Mountain biking has become a popular hobby for people to do, and it does not seem like it is something that will lose its popularity anytime soon. A lot of people are becoming more interested in mountain biking and there is therefore a lot of questions on how they can master mountain biking tricks, or at least learn how to get over those obstacles on the trails without having to go around them.
Perhaps the most confusing part about how to do these various things on a bike is knowing how to start and, just as importantly, how to work up to some of the more challenging stuff. There is also the question of safety and how to try to learn these without getting yourself really hurt.
How To Start Mountain Biking Tricks
There are a wide variety of tricks that a mountain biker can learn to do with their bike, some of which are quite amazing to see. However, if you are a beginner then those will be far too hard to you to start with. These are tricks specially formulated to help mountain bike riders get out of tight corners and potentially dangerous situations in the trails.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a pro to learn most of these tricks and the you can start learning some of the skills in your own backyard before you take them to the trails. There is so much more to learn about mountain bike tricks that just its definition, especially if you are starting out with it.
There’s something about jumping on a bike and riding recklessly through the mountains for days. This is the kind of lifestyle that would appeal to your adventurous side, and that is what mountain biking is truly about. Once in a while, on this adventure, you would be faced with obstacles that might even be life-threatening if you do something wrong on, say, a narrow trail that has a cliff right beside it.
At times like that you need to be able to think of a trick right on the spot that would let you do what you need to in order to make sure that you don’t fall off of the cliff. One thing that would help in this situation, of course, is to have experienced people on the trail with you if you are on your first time out and to have them going in front of you so that you can see what they do in various situations.
But they might not always be close to guide you on the next step to take. So, to help you for these situations and for solo mountain biking, I am going to go over nine mountain bike tricks as well as how you can learn them. A knowledge of these tricks is vital for helping you get out of potential dangers.
To a beginner mountain biker most of these tricks can seem somewhat overwhelming just at first. While you might think that most tricks can only be mastered during hours of on-trail practice, many of them can be practiced and perfected in any location. Why wait to brave the unknown when you can get your skills raging high from the comfort of your backyard with a short time of practice.
Most of the techniques that we would discuss here can be easily conquered, and it doesn’t matter whether you are in a nearby sidewalk or a wooded backyard, a knowledge of three tricks will help to give you total control when you decide to try the trails.
The bunny hop is a relatively popular trick among mountain bikers and it is a great place to start. It involves jumping with your bike off the ground and comes handy for getting over logs and several other smaller obstacles that would be found in the forest.
The most significant selling points of this trick are the ease of learning it, as well as the ability to perform it on any terrain. Generally, a bunny hop trick would lift your bike off the ground from the read wheel. Mastering the trick doesn’t take much, so there’s no need to be scared.
How It Is Done
Like we’ve stated earlier, mastering the bunny hop is pretty easy, as long as you are ready to do the right things. For starters, you would need to lean back and away from the front area, compressing your body in the process.
While you are doing this, and with the energy focused on your knee, try to jump and to lift the handlebars as well. When you are in the air it is vital that you level out your bike. This is to allow your land on the rear wheel before your front wheel hits the ground for you to keep going on your ride.
This is the perfect mountain bike trick for getting through a drop unhurt. It is safe to refer to it as the opposite of the bunny hop trick. In this case, you are not jumping with your rear wheel. Instead, you are making the jump with the front wheel of your bike.
The nollies trick comes in handy for ensuring your safety when you drop from the sidewalk to your street or in moments when you want to get through a more intense drop on a trail. It is essential to state here that this trick is best performed at a very high speed.
How It Is Done
Like most of the other tricks on our list, learning and mastering the nollies trick is pretty easy and straightforward. In this case, you will need to push your weight to the front of the bike. With your knees bent in a sharp 45° position, you should push for the rear wheel to lift slightly off the ground. Once you reach the drop area, lift the front wheel and allow the bike to drop to safety.
This is one of the most crucial skills to learn in mountain biking. It is vital because it comes handy to get over a variety of terrains. Since you don’t know the conditions that you will meet on the mountain trails, you want to know a skill that gets you through a variety of conditions.
That being said, the Unweighting trick usually involves pushing your weight to one side of the bike in such a way so that the bike becomes as weightless as possible. No matter what your level of riding experience is, you will often find the need to struggle for control when on slick and wet environments.
One very effective way to stay in control during such situations is by unweighing. You can smoothly perform this even on slippery or damp surfaces. Places like wet wooden features and sidewalks are excellent for practicing this trick since it is the exact condition you want to use the skill on most of the time.
