10 Mountain Bike Tricks You Can Try Anywhere

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February 16th, 2016

Today's guest post is from Matt Goodwin, Co-founder of Hix Magazine

Learning mountain bike tricks are a great way to overcome obstacles on the trail and show off your skills! Experienced mountain bikers have a collection of tricks to use at their disposal. When faced with an obstacle, riders must think of a trick on the spot to power through the trail. We've put together a list of 10 mountain bike tricks you can learn to help your overall skills. 


To the novice rider, tricks can be overwhelming. While most think that you need to spend hours on the trails to master a trick, many can be practiced and perfected anywhere. Instead of braving the unknown, new riders can improve their skills in the comfort of their own backyard with just a few minutes of experimentation.


The techniques are easy to conquer. Whether you're in a wooded backyard or on a nearby sidewalk, learning these tricks off the trails will ensure that you have ultimate control. This will prove to beneficial when you take your newly found skills to the trail.


Note: Avoid the dread, protect your head!

Here are 10 mountain bike tricks you can try anywhere:

1. Manual

 The manual is a versatile mountain bike trick that can get you through a number of different types of obstacles. It's also the foundation of many complex tricks. Once it's mastered, you can use it to prepare for other stunts. The trick can be done on any surface. However, a sloped surface will make it easier to perform. The manual involves lifting the front wheel off the ground. You must find the center of gravity over the rear wheel to stay upright and in control. Your knees will do most of the balance work.

2. Bunny Hop

 Once you've mastered the manual, you can conquer the classic bunny hop. It involves jumping off the ground with the bike. It's used to get over logs and to clear small obstacles. The trick can be practiced and used on any type of terrain. Essentially, a bunny hop involves lifting the bike off the ground from the rear wheel. To master the trick, lean away from the front wheel and compress the body. You should perform a manual and bend the knees to get air. Use your knees to jump, lifting the handlebars in the process. Once in the air, level out the bike and land on the rear wheel so that you can continue riding.

3. Nollie

 A nollie is most often used to get through a drop. It's essentially the opposite of a bunny hop. Instead of using the rear wheel to jump, you will use the front wheel. Whether you're dropping from the sidewalk to the street or getting through a much deeper drop on a trail, the nollie will ensure that you land safely. Nollies are performed at a higher speed. You should shift your weight to the front of the bike. With your knees bent, you should lift the rear wheel slightly. When you get to the drop, simply lift up the front wheel and hop to safety.

4. Unweighting

 Unweighting is crucial in mountain biking. It involves shifting your weight to make the bike as light as possible. This is used on trails with variable terrains. Slick and wet environments can cause you to lose control of your bike. Unweighting ensures that you stay in control. This can be performed on any wet or slick surface. Wet sidewalks, drains, and wet decks are perfect for practice. Upon approaching the slippery surface, simply lift off the seat and shift your weight to the rear of the bike. You can find the center of gravity and stay in control while you simply slide through the obstacle.

5. Wheelie Drop 

 A wheelie drop is a handy trick to have in your arsenal when faced with continual drops. Wheelie drops use the rear wheel and a shift in balance to keep the bike steady as it goes through the obstacles. Concrete steps are a great place to practice this trick. You should approach the steps at a medium speed and get into a manual position. Your center of gravity should be over the rear wheel. The front wheel should be off the ground and remain so until you reach the end of the obstacle.


6. Front Wheel Touch-up

 The front wheel touch-up is another versatile and useful trick to have up your sleeve. It can help you get up and over a small lift. When faced with a new level of terrain, this trick will allow you to get up and over smoothly and safely. This can be done on a curb or sidewalk. You should approach the lift freely without pedaling. As you near the lift, shift your weight back and lift the front wheel so that it gets over the edge of the lift. Then, quickly shift your weight forward and lift the rear wheel with your legs.

7. Stoppie

Mastering the stoppie is crucial in mountain biking. It allows you to quickly stop the bike without losing control. At high speeds, an abrupt stop will send riders over the handlebars and into harm's way. This trick can be performed on any surface. At medium to high speed, pull the front break. As you are doing this, move your weight forward and keep your arms straight. Your rear wheel will lift off the ground, so it's important to keep the center of gravity over the front wheel. Pumping the front breaks slightly will help you stay balanced as you roll forward slightly.


8. Endo Turn

 An endo turn is a great way to get around tight turns. It doesn't require a lot of riding space, so it's useful when faced with a tight squeeze. It involves breaking quickly and balancing on the rear wheel as the bike turns to continue on the next path. If you've mastered the stoppie, the endo turn will be a cinch. Perform a stoppie by pulling the front brake, shifting your weight forward, and lifting the rear wheel. As the rear wheel lifts, use your hips to move the bike in the direction you want. The higher your rear wheel is, the more turning time you will have before the wheel hits the ground.

9. Fakie 

 A fakie can be useful when met with a large obstacle you can't get over. Not only that, but the trick teaches riders how to ride backward and gain momentum. Essentially, the trick involves using a wall or large obstacle to push the bike backward. Approach a brick or concrete wall at a moderate speed. Your front wheel should bump the wall as you lean forward. This builds momentum and prepares you for the push off. When you push off, your arms need to be tense. Your body should be over the rear wheel. As you ride back, you should pedal backward and stay balanced with your knees.

10. Trackstand

 A trackstand is a simple trick that gives riders the ability to pause their ride for a moment. It's handy when doing tight tricks that may require a bit of extra thought. Off the trail, the trick lets riders halt for traffic or passing pedestrians. Basically, the trackstand is a trick of balance. Whether you're riding through a smooth trail or moving at a snail's pace while you wait, you need to keep balanced. Simply stand up and extend the arms and legs as you find the center of gravity over the rear wheel.

Today's guest post is from Matt Goodwin, Co-founder of Hix Magazine

did we miss any mountain bike tricks? let us know in the comments below!

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