thing with the feet, essentially a two stage process.

    2.) the ‘cheating/saddo’ way involves riding clipless pedals and pulling up with hands and feet at the same time.

    I can do the number 2 way easily, and am massively not arsed about the other way.


    2 is easy and 1 involves getting the front wheel higher than you think

    I can get way higher and longer with one than two

    stand over your bike (static) and put your back foot on the pedal. using no brakes hook the back of the bike up.
    you will feel an odd group of muscles being used. now you know what that muscle pull feels like do it while rolling along (back wheel only)
    once you can roll along repeatedly doing small brakeless endos, do them while lifting the front at the same time.
    forget doing large two stage bunnyhops for another 40 yrs

    here- hans ray explains it better than me …..about 20 mins in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXEg4vy8CE0

    edit; hahahahaha i love that video, i havent seen it since i was 15 or something cheeeeeeeese

    Premier Icon thepurist

    IME its more to do with the arms than the legs – one push with arms and legs to get the front up then a second push with the arms to rotate the bike while unweighting your legs to let the back lift.

    There’s a YouTube vid of Ryan leech doing a sideways hop in slow mo – that shows his technique really well.



    Learn to manual, or at least lift the front wheel without pulling.

    Bunny hops will then make sense.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner

    Have been practicing for nearly 40 years and I’ve almost got it cracked. 😀
    I can get both wheels off the floor, just not at the same time.

    Every time I read an explanation in a mag, I patiently follow all the steps, but it’s just not happening.

    Go on, talk me through it one last time.


    It’s arms AND legs.
    Focusing on one part more than the other and you won’t be fluid, which is what’s needed for a nice controlled jump.
    However, practising a manual first will get you comfortable with the first part of the process.
    Once you’re there you need to un-weight the rear. Imagine jumping off the pedals but not actually letting your feet leave them. ..if that makes sense. Like lifting your knees.
    You should see the rear end lifting and your hands and arms automatically pushing forward.


    Another thing. .. what bike are you mostly trying it on?
    And forget American bunny hops…. they’re shizer.
    Front the rear is much more controlled, stable, effective etc and you can go much higher.

    Premier Icon jameso

    Worth persevering with, I think it’s the one skill that tends to seperate smooth, flowy riders from the crash-through types.

    Easy way to get it – ride up to a kerb, lift front well over it and when your weight is over the rear, unweight and shift if fwd to let the rear roll over smoothly / lightly, a bump but not a pinch flat, all at any pace above about 5-8mph. There’s your hop timing in a slower move.
    Get that kerb roll smooth, then speed it up. Sooner or later you’ll be able to put in more input and power into the front lift and make it into a proper bunny hop. I find if you can lift the front well up, just unweighting the rear will bring it up a ft or 2 max, but I can’t manage trials-type hops like that vid above. Just a ft or so is useful for moving the bike smoothly over logs, crests, into steeper slopes at speed, etc.


    A bmx would be easier to learn the technique on imo, I’m not sure I’d be mad about the idea of learning on my 29er tbh. 26er is easier but still nowhere near as easy as a bmx.


    I used to be able to do big ones on a BMX. 180, 360…no problem. Two or three feet high. On an MTB…..nada. Have never, ever been comfortable with them on an MTB. I can just say make it up a curb, and that puts the fear of death into me. Mountain bikes have always felt big and cumbersome to me. The ‘scoop’ is entirely different.


    ive just managed to get the “scoop” technique. not great, but i certainly have managed to begin to do wee ones. i’m 41 and shit on a bike, so there is hope for everyone.

    My advice: remember that the bike weighs nothing and you are relatively much heavier. To do high bunny hops requires you to crouch down and put some effort into jumping upwards. The bike doesn’t really need too much persuasion to follow you.


    I learnt by learning to pull the front wheel up near vertical and standing up at the same time. You can then build up to pulling up harder and standing up faster, this will lead to you hopping slightly. Once you get to this point you can push forward on the bars and bend your knees, the bike will come up underneath you and you are bunny hopping.

    Premier Icon JoeG

    From Jonah Tonto’s video at 18 seconds…

    [/url] Wigs by Joe____, on Flickr[/img]

    Special protective wigs! 😯 😆 You’ll be seeing this in the next helmet thread! 8)

    best tip i was ever given was to point your toes down.