How It Is Done
It is pretty surprising to a lot of beginners that this trick is as simple as it is, especially considering the variety of situations that it will take you out of. Once you are very close to the slippery surface, lift yourself off the seat and push your weight as back as possible, leaning towards the rear of the bike. The goal here is to find and stay in the center of gravity. That way, you can stay in control while merely sliding through the obstacle.
A wheelie drop is a trick that has proven handy to a lot of people in potentially risky situations mountain biking. It is especially useful in moments when mountain bikers are faced with continual drops. This trick is invented to keep the bike as steady as possible while it goes through obstacles.
It does this using a combination of a shift in balance on the part of the rider and a move of the bike’s rear wheel. You will enjoy practicing this trick better in areas with concrete steps if you can find some since it is best done when the terrain looks more or less like a flight of stairs.
How It Is Done
During your practice, it is crucial to tune down to a mid-speed level, especially as you approach the steps. At this point, your attention should switch to trying to keep the center of gravity just over the rear wheel. Once you can find a bit of balance, lift the front wheel off the ground and keep it so until you ride to the end of the obstacle. Repeat the process for a line up of different obstacles.
Front Wheel Touch-up
This is another clever trick that comes useful in several different situations. This is the best trick to apply for getting over a small lift. When in a new terrain where you probably don’t know what lies wait in the route, this trick comes handy for smooth and safe navigation of your bike. You can use this trick on curbs and sidewalks when you are practicing it.
How It Is Done
This is another simple mountain biking trick that can get you out of problems. Usually, you will need to stop pedaling just before you get to the slight lift. Once near it, push your weight backwards and then lift the front wheel for it to get over the lift. Then immediately move your weight forward and use your legs to shift the rear wheels and start pedaling again.
As the name suggests, the stoppie is one trick that you can use during mountain biking in order to bring your bike to a sudden halt without losing control. Mastering this skill is crucial for those moments when you need to stop suddenly for whatever reason
If you are a beginner mountain biker then you should prioritize this trick as one of the first tricks that you make sure you try to learn. Of course, you should know how dangerous it can be to stop at high speed abruptly, and that is why it is so important to master a skill that will help you stay safe. It is possible to perform this trick on any surface, and the level of speed you are on mostly doesn’t matter either.
How It Is Done
Performing this trick is easy, but it needs a bit of care in order to stay safe while you are practicing it. While going at a fair amount of speed, pull the front brake. At the same time you should move your weight to the front and try to keep your arms as straight and stretched out as possible.
This is enough cause for your back wheel to lift from the ground, but the thought of that shouldn’t scare you. Just try to ensure that the center of gravity remains on top of the front wheel and you will be good to go. As you begin to master the trick, you will find that it helps you maintain balance through slight forward rollings.
If you are thinking of the possibilities of getting around very tight turns with your bike, then this is the option that you should learn how to do. For this, you don’t necessarily require so much riding space, so you will find it very useful when you need to negotiate through tight squeezes.
The trick involves quickly braking and maintaining balance on the rear wheel so that it turns the from the tire. With proper mastering of the stoppie, you will find the endo turn quite easy.
How It Is Done
Performing the stoppie is as simple as pulling the front brake and then shifting your balance forward. In order to change that move into an endo turn, at the point where the rear wheel lifts some you need to use your hips to turn the direction of the bike to where you are wanting it to go.
This skill is another critical biking trick that is very important for those moments when you meet up with a huge obstacle that is impossible to pass. Apart from that, the trick also helps to teach riders how they can comfortably ride backwards and even pick momentum if they want.
Essentially, this is a trick that involves turning an obstacle into a backward propeller. This trick seems like it doesn’t make sense at the moment, but with a bit of practice, you will find that it helps you overcome obstacles.
How It Is Done
This is not as complicated as it might sound. To start with you should approach the obstacle at a moderate speed. Allow your front wheel to bump the wall while you lean forward. You will see this builds some momentum on the bike, getting you prepared to push off.
Your rear wheel may lift off of the ground for a moment, but then try to push your body towards the rear wheel and off of the obstacle in order to push your bike into rolling backwards. During the ride backwards, you should keep pedaling back while you do what you can in order to stay balanced.
Last on the list of mountain biking tricks is the Trickstand. This is a simple trick that allows you to be able to pause your ride at some point. It comes as a trick that would be handy when doing other complicated tricks. It deals with the balance of the rider and the bike.
How It Is Done
No matter what your speed or terrain is, you will find the need to stay balanced as you try this trick. To do this, stand up on the pedals and stretch out your arms and legs some as you lean back to search for gravity point over the rear tire. Hold this for only a moment and then set your front tire back down.
