Do you want to be an expert mountain bike rider? Then bunny hop may be one of the most appealing skills for you. Bunny hop refers to a position where the rider lifts his bike into the air and ride over an obstacle.
It may be easy in a smooth surface, but for rough terrain like the mountain, you may face a lot of difficulties. Here are our guidelines that will help you to overcome these difficulties.
Types of Bunny Hop
There are two kinds of bunny hop. One is English bunny hop where both of the wheels lift up at the same time and remain at the same level. It is not beneficial to jump high.
The other one is American bunny hop where the front wheel lifts up before the rear wheel. It is the most used bunny hop and helps to lift the bike up in a high position.
American Bunny Hop
Choosing the Right Bike
To acquire this skill, choose a bike according to your weight. If the bike is way heavier than you, you may have trouble to get the wheels off the ground.
Moreover, you need a fair distance between the bike and you while doing it. So, don’t select a bike smaller than your size. If you are a beginner, then a bike with the flat paddles will be more appropriate to practice.
If you are a newbie, then lower the saddle as much as you can and keep a moderate speed. Faster speed helps you to fly in a higher position, but it may affect the timing.
Stop paddling when you are next to the obstacle you want to jump over. Bend your arms as well as your upper body down on the handlebars. Stand out of the saddle balancing your weight and press your toes into the paddle of the bike.
Lifting the front Wheel
When you are standing on the bike, it becomes lighter. So you can easily lift the front wheel pulling by your hands. Angle the end of your feet downwards in the direction of the ground. Lean your body back and keep the arm straight when you are doing it.
Make sure that, you are not only using the hands but also your weight to lift it up. This process will make your weight pressing on the rear wheel, and as a result, the front wheel will be lifted immediately.
Flying on the Air
Now it is the time to spring up the rear wheel too. Stand up tall and try to explode upwards pushing the bike underneath. The front part of your feet should be angled towards the ground.
Scoop the rear wheel backward with the feet. Lifting up the rear wheel only by legs is okay, but it will be more efficient if we push our weights in the front while lifting. Leveling both of the wheels can be done by squeezing both of the legs on the air.
Landing on the Ground
Land on the ground as softly as you can, or it may result in injury. Always bend the knees and your hands before hitting the ground. Sometimes the front wheel will hit into the ground first and then another one.
To make them stable, put the weight of your body backward. It will also shield you from the collision of your body with the handlebar.
As soon as the rear wheel touches the surface of the ground, your body should go back to its normal riding position. But landing with the rear wheel first will help to control over the bike more effectively.
English Bunny Hop
English bunny hop can be used to jump over small things. But it is mainly used for positioning the bike or controlling the speed. It needs more energy than the American one.
The front part of the bike is pulled up with the hands, and the remaining part is pulled up with the legs and upper body. Start riding bending your elbows and knees. Try to jump along with the bike.
Extend the feet and the hands at the same time to rise. Bend them when you are on the air. The arms and legs will face the same movement together. Hit the ground while standing on the paddles (stretching the arms, knees, and legs) or sitting on the saddle (bending them).
Mistakes to Avoid
- Don’t extend the legs when you are about to jump. It will prohibit you from jumping higher.
- Avoid extending arms and legs at the same time before jumping. When you have stretched out the arms completely, only then use your legs. This will give you more potential.
- Focus on the timing, or you may fall onto the obstacle you wanted to avoid. Calculate the distance from obstacles and decide the length of hop based on your height and speed.
- Avoid too much leaning back. It will generate more pressure on the rear wheel.
- Don’t grab the bike with your thighs when you are trying to stand up on the rear wheel.
- Never use English bunny hop to jump over something big.
The bunny hop is a lifesaver when you need to soar over some impediments (like potholes or rock sections) which may lead your life to a dangerous stage. It requires a lot of practices, but it is essential for all mountain bikers. Stay safe and ride far. Happy biking.
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