    If you can lift the front wheel and rear wheel independently this is a good start.

    Before you start to try bunny hopping anything try this approach. Lift and place your front wheel on your chosen obstacle then as you roll forward lift and place your rear wheel on your chosen obstacle.

    Then build on this by reducing the time between front wheel touching down and lifting the rear up. Aim for timing the second (rear) lift with the rebound of your forks/tyre.

    After practicing many of these you will be able to do the rear lift before your front wheel touches down. Voilà, you have a bunny hop.


    A hop where both wheels leave at the same time – crouch down and pop up with toes down and pushing back.

    A front then back hop – crouch, then pull up and slightly back, when front wheel is lifted push forwards with arms keeping toes down and back, the rear wheel should follow the path of the front.

    I find it harder with suspension as you have to time it with the rebound.


    Kudos is there. If you cant manual, ie get the front wheel up from getting core back ratger than pulling with arms, then youve no hope.


    the ryan leech video is a very good example
    i also find that especially on a f/s bike if you can push down on the rear of the frame and compress the rear shock then as you lift the front wheel and unweight the rear of the bike then the momentum of the rear shock extending can also help lift the rear wheel off the ground…or at least thats how i think i do it… 😕

    A very good topic, one that I always emphasize my clients to master before going on to my stage three course which consists of level two alpine descents, a skill which is necessary in some of my descents I take them down..
    First off, you must be positively focused and feeling confident, I always tell my clients it’s all in the head and once you’ve visualized and mastered it in your head you can then move forward to the practical test…
    So, first off one of the main keys in mountain biking is to stay loose, composed, remember the key here is visualize!…I’ll be back later to let you know the second part! ➡


    so summarising all of the above;

    you need to push down with your arms and legs but not your legs and only your back leg, then lift the bike with your weight without using your arms and with your toes pointing down and pushing back whilst standing up and practicing a manual, then get both wheels in the air at the same time whilst lifting the front wheel and without scooping it, scoop the back wheel into the air also.

    Its important to be fluid so don’t concentrate on any one part of this, but on all the parts together, but most importantly of all, NEVER, EVER, EVER attempt it without a protective wig

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes

    Just got to string it all together 🙂

    Have you tried doing it in Italian?


    – [not embeddable 🙁 ]

    Weirdly i can bunny hop really well and get pretty high but im 50/50 on gettin jumps right. Often end up off balance and out of shape.

    Front wheel up (by this point your hanging off the back). imagine your Toes pushing down whilst pushing your bars away from you should have you in a reasonably stood up stance.


    practice doing a manual first, on a bit of a slope (rolling, standing up), not just lifting your front wheel briefly off the ground, but actually pulling it right up and riding for a second or two on the back wheel.

    to bunny hop, pull that manual, then instantly snap/smash/hoof/push the handlebars forward, you’re aiming for it all in one fluid action/motion.

    probably best to learn on flats, as clipped in you’ll tend to cheat and it’s safer to practice manuals on flats.


    longmover – Member
    I learnt by learning to pull the front wheel up near vertical and standing up at the same time. You can then build up to pulling up harder and standing up faster, this will lead to you hopping slightly. Once you get to this point you can push forward on the bars and bend your knees, the bike will come up underneath you and you are bunny hopping.

    This is the other way that I was taught, practice pulling a manual, then pull a manual and instantly stand up on the pedals, then pull a manual, instantly stand up on the pedals and push/snap/hoof the bars forward. That’ll get you the basic mechanics.

    Premier Icon GavinB

    I wast taught to focus more on weight shift, than anything else. As others have said, get comfy with manuals, then endos, then link them. Flats really help, as otherwise you may find yourself doing a ‘donkey kick’ to lift the back end, when it is more of a toes-pointed scoop.

    Another thing I was shown, which I found a really useful, was to practice was doing lots and lots of mini-hops on flat ground, almost at a standstill. This just helps you get the rhythm right, as you weight shift backwards (front wheel rises), rapid weight shift forward and up (back wheel rises), front wheel lands, back wheel lands.

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