Safety Tips For Successfully Performing A Mountain Bike Trick
Mountain bike tricks might sometimes look easy, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. Before practicing any new mountain biking trick, you will want to make sure that you observe all the important safety tips in order to avoid getting hurt.
The first thing that you should eb sure to do is to always wear a helmet. You want to keep your body, and especially your head safe. Brain injuries can be life-threatening, and you should do everything within your power to keep yourself safe from any head injuries such as concussions as you are out on the trails.
Nothing helps you to protect your head as much as a well-fitted helmet and it is an essential piece of gear that every mountain biker should own and remember to wear. Before venturing into mountain biking, you should know that it is a sport that is inherently dangerous, with the potentials of causing severe injuries or worse.
Despite seeming so obvious, it is surprising to see that a lot of beginners ignore it. Whether you are just starting with mountain biking, or you are a pro, helmets would help you a lot. Thankfully, helmets come in different prices and styles, so irrespective of what your budget might look like, you would be able to afford a helmet that would keep you safe.
Speed is a big attraction for mountain bikers, and most riders want to hit the trails with blazing speed. Most times, you would be moving at more than 30 feet per second. Hence, the need to be aware of the trail conditions before stepping out and to know the above tricks in order to help you avoid crashes as much as possible.
There is also other gear that you can use to stay safe on the trail and when you are learning new tricks as well. One of these is safety goggles if you will not be riding in the rain. Sometimes it can get quite a bit dusty on the trail too and you want to keep a clear vision all the time. Goggles are needed in the rain to keep the water and mud out of your eyes but are not normally needed in dry conditions.
Safety glasses with clear lenses are the perfect for this. Either way, these ca save you from potential blindness that would come from things getting into your eyes as well as making sure that you see as much of the trail as possible so that you don’t run into anything because you didn’t see it.
One example of this would be riding in the mud which slings up mud and a piece of glass that was in the mud into your eyes. This is not something that anyone would want to happen.
If you will be handling your bike for hours, especially when you are learning these skills which require you to pull around on your handlebars a lot, then you would need a protective glove for your hands. There are specialized hand gloves for this purpose.
Gloves will help you get a firmer grip, as well as protect your hand from blisters that could occur from handling the bike for too long. Gloves can help you to grip the handlebars without getting blisters on your hands. While you might think that you can just toughen your hands up, it can be hard to grip the handlebars properly when you need to when your hands have blisters on them.
Another thing that you should do to stay safe is to not try to jump from riding on beginner trails and then to do a double black diamond trail. Never fall into the mistake of listening to your friends when it comes to trying a trail section that is above your ability. If you can’t do it, then you should not try to do it; there is no shame in staying safe. If you are in doubt as to if you can handle a part of the trail or not, step off the trail and walk that section.
While you are walking that section, look at it carefully and go over in your head what skills you might need to do where. If after that you think that you can manage to do it, then try it the next trip around. In mountain biking, nothing beats knowing your trails.
Usually, you should try to stick to trails that you are familiar with as a beginner until you feel confident in them. If you are taking the trail for the first time, however, you will need to take things easy. Carefully survey your trails. Walk when you get to the sketchy sections. Be vigilant and check for blind spots and beware about pushing your limit in trails that are unfamiliar to you.
Each kind of bike is designed for a separate riding condition. Buying a bike that fits your riding condition will, to no small extent, affect your riding experience. A hardtail bike, for instance, might not be perfect for a big rock garden. In the same way, a downhill bike would possibly be miserable when used for a long uphill ride.
In mountain biking, you can always expect to crash. Every Mountain biker eventually crashes at one point or the other. It is all a part of it. Therefore, you need to always evaluate the trail beforehand to see what the potential consequences of crashing would be, especially if you are going to try a new trick on the trail.
For example, if you are going to try something new on a mountain biking trail, then you would be far better off by doing it on a relatively flat trail and not on a trail a couple of feet away from a cliff for obvious reasons. Also, a steep downhill trail is usually not the best place to try these out either since if you were to lose control you would potentially keep rolling. Always remember to use common sense while riding to avoid dangerous situations.
Of course, one of the important parts of crashing safely is wearing a helmet and other things. People are often overwhelmed thinking about what they should wear what they shouldn’t. As a beginner, you would want to take a moment to review your gear list before stepping out with your mountain bike.
These gears do not only make you safe, but they make you look and feel like a professional mountain biker. The most important thing is a helmet, as mentioned. If you are working on new skills then you should also have elbow and knee pads as well since while you are working on these you will undoubtably crash at least once.
This being the case, you should take it for granted that you will crash and when this happens you should try to stay as relaxed as possible. When you crash your natural reaction will be to tense up, but this will make it ore likely for you to pull a muscle or even to break something, so try to take it casually.